If you have an idea for a better email address, let me know

www.danariely.com
My most loved email address

A few years ago I gave a talk at a large conference and the organizers of this very nice conference asked me to post my email on the last slide so that people could contact me in case they had further questions.

At that point, I had to ask myself if I really wanted people from this large conference to email me. And my answer was mixed. I wanted people who had interesting questions that they really cared about the answer to email me. But I didn't want anyone who had a fleeting thought to email me and overwhelm my email inbox.

Luckily, I remembered the concept of friction (the idea that even small effort can be a large barrier to behavior) and I realized that adding some friction to the process of emailing me would both 1) reduce the number of people emailing me and 2) making it more likely that only the people who really cared wrote me.

So, what did I do? This was my choice for the ending slide:


The stratagy was a success. I helped the audience understand that sometimes friction is not that bad, and indeed and I got very few (and very good) emails.



But, you might wonder, why did I decide on this as my email?

Here are a few hints

Hints 1-2) I liked this email-friction idea a lot (obviously, it was my idea) and I wanted to attribute it to a writing genius. Hint 1: Think about who you would be a good candidate for the title of a writing genius? (hint 2: someone with my initials -- DA)

Hint 3) Drop the upper-case lower-case

faroutintheunchartedbackwatersoftheunfashionableendofthewestern

Hint 4) Start separating this stream into words

Far out in the uncharted backwatersoftheunfashionableendofthewestern

(Is it clear by now?)

Hint 5) Continue separating this stream into words

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable endofthewestern

(Is it clear by now?)

Hint 6) Finish separating this stream into words

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western

If it is not yet clear, here is the full paragraph of the opening of one of my favorite books:

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”