Today’s email glitch

Many of you receive daily updates from Contrarian by email. These are sent out shortly after 3 am every day from Google’s Feedburner service (to those who subscribed via the “once a day by email” link at right).

This morning, for some reason, Feedburner sent out a trio of week-old posts for the second time. It’s not clear why, but I wanted those who received it to know it was an error, not a deliberate reposting of these items.

We are trying to sort out what happened, and why, if only to prevent it from happening again. Meanwhile, our apologies for adding to your inbox.

Email fogeys

Email DeclineWho uses email? According to the New York Times, it’s the same people who “still watch movies on a VCR, listen to vinyl records, and shoot photos on film.”

At left, Comscore, the Internet rating agency, graphs the startling demographic split in email use.

The drop is sharpest among the Internet generation, while email use by those over 55 showed a sharp uptick, perhaps reflecting the fact that more and more, ahem, old people are getting on line.

Total email use is falling too. The Times says the total number of unique US visitors to major e-mail sites like Yahoo and Hotmail peaked in November, 2009, and has since slid 6 percent. Visits by  12- to 17-year-olds fell around 18 percent. The only exception? Visits to Gmail are 10 percent from a year ago.

The trend to texting parallels an earlier noted shift away from phone calls by young people. So why hasn’t someone produced a mobile device whose only function is to send and receive text messages?