The Listserve: Serendipity in your inbox

  • 19 October 2012
The Listserve: Serendipity in your inbox

The Listserve: Serendipity in your inbox

The Listserve Project

Shake up your inbox with something totally unexpected from a random person. I'm not talking about spam, I'm talking about The Listserve - an email lottery where everyday, one person is chosen to send an email out to over 20,000 subscribers. The ListserveWhat are the kinds of the messages one can expect to receive? Topics range from:
  • food and drink recipes
  • confessions
  • regrets
  • occasional plug for a business
  • personal experiences
  • insights and advice
Started by 5 NYU grad students, this social experiment explores what people say when given the chance to speak to an audience of strangers. One email from from a woman about to move away and embark on a journey with only one 50 pound suitcase in tow. It makes one wonder about how much extra stuff we really have and ways we could cut out those items that we may just one day need... Read a particularly interesting email sent by Ishita from India: ----------------------------------------------- Google translate is great, and I use it extensively while learning Spanish. But there's only so much it can do. There are some words of a language which remain untranslatable. Here are some of my favourites: Duende (Spanish)- On a translator, it'll show "elf". It is actually the spark of divine inspiration, expressing itself out of one’s heart, or the involuntary feeling of awe, in reaction to an inspiring piece of art or music. Tenalach (Gaeilge)- The relationship one has with the earth, the air, the water. A deep connection that makes you one with nature. Gemütlich (German)- Translates as "comfortable", but it is the sort of comfortable exhibited by a warm house full of people who love you; when you are happy and relaxed. Ya'aburnee (Arabic)- Literally translates as "You bury me."  The declaration of one's hope that they'll die before another person, because of how difficult it would be to live without them. Koi No Yokan (Japanese)- The feeling you can get when meeting a person for the first time, that you will fall in love with them. Different from "love at first sight", as it does not say that love already exists, only the knowledge that it WILL happen later. On that note, I'll sign off. Hopefully you will find these words as beautiful as I did. Ishita Kolkata, India ----------------------------------------------- The Listserve has been covered on BetaBeat, Fast Company, and Huffington Post but more news outlets are sure to comment as the subscriber list grows. Whether or not one chooses to subscribe to the listserve, it does beg the question, "What would I prepare to say to 20,000 strangers today?"

The Listserve

-Valerie @vcorvington

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