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An Open Letter to the Other Marko Peric

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by Marko Peric

Let's get something out of the way right now. Odds are that you aren't the Marko Peric this letter is addressed to. After all, there are six billion people on this planet, most of whom have some other name. Even if you have the good fortune to be named Marko Peric (in which case, congratulations, it's a great name), there's a good chance this isn't actually intended for you. But feel free to read on anyway, it is an open letter after all.

Hello there. I know you don't know me, and you probably only found this by doing a search on your own name. Or, possibly someone else found it and sent it as a link to you, thinking it would be of interest to you. If that is the case, they were correct. For starters, kudos on having an awesome name. It has served me well for the last 34 years, and will hopefully continue to do so for many years more. It's not all that common a name, as a quick Google search will tell you. There's a diplomat, a soccer player, a deceased Catholic bishop, a photographer, a computer hardware designer, the former bass player for a band that was on Eurovision a few years ago, a software programmer, someone with a MySpace profile that hasn't been updated in a year, and a few others. We seem to be a fairly successful bunch. There's not really that many of us, as evidenced by the fact that I actually show up three times in the top 20 results. Maybe you're one of the ones I mentioned, although hopefully not the deceased bishop, that would be weird.

In any case, I have an important message for you. I'm getting your email. The one that goes to the Gmail address. You know the one, it's your name (and therefore, my name) with a dot between the first and last names, at gmail dot com. I'm not going to put the actual email address in here because the spam bots will harvest it, and that's another topic for another day.

Here's the thing, the way the folks at Google set up Gmail, firstname.lastname @ gmail.com is the same address with or without the dot. For that matter f.i.r.s.t.n.a.m.e.l.a.s.t.n.a.m.e is the same address. It doesn't matter how many dots you put in there, Gmail just ignores them. So there's no combination of dots you can put in there, it's all going to end up in my inbox.

I can understand wanting to have your email address just be your name @gmail.com. That's a fairly exclusive thing to have, although there are other email services out there where the name might still be unclaimed. But unfortunately, as far as you're concerned, it's mine, and it has been been for like six years — I got the address way back in 2004 when Gmail was still fresh and new. I actually wanted to have just "marko @ gmail" but Google insists you need to have at least six characters in the username.

Maybe you actually do have a gmail account, but with a number after your name or something, and you have been forgetting to stick that number on the end. I can understand how that would happen. But it happens a lot. I get emails that aren't for me from Facebook, from instant message services, from random strangers. I just tag them "wrong Marko Peric" (yes, it happens enough that I created a tag for it) and into the archive they go. So please, from one Marko Peric to another, stop trying to use my email address, even if it's accidental. You aren't going to get any of the messages, and I'd rather not know any more of your personal information.

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