email@example.com: Guru Raj set up firstname.lastname@example.org on a whim one night in 2004; now he gets email intended for Barack Obama.
The letters expressed a range of sentiments: simple incredulity (“R U REAL?”), electoral reassurance (“Don’t worry about California, they’re old fogies anyway”), mystical backing (“You represent the spirit of the Lotus sutra”), conspiratorial opposition (“Obama might not be a U.S. citizen and not qualified to run for president”), niggling criticism (“You were losing your OOMPH delivering your speeches in Texas and Ohio”), sound advice (“Don’t lose your humility”). Raj’s favorite e-mail was a nursery rhyme that went, “Hillery Dillery Dock / Obama will clean her clock / Monica’s a sin / Bu Ba fell in / Now she’s gotta deal with Barack.”
Other correspondents were more practical-minded—one extended an invitation to a Seder in Hyde Park (“We heard you were shooting a movie at the synagogue by our place”), while another expressed regrets (“I can’t make the meeting tomorrow, but I’d like to buy a shirt—preferably a medium”). At 11:14 P.M. on May 30th, a real-estate agent from Manhattan sent the following note to email@example.com, as well as to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com: “Mr. Obama, good luck in the rest of the election year. Please let me know if you have any real estate needs.”