As a break from working through some of the heavy papers on mood metrics that I asked for and received, I started playing with Daytum, the place to make pretty, web-based charts from your data. Daytum is in an invite-only beta right now, but they are issuing invitations to all who ask as their capacity ramps up. The people behind the site are Ryan Case and Nicholas Feltron. Though the tools are simple right now the appeal is obvious.
Out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at the salutations used by people who email me. Most of my email arrives without a salutation. However, when there is a salutation, it is often either Dear Gary or Hi Gary. (If the email addressed to Mr. Wolf it is probably from a German magazine or a Nigerian businessman.) I’ve been curious about whether the Dear salutation is fading from email, as has been reported. My data say yes. In two of the samples, Hi Gary outnumbered Dear Gary by (very roughly) four to one. In the third sample, the ratio was much smaller; but this sample contained a lot of spam. In fact, a high ratio of Dear Gary in an email sample is probably a reliable signal that that the sample has not yet been filtered for spam. This point would be much clearer in the charts below if I did not include all the email that contained no salutation.