The "Count your keystrokes" concept; or, blogs or email?

Jon Udell has a great post about the multiplier effect of blogs against private email.

For those of you who didn't share my liberal arts background, the "multiplier effect" is a concept in economics that says if I put $10 in your pocket, you'll maybe save $1 and spend the other $9, thus putting $9 in somebody else's pocket, who will save $1 and spend $8, and so on. Thus, putting $10 into the hands of somebody inside the economy has the effect of putting $10 + $9 + $8 + ... into the economy as a whole, thus creating a clear multiplier effect from that one $10 drop.

Jon's point is that when you email, you're putting $10 worth of information into the email recipients' pocket, which may go to two or three people, or maybe even to a mailing list. When you blog, you're putting that $10 on the Internet where Google can find it, and people you've never met can comment, respond, and enhance it, maybe even making it $11 or $15 or $20, which is a HUGE multiplier effect. :-)

People often email me with questions or comments or suggestions and what not, and I'm always a bit unsure about how to treat it: I'd like to blog it, but email has an implicit privacy element associated with it that I'm reluctant to violate without permission. But Jon's post gives me a new idea about how to handle this:

If you email me, and you want me to email in turn (thus keeping the communication private, for whatever reason), say so in your email. Say exactly what policy you want regarding the privacy of your email, otherwise I will otherwise assume that if you email me, it's OK to blog it and thus take advantage of the blogging multiplier effect.

Which reminds me: please feel free to email me! Commentary on blog items, items you'd like me to venture an opinion on, whatever comes to mind. ted AT tedneward DOT com.