Inquiries About Autographs

The short answer:I donít give autographs.Sorry.No exceptions.

Explanation:

Because of the international press coverage of the :-) invention, I have been receiving a steady trickle of requests for my autograph Ė or more commonly, for an autographed photo.Most of these requests come from Europe, and itís a hassle to print these things out, sign then, and then mail them back with the correct foreign postage.In a number of cases, I have later found these autographs and photos being sold on E-bay.Apparently my autograph is worth $35 or more to certain collectors.That is flattering, but also annoying.To be honest, I think autograph collection is a silly hobby and a big waste of time for all concerned.

In recent months, probably due to increased press interest in the :-), the trickle of requests has become a stream.If trends continue, it could become a flood.Some of the people making these requests are quite persistent.

This has become a distraction, taking time away from my research, so I have adopted a new policy: I donít give autographs.No exceptions Ė not even if itís for some charity or good cause, not even if you make it relatively easy for me, and especially not if you just send me a request by physical mail with no Email address included.Iím sorry if you are a legitimate collector and a huge fan of the smiley, you run an autograph museum, or you are doing this for starving orphans, but I have no way to verify this and I just donít want to spend the time any more.Future requests will be ignored or, at best, will be answered with a terse (Email) note pointing you to this web page.

-- Scott Fahlman