"[A]ccording to the Congressional Management Foundation, the House of Representatives got 99,053,399 messages via the Internet in 2004. That's 227,708.9 messages per member of Congress. If a member took an average of 30 seconds to thoughtfully read each email they received in 2004, it'd take them 79 days solely to read their mail from the Internet. For a member of the Senate it's worse: 288 straight 24-hour days worth of constituent communications at 30 seconds a piece. Most people don't spend that many hours awake in a year."
—In which Math helps persuade us into believing even more firmly that online petitions don't really do much in the way of swaying legislators' opinions. (I would hazard a guess to say that you could swap out "legislators" with "executives at the TV network that canceled your favorite show" in the previous sentence, although the math might be a bit different.) The important thing? Those petitions are pretty effective for the organizations that create them, as far as harvesting e-mail addresses and being able to have trumped-up "follower" numbers and, of course, serving as a gateway to hitting said addresses' owners up for donations! So the loser is, once again, your inbox. [Via]