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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Email is almost useless: Six Ways to Talk to Me

I've recenty gotten some phone calls asking if I'd gotten an email.

I hadn't.

Or maybe I did get it, but the real email was buried in a mountain of spam and junk mail.

It's never been this bad.

Lot's of people are complaining.

Ronni writes:
If anyone reading this has written to Crabby Old Lady lately expecting an answer, you’re probably disappointed or, more likely, pissed off. Crabby is at the end of her rope, pulling at her hair, pounding the desk, throwing wadded-up paper at the cat - a deranged, screaming harridan teetering on the edge of her mental precipice.

The reason for her lunatic behavior? For every legitimate email she receives – a message from a friend, blog reader, colleague, subscription newsletter, Google Alert, etc. – there are a minimum now of 50 to 75 pieces of spam. Maybe more. Close to a thousand of them pour one after another - 10, 15, 20, 25 at a time - into her inbox day and night and that’s in addition to the hundreds of spam messages a day Crabby’s email filter catches before they hit her inbox.
Eric Rice writes:
If I’m lucky, I get e-mail one of three ways: immediately; four days; or never.

The spam battle is the worst part, since so much spam resembles support e-mails, avatar names, or introductory correspondence. The filters are either too aggressive or too lax, resulting in me trying to read it all.
What reliable means of comunication are left?

Six Ways to Talk to Me
Blogs - If you've got a blog and I subscribe to it via RSS, I'll see everything you post. This works really great with friends like Zadi, Chris, Bre, Chuck, Dave, Robert, Jeff, Mike, David, Kevin, Ravi, Amanda, Ze, Tim, Andrew, Micki, and many others. If you are reading this blog, you're probably on my Bloglines list. Comment on my blogs posts and I usually see those. Unless it's an old post and the notification email gets lost in spam. ;-)

IM - Instant messaging works great. I use text 90% of the time, and Audio/Video chat around 10%.

Flickr - If I have you marked as a contact on flickr, I see your new photos and keep up with what you are doing and where you are. My friends who use flickr like a blog are Chuck, Steve and Casey.

Phone - My phone # is on, so anyone can call me.

Text Messages - I'm on the 10 cents a message plan, so I don't use text messages that much, but they work.

White-list email - I haven't set any of these up yet, but that's what Eric Rice is doing. He's creating new email addresses for individual groups. Other friends use a technique of putting KNOCK KNOCK in the message subject line to make hte message stand out from spam. I guess we could try that for now...

How are you dealing with Spam? Comment on this post.


  1. Anonymous10:23 AM

    I use gmail for personal email and it seems to be working ok, although I haven't had the address for that long. I am getting some spam on it, though, that gmail is filtering out. I did have one legit email get filtered out.

    At work, we were drowning until they installed an IronPort spam-blocking server. It's working very well. Only seen one or two spams get through in two or three weeks.

    As a developer, I would love to learn of any efforts underway to develop an "Email v2.0" that could be made airtight against spammers. Steve, anyone...? I'm going to check the IETF as a start.

  2. Email is the bane of my existence. Voice mail, too. Anything that piles up and hangs over my head like a cloud.

    Spam is a problem for sure, but what I don't like about email is that people send them indescriminantly about the littlest bullshit. Maybe it's because many of those people don't get upwards of 250 emails a day that *have* to be read, so they don't understand the annoyance of receiving an email asking me something unimportant or looking to chat.

    Email is on its last legs because the spammers killed it and everyone else abuses it for unnecessary communication.

  3. Anonymous9:02 PM

    I use gmail as my primary e-mail which takes care of most of the spam.

    On my old Foo account I've been using a service called Spam Arrest for over a year now and nothing gets through it. I've been extremely happy with it.

  4. I deal with spam as it comes. In most of my email accounts though most of the spam goes into the junk email and the email I should get I do in my inbox. When I get spam in my inbox I immediately flag it as spam.

    So far though I don't have too many problems.