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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thinking about Spam

We are told that it's never been harder to get Spam through to recipients - ISP and desktop security options should mean that spammers face a virtually impossible task. But still it arrives.

My new Windows Vista system started really well, automatically diverting all junk email to a special, yet accessible folder. It took the spammers about 2 weeks to work out how to get round this and get into my Inbox.

But personally, that's fine - I welcome spam. As an email professional, I can learn a lot from it. What subject lines and body phrases and words to avoid, for example. Given the growth of Bayesian filtering, this is very important.

I would also rather spend 5 minutes a day deleting unwanted emails rather than run the risk of missing a genuine and important business or personal communication because it has been inadvertently filtered by a third party. I hate the thought of someone else deciding what I should and should not receive.

Unless email becomes a totally permission based network, where you can only send and receive emails from someone who has whitelisted you at ISP and Desktop level, then we will have to live with Spam, and personally I believe the benefits of free and open email far outway the negatives.

And remember, one mans spam is another mans welcome message - as a colleague once said, it's only spam if you are not interested!

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