Saturday, December 01, 2007

Getting some control of email back

The pet peeve of most of us today is the amount of spam that we get. When gmail was invite only the combination of a semi-closed community and a pretty good spam filter meant that the volume was far less than I would see in Hotmail or Yahoo mail.

Unfortunately that seems to have changed, although as Joe Duck comments Gmail say it is reducing.

I have taken some steps to get some more control, starting with Yahoo. After reading Om's posting on add-ons to outlook I had a play with Boxbe and configured it against my Yahoo account. Fairly painless to do but I really want to run it for a while before commenting further.

One of the features that stands out though is the "access charge" that they levy and share with you for passing on your account details to a company that your Boxbe profile suggests would be interested in you.

This resonates with a discussion I had a couple of years ago with a friend of mine on an overall revamp of the email eco system. If you were to charge micro-money amounts to send email then this would go a long way to reducing spam.

If we were to extend the Boxbe model then some form of revenue sharing that encouraged sensible, some would say ethical, use of email could be a great way to enter the market.

At the end of the day the only sure fire way to keep spam volume low is to keep on the move. Change your email address frequently and partition up your life. I have taken the approach of having parallel email address that I use for specific purposes (blog comments, work, banking etc). This has certainly helped keep the volume of spam down on some of those accounts.

1 comment:

stewtopia said...


Thanks for the blog post. We work with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail (as you mentioned) and very soon we'll be releasing an Outlook plugin.

I've been using Boxbe for Yahoo! Mail for several months now and find it to work quite well.

Let us know what you think of the service.

Randy Stewart
Boxbe Product Manager