Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Spam an alternative solution

Spam is an increasing problem for business today.

E-mail is a vital tool for most business people.  Although it has its downsides and it is regularly abused, e-mail still provides a fast and easy means of communication and a vital tool for sharing information.

I don’t know about you, but Spam is still on the rise, I am now getting anywhere from 200 to 400 spams a day.  It’s taking over my mornings at this stage.

I’ve tried a whole range of different anti-spam products but to be honest all of them have significant flaws.  Increasingly I am seeing people using these services where they respond to your e-mail with an automated response that asks you to click on a link to verify that you are an authentic sender, but as a PR person I don’t think making it harder for journalists to contact you makes any sense whatsoever.  It’s for that reason I am opposed to any anti-spam solution that blocks spam at your mail server – how do you know if a legitimate e-mail has been bounced?

So my new solution is Reverse-Spam.  This is where rather than trying to extricate spam from your inbox, you extricate the good e-mail, leaving the spam in your inbox.

It’s simple when a real relevant e-mail message pops into your inbox you apply a rule that moves it to a dedicated folder.  Anything left in your inbox is spam and can be deleted.  At the current rate of Spam growth I assume that for most people spam messages far outnumber legitimate e-mail. Of course this approach also gets around the problem of you adding senders to your spam list by accident.

Since I thought of this idea, a quick search on Google has revealed this is not a new idea at all. I’ll let you know how it goes, though the quote from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War which accompanies that last link sums it up nicely:

“Subduing other’s military without battle is the most skillful.”  

Postscript: There is a God, California have just fined a spammer $2 million. I feel the stress slipping away….

Written by Tom Murphy

October 27, 2003 at 11:28 am

Posted in General

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