Spam 2009

I hate spam. You hate spam. We all hate spam.

A year or so ago, one of my ISPs began managing spam by not sending it to me. I balked and downplayed the use of that email address. The idea of missing an important email freaked me out.

But the spam has gotten worse, and my sensitivities have shifted. Spam sitting on servers and backups takes up space. Space on disk is energy. And kathleen@mvps.org has been a public email address for over ten years. You can imagine I get a lot of spam. Space on my disk doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t change the size of disk I buy. But the management of spam on servers does take energy.

This year when mvps.org announced that they would begin refusing spam, I understand and support the move. Their gate blocks the spam. I think they waited on this until they felt they had decent technology. Decent technology is unlikely to be perfect.

This may impact you if you’re trying to contact me. If you get a “rejected as spam” message, try another approach, including IM, calling me, contacting me through this blog, or leaving a comment. I can easily whitelist you; I just need to know if you’re being rejected. So far I know of two messages that have been rejected. One is someone that contacts me regularly and I have no clue why he went into the spam bucket. But, the problem solved itself within the magic spam logic. The other was a friend who thought a particular piece of spam was funny so he forwarded it to me. Cool. Rejected on content. I liked that and I didn’t think it was all that funny when he told me about it.

Assuming your ISP is doing what it should, you’ll get a rejection message based on the rejection from the mvps server. But neither mvps nor I can do anything about whether your server actually informs you of the rejection. If I don’t answer, and you think I would have answered, you’ll have to try again. Don’t take it personally.

If we are exchanging email after sometime this month when they turned the filters on, everything is fine. But even if we exchanged email before that, we could see a problem.

In order to combat spam, more servers internal and external are going to take draconian measures. I can’t get a report, it’s not in my junk folder (not that I’d be that good at manually scanning the hundreds of spam messages I get a day). The world has changed, and each of us is going to have to take a little effort to ensure important email is delivered.

And thanks to the awesome folks at mvps.org for taking such amazing care of me and my email for the last ten years. They manage many extremely public– as in highly spammed – accounts and do a great job. Community often appears just as the façade of people and faces you hear. But community is also a vast network of quieter engines driving the process – for me that includes mvps.org, msmvps.com, and ineta.org. Thanks to the volunteers that keep these running.

This stinks. But I think it’s the best solution today and ask for your patience and perseverance if you need to contact me.

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