Preventing the Death of Email

  • November 23, 2009
  • Scott

Keith Swenson has a few posts on the frustrations of email these days – and after some time experimenting and a friendly nudge from me, he’s come around and tried OtherInbox.

The problem?  Too much spam, which makes email nearly useless.

The proposed solution (my take):  use an email provider that has a REALLY good spam filter.  Like Gmail.  I have a very old personal address that gets 99% spam but the occasional personal note comes through it.  I forward it through a Gmail account and as a result I see the 10 or so useful emails that show up on that email address per year.

But, Gmail only effectively filters spam.  It doesn’t help you filter merchant emails that you would like to receive, but perhaps not in the quantities that you receive them.  Only some merchants are nice enough to let you state how often you want to hear from them.  There are lots of opt-in situations where you are required to provide an email address.  You could use a single “spam email” to opt-in to all these confirmations, etc.  But then you can’t tell who gave your email address to the spammers when it does go bad, and you can’t turn it off selectively.

OtherInbox solves that problem by letting you give each merchant a unique email address that you can later turn off if it becomes an avenue for spam.  You can also use it to sign up for group mailing lists, and the like, which are more likely to get compromised than some commercial accounts.

I think between Gmail and OtherInbox, you can largely whip the spam problem.  For now…

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