Scott Rosenberg has a great piece on spam and spammers.
Spammers are “free riders”; their defenses are ludicrous, and their abuse is a classic instance of the “tragedy of the commons.” The Internet is our commons. We need to keep working on better ways to keep it from getting choked by spam.
For years I didn’t know why all these tech heads were complaining about spam. Since I had my first email address (about 1994) through to about 2 years ago I rarely got any spam – maybe 2 messages a week if I was unlucky. Then the deluge came…
I now receive on average 40-50 spam messages per day. I think it has a lot to do with having more of an “imprint” as it were on the net – my email address pops up in mailing list archives, this blog, my band’s website and other places around the net. Plus I use an email aliasing service, which I know has a lot to do with it as well (I’d estimate over 90% of the spam I get to that one address).
The problem is, that is the address my friends know they can always reach me on. I’ve had it almost as long as I’ve been on the net, and I get friends who email me on that address that I haven’t heard from in years.
I’m lucky, OddPost, the mail service I use, has an awesome spam filter – about 99% accurate, and very few false positives. But that’s still a lot of bandwidth being chewed up with crap.
And my colleagues wonder why I have a problem with sending unsolicited emails from our business (and thankfully, I’m winning so far).