Site Reliability Team Lead at News UK

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1 November 2014

Email Overload

by Mike

Ask anyone that has been online with the same email address for more than a few years and you’ll rarely hear them say that they have no issue with spam.

The truth is that as soon you start to use an email address for anything like everyday use, you will start to accumulate spam and other unwanted messages.

Email itself is kinda broken this way. The costs of sending are that small that it profits people to send out millions of untargeted emails in the hope that they get a response from that fraction of a percent that might bother to read it.

There have been a number of attempts to redress this balance but none of them have caught on outside of a tiny audience.

Personally I gave up trying to fight it head on. I use a lot of spam filtering and manual white and blacklisting which makes email usable for me, but for everyday use I use instant messaging to communicate with collegues, email only being used for big messages or forwards from other people - and I like it this way.

If something is urgent, then email is useless, the feedback loop is too open. It needs to be something more immediate in response. IM works here and for when it doesn’t work for one reason or another, I use Textsecure a secure SMS replacement app for android.

This isn’t perfect, but it is working for me so far.