Now what about junk mail?

Junk mail stuffed in mailbox

So it seems that spam is getting worse but may be easier to deal with soon:

Reasearchers at IDC predict that this year the number of spam messages sent will eclipse the amount of legit email correspondence for the first time ever, reports USA Today. Approximately 10.8 trillion spam messages will have crossed through inboxes in the past year, compared to 10.5 trillion legitimate person-to-person email messages. The numbers indicate that spam is a growing problem, despite the promise of better filtering technology.

"Two years from now, spam will be solved," said Bill Gates in 2004 addressing World Economic Forum in Switzerland. But 2007 will go down as the worst year yet for spam, a trend that has held for the past four years, according to Rebecca Steinberg Herson, vice president of marketing at Commtouch, an email security firm.

Great. I already get at least 5-10 times more spam than real email. Yeah, it's a pain, but it's all just ether-junk -- clutter in my inbox. I don't see hardly any of it. And even though spam is to distributed and email is too decentralized to effectively deal with it in any easy sort of way, I do have my own spam filters that work pretty well. (Recommended: SpamSieve.)

But what about junk mail? You know, the real-world snail mail spam that goes straight from your physical mailbox to the round file?

Consider:

  • Junk mail is unsolicited. If most people are like me, they get more junk mail than "real" mal.
  • Junk mail uses a lot of paper. Dead trees.
  • Junk mail is fuel wasting. Because of its bulk, takes a lot of gas to haul it around and deliver it to everyone.
  • Junk mail is carbon heavy. See above.
  • Junk mail threatens privacy. Think of all the information in your average credit card offer.
  • Junk mail is unavoidable. You cannot opt out, no matter what. Go head, just try. The United States Postal Service requires you to receive junk mail because it generates revenue for them.

Junk mail is something that we supposedly can do something about. After all, its delivery is controlled by a central authority.

If we could reduce or eliminate junk mail, think of all the benefits for everyone.

[Photo: Mark Lawrence]

topics:  spam, SpamSieve, junk mail.