Thursday, March 31, 2005

"Ban if you spam"

Would this work?

The problem

I've been contacting a few companies lately by email. Sadly replies are very rare. I expect these companies receive so much spam and irrelevant emails that my email disappears in a mountain of unwanted mail. So I've devised a 'ban if you spam' idea:

How it works

An individual would state - in their email account- that they agree to send no more than ten emails a day. If they exceed this number then their account is disabled (permanently?). In all their outgoing email the title line indicates that the sender has signed-up to the 'ban if you spam' agreement. Thus the recipient knows that the email is not from a spammer.

Any thoughts on this?


Blogger wookie said...

"An individual would state - in their email account- that they agree to send no more than ten emails a day."
is this the limit to send mails to just one person or mails sent in a day to numerous people?how did you arrive at this number?what if one genuinely has to send more mails either to one person or many people in a day?'ban if you spam' agreement sounds like a good idea.but the problem is of irrelevant emails not just the number of emails does one stop the irrelevant emails from being sent/received?i guess bulk/junk folder feature is a good step towards it as the unwanted emails are automatically sent there.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Eroteme said...

Wookie, the number was merely an example. It should be "number of email per day per address-sent-to". John, will clarify.

What you raise is a very valid concern. The problem might not be merely of quantity but even of quality. Even 3 crappy mails might be unacceptable.

John, she has a point. What happens when someone spams this site itself? I mean I create a thousand such accounts each sending out 10 emails per address. Woah! AAVALANCHEEEEEEEE!!! :-))

Let's rework this proposal. Wookie any ideas?

8:34 PM  
Blogger John's Ideas and Creativity said...

I think my post may serve better as identifying a problem than suggesting a specific solution. I'm planting a seed and would favour 'yes and' comments over 'yes but' comments at this, the germinal phase. Any takers?

11:59 PM  
Blogger Eroteme said...

True John, but some times the "yes buts" serve as fodder for the "yes and". Ok, lets proceed.

What is our problem?
We get spam mails and we get numerous relevant mails.
We need to seggregate between them.

We would need a mechanism of getting the receiver's ok on the mail source. Hmmm.
We also shouldn't keep asking the receiver everytime. Hmmm
From a valid source, we shouldn't worry about quantity. Ok...
From an unauthenticated source we shouldn't receive even one (or maybe an enquiry mail to the receiver about this source). Hmmm.

So what do we have here...
We could funnel all incoming emails through a service which checks the source validity with the receiver. Any new source is first checked with the receiver and upon validation, any number of mails from this source are allowed. Or we could also allow the receiver to specify a "not more than N mails from this source".

Many softwares exist which do this currently. They have a list of blacklisted sources and a combo of user defined "bad" sources which they use to allow or prevent mails. We need to look at them and see what we can possibly improve... or what their assumptions are and re-visit them...

Your initial problem of "genuine mails getting lost in spam" would be taken care here. A small summary of sender, subject and list of attachments (if any) is provided to the receiver.
What we cannot do is convince the receiver to read it!!! :-))
I think that is why spam was invented. Throw a hundred of them and he is sure to at least read one!!!
John, are you re-inventing spam??? ;-)

7:46 AM  
Blogger wookie said...

hmmm good solution. I guess if one wants to avoid spam & not lose relevant mails, one would have to read the summary & filter out irrevelant sources.BTW bulk folder in yahoo & junk folder in hotmail work just fine.they filter out the unknown sources & put them directly in those folders.sometimes even mails from new ids(thou' not spammers) will also go there hence one has to scan the folders & identify relevant sources which to me is easy cos your eye just catches what is relevant(like a fren's mail) somehow intuitively.

10:49 AM  

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