Email is begining to fail as a technology for me on a number of levels– it over run by the worst sorts of spam, it’s too easy a way to avoid dealing with people as humans and it consumes too much mindspace. And the volume. There is too many messages I want to ‘subscribe’ to and not enough filtering.
Email’s Failure on a Social Level. I’ve recent read the book “Painfully Shy” and while I probably am, I don’t want to be in pain or shy, so I’m going to try to declare email bankrupcy and switch to making phone calls when ever I can, especially for family and friends & avoid emails where it isn’t really a very valuable social exchange anyhow, like dealing with customer service. (This doesn’t apply to my work situation though, where 2/3 of my office work team is off site–it that case, multimodal–in person, phone, email and IM–is the way to go)
Email’s Failure in denfense against mal-mail. POP3 email is out of control, and worse yet, it has been taken over by purveyors of not just regular porn, but porn plus hate crimes. I think we are going to see a replacement soon. My domain account gets thousands of spam emails, which I finally have rerouted to a suitable blackhole in a nearby galaxy.
My email is secret, but not my phone number. I’m going to change my email address to something hard to guess, rather than something logical, like my name. This will make handing out my email address difficult, since non-geeks have a hard time typing email addresses. I’m thinking of using my phone number and name, since it would create a huge search space (3 thousand common names * 24 intitials * 9^9 power phone numbers * 12 different ways to combine the names. ) Also, this will let people know that they have no excuse not to call me when ever they email me.
Aliases. Long ago I switch to using primarily forwarding accounts to increase ISP mobilitiy. It a strick policy of never using you SMTP/POP3 email account except via a forwarding alias is also proving to be handing while I declare email bankruptcy.
Untrusted mail. I can’t stop using my old email address, which now is a combination of spam and untrusted mail, so I think I will route it to gmail, which isn’t too bad and has a good spam filter. My Yahoo account will continue to be by rarely checked account I give to websites that I suspect will spam or crapfood my mailbox.
RSS. I now use bloglines and I intend to use it, or whatever better RSS reader I can find. I’d kind of like to declare webbrowser bankruptcy, too. Webbrowsing is another way to avoid dealing with people, but on the otherhand, most of the people I’ve been friends or acquitances with I met at events I learned about on the internet. Someday this will lead to RSS reader bankruptcy, too, but it is a step up from checking 25 sites only to find out that 20 of them haven’t changed recently and those that have now are listing stale events.