People hate spam. It’s dumb, counter-productive and resource wasting. Same people click spam links making it so profitable of a business but that’s not the topic for today.
People if not like then at least appreciate messages from their family, friends, colleagues and readers.
But somehow both of these often get paranoid and ugly treatment with bloated and ineffective anti-spam measures.
Most of anti-spam protection assumes by default that there will be mistakes . No matter what the type or scale of messaging is – some spam is getting through and some valid information is getting lost.
So question is – what amount of spam blocked is worth losing incoming email with important information? Oh, by the way you still aren’t blocking spam completely.
Deeply flawed aspect of anti-spam protection - it only gets better with active input to parameters from person on receiving end.
At the same time people are desperately looking for install-and-forget solutions that are by definition worst possible for such complex task as analysis of textual information to determine both content and purpose.
Let’s look at common checkpoints to deal with spam.
This point kicks in even before act of messaging is completed. Theory is to make sender do additional work that spam bot won’t be able to reproduce. Guess what – there are very few things spam bot can’t reproduce and all of them are going to greatly annoy any live person .
I got very good example while doing my research on 125x125 ads and widgets . One of the systems has contact forms so well protected from spam that I couldn’t register or submit support request (on topic of not being able to register).
Who thinks that losing leads and alienating customers at cost of being protected from spam is good business – raise your hand!
Assuming you own the point where message are received (like WordPress installation or own mail server) there are quite a few different things you can paste into process here.
Only problems is balance. You are installing anti-spam measures because you are not willing to deal with spam manually. But are you willing to manually control and educate your anti-spam solution? If not – you may get astonishingly high percent of mistakes.
External service filtering
Why deal with problem if you can dump it on someone else for free? Centralized anti-spam services collect message from participating members and use different methods trying to evaluate them.
So instead of something close you can at least try to control task is totally outsourced. System that you don’t have a clue about makes decisions on how relevant information is to you.
Oh and if it does allow some degree of control and education then dumb crowd is most probably going to educate it really bad. And it’s going to be really pleasant surprise when such system decided that you are a spammer .
This one is scary. It assumes that you have to do something. Like look through folder and waste insane half of a minute for spam cleanup.
Topic is so big and technical that I am splitting it in parts. Subscribe to not miss next post with overview of spam filtering methods.
And to spend time here is cool exercise. Take you email box, or WordPress comments or whatever. Count what percent of spam you had to deal with manually and how many mistakes it made.
Mine numbers are 1% of spam I had to review manually and 0 mistakes on valid messages. Yours?