Anthony Greene

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How I lost the battle with spam

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This is not a real a post. It’s more of a tangent from the post that I
really want to write, on how Microsoft has made a science out of
annyoing me
. But I found that post to be getting far too long,
mostly because of this tangent, so I figured I would break this
background story off into it’s own post so it can be safely skipped
over.

I feel like I’ve lost the war against spam. This is hardly anyone’s
fault but my own. For a period of about 3 years I used my
agreene73@hotmail.com primarily as a dummy account that I would give to
unscrupulous online websites that require I register with a valid email
address before I enter into their site. I knew this address would serve
as nothing but a spam magnet, and I was not too worried about it.

Around 2000 or 2001 I transitioned away from ICQ as my IM of choice.
That’s a whole new set of annoyances that drove me away from a program
I used to love. I don’t want to get into that. I was also changing
jobs, and found that having a permanent, personal email address was
more reliable than basing my online-identity on a work-based email,
which can (it appears) change at the drop of a hat. So,
agreene73@hotmail.com got promoted from spam-magnet to primary email
address, as well as (as Microsoft would have it) the very kernel of my
digital soul. Thank you Passport. Thank you very much.

Over the years, I’ve actually been incredibly happy with the use,
flexibility, and options of having my hotmail address be my primary
personal email address. It’s quite a lot to ask of something that is
free. When MSN spaces arrived on the scene, I instantly took a liking
to it. I’ve tried using Blogger.com, and MySpace.com, both of which are
more popular sites on the net for blogging, but for various reasons I
really could never be bothered with using either of those. After
a week or two my interest very quickly died off.

The killer feature that MSN Spaces has, I believe, is their
intergration with MSN Messenger. I must truly be out of touch with the
computing habits of the world at large (kids, damn kids), because I
completely fail to understand why this feature has not spelled the doom
of other blogging sites, or personal sites like MySpace or Friendster.

I really can’t be bothered to
remember all of my friends’ various blogs, web spaces, portals,
etc. And even if I did, I wouldn’t bother to check each one up
every day on the offhand chance that they’ve updated their blog.
I suppose I could subscribe to their blog to receive email
updates…but… nah, even that is too much bother. (Terrible,
aren’t I).

But you can rest assured, guaranteed,
if you are on my contact list, and you update your MSN Space, the
moment I see that twinkly little star next to your name, I will, that
very instant, click on it and read through your blog update, and look
carefully at every single picture you’ve uploaded to your site. I
may not leave many comments behind (though I know I should) but I most
certainly am reading it.

Though this little feature has managed to completely capture me, it has
not seemed to work so well with the rest of the internet’s
user-base. MSN Spaces remains a tiny mouse next to the rabid,
mutant elephant that is MySpace.com. Anyway, I’m not moving over to
MySpace.com anytime soon. I like having updates on my contact list far
too much, even if it means not being one of the cool kids.

Anyway, back to losing my battle with spam and today’s annoyance with
Microsoft. I do get tons of spam with my account
agreene73@hotmail.com. I know this is largely in part to me being on
dozens, nay hundreds of distribution lists thanks to my activity some
seven or eight years ago with this account. And don’t get me wrong.
Hotmail’s built in spam filters are doing a heroic job in stemming the
flow from the tsunami of spam mail that hits it every day. Sadly it
just is not enough.

There is also the fact that I just plain have never liked my
agreene73@hotmail.com address. It just seems… well very cheesy and
very 1998ish. I’ve never really been all that happy with this
email address, and have tried various other email services looking for
the right fit (and hopefully a better login name without arbitrary
numbers and characters). Inevitably, I keep coming back to this
agreene73@hotmail.com,
mostly because it is my msn messenger account, and now because of my
msn space. Congratulations, Microsoft, you really did find a way
to claim a chunk of my digital soul. It’s too bad that particular
chunk is stuck wearing a crappy name tag, and is presently drowning under a mountain of spam mail.


Click here
to go back to the real post that spawned this post.

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Written by anthonygreene

July 19, 2006 at 4:32 pm

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