Today was the straw the broke the camel’s back on the topic of e-mail. As a server administrator I deal with e-mail servers regularly and as any e-mail administrator knows, spammers are evil. Their tactics are such a pain, causing nothing but problems and stress on servers around the world. It’s also no secret that I’ve often wished “SpamAssassin” was actually an elite Ninja squad who specialized in removing the extremities of selfish good-for-nothing spammers.
That said, spam was not the issue today… it was actually a “legitimate message” that tipped the scale of sanity. The e-mail in question was several pages long and consisted of several people replying to messages, replying to CC’s and talking about something that some how I am involved with (because I was CC’d). Since I was CC’d on only the last few messages it’s now up to me to sort through the disgusting mess of in-line responses since the beginning and find out what the hell this has to do with me.
After about an hour of reading to figure out who-is-who and who-is-saying-what I find that right in the middle of the mess is my name as a contact (used as an incorrect reference to a project I had little to do with). So now I’ve just spent an hour of my life figuring out this whole twisted problem to find out I really don’t have anything to do with it.
The more I deal with e-mail, the less efficient I believe it is becoming. Not because of the technology itself of course, but because of how it’s being used and abused. HTML messages with colours and picutures, long correspondence, complex issues and the lack of security behind SMTP are all contributing factors to my continuing hatred of my e-mail account.
At present I do not know a solution to the problem… it seems to me like going back to usenet for business correspondence may be a solution worth investigating. What’s old is new again, isn’t that right? Perhaps with all the new social Internet concepts someone will develop something that becomes more useful and business oriented… who knows.
Until then… if you e-mail me and require any sort of response, your best bet is to keep it to the point and text-only. If you have a secret about how to efficiently handle 100 or so messages per day, for love of grey, tell me, I’m all ears.