It’s getting harder every day to argue that email is not a dying medium. The latest stats suggest that around 90% of Internet email is now spam of one form or another. Even good email often seems to get blocked by spam filters.
The spammers also managed to keep ahead of the game at every point.
The past few days have provided a good example as I’ve received, as I’m sure many of you have, hundreds of spam emails with the subject line of “Happy NW [sender’s first name].”
On the blog front, things aren’t much better. Today, I deleted 153 spam comments and found zero real comments. This is a typical day. I estimate that 50% of the legitimate comments I get for this blog end up first in the junk comments filter.
If (1) I didn’t get the occasional truly wonderful comment and (2) we weren’t in the middle of that classic annual end of the year / beginning of the year blogging tradition of debating whether a blog without comments enabled is a “true blog,” I’d be tempted to turn the comments off on this blog. I’d rather revive the annual “email is dead” debate.
By the way, I’ve offered my comments on the “what is a blog” question before here. To me, the key feature of any blog I actually read on a regular basis is that it has an RSS feed. Since I read all blog posts in my newsreader, I couldn’t even tell you whether most of them have comments. As for the current debate, I’m agreeing with Dave Winer’s approach. My own notion of “online newspaper or magazine column without the newspaper or magazine closely echoes Dave’s “unedited voice of a person” notion, which should not be a surprise since most of what I learned about blogs early on I learned from Dave and he was one of the biggest influences on me starting this blog.
It’s interesting how this issue of blogs and comments keeps coming up year after year. The debate usually lasts a few days and then dies away, unresolved. I watch these debates with a little wariness, concerned that someone might declare that I really have not been writing a blog for the past almost four years.
In the meantime, to return to the main point of this post, it does seem prudent to begin exploring alternatives to email for communication that matters. I think the kids are all right about email today.
Happy NW Dennis to all.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
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