AOL and Yahoo may start charging commercial users fractions of a cent to deliver e-mail.
And while you might think this is outrageous- it’s actually a good thing. The Can-Spam act has done virtually nothing to stop SPAM and to increase the effectiveness of direct marketing through e-mail, many people you’ve opted-in for mailings- have pushed way too much junk your into your inbox.
The solution is already here- it’s called RSS. I’ve written several posts about it already- most recently “A site without RSS is like a phone without a ringer.”
RSS allows your customers to choose when to see what new and interesting things you have on your site- and to visit at their leisure. Smart marketers will soon offer different RSS feeds to different types of customers- with different deals on different products. For now, the key is adding RSS to your site- no matter what (WordPress does this automatically).
To read some interesting views on how to make RSS simpler to use see:
Dave Winer “How RSS can bust through”Â
Fred Wilson “E-mail vs RSS (Continued)”
While what I’ve read about AOL and Yahoo’s plans seems heavy handed, something has to be done to eliminate junk e-mail- and this is one option.Â I remember seeing a proposal not long ago about requiring a secure type certificate for every e-mail server that would be revoked if too many spam complaints were lodged against that server. Earthlink implemented a barrier that would require a response to send e-mail to protected addresses that was highly effective during an outbreak of one really horrible virus a year or so ago. This is not the first time a radical solution has been suggested.
The best spam fighting solution I have seen is the Spam Karma 2 plug-in for WordPress that works through the collective wisdom of a shared knowledge base. It would seem that if implemented Internet wide- this type of Spam filter would quickly stop the current deluge.