Kleene Star (kleenestar) wrote,
Kleene Star
kleenestar

  • Mood:

It's All In the Head

I used to not get spam. Didn't we all, back in the good old days? But I used to be obscure enough that even a year ago, I hardly got more than one or two messages a day. I was careful about who I gave out my email address to; I didn't post it online; and I even had a special spam account for signing up for online services.

Then I got involved with a couple of fairly public projects and was famous, in a very small way and a very small circle, for a bit. (I may still be; things have been kind of complicated in my life recently so I'm not exactly on top of that. That's another post and another story.)

To make a long story short, now I get spam.

Enter Cloudmark: I heard about their collaborative spam-filtering system and absolutely had to try it, but they didn't have a plug-in for Outlook Express. Yesterday they released one (and anyone who is planning to mock me for using OE can just go eat a hedgehog - raw - so there), and I of course had to try it right away.

The idea is this: when a user gets a new email, they can "block" it if it's a piece of spam. If enough users block a particular message, it gets listed as spam in their database and automatically filtered into a spam folder. So only a few users ever see a given piece of spam. If the system screws up, you can "unblock" a message and reduce its likely-to-be-spam rating on their servers. (There's also a reputation/trust system. Read more here.)

I'm finding the most interesting thing about it, though, is how much it changes my psychological attitude toward spam. I actually really enjoy every piece of spam that slips through the filters - because POW! ZAP! I can actually contribute to the success of Cloudmark and the Cloudmark community. When a piece of spam gets through, it's not just a failure of my filters. It's an active chance for me to improve my reputation and trust in the Cloudmark community, and a chance for me to stop anyone else from getting that particular message. I feel good, now, when I see spam (admittedly because I see very little of it) - now that's smart design .....
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 3 comments