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Totally off topic, but….

By - January 11, 2007

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Totally off topic, but….

So today I posted a couple of jobs over at FM, and I used LinkedIn’s job listing service. I plan to use others, including some of the job boards at FM sites like GigaOm, TechCrunch, and the like, but I was on LinkedIn for other reasons and decided to get it done there first.

One of the features I like best about LinkedIn’s job postings is the ability to send an email to your entire network about the job. Now, this can get a bit perilous – not everyone likes to get unsolicited emails. But on balance most folks seem OK with it, and I don’t mind getting them, so I sent all my colleagues the job announcement. Now, I am not in the business of actively building out a LinkedIn network, but over the years more than 400 folks have asked me to join their network, and I generally do.

Long story short, I sent out about 400 emails in one fell swoop, and a funny thing happened. About 20 mails bounced back with SpamArrest requests that I go to a URL and verify I was a human being. I don’t mind doing this usually, but 20 in a row was a pain. Because I wanted to get word out about the job, however, I did it.

Then I sat back and pondered. 20 emails, all from one single provider. It seems SpamArrest has truly cornered the market. That’s 5% of my network using SpamArrest. I have never given a single thought to using such a service, but after this experience, I’m thinking again. My battellemedia.com address is overrun with spam. I’m pretty good at deleting it, but still….

So, do you all use these services? You like them?


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21 thoughts on “Totally off topic, but….

  1. Oracep says:

    Coned Index 64%, John, so not totally off higher end thinking, which sits mainly in paras 2 and 4.

    Totally off topic, but….
    4%] So today I posted a couple of jobs over at FM, and I used LinkedIn’s job listing service. I plan to use others, including some of the job boards at FM sites like GigaOm, TechCrunch, and the like, but I was on LinkedIn for other reasons and decided to get it done there first.

    84%] One of the features I like best about LinkedIn’s job postings is the ability to send an email to your entire network about the job. Now, this can get a bit perilous – not everyone likes to get unsolicited emails. But on balance most folks seem OK with it, and I don’t mind getting them, so I sent all my colleagues the job announcement. Now, I am not in the business of actively building out a LinkedIn network, but over the years more than 400 folks have asked me to join their network, and I generally do.

    50%] Long story short, I sent out about 400 emails in one fell swoop, and a funny thing happened. About 20 mails bounced back with SpamArrest requests that I go to a URL and verify I was a human being. I don’t mind doing this usually, but 20 in a row was a pain. Because I wanted to get word out about the job, however, I did it.

    69%] Then I sat back and pondered. 20 emails, all from one single provider. It seems SpamArrest has truly cornered the market. That’s 5% of my network using SpamArrest. I have never given a single thought to using such a service, but after this experience, I’m thinking again. My battellemedia.com address is overrun with spam. I’m pretty good at deleting it, but still….

  2. dw says:

    I use it for an old email address I have. I don’t actively use it, but every once in a while, I get an email from someone that I haven’t spoken with for years at that email address. It has worked well for me… I don’t think I would use it on any of my primary email addresses though, for fear of annoying people.

  3. SorenG says:

    You could just link all the emails up through Gmail. They seem to do a great job catching spam. I get very little, and only once noticed an email put in spam that should not have been. Granted, it was kind of an important email, but looking there very few weeks is no problem, and that is once in about a year (I think) with them.

  4. Mark Daoust says:

    I use spam arrest for one of my domains. It just gets ridiculous when over 99% of the email you receive is spam – it becomes far too easy to delete a legitimate email.

    I may be moving over another email soon as it too seems to have gotten overrun with spam…

  5. Ricky P. says:

    I signed up for SpamArrest in September 2003, and the service was erratic to say the least, they had many outages, sometimes for days at a time, and due to this I changed horses onto MailBlocks, which seemed to be a much better service and one of the best UI’s at the time for webmail, it was a pleasure to use, and would consolidate several email accounts.

    I was getting over 4,000 spam mails a day at one point.

    Mailblocks got bought by AOL, and then swallowed whole, as they discontinued the Mailblocks service and integrated it into a free AOL service, after that I quit and went to Gmail.

    It certainly worked well, but I’d only use these kinds of things for personal stuff, not work accounts. Some of our customers have this kind of protection at their ISP level, and they ask for each and every email to be verified, rather than you being put on a whitelist – now that is a pain!

  6. ________________

    THE LATEST SUCCESSFUL SPAM TACTICS ARE BRILLIANT!! ….and very informative. Which is why it is a good idea allow some of it. Of course, one should draw the line at MalWare.

    But just analyze the newest successful strategies used by Spammers to deceive the filters – Also save the ones that ‘fooled’ sophisticaed you into clicking.

    You can even collect the best of the best, then incorporate a few into any HONEST marketing endeavors.

    One could always keep a PRIVATE, NON-Published email address that no one could guess and give to just trusted business partners and family.

  7. dave says:

    I always delete those verification requests – it’s not the way forward.

  8. I use it before but it is useless to me.. there are some cases that spam mails are not filtered. Anything that recommends me of something new?

  9. I haven’t used spam arrest. The settings are such that it keeps the spammers away and the one’s who manage to spam are deleted or removed manually after a warning.

  10. Ken Leebow says:

    In the past, I used Spamarrest. It worked well. However, I’ve switched to Gmail (it catches most spam) and eventually stopped using Spamarrest. It’s an excellent product if you 1. are not willing to change your email address or 2. forward your email to a service like gmail.

  11. Dr. Pete says:

    Blogs are supposed to have a topic? Hmmm… maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong :)

    Technologically, I like this approach and whitelisting in general; it just feels more progressive, especially compared to blacklisting. From a business perspective, though, I’m not comfortable with the self-approval techniques. As an independent consultant, I consider sifting through mountains of email, however much of a pain, to be part of my commitment to customer service. If I make someone jump through hoops to email me, it seems to suggest that I’m somehow too good to waste my time on them.

  12. Hey I hate that site, it is viral but vary annoying. I have had problems with spam and this summer I hacked a spammer now spam blockers are blocking me, so I changed my mail server from my host to gmail (google.com/a/) and it works fine with POP email like outlook express.

  13. David George says:

    Hi John

    I enjoy reading your blog everyday!

    Spamarrest is good. Personnally I use SureMail and I’m very happy with it. On top of getting less spam and those nasty virusses I really like the fact that they have redundant mail servers. This ensures me I will never lose any emails.

    Been with them for 2 months now and I’m a happy camper!

    David George.

  14. Silver says:

    I’m one of the ones on your network who received your note, and I didn’t mind getting mass mailed with it. The frequency of this sort of thing is pretty low, at least with my LinkedIn listing, so it’s not a burden.

    It was kinda nice, actually, since for a second I thought for some reason that John Battelle actually wanted *me* to apply for the job. Then, I was rapidly confused as to why you would’ve thought I would be qualified… {grin} Finally, I realized that it was a request for referrals, likely mass-mailed to lotsa folx. The LinkedIn mention on the note was not overt, so it took a minute for me to recognize the logistics that had been involved.

    Similar to you, I’ve been self-filtering for a very long while. I like Spamarrest, though.

    Good luck in your search for great candidates for your slots!

  15. Mike Elgan says:

    I’ve “solved” spam completely — and even get important and spam-free e-mail sent to my CrackBerry. I wrote about it in ComputerWorld. (Note that SpamArrest — which I love — is part of my solution.)

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9006779

    Mike

  16. fred says:

    it’s the most annoying service john

    think about it.

    you are sending somebody an email of value and they send you back an email saying, you have to click on this link to get to me

    i delete those messages. they are making me work harder to send them something of value.

    it’s selfish.

    there are many better ways to beat spam, some of which are listed in these comments

  17. Andy Redfern says:

    Spamarrest is great software and soes catch the majority of silly spammy type emails.

    Getting spam emails should be a complement in a way; at least our sites are being brought to the attention of potential spammers! :)

  18. John-

    I’ve recently joined Boxbe.com, who is using a market based solution to eliminate unwanted emails.

    Here’s how it works:
    if you want to send me an email and you are not on my approved list of senders, post a small amount of money to talk to me. We are using a challenge/response mechanism as an option, but the challenge/response technique may fail if the stakes get high enough. Unfortunately, it’s not too hard to envision an inexpensive off-shore operation of spammers filling in captchas.

    Boxbe’s approach is to raise the cost of email from zero to some small amount of money set by the user. Most spammers won’t ever pay as their business model dictates that there be little to no cost to send email.

    I realize that a lot of the above commenters don’t like the idea of responding to an email to prove that they are human, but if the New York Times is correct, most other methods for eliminating spam don’t seem to be working very well.

    While I’ve only just started working at Boxbe, I’ve been using the service for months without a hitch.

    Cheers,
    Randy Stewart
    randy@boxbe.com

  19. cheryl says:

    You may like the service they provide – but wait until you need to cancel. They sent me a notice stating I was going to be autobilled almost $100.00 and so I cancelled. The charged me anyway and lied to my cc co that they had emailed me and reactivated the closed acct. 4 months later and I am still fighting for my money.

  20. David says:

    I had been a loyal and paying customer of Spamarrest for some time, recently their service has been erratic and I lost a number of important messages. After not receiving adequate support I decided to cancel my recently renewed account and asked for a refund of the unused portion. Here is their response:
    Hi David,

    Thanks once again.

    David, I am very sorry to tell you that we are not able to offer you a refund for your account. You may continue to use your Spam Arrest account till 2008-10-01 by reactivating the account.

    I truly apologize for your inconvenience, David. Please do let me know if you need anything else.

    Best Regards,
    Peter
    Technical Support Specialist
    Spam Arrest

  21. Bob says:

    We use Spamarrest on all of our accounts. Just prior to joining some employees were receiving over 1200 spams a day. Since we were unwilling to change our email addresses for client reasons we decided to try Spamarrest.

    Spamarrest seemed like the best solution since we only have 7 users and did not want to add more hardware to our system. Immedietly after installing our spam count went to zero. Each user uploaded their address list when configuring so none of our regulars ever saw a challenge.

    In the two years we have used the service, we have never had a customer complaint, but have had quite a few inquiries where they can sign up for the service. It may be interesting to note that our running statistics indicate that 97% of our email traffic was spam, all bolocked by Spamarrest. We also never experienced an outage.

    We give it a big thumbs up!!

    Bob