Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Filtering out the important stuff

Like a lot of you, I spend what seems to be an inordinate amount of time checking my email. And not just for blog comments, either. Increasingly my clients and I are communicating this way.

Lately, I've been getting phone calls from clients: "Did you get my email?"

All too often the answer is "no."

Unless I've corresponded with a client by email in the past, too many of these important emails are routed into a spam filter. Especially (and, I suppose, understandably so) when there is an attachment to the message.

But this is like having a secretary who gives you all the junk mail and holds the important stuff at her desk.

You wouldn't like having to stop what you were doing to confront your assistant and ransom your important mail, would you? Well, I don't like chasing down important client material in my spam filters either.

It makes me worry about what I didn't know I got but should have seen.

I don't know what the answer to this conundrum is. I'm certainly grateful for spam filters that remove all the pharmaceutical advertisements and pornography solicitations. But that's not where I want to look for stuff that clients sent. To be safe, however, I now check my spam filters, at least once a day.

Once again, the time we've saved with the convenience of this super-duper fast method of communication is nullified by the additional tasks that are added on as the unintended consequence of our supposed advance. Humans are not quite obsolete yet.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

Spam filters are supposed to weed out the yukky stuff. I don't have time to check for stuff that shouldn't be there!

Ralph said...

Did they actually send those e-mail messages, or like homework in the old days, the 'dog ate it'.

As if a mutt could eat an electronic message anyway...

If you aren't careful, it's too easy to delete forever a legitimate message lodged in the Spam filter. I plead guilty to deleting legitimate Spamt, your honor.

landgirl said...

Are Spam filters trainable? Can you make them smarter?

sari said...

My grandma got email so we could send pictures to her and she said she had 28 spam emails the other day.

I don't even want to know what websites she's stumbling across and she lives over 5 hours away so it's not like I can check her computer out for her.