Email overload? That could be a defence! [Article]

Well, if you are a hedge fund manager accused of insider trading, that is one of the defense you could put up! Here are a few thoughts on handling email – Prioritise or turn it off

“We could also say when we walk out the front door of where we live, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s so many blades of grass, I have lawn overload. It’s really all about what’s our point of view on it? Are these things really flying at us, or are we not making the choices we need to make?”

To the internet giants, you’re not a customer. You’re just another user [Article]

John Naughton explains why to a reader who wrote in with this problem:

“As you write about the internet, I wondered if you knew how long it takes Yahoo to get back to people. I have an iPad, but went to the library to print a document (attached to an email). Yahoo knew I wasn’t on my iPad and asked me to name my favourite uncle. I replied, but Yahoo didn’t like my answer, so locked me out for 12 hours. I can’t get into my email account. Getting to the Help page is really difficult. Do you ever speak to anybody at Yahoo? I had to open another non-Yahoo email account, so I opened a Gmail account and it looks to have the same problem. Not easy to get in touch with anybody when things go wrong. I am sure I am not the only one who wants to discuss my problem with a human being. Yours sincerely…”

Truly take a vacation: Ideas for making a “email free holiday” a success [Article]

Microsoft Researcher Danah Boyd has a bunch of tried & tested techniques to make sure you are not tethered to that email inbox while you’re trying to have a vacation.

The idea is simple: turn off your email. Set up a filter and Send all messages to /dev/null (a.k.a. the Trash). Send a bounce message telling people their message wasn’t received and that they should resend it after X date or send you the contents via snail mail. Of course, if you just turn off your email with no warning, you’re bound to piss off your friends, family, colleagues, and clients. So here are some tips to successfully taking an email sabbatical. 

Read on

Spam origin experiment – [Article]

T Rob shares the story, and a couple of tricks, of his experiment to control spam mail:

The problem with spam is you can’t really tell where it comes from.  If you have an email address that you never use, you probably don’t get too much spam there.  But if you use the same email address for everything, it gradually gets more and more spam until you are forced to abandon it.  That suggests that the address leaks out with some specific activities online, but which ones?