Xero's other waste of space

December 3, 2006

e-mail is dead

Filed under: General — Xero @ 2:47 pm

E-mail is dead. And n00bs killed it. Let me explain.

You constantly hear silly statistics that over 75% of e-mail is spam or some other ridiculously high amount. How does this happen? Well first, spammers are making money. And why is this? People buy into it, that’s why. So for that 75% of e-mail which is spam, which must total in the amount of millions of e-mails sent…only a small fraction of that would have to actually respond to these junk messages to turn a profit for the spammers. Stupid people are the number one cause of spam.

People should know better, but that’s only a small part of the problem. What really killed e-mail was all the things added to it to make it easier for n00bs. It’s easy to say e-mail just wasn’t designed to be used on such a mass scale, which is partially true, but e-mail also wasn’t designed so people can have HTML, images, and executable attachments that are all bundled with each message easily retrievable through an easy-to-use GUI interface.

HTML killed e-mail. E-mail was never designed to be a web browser, but it was made into one when someone decided e-mail needed to be more than just text communication between people. Now it’s a whole website being sent right to your e-mail client, which is expected to have it’s own web browser built into it to read said website. Let’s forget about all the security vulnerabilities and other mess that this created and jump right to how this made e-mail good for spam.

Someone spamming you in plain text, it’s just obvious. You can tell instantly the message is junk, usually filled with a random mishmash of crap designed to make it through spam filters, with some images and HTML attached which is what actually contains the bait the spammers want you to buy. The text of the message? Filler. The attachments? The actual sales pitch. Text-based spam is just obvious and no one in their right mind would buy into it.

So anyone who uses e-mail the way it was meant to be used easily sees a message as spam and probably removes it before even bothering looking at any attachments or anything of the sort. HTML e-mail totally bypasses this and views the bait right off the hook, you are seeing the multimedia, the flashy images, the website embedded into the message with an easily clickable link to deliver money right to the spammer.

Thanks n00bs, you’ve ruined e-mail. It’s sad that my usage of e-mail has been turned into receiving confirmation and notification e-mails. Its use for talking to actual people is limited and only a small fraction of the messages I send and receive on a daily basis consist of this. In fact, I’d say the average is less than one per day at this point. Maybe a few per week.

Instant messaging has much replaced e-mail for communication with actual people. It’s almost like telephone vs. postal mail. Phone spammers are annoying and easily detected and hung up on. Plus they always seem to call you at dinner time for some reason. Postal mail, well you’ve got a physical piece of mail sitting there with fancy pictures and what not. Spammers have tried to capitalize on instant messaging but this typically fails, having a live chat with a sales person is something familiar with even the dumbest of people and most people just won’t buy it. Keep in mind I did say most.

After working on an information/sales line for a year, you eventually find some moron who pretty much wants to be sold anything, they don’t really care what. Disgusting american pigdogs. Plus instant messaging has luckily remained mostly text. You might be able to change font colors and send files or images but those generally have to be mutually accepted by both parties, and font colors are easily turned off by most half-decent messaging clients.

I don’t see e-mail going away any time soon, but I do see it’s purpose for communication with actual people continually fading and with the constant increase in spam I can only imagine things will continue to go downhill.

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