Turn it all the way up to 11


I made that joke the other night and most of the folks who heard it didn’t get the reference. It made me feel just a little bit old.
Anyhow, Mickey beat me to it and posted much of what I was going to say about Ken Magill’s response to a very small quote from Neil’s guest post on expiring email headers last week.
I, too, was at that meeting, and at many other meetings where marketers and the folks that run the ISP spam filters end up in the same room. I don’t think the marketers always understand what is happening inside the postmaster and filtering desks on a day to day basis at the ISPs. Legitimate marketing? It’s a small fraction of the mail they deal with. Ken claims that marketing pays the salaries of these employees and they’d be out of a job if marketing didn’t exist. Possibly, but only in the context that they are paid to keep their employers servers up and running so that the giant promises made by the marketing team of faster downloads and better online experiences actually happen.
If there wasn’t an internet and there weren’t servers to maintain, they’d have good jobs elsewhere. They’d be building trains or designing buildings or any of the thousands of other jobs that require smart technical people.
Ken has no idea what these folks running the filters and keeping your email alive deal with on a regular basis. They deal with the utter dregs and horrors of society. They are the people dealing with unrelenting spam and virus and phishing attacks bad enough to threaten to take down their networks and the networks of everyone else. They also end up dealing with law enforcement to deal with criminals. Some of what they do is deal with is unspeakable, abuse and mistreatment of children and animals. These are the folks who stand in front of the rest of us, and make the world better for all of us.
They should be thanked for doing their job, not chastised because they’re doing what the people who pay them expect them to be doing.
Yes, recipients want the mail they want. But, y’know, I bet they really don’t want all the bad stuff that the ISPs protect against. Ken took offense at a statement that he really shouldn’t have. ISPs do check their false positive rates on filtering, and those rates are generally less than 1% of all the email that they filter. Marketers should be glad they’re such a small part of the problem. They really don’t want to be a bigger part.

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  • Great post. I have to admit (Sorry, Ken), I wasn’t a big fan of Ken’s response either.

  • Postmastering, like system administration in general, is a thankless job. I so much envy the DBAs: Nobody knows what a DBA does but it must be important for they are paid a lot of money 🙂

  • Ken seems to be confusing the ads on freemail websites, which pay the bills, and the incoming ESP mail, which pays nothing, and is purely parastitic.

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