A few moments ago, I cancelled one of my email addresses. This is an address that has been mine since somewhere around 1993 or 4. It was old enough to vote. And now it’s no more.
I am not even sure why I kept it for so long. It was my dialup account back when I was in grad school in Delaware. When I moved to Madison to work at the university, I kept it as a shell account and email address. I gave it up as my primary email address about the time it was bought by a giant networking company. By then I had my own domain and a mail server living behind the futon in the living room. That was back when we started WttW, somewhere around 2002.
15 years the address has mostly laid dormant. I used it for a couple yahoo groups accounts, but just lists that I lurked on.
I did use it as research for some past clients, typically the ones using affiliate marketers. “Our affiliates only ever send opt in mail!” Yeah, no. See, look, your affiliate is spamming me. My favorite was when said customer put me on the phone with the affiliate.
Affiliate: If we have your email address you must have signed up with us.
Me: The last time I used that address to sign up for anything was the late ‘9os. Your company hasn’t been in business that long.
Affiliate: Well, we probably bought a company you did sign up with.
Me: Do you know who that was?
Me: So how can you have permission to mail me?
Affiliate: Well, you gave permission to someone at some point.
Me: But I didn’t give permission to you, ever.
Affiliate: We only send permission based email.
I’m going to miss the old email address, but it’s time to move on. But you can have my 20 year old same-lhs hotmail, yahoo, aol and gmail addresses when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers. Those aren’t as useful as spamtraps, though, because the filtering is better and the companies regularly stop accepting mail to to them if I don’t log in for a while.