One of the things I’m doing to get control of my email is to cancel subscriptions where I receive unrequested broadcast or narrowcast emails from individuals, organizations, or news services. My goal is to dedicate my two main email addresses to personalized incoming and outgoing communications. I am making progress toward that goal.
One of the reasons I’m doing this is just to reduce the volume coming into my inboxes. One inbox is web based and managed via a paid Yahoo! email subscription; that’s for relatively “public” uses such as communications related to my blog All Kind Food or the various groups I belong to (e.g., Linkedin Bloggers). Yahoo!’s spam catcher works well so this is shaping up nicely; I especially appreciate those services that automate the process of unsubscription.
My other inbox is maintained by my ISP (Verizon). I use Eudora on my laptop as the client software. Its spam control is also effective. Since I use Verizon for more private and client oriented communications, spam control is also important.
Anything I lose by canceling email based services is more than made up for by the power and flexibility I’ve grown to expect from RSS feed subscriptions for various web-based destinations or services. I use WIZZ as my local feed aggregator (It’s a FireFox add-on) and Google Reader as my web based feed aggregator. Megite is my adaptive/selective aggregator that uses my feeds’ OPML file as its foundation. I’m also starting to experiment with a beta subscription to Feeds 2.0.
So there’s no lack of “replacements” for what I’m giving up by canceling email based subscriptions. In fact, when I go to a web site and see ONLY an email based signup process and no RSS, I know I’m in the wrong neighborhood.
I think it is safe to say that, as of the end of 2006, I am regaining control over my email and my inboxes. I’ve shifted targeted “subscription” management to RSS, I have good spam control measures in place, and I still employ email as a primary tool for communicating with clients, prospects, friends, and neighbors. Combined with a regular use of various instant messaging services and the group based communications of a variety of social networking and membership groups I belong to, I think I’m in pretty good shape.
How about you and your use of email?