Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

I'm Almost Finished Deleting All My Email Subscriptions

By Dennis D. McDonald

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?



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