Friday, May 18, 2007

Email - in all shapes and sizes

In corporate email systems, we have a reasonable set of tools for filtering most email spam, but why is all the rest of my email treated equal? My email comes in all different flavors, yet there is no tool to help distinguish that. It takes my own on-the-fly filtering to do that.

Setting up client-side rule-based filtering can wreak disaster when faulty rules hide critical emails (one case it was from an unhappy client who asumed they were being ignored). So I stay away.

The biggest issue for attempting to apply email filtering rules is context (ie what's important to the reader now). For instance, if one of my kids is sick, then every email from my family is of critical importance, otheriwse it goes into the "after work" queue.

Reading and filtering emails will continue to be a human task.

2 comments:

mike said...

how about applying a relevance engine to the msgs jon - same way seo works, so context and frequency of correspondence w/ senders would be taken into acct...

another would be tagging - but that would require coordination on both sides to work and would definitely be a target for gaming by those evil spammers out there ;)

David said...

Maybe you should consider separating your personal email from your work email. That way you could identify important emails from your family without any fancy filters.