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Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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Review Entries for Day Friday, March 07, 2008

I was interested to read Ben Limberg's article on the BBC News web site this morning about how stressful email is becoming. It highlighted for me that spam continues to grow and it reminded me of my earlier article on this blog about the need to start tackling the phenomenon rather than hiding it.

The BBC article suggests that around two million emails are sent every minute in the United Kingdom. The majority of reports I read suggest that spam currently accounts for around 95% of all email in circulation, so the BBC statement implies that an amazing 1,900,000 junk emails are sent every minute in Britain!

Certainly, my own consulting practice's email logs have doubled in the last six months and I am pretty confident we are not getting that much more real email. The growth of spam seems to be as exponential as ever.

In fact, what I used to think was a pretty cool feature - the pop up facility in Microsoft Outlook that notifies you of new email - has started to take on rather more menacing conations recently. A few weeks ago we had a sudden surge in spam, which seemed to outwit our spam filters for a while, which led to the notification feature becoming a real distraction. Thankfully, we've tweaked the system and the spam getting through has now returned to more manageable levels, even for someone as intolerant as myself.

I doubt the inventor of email, Ray Tomlinson, had any idea in 1971 that his 200 line email program would kick start such an enormous communication revolution. EMail has certainly become one of the most important communications media of our age.

However, I wonder if its ascendancy is beginning to falter. Certainly, more people are telling me that they no longer check for real messages in their "spam folder" because it is too time consuming. It does occur to me that this might signal the beginning of the end for email, which would be a shame if it was just because of spam.

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Friday, March 07, 2008 2:32:41 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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