E-mail is getting really unreliable

I've been hit by a few different e-mail-related problems over the last few months, and it's becoming intensely frustrating.

Some servers seem to randomly drop messages from me, for no obvious reason; at least, people don't get one message and then do get another, a day later. gmail may be at the center of this but it's not clear. (Changing my public From: address to ctb@msu.edu may have contributed to the lossage rate, but cannot be the only cause.)

Yahoo at first decided to mark messages as spam, then drop messages, and now likes me again.

As I write, caltech.edu seems to be bitch-slapping a select subset of my messages. Either they're grey-listing and waiting to forward some messages on, or they've dropped some messages entirely.

My daily e-mail load has grown to the point where I appear to be hand-deleting real messages from my inbox when my eye gets them confused with spam or automated notices. I know of at least two messages that I've deleted in the last month -- I found them in my received-not-spam folder (where I save all incoming messages) but have no recollection of having read them. Before this month, I can't recall having accidentally deleted two e-mails in the last 5 years. And it's not like my spam filter has a high false negative rate: I barely get any spam at all in my inbox.

Now I'm trying to start sending messages to people in my lab, and some of them are not responding or acknowledging the messages. Maybe they're not getting them. Maybe they're out to lunch. Maybe they don't like me, or authority, or something. I don't want to hassle people who don't want to respond, but I also want to make sure they got the $!%#$#$ message! Ah well, I will be physically there soon...

All of this goes to say that for a variety of reasons -- increasing amounts of e-mail, increasing amount of SPAM e-mail, increasingly random and annoying anti-spam measures implemented by the big inbox providers -- e-mail has become unreliable enough that I have to think about it. Even worse, the number and variety of anti-spam measures in play mean that neither I nor the receiver may have any ability to affect the spam filter that is dropping e-mail (translation: I don't know what to do to make things more reliable).


I think the time is coming where a reputable SMTP forwarder could make some $$; I'd be willing to pay a $ or $$ for a bonded SMTP provider! Anything like that out there that actually works?


p.s. In a largely unrelated side note, the number of blog comment spammers attempting to post to my blog continues to hit record highs on a daily basis. I've never approved a spam comment -- yet they continue to try. It's mind-bogglingly stupid and it just goes to show that stupid behavior will continue indefinitely if it's approximately zero-cost to the commit-ee. Grr x 2.

So, err, drop me a line if you wrote a witty comment that didn't get posted, and if I don't accidentally delete your e-mail I will approve your comment.

Legacy Comments

Posted by Shannon -jj Behrens on 2008-05-15 at 16:54.

I'm with you, Titus.  A lot of my email ends up in someone else's spam
folder.    BondedSender is what you were hinting at above.  I'm not
sure if it works since I haven't tried it.  One of the other teams
launched it when I was working at IronPort.

Comments !