Fighting Spam in the New Economy

Happy New Year! Every January I take some time to reflect on recent industry trends and make some predictions and goals for the coming year. Needless to say, 2008 economic events have made a strong impact all around the globe. The anti-spam community, like many others, is bracing and already seeing the impact.

When times are tough, more people turn to crime. In the email business, this means spam and spam efforts will continue to increase. This includes pure evil spammers, who will redouble-efforts to get their annoying spam-messages in your inbox as well as semi-legitimate marketers, feeling the pinch of the economy, who will be tempted to be overly aggressive with their marketing campaigns and whose emails will cross the line from welcomed to unwelcomed and/or “spam”. The folks who are caught in the crosshairs of this issue are the ISPs and the email administrators – trying to sort through this increasing tide of junk mail while also being asked to make budget cuts.

That’s why I’m calling 2009 “The Year of Collaboration” among the ISP community. The most cost-effective way to help fight the spam-problem is to share information. We’ve already seen evidence of this with more ISP interest than ever in the Return Path Reputation Network, our hosted data collaboration effort between the ISP community to share information on mail sources and help everyone do a better job filtering email.

We look forward to this ongoing and increased collaboration in 2009!

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