Revisiting stamps for e-mail | Seth’s Weblog

I began agitating for this in 1997 and wrote about it in 2006. The issue with the magical medium of e-mail is that it’s an open API. Anybody with a pc can plug into it, with out anybody’s consent.

This creates an uneven consideration drawback. The egocentric, short-term-thinking sender advantages by emailing as many individuals as doable, and the recipients endure.

This doesn’t occur with conventional mail, as a result of there’s a price to sending it.

With GPT arriving, anticipate that spam goes to extend 100x, and that will probably be eerily customized, invasive and protracted. That will probably be actually troublesome to consider that an e-mail isn’t junk, as a result of there’s going to be a lot junk, and it’s going to be tougher to filter.

And but, e-mail is highly effective, and handy and we’ve been utilizing it for our complete careers. Is it doomed?

Some apps are exhibiting up which might be making an attempt to create a paywall for e-mail. An unknown sender has to make a donation to charity (the recipient specifies the quantity) to achieve your inbox. Individuals have tried this on and off for many years, however it’s exhausting. There are two issues with this being broadly adopted.

The primary is that it creates an consideration obligation on the a part of the recipient. It’s socially awkward to promote entry to your inbox after which ignore the e-mail.

The second is that there isn’t a lot of a community impact, and whereas a number of folks may undertake it, the issues with e-mail don’t enhance until it’s widespread and protracted.

Right here’s another:

A easy plugin for gmail (after which, ultimately different suppliers) that tags the e-mail you ship and obtain.

Senders who ship greater than 50 emails a day want to purchase “stamps”, maybe for a penny every. The cash goes into escrow.

Recipients can simply mark an e-mail as undesirable. They will additionally upvote an e-mail, which can ship a sign that permits their friends to make sure they don’t ignore what they only bought.

If sufficient folks mark your emails as undesirable, you lose your escrow, it goes to a worthy trigger. If it’s legit, the escrow stays and also you don’t have to purchase extra stamps.

If a sender doesn’t use the system, they’re not going to have the ability to attain any of the individuals who do. So not many individuals should be early adopters earlier than it turns into widespread–if you wish to attain most individuals (and also you don’t know which individuals have it and which don’t) you’re going to wish to activate the tagging. It’s a tiny value to pay for consideration in a world the place consideration is scarce.

Regular folks received’t should pay something, and e-mail will get higher for them as senders and receivers. And companies that imply properly and do properly must be pleased to pay.

If too many senders view the penny stamp as an opportunity to spam folks (and lose the penny) then simply enhance the price of the stamp to a nickel, and so forth. Fairly quickly, algorithmic spamming is just not going to repay.

Giving nameless folks and organizations the prospect to steal your consideration all day, at scale, looks like a worse thought day-after-day.


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