Growth5 Blog

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yahoo's CentMail: Will You Donate A Penny An Email to Fight Spam?

Researchers at Yahoo would like you to put a virtual one-cent stamp on each email you send. The proceeds will go to charity. The idea behind CentMail ("Do Good. Fight Spam") is that paid email will differentiate itself from spam blasts and get to their intended targets without a hitch. Since spammers send millions of emails every day it will be prohibitively expensive ($10,000 per million emails) for them, and you know they don't want to donate to charity, they're spammers after all.

Some highlights from the article:
1. It is estimated that spamming consumes 33 terawatt hours of electricity every year.

2. Anti-spam companies estimate that spam comprises more than 90 percent of all email.

3. Users would pre-pay an amount of $5 or so to get "stamps" for 500 emails. The $5 would go to the charity of their choice.

4. Microsoft has its own research project and AOL's Goodmail offers anti-spam protection to large marketers.

5. The most current widespread authentication solution is the Sender Policy Framework, which helps prevent spammers from pretending to send emails from a company's domain name.
CentMail is not available yet, but you can go to the site and enter your email for updates. I'm not sure CentMail will prevent the amount of spamming going on. There will always be those who will click thru from these spam emails and keep the spammers in business, but CentMail could improve the spam filtering process for those that use it.

This is another example of where micropayments make sense, especially when the money is going to charity.

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