Applause goes out to Esther Dyson for her recent op-ed piece in the New York Times, . She points out that Goodmail's service is like "FedEx for e-mail," except that Goodmail provisions its service atop the ISPs' services. So it's more like FedEx without its own planes. But I sort of like that analogy because the opposing forces seem to be conveniently overlooking some obvious facts here.
First, and most important, it doesn't matter if the letter is sent bulk, first class, second-day or overnight, somebody has to open it on the other end. And much, if not most, of the bulk mail addressed to "resident" goes straight to the recycle bin. Wouldn't it be great if you could say, "Please stop wasting paper on me" or "keep me on your mailing list."
That's the service that Goodmail is offering e-mail senders and receivers. It's good for legitimate senders because they don't want to be continually annoying people with unwanted messages anymore than they want their messages filtered out as spam before the receivers have a chance to decide for themselves. And it's good for receivers because they can see before they open a message if it is coming from an approved sender.
The other thing that the coalition of public interest groups and non-profit organizations known as DearAOL.com seem to ignore in their arguments is that major ISPs like AOL need to continually find better ways to hinder those that abuse the "free and open Internet." If they don't, they will lose customers. I'm not convinced that Goodmail is the ultimate solution for the heavy volume of virus-laden spam and phishing attacks but, as Dyson points out, it's an idea and ideas need to be explored because Spam is the real enemy here.. . . Full Story: "Goodmail Saga Continues, Dyson Tells It Like It Is"
The can of worms that has become America Online's certified e-mail delivery strategy just won't go away. It's not that other e-mail providers haven't offered the very same or similar services; it's just that this can of worms is being used to catch the biggest fish in the lake.
AOL will soon begin offering a fee-based, guaranteed e-mail deliver service based on GoodMail's Certified Email technology and the DearAOL.com coalition is ratcheting up the pressure against the move. One assumes that the coalition's strategy to get AOL to cave would send the message to other providers that they're next.
The coalition, now over 500-members strong, continues to mount a PR campaign. The latest move brought California Senator Dean Florez (D) into the fray with a comment and a promise that he would look further into the "risks faced by consumers under the AOL proposal." In fact, a new California task force, the Select Committee on E-Commerce, Wireless Technology and Consumer Driven Programming, plans to hold a hearing on the matter later this month.
I'm still a little hazy on what those "risks" might be. While AOL is effectively setting up another tier of service, it isn't changing its existing service. So what are those risks? It all seems to hinge on the coalition's speculation that the existing e-mail service will deteriorate as AOL invests more in the new service. I can't really believe that AOL would do something so foolishly detrimental to is core business, but if it did, the risk would be that customers would walk.. . . Full Story: "Getting Ahead Of Ourselves: The AOL E-Mail Battle Continues"
You can't have message management without messaging policies and you can't have policies until managers can decide and agree on what they should be. recently published a list of some of the key decisions in implementing messaging a document archiving projects.
The first thing on the list should be rather obvious, but determining who has responsibility for archiving can set the tone for the whole project. Raise your hand IT department because it can't be left up to users. Users will apply their own logic to the problem or just assume that someone else is doing it behind the scenes. And who else can build a policy-driven automated archiving system that makes you users' assumption valid?
The next tip from Ferris: make sure your mobile users are kept in the archiving loop. Not only do you need to make sure the documents housed on mobile devices get properly archived, those road warriors also need access to their archived messages. Ferris recommends they access their repositories in an offline state. That means you need to make it easy to sync with the archive when they connect to the network.
The next decision will cut across many functional boundaries and bring the legal and compliance folks to the table in a big way: deciding what types of documents need to be archived. This decision can cause so much internal debate that organizations end up throwing in the towel and instituting an archive-everything policy. There's not much to offer in the way of advice here because every organization has its unique requirements and obligations. Archiving everything might remove the debate but leave a mess on the back end when documents need to be discovered and produced. There are no standards to rely on here so if you opt for an archiving system with its own policy engine, do plenty of testing before you deploy to make sure it is archiving what you tell it to archive. For now, err on the side of caution.. . . Full Story: "More E-mail Management Tips"
AOL must be feeling a bit picked on at this point. A collection of organizations that starting making noise last week about its upcoming fee-based certified e-mail service has banded together into a coalition of at least 50, mostly non-profit, organizations decrying the service provider's plan to deploy Goodmail's Certified Email as a destructive "e-mail tax."
And AOL has a right to feel singled out since it is far from the first e-mail provider to engage a third party like Bonded Sender, Habeas and Goodmail to provide a fee-based service to authenticate senders. In fact the list is fairly extensive. In addition to Yahoo, which has a similar deal with Goodmail, Microsoft, Earthlink and Google also offer similar services.
In a sense, it's more a testament to the size of AOL's customer base that, suddenly, another such move could spell the demise of the "free and open Internet." When AOL makes a move in the public e-mail realm, everyone feels it.
"E-mail tax" is an emotionally charged term right now and the coalition is making the most of it. But in reality, Certified Email is an optional service. I haven't heard of any taxes that were optional. And last I heard, AOL wasn't changing any of its free services.. . . Full Story: "How Does An Optional Service Become An "E-Mail Tax?""