Cost of Spam, The 100 to 1 Ratio
Cut the Cost of spam, you don’t need it anyway
Rao and Reiley are two names you often hear whenever the spam is discussed. Not because they are the masterminds of some dark conglomerate of spammers, but they are leading researchers who study spam, its economic impact and how to negate its effect on society. Justin Rao is one of the leaders of Microsoft Research, and David Reiley is from Google. Together they have estimated that spam costs society over 20 billion dollars each year, while bringing the spammers a net profit of 200 million. That makes the cost of spam a 100 to 1 ratio.
If you just delete it, how can it hurt anything?
It seems hard to believe that spam has an impact in cost on the rest of us when all we do with it is delete it or filter it out. It is both the deleting and filtering that has such an enormous hidden price. Even just spending the time to scan message titles to make the decision to delete interrupts your work flow and winds up costing you money by taking time, energy and resources away from your work. That cost of spam may be too esoteric to feel is really important, so consider what is involved in setting up a spam filter. Setting up a spam filter may take you seconds, but somebody had to spend the time developing it for the email platform you use. Since most of us use free email platforms, this means that one of the resources developed is the spam filter. This tool, and the development time it represents, represents a cost to a company like Google in developing a specific kind of tool that would have been better spent in providing you with a tool that was focused on enhancing your ability to be efficient and productive on the Internet.
Changing the balance of the ratio
The more efficient the anti-spam tools you have, the less effect that it will have on your productivity. The most efficient tools are not going to come from free resources and you don’t want them too. Developers who specialize in producing products like CleanMessage are working productively to resolve a problem by providing you with a tool. This leaves developers whose focus is providing productivity toolsets for your email program to focus on enhancing its capabilities. An overreliance on companies like Google or Yahoo to provide an anti-spam service means their larger, free services are not going to reach the heights they can, and that you can benefit from.