Spam's a really hot topic these days. Heck, check out how much play it's getting on Slashdot recently. There's been plenty written about solving spam, about white lists and false positives and server-side and client-side and blah, blah, blah. Allow me a couple of personal observations.
I wonder what these people (groovy site, by the way) think about all the hype. Ah well, as they say, any press is good press. Ah, here's what they think.
Email enjoyed a brief golden age, roughly around the fall of 2000. By that point enough people had email accounts to make "emailing someone" a regular occurrence. More importantly, most businesses had email addresses and actually responded to queries. Then came spam.
I was thinking about all of this recently because I'm looking for an antique filing cabinet. Something with four drawers, in oak, from the 30s or 40s, looks like this. They're very difficult to find locally (for God's sake, if you know of one, let me know), so I did some Googling. I located the email addresses of fifteen local antique dealers and sent them an querying email (a sort of spam, I suppose, but I'm a customer, so I doubt they mind getting it). I received two replies.
Now, admittedly, antique dealers aren't the most wired folks on the planet, but all of these people had Web sites, so they must have had half a clue. So, I'm blaming spam. Either these vendors have given up reading their email (as they sift through the spam) or my question got filtered out by overly zealous anti-spam measures. Either way, I still don't have a filing cabinet.