Communication in the new way

As I’ve written before, part of the Facebook seduction is the brand clean message box — no years and years of of history. I’m trying to just accept the fact that I can’t search those messages — live in the moment, if you will.

But another attraction is the fact that Facebook’s model makes spam almost impossible (but for the crazies posting Yuwie invites all over). Even though it’s possible to get mail from strangers, there’s no way to get mass e-mail from strangers. Occasionally an application gone awry will send out a message to all of your friends, but those are fairly easy to ignore/deal with.

So the “opt in” is pretty strictly enforced, and it’s easy to “opt out” of groups where there are too many messages. Contrast that to the messages you get from folks who use “blind carbon copy” recipient lists for newsletters and such — sometimes you’ve no idea how you got on the list, and you’re not sure if a message back will get you off. If you don’t know the person, you can just set a filter to transfer all their messages to the trash. But what if you do know them? And you’ve commented on this practice before? You don’t want to junk all messages from them, but you’d like to be able to differentiate personal messages from the mass mailings.

I was thinking about this again when I saw the TechSoup posting “Are you a Spammer“.

Even for noncommercial e-mails I’d suggest that there be a clear description of the purpose of the list and how to unsubscribe whenever unsolicited e-mail goes out to a large(ish) group. Holler at me if there’s a list I control where I don’t observe this dictum.