Curse of Free Email
I will not start my tirade by wasting sentences about the curse of SPAM (how much and what kind of SPAM I get, etc).
Rather, let me reminisce. In olden (pre Internet) times, if you remembered someone (or you were forced by parents to), you would send a post card to your relatives. Or a letter. Or a card. Something. You would take a stamp, wet it with your dog’s nose and put it on the letter. Then, send the post card on its merry way. Would get there in a couple of days.
If you had *lots* of post cards to send, you may wish, wow, if it cost only 3 cents to send a post card, that would be much better. Say, your wish was granted, then you could send 4 times as many post cards. But you wouldn’t start sending it to people you didn’t know.
Today, with the new technology, the cost to send mail (email) has gone down to zero. Zilch. Nada. Therein lies the problem. If technology makes something cheaper, that is good. Making something totally worthless, not so much.
Say we had to pay 1c everytime we send an email. Looking at my outlook sent times and my OExpress sent items and my gmail sent items and doubling that all, I would have paid 22c yesterday! About 7$ total for a month. I would really love to do that, if in return the SPAM is eliminated. Now at this moment, a bunch of you are pressing Ctrl-N to send me a new SPAM email raising this question: (i) 7$ not so little for everyone, (ii) who would the money go to?
Ok, I have gotten your email, and here are my thoughts:
(i) If 7$/month too much money, how about 0.70$/month? That is 0.1 cent per email. Remember the problem is with spammers who send tens thousands of messages a day. It would start costing them 10$ a day. Maybe not a show stopper from them, but worse than 0$.
Also, giving some basic free (like some cell phone companies give first 600 minutes free).
(ii) SMTP/IMAP server. Money can only go to mail server host. They are the only ones who know when an email message is sent. ICANN could regulate that and collect some portion of the money from the mail server owners (and perhaps give a portion of that portion to some charity). Many of these mail servers are owned by companies such as MSFT, Yahoo, Google etc, so they would get some money too. Perhaps that would put an end to the term “free email”.
Wow, going back from free email to “very cheap” email. Anyone with me?