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July 21, 2006

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Half a million, eh? You can have my personal address and a key to my house. Wanna buy 10,000 copies of TEO?

People fear getting too much SPAM if they add a real email address to a website.

See http://alicorna.com/obfuscator.html for one simple answer.

"Naturally, those of you using Gmail or some such, have an issue since you can’t (from a practical perspective) do all the variations"

I'd argue that even this isn't a valid defence anymore.

Loads of domain registrars will allow you to do email aliasing now on premium accounts (which cost next to nothing). For example, the provider I use charges US$20/year for domain registration + premium services (including unlimited email aliases). Just setup all the different aliases and forward them to the Gmail account of choice. Outbound is a little more challenging but with any pop client you can just put the alias in as your email address. It can be completely invisible to the end user/prospect/potential investor.

A couple of years back we even got together as a family and registered a family domain. Now we all have a common domain name and email addresses regardless of provider switches etc. and as an added bonus we can create "disposable" aliases for use on public sites that we can just turf if/when the SPAM gets too bad.

- Ryan

Greg, Thanks for the link, I'm taking a look.
Ryan, thanks for stopping by. A couple of years back, I looked at company who had the single mission of building disposable email addresses.

"A couple of years back, I looked at company who had the single mission of building disposable email addresses."

I vaguely remember a couple of companies trying to push that idea forward. Unfortunately it's more "band-aid" then actually problem solving. An interesting approach I remember was the guys who were trying to create a system where you could get a one-off email address for a reg. form or e-com site and it would basically accept the one email from that site and then the email address would be killed. Interesting idea but in the end I think it was more trouble than it was worth.

- Ryan

One-time use doesn't solve enough problems.

Like many people, I don't give out my e-mail address on warrantee cards and the like because I'm worried about spam from the company and my address being sold.

However, I realize that I'm missing out on product recalls and other information that I'd like to have.

I'd like to give out a revokable one-sender address that is heavily filtered. The straightforward implementation (unique addresses per sender) has to also be resistant against forged creations and easy to manage. (I don't want to remember which address I gave to PG&E.)

I must be able to generate new addresses even when I'm not at my lap\desktop but it's probably acceptable if I get the addresses from a blackberry or cell phone. (I could carry a card of unused addresses in my wallet.)

Yes, I've thought (more) about this.

Any advice?

Rick,

Before you get all high and mighty on this issue, check out your own website. Unless I'm mistaken, there is no way for me or anyone else to find your "real email address" on the JLA website. The contact info for each of the principals is the same info@jlaventures.com. How very warm and fuzzy of you all.

And, by the way, when are you guys going to bring your website into the 20th century (let alone the 21st century). It looks more like my accountant's website than a cutting edge, Web 2.0 venture capital fund.

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