Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into action...in a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
email:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning

Spam Rescue and Type I Errors

by Randall Craig on March 6, 2015

Filed in: Blog, Content, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Web

Tagged as: , , ,

Consider this scenario: you get a phone call from a key client or a distraught family member: “didn’t you get my email?”  They are clearly upset that you “ignored” them: they see evidence that they are not your priority. You are not unresponsive.  You don’t care.   Or maybe, your spam filter was doing just a bit too good a job.  Welcome to the world of Type I errors.

A Type I error is generally called a false positive:  your good email is flagged as spam, and gets filtered into your junk mail folder.  A Type II error is generally called a false negative: spam is not detected as spam, and gets through.  Because of the volume of spam, we seem to be on a cops-and-robbers treadmill of stronger spam filters, which leads to more clever spammers, which leads to even stronger spam filters, and so on and so on.

Was it a programmer that made the decision that it was better to have a clean inbox (with a bit of spam that gets through)?  Or maybe a marketer who decided that the effectiveness of their spam control program was best evidenced by a mostly clean inbox?  In both cases, this “no-spam inbox” policy made an inherently dangerous assumption: that it was better to miss a few emails (because they were caught by the spam filter) than delete a few spams from your inbox.  This assumption may not be right for you.

This week’s action plan: This week, calendarize a weekly review of your junk mail folder.  Rescuing non-spam email from the junk mail folder will make a dramatic difference…  to the person who sent the email.  If you are really keen, ask your technology department if they are blocking so-called spam at the network edge, and if so, how you might periodically review anything that is addressed to you.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

About 

Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: