I have been thinking about this ever since TipJoy was announced. However, daily life stuff got on the way and the idea did not develop for quite sometime.
Although not the first to do so, reader of this blog Stazybo Horn suggested charging per email as a possible solution to spam some time ago. Systems that do this have appeared, like for example Goodmail Systems. The general idea and I copy-paste from Wikipedia is:
Certified e-mail is an e-mail whitelisting technique by which an internet service provider allows someone to bypass spam filters when sending e-mail messages to its subscribers, in return for paying a fee to the certifying service.
Today Stazybo Horn blogs about a securityfocus.com interview of Wietse Venema, where he says: “The best theoretic solution is to change the email distribution model”. Venema (author of Postfix by the way) then goes on and proposes a “pull” model where a MUA downloads email sent to the user given that certain circumstances apply.
In the same spirit, and because I believe that legitimate email marketeers are willing to pay a minimum fee per message (there are people who use Goodmail’s solution, right?) I also thought of changing the distribution model:
- Pay the end user to read your
Even better than pay, TipJoy them so they can buy books.
Spammers thrive because it costs them next to nothing to send their messages and have some of them accepted. This has resulted in implementing a series of filters that do have false positives, where legitimate senders take the hit along with the black sheep. So why not pay a minimum fee to the end user? That would help develop whitelists that would deliver the message to the end user’s INBOX.
Unfortunately the current TipJoy API is not ready to support such an idea, but I am told that a next version might be more suitable for such things.
Update: It seems that TipJoy is shutting down :(