Spam Is Expensive

from the so-they-say dept

I have to admit, as much as I agree that spam is costly, I find these kinds of studies a bit disturbing. It’s yet another study trying to calculate the aggregate cost of spam by figuring out how much time it wastes for corporate users and ISPs. There are so many assumptions that go into such a calculation that the end result (in this case, about $9 billion) is really quite meaningless. For example, they say that each message accounts for 4.4 seconds of lost productivity, but there’s no way to compare that against a control to suggest whether or not that time would actually be used productively.

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Comments on “Spam Is Expensive”

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whit says:

Net Loss or Gain?

There are so many assumptions that go into such a calculation that the end result (in this case, about $9 billion) is really quite meaningless.

I don’t recall where I saw it (may have been on techdirt, for that matter), but I recently came across an interesting question in a similar discussion:

It’s common to see figures showing how much spam costs an organization in lost productivity, but has anyone seen any figures on the increase in productivity or reduced costs associated with email?

Email has made a significant change in the way that many people handle business communications; you can exchange revisions of a document, internally or externally, about as fast as you can make them. No fedex costs, no wait for the latest version to show up at your office…

While spam is probably the ugliest face of the beast, it’s possible that it’s just an indicator of the problems that can come with faster, easier communications. I honestly waste less time on spam that I do replying to (or deleting) emails sent by actual people who send me an email just because it’s easy to do so — almost as soon as a thought enters their head, it appears in my inbox.

Michael M (user link) says:

Value of email

I get tons of value from email – I deal with publishers and editors daily with nothing else. I would literally have FedEx delivering and picking up every day if it weren’t for email.
If it weren’t for SpamAssassin, though, I’d never bother reading the email at all. I get 160-200 spam messages per day, and if I had to manually sort through them I’d prefer FedEx…

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