LETTER: E-Mail Inbox, Mailbox Aren't the Same

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Paul Vixie, right from the door, makes an erroneous supposition in likening an e-mail inbox to a postal mailbox (see http://www.dmnews.com/articles/2000-08-14/9891.html.) They are not the same and have major foundational differences. He would do better to compare an e-mail inbox to a telephone voice mail system or telephone networks and services in general. In that realm, the sender bears most, if not all, of the cost to deliver its message (telemarketing for commercial purposes) and it can be shut off, ignored or stopped (to a greater or lesser extent) altogether, if desired by the consumer.

Consumers and businesses in many cases still have to pay a fee for the "box," though not nearly what Internet e-mail inboxes cost today. I do empathize with network providers that bear costs to deliver e-mail, and I think the best way to put Vixie on a different crusade would be for Net organizations to start looking at some sort of delivery fees and standards (pay them real money and agree on accepted standards of permission-based e-mail) by which to give ISPs an incentive to deliver mail. Sounds like a big job, but the arrogance of this man can only serve to motivate industry leaders toward alternatives that can work.

Business, when it is good business, must be good for everyone -- the provider/marketer, the vendors to the same and ultimately the consumers. If one of those is out of balance or isn't getting a fair shake, then we will have problems. I look forward to the day when this fellow who has angered and alienated so many well-intentioned people and companies is made silent or ineffectual when common sense and a reasonable remedy is implemented.

•Mike Carney, President, DirectQlick.com

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