Pay per Spam

NYT: Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers. America Online and Yahoo, two of the world’s largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must promise to contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely.

The plan is that in exchange for this fee yAhOoL will direct the e-mail straight to inboxes without having to pass through spam and phishing filters. Don’t worry, if you don’t pay the e-mail still will get through, maybe. Once the easy way to transmit information, e-mail is becoming less and less efficient. Blogs and RSS get around these problems because they are opt-in by nature.

Steve Rubel puts it this way:
That’s all folks. The door has officially closed on email marketing. Maybe this will drive more companies to start up opt-in RSS feeds and blogs that facilitate dialogue.

And I think he’s right. There just need to be enough online-magazines, companies and private people promoting RSS in a non-nerdy but communication-friendly way.