Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Retiring" from anti-spam

Today, I'm "retiring" from anti-spam work. Practically, that means the following:
  • No more updates to The Spammers' Compendium or Anti-spam Tool League Table pages. These remain on line, but are not being maintained.
  • I'm looking for a new leader for the POPFile project.
  • I'm no longer active on any anti-spam mailing lists.
  • I am leaving all anti-spam conference committees.
  • My anti-spam newsletter is no longer being published.
I will, however, be continuing with commercial anti-spam work where I have agreements currently in place with customers. No change to their support, terms or assistance.

The obvious question is why? For me, the interest just isn't there. The battle against spam continues but is now about trench warfare rather than creating new weapons. We'll continue to see innovation, but for any hacker it's the new, new thing that's important. For me, spam is yesterday's news. Watching companies squabble and refuse to cooperate, seeing a decline in quality at anti-spam conferences, and major companies essentially killing their consumer anti-spam means anti-spam just isn't where I want to be.

Of course, there are many really good people fighting spam out there. This post isn't meant to demean them.

Thank you to everyone who has supported what I've done over the last 7 years, and good luck!

5 comments:

Charlene said...

I don't know you, John Graham-Cumming, but it sounds to me like you've become cynical...easy to do the longer you've lived and the more you've seen. I'm continually amazed at the increasing resources being consumed in the U.S. and world-wide in the spam fight with no apparent positive impact, and have frequently wondered if it isn't time to abandon the technology and go back to snail-mail.

Justin Mason said...

Thanks for all your work, John! I'll be keeping in touch anyway ;)

J.D. said...

Many thanks for everything you've done, John. I came to a similar conclusion about a year and a half ago, yet found a way to stay involved -- mostly by carefully choosing exactly which parts of the anti-spam community I'm willing to waste time on.

See you 'round the internet.

Michael said...

Everyone's got to decide when they've had enough, and it sounds like you've done just that. It's probably best that you make the break now before you become entirely too jaded.

Thanks for all the great things you've done, especially POPFile. Your work will continue to live on and inspire others.

Shaun said...

Having worked on [killed, now being revived] consumer anti-spam efforts [for a large company] over the past seven years, I share your sentiments... although, since I was moved rather than retired, I envy your exit.

Your contributions and commitment to the field of anti-spam have helped us, as an industry, get to where we are today and I'm sure you will make just as (if not more) significant advancements in whatever future challenges you decide to tackle!