emailEmail has become as essential to personal and business communication as the phone. Perhaps more so. But just as people are increasingly dependent on email, it is becoming more unreliable and burdensome as a vehicle for discourse.

First, there’s the overflowing inbox. There are web sites and systems dedicated to controlling and emptying your inbox so that you actually get real work done. If you don’t have a good spam filter, either at your host’s level, or in your personal email program, sifEmpty inboxting through the slag to get to the real stuff is a HUGE waste of time. If you do have a good spam filter there is the danger of missing something improperly tagged or deleted as spam, thus raising the unreliability factor.

As a web host, email problems comprise at least 90% of all support issues. Most of the time the problem lies at the client end where email programs malfunction or are improperly configured. Another major problem is also related to spam where a client complains that email they are sending to specific addresses is not being delivered. A quick search of the mail server records indicate the messages are being delivered without errors. So, the problem is on the receiver end where improperly configured spam filters are diverting legitimate email. Convincing the client of this is another problem.

The burden of maintaining email services both from a hardware/software standpoint and a human resource standpoint continue to mount. At lease one major web hosting company has thrown up their hands and is encouraging their clients to use Gmail for their email service. This has raised a pretty big controversy in the web hosting industry and it will be interesting to see where this leads. I am not ready to outsource email hosting, but I am constantly looking for ways to reduce the burden on servers and personnel.