Friday, January 27, 2006


The word "filter" meant the little cylindrical thing on the gas line of my car, the slide in sheet in the side of my furnace or the device in the basement, attached to my water lines. Those filters I appreciate -- at least when they are clean and functioning.

This month though, another use for "filter" dominated my thoughts. We released the first official issue of Silver Moon Magazine ( and all seemed to go smoothly. That is, until the influx of emails informing us most of our customers did not receive the information they needed to receive their issues. A second day's worth of emailing and resending remedied the situation for most. To avoid spam, we sent each email separate, no bulk, but it appears even those ended up in Junk Mail heaven.

Yet, through all the successful fixes, I've found at least one who has repeatedly emailed, who we have repeatedly emailed back. It is clear our customer is not receiving any of our correspondence despite all our efforts. So what is one to do? Snail mail. Hopefully that will at least let our customer know we have not been ignoring her. Our hands are simply tied by the multiple types of email systems and spam filters out there. There is only so much we can do.

Then this morning I receive correspondence from an online vendor I do business with. My account, for a reason totally unknown to me, seemed to be frozen. No upgrades were showing up, nothing. I alerted them to this problem only to be told the account had been frozen because apparently I had reported them for spam and it was being investigated.

Really? I did? When? I still don't know. I never reported anything from them as spam on purpose and rarely report anything in the junk mail box, though I do check it often for the multiple important emails I have discovered there. I usually take out what I need and click to empty it. But now I realize somehow, some way I became one of those people who reported something legit as spam. Hmmph.

The moral of this story -- It's always a good idea to check the junk mail box, whether you activated it or not, and never hit "report" until you have closely looked at each address. Yet I doubt even that will stop email confusion.

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