The Weekly HELO – March 13th

Posted by Melinda Plemel on

This week: correlation of identity, two kinds of reinvention, and the worst idea — or is it?

Welcome to the sixth edition of Return Path’s new feature, The Weekly HELO! Each week, Melinda Plemel synopsizes some of the most interesting current happenings in email technology and messaging abuse.

Who Are You?

Ever wonder about the type of person that uses a certain email provider? Well Hutch has. Who’s Hutch, you ask? It’s a decision making tool that combines machine learning with user curated content, and recommends content that fits your interest.

According to Hutch, there are certain type of people that seem to use certain email providers.

Gmail, the most popular option among Hunchers, is most likely to attract thin, college-educated men aged 18 to 34, according to the site. They tend to be politically liberal city-dwellers who read blogs, own iPhones and laptops, and get their music as MP3s on computers.

Hotmail seems to attracts women of average build in the same age range. They are politically moderate, high school graduates living in the suburbs, who enjoy magazines and contemporary fiction and usually own a laptop.

Both groups are often single, childless and extremely well-traveled.

Yahoo draws an entirely different crowd, according to Hunch: overweight women ages 18 to 49, who tend to be in relationships of one to five years with children, residing in the suburbs or rural areas.

AOL users are most likely to be overweight women ages 35 to 64, who are in a relationship for more than 10 years and are also parents, living in the suburbs.

Can you guess my provider or providers by my bio?

College Educated woman between the ages of 18 – 45 (a lady never tells her exact age), politically leaning (depends on the day), city-dweller living in a city-town, owns everything iAPPLE (iPod, iPhone, iMac), downloads mp3s, well-traveled (could be better), childless (but has 3 dogs and an adopted outdoor cat), in a relationship longer than 10 years, (much) more voluptuous than physically fit (I try, but it’s hard).

Speaking of AOL

AOL announced more layoffs to eliminate overlap with the HuffPo acquisition, but that works out to only 200 jobs. The remaining 700 will affect their overseas operations.

AOL is a skeleton of its former self. Only a few years ago in 2004 AOL employed 20,000, today they are at a mere 3,500. Many of the 700 being laid off are in the Bangalore office. I don’t know if this will affect the email side, now or possibly later. When asked, CEO Tim Armstrong responded “in our situation we don’t have the luxury of long-term planning.”

Basically, if you’re into gambling…bet on it.

The King is Out

Robert Soloway, one of the many convicted spammers called “the Spam King” in media reports, was recently released. Don’t worry, he has found himself while sitting in prison and realized that what he did was wrong,

“There’s no excuse for it. What I did was completely self-centered. I would use the word sociopathic activity,” he says. “I was living a double life and was just a very miserable unhappy person.”

So what can we expect from Robert? Well, he wants to teach consumers and businesses on how to avoid the evils of spamming. Yep, you heard that correctly. It’s too bad that he didn’t have this revelation a while ago, for he has only inspired so many others to follow in his footsteps. It’s unfortunate that most don’t find enlightenment until they are caught. Hopefully Nigerian 419 scammer Peter Maxson Anyanyueze, and Gh0stMarket operators Nicholas Webber, Ryan Thomas and Gary Kelly will find their souls while sitting in jail for their crimes, but we certainly won’t know for a few years.

The 10 Worst Proposed Laws

The latest list of the 10 worst internet laws is out from iAwful. It’s a list of misguided, nutty, or simply counterproductive laws. Topping the list is “a bill introduced last month by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California), which would require the Federal Trade Commission to regulate targeted Internet ads. Last year’s iAWFUL list was led by proposals to regulate the data collection and use practices of many Web sites. “

Of course having laws that protect the end user’s privacy, the ISP, and the basic integrity of the internet is something I strongly support, but we in the good old USA have a tendency to create laws without understanding the entire picture or the long term effects. I personally don’t feel all these are ‘awful’ — in fact, I find myself initially liking a bill that would disallow a company to track my internet activity, it just seems so Big Brother to me. I get where they are coming from, any law that could lose jobs based on loss of sales is not a good thing, but I’m also over the constant push from companies trying to figure out what I like…seriously, I’m a Libra, it’s not possible. I don’t even know what I like from day to day — I may like a brand of crackers today, but absolutely hate them tomorrow.

I hate spam every day, of course.


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About Melinda Plemel

Melinda has been working at Return Path for 9 years and is currently the Senior Industry Advocate and is responsible for managing global partners that join Return Path's Data Exchange program and emerging markets. She is the key to helping and educating Return Path on mailbox providers, anti-spam, and email technology trends, as well as to educating receivers about everything Return Path has to offer.

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