How to calculate your spam index

* Measuring spam in the real world

We recently wrote about some research that Peter Brockmann had done concerning spam and productivity. We invited Peter to share a few insights from the Brockmann & Company’s research and today we have the first in a series of three notes on this topic.

Peter reports: “Despite the best efforts of antispam technologies, spam messages are the third most frequent source of business e-mail after coworkers and customers. An average of 25 hours a year are wasted by each user dealing with spam. Users handle an average of 2,200 spam messages each year.

“Part of the problem is how we measure the process of e-mail quality. The typical measurement of antispam technology involves the bombardment of the target technology with millions of bad and good e-mail. The lab then counts those correctly trapped, those incorrectly trapped, and those incorrectly passed. This is largely an ineffective approach to measuring technology performance since none of these tests are based on real-world users’ experience.

“That’s what we invented the Spam Index. It’s a simple calculation that any user can and should do. Answer these four questions:

* How many spam messages do you receive on an average day (multiple by 20)?

* How many minutes per day do you spend dealing with spam (inspecting junk folders, deleting messages) (multiply by 20)?

* How many resend requests did you make or receive last month?

* How many good messages were trapped in your spam filter last month?

“Add these four numbers up and that’s your Spam Index.

“You can compare your Spam Index over time, as changes to the e-mail system are implemented and as a comparison against peers and competitors.”

We’ll hear more from Peter on this topic in the next newsletter. In the meantime, to see how you compare download a copy of The Problem with E-mail report at Webtorials.

* Editor’s Note: For more discussions about e-mail and messaging, see the Unified Communications Newsletter.

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