Gmail and email obfuscation

“Email me at blah (at) blah (dot) blah.”

Seen enough of those email addresses online? I know I have. And I know why.

People are sick of spam, and the days when you could put your email address online in hypertext clickable – or even plaintext – are long over.

Or are they?

For the past three months, I’ve put my email addresses in full click-and-you’re-emailing-me out-there spammers-suck-me-up brazen glory. Actually, to be more truthful, I’ve put my Gmail address up. On three different blogs. On public pages. On sites that get spidered daily by dozens of known and who-the-heck-is-that robots.

And the grand total of spam I’ve gotten over the last three months?


One on a great opportunity to help someone move millions of dollars from an eastern European country, one on a personal enhancement device guaranteed to improve my life immeasurably, and one begging for links.

Three! Three spams that actually made it into my inbox … and 298 more that Gmail correctly pre-identified as spam and sequestered before I had to look at them.

Three spams in three months is beyond silly. It’s ridiculous. In fact, I get more spam at my corporate email account – which is never published online and sits behind a corporate spam filter – than I do in my Gmail inbox.

All I can say is that Google must have the best spam-filtering software available. And, I assume that it’s built with social intelligence, just like Akismet, the WordPress comment spam filter. When a few people ID a spam, Akismet knows that it’s spam all across the network.

Gmail does not provide any details on how its spam filtering works, but Gmail spam filtering must work that way as well, or I’d have way more spam in my inbox.

I’m just happy I can once again publish my email online without silly linguistic gymnastics: john (dot) koetsier (at) gmail (dot) com – as if some spammer couldn’t build a robot that could parse and recombine that.

I just don’t want my visitors to have to. Email me if you agree.

[tags] gmail, email, spam, akismet, filtering, spammers, john koetsier [/tags]