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The John Botscharow Interview #10: How John Switched from Using E-mail

Rok: Could you give us more details how exactly you switched from e-mail?

John: I think I need to really clarify something before I answer your question. I have totally given up email MARKETING. No ifs ands or buts about that. However, given that most of the rest of the world has not caught on to the fact that there is a safe ALTERNATIVE to email, I am put in the position of maintaining an email address. I wish it could be otherwise, however, I am realistic enough to understand the necessity of having an email address at this point in time.

I have one address on my 3R Marketing server that is there only to handle automatic emails that are sent by my PHPNuke script. These are notifications sent to members who request email notification for things like forum updates or lost passwords. Until someone writes an operating system for Linux servers that does not embed email into the very core of the system being completely email free is just not possible. (Whether anyone writes a Windows server system that is email free does not concern me since I would never use a Windows server. Too many other security issues.

Having clarified that, what I have done to free myself as much of email as is currently technologically possible, is, first, I do not put any email address anywhere on my site for people to use to contact me. Instead, I have put my QMTP form as well as a button that allows people to contact me via Yahoo Instant Messenger on my web site. The reason I use Yahoo is because it has voice capabilities. I do not type all that well on the fly so I prefer to talk to people. Besides, it is much more personal than text messaging.

Also, I have a policy of not responding via email unless I know the person very well. Getting a QMTP is free and I urge my readers and my subscribers to get one. That makes communication between us easy, safe and efficient.

Anticipating your objections to that, let me say this. The Daily is my newsletter and 3R Marketing is my site. By insisting on non-email communication, either Yahoo or QMTP, I am protecting my newsletter, my site, and my computer. I am also protecting anyone who wants to communicate with me as well. Especially with QMTP, there is no risk of filtering, viruses, trojans or spam. Also, your message to me is guaranteed to get delivered to me quickly and without risk of non-delivery due to filters. The same goes for any message I send to you, as you have already experienced, since one of my conditions for doing this interview was that we not use email to communicate.

This is how I have effectively all but eliminated email for business communications. It's not perfect, but it's better than it was. I no longer have hundreds of spam messages coming into my inbox every day. I use a web-based email for personal communications as well as those business memberships and subscriptions that require email, but there are very few of those. I only subscribe to one or two newsletters by email. Most of the ones I really read offer an RSS feed so I use my QuikView, the Quikonnex browser-based RSS reader and bookmark server, to subscribe to them.

I am looking forward to the day when I can completely email free. I honestly do believe that day is coming and it will happen in my lifetime. Since I am 56, it will happen soon. If there are any programmers reading this who have the time and the talent to write a non-email-based server operating system for Linux-based servers, I urge you to go at it. Let me know when you have it done.

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