I just read about ChoiceMail, a whitelist-based email service that "turns your inbox into the equivalent of your front door" where people have to knock and identify themselves as human via a quick web form (hello, Cluetrain) before their message is allowed in. This is exactly the idea I've been tossing around in my head and reading about for some time now.

I would pay for this service in an instant, but unfortunately it apparently requires Windows. So, I just got SpamAssassin and Razor working on home IMAP server, so I think I might just poke at finally implementing a service like ?ChoiceMail on my own. Hell, maybe I'll even have it send me Jabber messages for permission confirmation and accept messages for whitelist additions, but keeping everything in the context of email seems better.


Archived Comments

  • i messed with choicemail for about 20 minutes, after reading walt mossberg's glowing review. i found it incredibly difficult to use, completely unintuitive and overly complicated. requiring someone to ask permission to email you may work if you're walt mossberg; but not for your average email user. why not just whitelist and filter un-whitelisted folks into a holding pen for further review?
  • There's no question that the first version of ChoiceMail had problems - however, we're up to 1.3 now and it's come a long way. As for just filtering un-whitelist [sic] folks, clearly one can do that with almost any email program that supports rules. However, you still have to review them all and THAT is the big time-waster. The ChoiceMail model saves YOU time by making the other guy have to do more work (once). By the way, most of my team has Linux as well and we do have a Linux version of ChoiceMail working pretty well - we just haven't figured out how to market it yet! (See my letter to the editor in the April 2002 Linux Magazine)
  • http://www.tmda.net/ It's like ChoiceMail, except you just reply to a message to confirm it.