It’s just data

Email addresses

I have been telling all non-IBMers to not use my ibm.com email address for years, but this advice is routinely ignored.  I’ve repeated the reaons behind why I ask this enough times that it makes sense for me to post the reasons in one place so that I can point to it.

The back story is that 15 years ago I wrote some open source code in a programming language called Java.  I don’t use that language much any more, but I understand that it remains popular in some circles.  In any case, javadoc style comments encouraged sharing your email address, and my employer discouraged me from doing anything that would hide my relationship with them, so my email address was put out on the web.

The inevitable result is that I’m deluged with spam, most in languages I am not familiar with.

My personal email I have control over and the spam tools (all open source) I use are largely effective.  I don’t have that option with my corporate email.  As others within IBM don’t have this problem, I am clearly an outlier.

Over time, I was missing enough important work-related emails that I tought myself enough LotusScript to write a script that I can invoke as an ‘Action’.  This script identifies emails that were sent from outside of Lotus Notes and places them into a separate folder.  If I am alerted to the presence of a single email, and given enough information (like senders name and time it was sent) I can generally find the email; but in general people should assume that emails sent to my corporate email address from outside of IBM are never seen by me.

Another downside of this is that some of my IBM email is sent from service machines that don’t interface directly with Lotus Notes.  That means that I miss some important updates.  And important reminders.  Eventually such reminders copy my manager, who sends them on to me.

Apparently there is plans in the works to migrate corporate email to the “cloud”.  Perhaps that will be better.  Perhaps I will need to find a way to reimplement my filter or equivalent.  Or perhaps it won’t be something that I won’t need to worry about any more.


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