I have a number of email addresses, all of which find their way into the same inbox. There is one address which I use as my primary address. Entirely unsurprisingly, it’s of the form something @ thisdomain. It seems to get a lot of spam, which is a shame, as I thought that I had done a decent job of guarding it.

It would be very simple for me, configurationally speaking, to switch to using somethingelse @ thisdomain as my primary email address instead. Any email sent to the old address would get the error message that the specified mailbox could not be found on this host.

Naturally, my only concern is for my existing contacts. When the old address suddenly stops working, will they have the sense to open a web browser and go to to find out what gives? At present, that page just redirects to the blog, but I could very easily change it to display a huge message saying *I have changed my email address, use this contact form to get in touch with me.*

On the one hand, spam doesn’t trouble me too much because GMail’s filters seem to be reasonably reliable. But, on the other hand, it would be nice to not have to scan a couple of hundred email subject lines each day to check for false positives.

Should I go for it?

7 replies on “Indecision”

If you are using GMail then my advice would be to do what I do… stop checking for false positives, leave the Spam folder alone.

Sure you may miss the odd email in a thousand but if it’s really important the person will email you back or contact you some other way.

Let go man!

A very reasonable suggestion.

GMail filters currently allow you to skip the inbox, mark as read, star, label, forward or delete messages that match. It would be nice if there was also a “bypass spam test” option.

How about e-mailing all your contacts upfront – from the old address, in case you’re on anyone else’s whitelist (like you are on mine) – telling people that you’ve changed your address and asking them to update their contact records?

I tend to get one or two messages a year like this, so it’s a (relatively) common practice. I’ve done it myself too, to move away from my long-term but ISP-dependent address. Worked well, only one person missed the point.

The problem is that it’s hard to know who my contacts are. Obviously there are a handful of people that I email regularly, but then there is a spectrum that runs to the people that I communicated with once, a few years ago. Where do I draw the line? As you can tell from the fact that I check my spam folder for false positives, I don’t like the idea of leaving anyone behind, but then on the flipside I don’t want to be sending a change of address email to people who don’t even remember who I am.

If I could customise the “550 sorry, no mailbox here by that name” message, that would be perfect, but as far as I can see it isn’t possible.

I’d agree with HG, send out mails to all the people you do stay in touch with.

Any decent email client will be keeping your address book up to date, so you could just go through that and build a mailing list of people you want to let know about changing address.

I’ve done that a couple of times now – although admittedly I do keep a couple of addresses that have been around for [thinks] far too long and do get an amount of spam, but then I also use the junk mail filters all over the place to get rid of most of it.

I have the exact same problem.

I created some alternative email addresses to prohibit this and all I ended up doing was servicing more email addresses.

I’ve thought about changing my primary address but have the same issues as you, as well as my primary address is pretty perfect as an address space for me, so can’t bring myself to do it.

My feeling is whatever you change the new address to will be corrupted pretty quickly. Google Spam filters (the main reasons I moved to Google) are far beyond good enough for dealing with spam, that it’s less effort (ultimately) to leave things as they are, as to change.

I’m the in “don’t change” bucket.

Yes, the more that I think about it, the more that I come to the same conclusion. The spam situation isn’t yet bad enough to warrant all that upheaval, and Google’s filters seem to be holding up.

I probably won’t be with Google forever, but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *