Using the Power of Many to Fight Spam

    March 25, 2006

If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that we all hate spam. I bet even the spammers themselves hate receiving it.

Blue Frog is adding a new twist to the war on spam by aggregating users into a community of passive aggressive activists. They aggregate complaints from their users and then, working as their advocate, post complaints on the sites of the spam advertisers. Additionally, they send reports to ISPs, domain registrars and law enforcement agencies. According to this report, users see a 50 percent or greater reduction in the spam they get because everyone in the community benefits. So far there are more than 250,000 members in the Blue Frog community.

To join the Blue Frog community, all you need to do is download an application that works kind of like SETI. The program even works with Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail via a Firefox extension.

This is a new twist on the existing ways of fighting spam that taps into the Power of Many. If Blue Frog can automate this process and aggregate mass numbers of users, it could make a big dent.

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Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.