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Stamp It Out A new proposal aims to bring spam under control

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Spam costs you and your employees productivity and computingpower. And that means it costs you money. Now money is at thecenter of a new anti-spam movement. "E-postage" is theconcept of attaching virtual stamps to e-mail to reduce unwantedbulk e-mail. The idea is to create a monetary barrier similar towhat keeps our physical mailboxes from overflowing.

We can hear the collective groan, "Don't make us payfor e-mail!" That attitude, prevalent among growing businessesthat rely on legitimate bulk e-mail, is one block to e-postageproposals. "The only people who seem to be enthusiastic aboute-postage are the people who plan to sell you stamps," saysJohn R. Levine, co-author of Fighting Spam for Dummies and co-chairof the Anti-Spam Research Group (

Technical and implementation difficulties combined with anaversion to paying extra for e-mail seem to spell doom fore-postage. Still, companies like Goodmail Systems ( arepressing forward with their e-postage offerings, and even Microsofthas been moving in that direction.

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