Email Distribution Lists are Evil

Argh. Email distribution lists are evil. While I am subscribed to a declining number of such things — RSS has appropriate replaced many of ‘em — I still get quite a few lists via email, from news to discussion.

But here is the trouble: To prevent my email addresses from being sold, I receive all distribution lists at an email address that I don’t use for any other purpose. Now, however, for technical reasons I want to change that email address, so I’m forced to wander around from list to list changing the address at which I want to receive mail. It is unbelievably time-consuming and irritating, and I never want to have to do this again — and I shouldn’t have to.


  1. the easiest way i’ve found to deal with this sort of thing is by getting a domain and making email addresses for specific lists or sets of lists:
    and then have that forward to the account of your choice (which can be changed without affecting the address the lists send to).
    other solutions include the single-sign-on thing but i don’t think that’ll ever work. having the ability to make email aliases for yourself, lets you ‘expire’ old ones that get too much spam or make throw away addresses.
    and of course i’m sure some enterprising folk can or have made a nice little service where one can make multiple, related email addresses easily (allowing one to control expiration, spam filtering, whitelists, etc).

  2. I use a different approach. (my rss aggregator) allows you to create as many email addresses as you like. Those addresses take incoming email and treat them as an rss feed. I create one for each subscription service. If you are tired of the service or if they sell your email to marketers, delete the feed.

  3. The last comment is key – bloglines will give you an email address and shove everything into an RSS feed. You can also create one for each newsletter and see who’s giving away your info based on the spam you receive. :-)