Archive for the 'Attention' Category

Press Release: Boxbe introduces social utility for Yahoo! Mail, Outlook and Gmail

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Email nods to social networking with ‘Email by invitation’

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 29, 2007: Boxbe, a company that lets consumers regain control of their incoming email, today announced a social utility for email. Boxbe’s free service gives the millions of users of Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Outlook and Gmail the ability to protect and ensure the delivery of messages from friends, family, co-workers and even entire domains, such as:, or With the release of Boxbe’s new service, users of Yahoo! Mail, Outlook and Gmail can now create an ‘email guest list’, which ensures that they receive messages only from those people who matter to them.

“Going beyond Email 2.0 Boxbe’s guest list makes email more like instant messaging or social networking: People who want to reach you must first get your permission,” said Thede Loder, co-founder and president of Boxbe. “Boxbe allows you to treat your friends’ email with the respect it deserves, and reject any message that tries to invade your inbox without an invitation from you.”

In the same way that social networks require users to accept friends to share profiles and exchange messages, the Boxbe guest list allows users to control which messages can get through and which need permission. Setting up a guest list is simple:

  • The system imports the addresses you already have saved and allows you to select those you want to accept messages from
  • anyone not on the guest list who sends you a message receives an invitation to join your guest list, and remains on a waiting list until you verify the message and approve the sender.

This process stops spammers and brings order back to email. Unverified messages are not arbitrarily blocked or deleted; they are simply held in a waiting list where they can be viewed or forwarded at anytime. Consumers can also choose which businesses can reach them by name or by category; they can specify with total privacy which marketers can reach them and what products they are interested in.

According to a research report released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, more than half of email users (55 percent) say they have lost trust in email because of spam.

“Email is such an essential tool we use in all areas of our lives, personal and professional, yet it has not kept pace with the way that people communicate these days,” continued Loder. “We are committed to working with companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google to restore people’s faith in email by screening out unwanted messages and letting in those that matter.”

Boxbe is able to offer this innovative service in part due to the “opening-up” of some of the industry’s leading e-mail services. For example, in March 2007, Yahoo! announced the opening of its Yahoo! Mail Web Services, a multi-tiered set of open Web services that allow developers to build software and services around the world’s No. 1 Web mail platform.

“I invested in Boxbe because they have created an innovative service that makes email usable again. Consumers have always had to deal with inboxes that are clogged with irrelevant information. With Boxbe, now they can focus only on those emails which really matter, from those people who really matter to them,” said Esther Dyson, Boxbe investor and board member.

Boxbe is backed by leading investors: Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the original investor in: Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Skype (acquired by EBAY), Baidu (BIDU), and Overture (acquired by YHOO), among many others; and Esther Dyson, an influential commentator on the impact of emerging technologies and markets, and an investor in Flickr (acquired by Yahoo!), Medstory (acquired by Microsoft), Brightmail (acquired by Symantec) and Postini (acquired by Google).

About Boxbe
Boxbe lets you easily create an email guest list that ensures you receive messages from people and companies that matter to you. Boxbe is completely free, and takes only a few minutes to set up. Boxbe’s free service works with most popular email products and services, including Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Outlook and Gmail. Boxbe is a privately held company, headquartered in San Francisco, CA and online at:

Media inquiries
Andrea Heuer
Consort Partners
Tel: +1 (917) 886-5113

Paying to circumvent spam filters

Friday, July 13th, 2007

16797769_791b6594a6_m.jpgShould your ISP be able to determine what email lands in your inbox? We don’t think so and neither does Slashdot.

Two recent posts by Bennett Haselton on Slashdot illustrate the problems with the approach that Goodmail and Hotmail have for certifying senders. Bennett’s take is that if you are the little email list owner, small time email marketer or have the wrong political views, you could be shut out of this brave new world of pay-per-email. Most of the little guys can’t or won’t pay fees to be “certified” by either company.

Who do you trust?

As someone who uses email to manage both my personal and business life, the question I have to ask myself is, “Can I trust my ISP to make decisions for me about who can reach me?” Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question. I do believe that they want to decrease the amount of spam their users receive, but I think this is the wrong way to do it.

Boxbe differs from both Hotmail and Goodmail in two fundamental ways. With Hotmail and Goodmail, the money collected goes to your ISP and they alone determine who can circumvent their spam filter. With Boxbe, the bulk of the money goes to the person who receives the email, and it’s the same person that ultimately controls who reaches their inbox.

Conflict of interest

From a business perspective, Goodmail must seem like a great idea. If someone came along and said, “Hey, we can curb your spam problem and you can make money while you’re doing it,” I could see how it might be hard to say no. But at some point that misalignment of interests is going to play itself out.

The EFF put it best with its position on Goodmail and the whole notion of pay-per-email:

Goodmail reduces the incentive for ISPs to improve spam filters, much less to give end users more control of the filters. It increases the incentives for ISPs to overblock, since they make money when more senders sign up for Goodmail.

Bottom line: they decide who can send you email while at the same time they solicit “protection money” from senders willing to pay.

How Boxbe fits in

So, we’ve got a different philosophy about how this should work. If you’re a Boxbe member, you know we don’t think that payment to bypass a spam filter is a bad thing. It’s our raison d’être.

We believe people should have choices in who they receive email from. More importantly, we believe if money is going to change hands to reach you, you should get most of it. It’s your inbox, you decide who you can trust.

image from Flickr user srish

Robert Scoble on email management

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Tim Ferris over at the Huffington Post posted a video as well as some tips from Robert Scoble about how to deal with 10,000 or more messages a day. Man… now, there’s email overload.

Robert’s tips center around Microsoft Outlook which he has been using since 1990 and include

  • Keeping all Outlook .PST files under 2GB in size to optimize speed and prevent crashes.
  • Removing infrequently used .PST files.
  • Renaming or appending frequently-used folders to appear at the top of the list.
  • Responding to fewer e-mail is the holy grail.

We’d love to help you with your email overload problem, Robert. We’ll talk soon about some work we’re doing with Outlook.