About a year and a half ago I posted a half-humorous, half-serious open letter to Gmail here on Liminality. The gist of it was that I had decided to route my Liminality email through Gmail, and suddenly Gmail was dumping every Liminality email that wasn’t from a contact into the spam folder. Now, while I do get comments from friends and family through this website, the majority of the comments I get are from people I don’t know—most of them asking about or commenting on the concept of Liminality and the essay I wrote on it. Not too long afterward, I posted a short note saying that the problem had somehow been solved and Liminality comments from people not in my contact list were getting into my inbox again. I was glad that the problem was no more, but I was worried that it would resurface some day, and I lamented the lack of a filter option to prevent emails from going into the spam folder.
Well, not too long ago Gmail started doing it again. I don’t go through my spam folder very often—I try, I really do, but it always slips my mind—but I was going through it a week or so back and I saw a Liminality comment in there. They’re very easy to spot, because I have a filter that gives them a label and even stars them. I felt a cold chill and wondered how many comments I had missed. It hadn’t been that long since I had gotten my last comment from someone not on my contact list, so hopefully I didn’t miss too many. It’s hard to say how many of these comments I get on average, as the number fluctuates, but last week I found three legitimate comments in the spam folder. That’s a bit on the heavy side (especially considering my posting frequency these days), but I would say an average of one a week wouldn’t be too far off. Getting email from new people is one of the greatest joys of running a website, and I was upset that Gmail was doing this again.
So I started digging through the help forums and saw that it wasn’t just me, and the problem is apparently fairly recent. What caught my eye, though, was one post that mentioned creating a filter to prevent certain emails from going into the spam folder—which was exactly what I had begged for in my original open letter to Gmail. I went back into my filters and lo and behold, there it was, a new option at the bottom of the filter option list: “Never send it to Spam.” I immediately clicked that option on my Liminality comment filter. I really wish I had known about this sooner, but I am very happy that I no longer have to worry about losing comments to the maws of the spam folder.
(Oh, and if you sent me an email in the past week or so—or if I just owe you an email in general—I’m a bit backed up at the moment, but I will get to it.)