The Spam weblog at WeblogsInc has a piece on the negative reaction to Microsoft's Bonded Sender program in which marketers "pay" to get through spam filters.
The gist of the negative reaction is that the program lines the pockets of Microsoft but doesn't do anything to rid inboxes of spam that is currently getting through.
I think that reaction is a bit shortsighted. Spam filters are going to get better and better. They will continue to tighten the noose on spammers. My mail box is certainly a lot better off than it was a year ago. I am fairly certain that's true of everyone who is using a good spam filter today.
The problem Bonded Sender is trying to solve is the false positive problem, which is growing. Read Seth Godin's recent post on the false positive problem.
This guy from the Seattle Times says, "Maybe my idea of screening is to have a mailbox with no marketing messages at all."
That's not my idea of a good outcome. I get messages from ticketmaster, eBay, my bank, my phone company, and many more "marketers" that I completely and totally rely on. They are a critical part of my routine. And I am sure that I am not alone in this behavior.
So I applaud Microsoft for trying to tackle the false positive problem. Bonded Sender may not be the best solution, but its a step in the right direction.