In this time-poor age, gatekeepers are inevitable. But still frustrating. I have used this blog before, am now and doubtless will again to 'note' (ok, whinge a bit) about the less than helpful aspect of relationship-building which they represent to anyone trying to launch a new service, yet is confronted by everyone from Tracy on Reception ('Hooshlisayscallin'?) though Mrs. Miggins on her IBM Selectric ('Does He/she - I'm being PC here, not inferring any Ladyboy tendencies - know you?'') to a middle management minion with the power to say no but not yes.
These folk are facts of life. And you have to learn to deal with them, and the system.
But when it gets automated the problems can really kick in. How do you negotiate with a machine?
I recently was talking with Paul Sanderson of Materials Recycling Week (quick plug for them: www.mrw.co.uk - not a magazine perhaps for most of Junkk.com's audience, but if you want to stay on top of the 'business' of re-everything, well worth the sub), who had kindly got in touch because he was concerned something we'd sent had not got through.
So our discussions turned to servers, firewalls, spam filters, etc, and indeed it transpired that thanks to a new IT-thingie their end, we were now being consigned to the junk folder, which would be flattering to have thought as our own little outpost in their office, but for the lack of that extra special k.
We are also still desperately trying to sort out how we get through without interception and deletion to the majority of our own opt-in users who have a hotmail, aol, g-mail, etc, address, and are tracking down a rumoured 'white list' that will deem us non-pornographers or member-extenders.
But it seems we must also face the possibility that legitimate B2B communications may also find themselves headed off at the pass. It certainly doesn't help having @junkk.com as an address, but there's not much we can do about that. And it takes a certain leap of the imagination at ISP-central to imagine a spammer would name their product so imaginatively.
But sadly I think I will soon have also to consign our nifty 12k logographic signature to the... er... junk bin. And forget about ever sending an attachment.
It's just another of the growing-pain joys and tribulations of the online world. It was in many ways meant to speed communication and make it more accessible. But in protecting ourselves from something that may be harmful, we've almost gone full circle and created a situation that we actually don't get exposed to much of anything that is not pre-filtered.
So if you would like to hear from us in future, I think I will need to engage a nice fellow with a cleft stick to pop it around. Ain't technology wonderful?