Remember spam? Our email inboxes used to be full of it, it clogged online forums and was a general nuisance. My blog used to receive dozens of spam comments every day.
Now with gmail’s agressive — but usually spot on — filtering, I get a spam email in my inbox once a month. I have about 300 mails in my spam folder, which is about half of what it used to be few years ago. My blog is protected by akismet, which feels even more effective than gmail at catching spam. It also looks like spammers are giving up a little as I only received 6 spam comments on my blog during the past two weeks (that, or they think my blog is dead (it’s not, believe me!)).
So is spam really dead, or has it just moved elsewhere?
Social networks don’t suffer from spam (if you define spam as unwanted message of commercial nature) but social news sites (digg, reddit, etc.) are a different story. People try to spam them all the time. But spam on social news sites has to be disguised very well because the community tries to defend itself. If anyone even suspects that something might be spam, they downvote immediately.
Search engine spam (aka half of SEO techniques) is also prevalent and I can’t see it disappearing anytime soon. On the other hand, it’s gotten much milder and nowadays you rarely see spam-sites which are just full of ads.
All in all, I think the future is bright. Brute-force spam is easy to catch, and more clever spam sometimes even includes useful or entertaining stuff (think of viral marketing as a clever, entertaining, user-distributed spam ;)).