Changing email address like changing hair styles

Across the communities we run at Swing Digital we've started tracking how often each field is changed in our members' profiles. It's proven to be an interesting exercise…

Across all our sites one field is the top or near the top of the most changed fields: email address.

Now I'm clearly not usual as I've had the same personal email address for around 10-11 years. I've got some other addresses in addition to that as time has passed, from my universities and work, but for most things I've registered with this one address. It's been a continuous thread for my online identity, but it would seem that this isn't the case for the membership of our clients' organisations.

People log on to the sites with their email address which perhaps helps them to be aware of when they need to change their address. Still members are actively changing their email addresses really often.

I wonder, is this due to the disposability of Hotmail and Yahoo addresses or just that people move jobs so often? Share your comments and experiences.

Comments from the previous version of this blog:

Spam
Need I say more?
15:42:18 GMT 28-10-2005 lee

Tinned Meat
Does spam *really* force people to change their email addresses so often? I always saw changing address as a short term fix only, seeing as so many spams just seem to try any and all addresses at every domain name they can lay their hands on.
Perhaps not. Before SpamSieve and SpamAssassin (yes it takes both) I was struggling with spam too…
19:16:09 GMT 28-10-2005 Jason Kitcat

not everyone is aware
My experience is that the average, who seem to compromise the majority, of internet users still don’t really know that much about spam and it’s prevention. I too have had the same personal (ISP provided) email for a several years, I haven’t changed it since I last changed ISPs and wont change it unless I change ISP again. I also have a ‘trash’ email which I do use if ever I need to enter details anywyhere that I think may be a bit risky (and yes I have ‘fun’ email addresses for when I feel like using them)- but it’s only ever needed to be changed once. So many internet users I come across though go around entering their email address willy nilly in any box that asks for it, posting it on public forums and handing it out to all and sundry – then they wonder why they need to change it.
00:33:54 GMT 01-11-2005 manny