Email Forwarding Aliases

Wouldn't it be nice to have a permanent email address and not have to
tell people when you change Internet access providers or when your
access provider gets gobbled up by some bigger company and THEY decide
you have to change your address?

Well there is a way to have a permanent email address - with an "email
forwarding alias".

What's an "email forwarding alias" ?

An email forwarding alias is a special address that just forwards email
to a "real account" elsewhere.  It solves the problem of changing ISP based
addresses.

The Problem


Your "real account" is where your inbox actually stores your mail till
you (or your computer) comes to fetch / read it the usual way.  Your
"real account" has an address (your "real address") and most people have
friends and correspondents send mail to their real address. But real
addresses change.  When some one's address changes, they need to inform
their correspondents who have to update their address books. In the
process some people don't get the change recorded and lose touch.

Tho it varies considerably I estimate that average real email address
might be good for 2 years or less.

For someone using an email forwarding alias, if their email program is
configured properly most correspondents will treat the alias address as
"real" and need not be concerned about what the real account's actual
address is.  This configuration change results in the "From: address"
being the alias address instead of the real address.

Unfortunately a few email providers don't allow accounts - particularly
web based providers like yahoo.com and hotmail.com - to be configured to
send mail "From:" another address tho you may be able to set a
"Reply-to:" address.

The main advantage is that the real account can be changed and after the
alias setup is updated (easy to do) , then mail comes to the new account
and correspondents will not need to be notified of a change of address -
they'll continue to use the same address - the email alias. Without an
alias, people who send email to you at an old address will often get an
"unknown address" bounce message with no easy way to find your new
address - a good reason to give people an alternate way to reach you
such as your ( or your mom's ) phone number.

Starting to use an email alias involves several steps:
o Setup the email forwarding alias (see below)
o Configure your mail program to use the alias as it's "From:" address
o Inform people of / publicize the new permanent address - put it on your web pages etc

List of providers of Forwarding Aliases for a fee

I maintain some aliases for some friends, relatives and associates.
(at cohousing.org , justcomm.org , hopework.org , muusja.org )
Unlike those "free" ones above, mine don't tack on advertizing; email me
for details. Some organizations and alumni associations also provide
email forwarding aliases that don't have advertizing.  Brainstorm what address
you'd like to have and make inquiries.  Regretably many orgs dont take advantage
of aliases that they already pay for - lobby them.

You may want to have an alias for your work address so when you change jobs
you have a work address that does not change.  Or an alias for a project
so when the leadership changes, the address does not.  Or an alias for
sending email to your cell phone so you can hide an ugly address behind
an easy to remember address. Tho I don't recommend it, you could use a
new alias when spam gets too bad. My aliases can easily have an
autoreply set up to inform correspondents that you've abandoned an
address and what your new adress is (spammers are unlikely to get / read
the auto reply).
Try this alias address with an auto reply: folson [at] cohousing.org

Examples:  Made up for my newly elected US rep:

   keith.ellison [at] MNactivist.org
keith.ellison-wk [at] MNactivist.org   ( would go to DC after Nov election... :)
keith.ellison-cp [at] MNactivist.org
garden [at] justcomm.org            (This is real see Lincoln Peace Garden)

BTW fholson at cohousing.org is not my "real account address" - it's an
email forwarding alias address.  In March 2005 as this is being turned
into a web page I am shifting how I do email but my address won't change.

Communications for Justice - Justcomm.org
Fred H. Olson
Email: fholson [at] cohousing.org