PaperKarma, a Windows Phone app that helps you control your snail mail based unsolicited mail, is suffering from a case of popularity.

The apps main purpose is to let you take a picture of a piece of physical junk mail with your Windows Phone camera and then submit that electronically to the folks at PaperKarma who will complete the process of having you removed from that mailing list.

Sounds straight forward enough and is a very good idea for an app – and that has proven to be to its detriment at the moment.

In an email earlier today PaperKarma thank their new users for the interest and warn everyone that it might take a little longer to process their requests submitted via the app.

We are touching base to let you know that, due to this nearly overwhelming growth, some of your uploads may be in a "pending" state for longer than expected. We thought 24 hours was an achievable timeframe, but this incredible growth is proving otherwise. It may take us a few weeks to clear the backlog. Thank you for being patient while we adjust to this awesome growth spurt (all thanks to you!).

We’re adding some more staff to help us through the backlog, and we’re building new features to help our semi-automated system process images and locate companies faster.

What can you do to help? Quite a bit, actually!

Please limit uploads to material that PaperKarma has the best chance of processing. For example: Catalogs, Magazines, Credit Card offers, material from large, reputable companies (Geico, etc).

Avoid uploading material that is "carpet bombed" on a zip code basis. These usually have no removal list.


  • Mail addressed to "Current Resident", "Our neighbor at…", etc.
  • Local grocery store coupons (Safeway, Lucky, …), small local businesses, restaurants, etc.

We are confident that PaperKarma will reduce your junk mail, and you’ll soon be enjoying a much lighter trip in from the mailbox!

Now this is exactly the kind of problem app developers want to have isn’t it?  Congratulations to PaperKarma on bringing an app to the marketplace that people want to use. 

I said to someone on Twitter earlier today that these apps that connect our physical world to our electronic environment have such huge potential for impact when they either contribute to our productivity or understanding.