I call it the 2012 Shakedown (yeah, a little dramatic), because as more people learn to minimize and control the incoming "interference", the more they are likely to have a real chance at becoming successful. The junk emailers are falling by the wayside, at least for people who have been in IM long enough to know the difference between junk and quality.
The first thing I did in 2012 was to unsubscribe from an embarrassing number of email lists that I was on. It just built up so much over the past year... I must have unsubscribed from a hundred lists. It's SO refreshing to receive 80% less email now. And the email lists I'm still on are important to my business.
I've had quite a few customers and business friends tell me they have done the same, and let me know in no uncertain terms why they have decided to remain on my list. They are sick and tired of all the noise and junk.
Over all, I think IM is going through a cleansing process. Or maybe I'm just seeing this in my tiny corner of the IM-universe. What do you think?