In the past few months my Gmail Spam folder has begun filling so quickly that it has been taking a noticeable amount of time to look through before I empty it every few days. The steep increase in spam may possibly be connected to the large number of new contacts I made through Hacker School earlier this year, though I have no way to be sure.
I have taken a new step to deal with the Spam folder: filtering messages
Subject values contain the most common spam contents,
and deleting those messages before they even make it to the Spam folder.
This has dramatically reduced the amount of crap I have to wade through to clear the Spam folder, but I have no doubt there is now a greater chance of losing messages I don't want to lose. But that seems to be the trade ahead of me.
At the moment Google only seems to provide a relatively simple filtering tool. A further option is to access the account directly via SMTP and run scripts of my own against selected targets.