Sunday, November 04, 2007

Newbies, Spam & Vikings

“If you want to receive e-mails about my upcoming shows, then please give me money so I can buy a computer.” ~ Phoebe from the television show - Friends
Friend's don't let friends... spam.

If you know a friend is spamming please stop them. In the end spam hurts all of us.

I know you have heard spam kills - an online business - but it's really true. And as obvious as it sounds I'm learning that as more and more people enter the online world they just don't get this.

They don't understand the basics of web marketing and they don't concern themselves with spam. They have little or no education in email and/or the best practices online and the newbies then come into the industry with shotguns... spreading spam emails like buckshot.

Run for your lives!

If we are not careful these late comers will ruin the landscape for all of us. As such, we must reach out as much as possible to education them.

There are a lot of great resources out there for the novice marketers. In fact if you Google "email marketing education" there are more than 93 million pages indexed.

The problem is people need to do that search... and I don't think they are looking to learn.

For example, I ran across a story about an advert that was posted on Craigslist from a person who wanted to find someone with software to spider the Internet and collect email addresses to send their ads to. In other words, they want to collect a list of spam names.


Some readers actually tried to dissuade the idea but the clueless newbie argued,

"It’s only spam if you go to an ISP, NOT Web sites. They invite people to email them. Big difference, and we only go to web sites in our profession, not general public.”

So what we have here is a newbie who thinks that if someone posts an email addresses online, that it's equal to giving ones permission to receive commercial email.

Yikes - that's a jump.

For those new to CVoD... what is the definition of Spam?

Glad you asked.

Spam has several definitions... but according to U.S. law spam is unsolicited bulk/commercial e-mail. It is also any email message that is pornographic, lewd, or fraudulent, or any email message where the sender’s identity is forged, or messages sent though unprotected SMTP servers.

(Unsolicited means that the Recipient has not granted verifiable permission for the message to be sent. Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having substantively identical content.)

It's all about permission. If you don't have permission to mail to someone than it's going to be seen as spam. The question is what is permission. Signing up for a e-letter is permission. Signing up for a paid product that has an email component is permission. But having a customer service email address posted on your site is not permission to receive email on how to satisfy your wife!

Lastly, please note that the sending of unsolicited bulk email is banned by all Internet service providers worldwide.

Spam is growing, more and more each day, with no signs of abating. Today there are approximately 90 billion spam emails sent out per day.


There is some debate about the source of the term, but the generally accepted version is that it comes from the Monty Python song, "Spam spam spam spam, spam spam spam spam, lovely spam, wonderful spam…"

Like the song, spam is an endless repetition of worthless text. Another school of thought maintains that it comes from the computer group lab at the University of Southern California who gave it the name because it has many of the same characteristics as the lunch meat Spam:
- Nobody wants it or ever asks for it.
- No one ever eats it; it is the first item to be pushed to the side when eating the entree.
- Sometimes it is actually tasty, like 1% of junk mail that is really useful to some people.
Anyway you look at it... it's something you want to stay away from.

Multi-million dollar spamming operations that use multiple mail servers in numerous countries make big money. The small time newbie who spams makes money in the beginning and is then shut down by the ISPs, if not prosecuted.

Don't do it - it's not worth it.

If you are new to the web, and you think what you are doing is spam... ask someone. Email me, go to a discussion board, post a question on a blog... just let us teach you right from wrong.

But don't be a spammer... intentionally or unintentionally.


P.S. - a now a treat - the Monty Python Spam Song

Scene: A cafe. One table is occupied by a group of Vikings wearing horned helmets. Whenever the word "spam" is repeated, they begin singing and/or chanting. A man and his wife enter. The man is played by Eric Idle, the wife is played by Graham Chapman (in drag), and the waitress is played by Terry Jones, also in drag.

Man: You sit here, dear.

Wife: All right.

Man: Morning!

Waitress: Morning!

Man: Well, what've you got?

Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam...

Waitress: ...spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam...

Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!

Waitress: ...or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.

Wife: Have you got anything without spam?

Waitress: Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam, that's not got much spam in it.

Wife: I don't want ANY spam!

Man: Why can't she have egg bacon spam and sausage?

Wife: THAT'S got spam in it!

Man: Hasn't got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it?

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam... (Crescendo through next few lines...)

Wife: Could you do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then?

Waitress: Urgghh!

Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like spam!

Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up!

Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can't have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam.

Wife: I don't like spam!

Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam spam spam spam spam spam spam beaked beans spam spam spam and spam!

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.

Man: Well could I have her spam instead of the baked beans then?

Waitress: You mean spam spam spam spam spam spam... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam. Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Spam spam spam spam!