About the Author:
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants
and the International
Association of Computer Professionals,
develops products that help computer professionals market
and manage their businesses.
She is author of
Run a Successful Computer Training Business,
Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business
Your Sanity in a Home Business.
is an Internet strategist and content developer for
community-based Web sites. Her plans and strategies have
garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed
capital. She also offers ghost writing services and content delivery for your
Web site or e-zine.
lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .
C.E.S. Business Consultants
Do you ever wonder if the
Internet term, SPAM, has increased the sales of that
mysterious meat product? Personally, I like Spam (the
meat)-- when fried in a pan. I don't care much for it
raw -- itīs kind of disgusting that way. And if you've
ever fried it, you won't want to eat it raw. Have you ever
seen how much grease comes out of that stuff? In my
opinion, its Internet counterpart has some definite similarities to
the meat product.
I actually enjoy some
e-mail that others would call SPAM -- when
"cooked" properly. For example, if someone
has researched me well and knows I develop content
for web sites, and then sends me information on a
tool to make content gathering easier, I welcome such
an e-mail. Some people would still call this SPAM
because it is UCE - Unsolicited Commercial E-mail. But
for me, it's targeted and applies to my interests and
needs. They did some research; they visited my site;
they e-mailed me about something in which I would
logically be interested.
By some people's
definition any e-mail (even if sent from their web
site) that is anything other than a request to buy
their product/services is UCE. Others hold a more
loose definition. I would consider some e-mail the
equivalent of uncooked Spam (the meat) -- full of
grease and fat. For example, when someone sends me an
adult-related e-mail to every address found on my web
site, I call this SPAM. Here's why:
- They did
absolutely no research. They don't know
me at all. I am totally anti-adult material
and if anyone looked at my writing or web
sites, they would know this.
- They didn't
even bother to clean their e-mail addresses.
They sent to every e-mail address on my
- They used a
phony return address. They used a stealth
mailer so that I couldn't respond to be
unsubscribed or removed.
With so many varying
beliefs on the definition of SPAM, how do we regulate
it? I personally advocate a very laissez-faire philosophy
when it comes to government intervention in
Internet matters. I'm not really sure what the
solution is, but I really don't want a government
telling other people how and when they can e-mail me.
Right now, I probably get 200-300 e-mails a day.
Probably 75% of those would be considered SPAM. Yet,
for now, I'm happy to hit the DELETE button rather
than have a government power tell me which messages I
can receive and which ones I can't. Maybe all those extra
junk messages are the price I have to pay for
freedom. I'm sure there are thousands of Netizens who
disagree, and they have their right to do so. But, I
(and others like me) have our rights as well.