The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #26 Monday, April 5, 1999

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
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
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie 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.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


SPAM, Anyone?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. They didn't even bother to clean their e-mail addresses. They sent to every e-mail address on my domain.
  3. 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.

Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
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