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June 14, 2007

To Spam or Not To Spam: Is That A Viable Question?

Spam or Spamming is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages, which are generally undesired. The most widely recognized form of spam is Email Spam: otherwise referred to as Unsolicited Bulk Email or Junk email. Email Spam is both unsolicited by the recipient and sent in substantially identical form to many recipients simultaneously or over a period of time. Spam or Junk email can be either commercial mail such as an advertisement or noncommercial such as a chain letter or a joke.

The origin of the term “spam” is rather interesting as it actually came into being long before email reached it’s current popular form. As you know, spam is a form of canned meat sold by Hormel. The term “email spam” actually originated from a Monty Python sketch. During the 25th show of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, a three and a half minute sketch was played. The scene was set in a restaurant referred to as the Green Midget Cafe in Bromley and centered around a disagreement between a waitress and a customer. Almost every menu item had spam as one of the main ingredients. The customer did not want anything with spam in it: thus, an argument ensued that repeated the word spam some 132 times.

The menu is shown below so you will appreciate the humor aimed at Hormel’s now famous spam.

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, spam, spam, egg, and spam Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam and spam Lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce garnished with truffle paté, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam Spam, sausage, spam, spam, spam, bacon, spam, tomato and spam (this is only in the radio version’s menu, but the TV version features a character called, “the Hungarian”, trying to order it)

The phenomenon, some years later, of marketers drowning out discourse by flooding Usenet newsgroups and individuals’ email with junk email advertising messages was named spamming, recounting the repetitive and unwanted presence of Spam in the sketch.

There are several types of spam in use by spammers all over the world. Not one single country or location can claim fame to control the wide use of spam. According to Sophos, a security software developer, the major sources of spam from April to June of 2006 were the United States (accounting for 23.3% of messages sent), while China accounted for 20.0% and 7.5% from South Korea. By continent, Asia leads the pack at 40% followed by Europe at 27% and then comes the USA at 26%.

And according to information compiled by, email spam can be broken down by category. Products leads the way with 25%, then Financial scams at 20%, Adult-19%, Scams in General-9%,Health-7%, Internet-7%, Leisure-6%, Spiritual-4% and all other amounted to 3%. My personal experience is that I receive on average of 5-6 Financial scams daily and sometimes more. Fortunately for me my ISP spam filters eliminate the majority of the hundreds of spam emails daily before they reach my Outlook in-box.

Spam violates the AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) of almost every ISP (Internet Service Provider). If you are considering a bulk email campaign, be aware that you are putting yourself in jeopardy of loosing you ISP account as most will enforce their AUP. And all it takes in most cases is just one complaint from a disgruntled spam recipient.

The quantity of spam is staggering. Sometimes it depends on who you are but Bill Gates receives 4 million emails a year and most all of them are spam. And then the guy who owns receives over one million spam emails per day. In the year 2005, 30 billion spam emails were sent every day, 2006 it grew to 55 billion, 2006 it jumped again to 85 billion pre day and in February of 2007 it is shown to continue it’s growth to more then 90 billion spam emails per day. It is speculated that over 90% of all emails sent are spam emails!

Although spam laws are being passed in most major countries, it is obvious that another deterrent needs to be developed. Countries taking affirmative legal action by passing anti-spam laws include:

-The Untied States-CAN_SPAM Act of 2003 -Australia-The Spam Act of 2003 -The European Union-Directive-Article 13- The member countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Even though there is a concerted effort throughout the world to curb spamming, legislative efforts have been for the most part ineffective and counter productive. As an example the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires that each email have a way for the recipient to opt-out of the senders list. Most believe that if you opt-out to a spam email, you are doing nothing more then confirming to the spammers that they have reached a working email address. In 2002, the Center for Democracy and Technology found that 16% of websites tested with opt-out requests continued to spam.

To Spam or Not to Spam: well, you be the judge for yourself. The biggest concern I think one should have is loosing their ISP accounts. I have heard of spammers just going form one to another or having multiple ISP accounts to insure that they will maintain up time.

Author:  Jimmy Oakley-Author-2007- Jimmy is an Internet Marketer that discount markets the Premier Email Marketing and Internet Marketing Courses online. The courses he markets are continuosly updated and never outdated. Learn the right ways of marketing on the Internet by visiting now and learn Internet Marketing techniques found nowhere else.