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Who Created Spam (and How to Deal with It)


Email and social media have given a whole new meaning to JUNK.

Junk is what you don’t want. There is a saying that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. If you don’t believe me watch things like Antique Roadshow. Attend stamp and comic book exchanges. Look at the second hand jewelery and clothing stores.

Did you know that the junk mail is called spam not SPAM?

SPAM is a trademarked product for Spiced ham.

But (social media) spam has become anything but spicy and social media and inattention to netiquette means that spam now represents those hundreds and thousands of emails and messages that we receive every day through our inboxes and social media.

For marketers, “direct mail”, mail drops, flyers, circulars are essential, crucial, and vital for getting a message into the hands of prospects, especially when you the budget does not stretch to Television campaigns or print media.

Some people call it junk. Some people see it as advertising. Some people see it as annoying. But when you need a solution to a problem, your junk mail can help you find a direction to research the solution to your problem.

Spam can serve the same purpose.

The difference is that because there is such a minimal cost attached, more people figure they can send inappropriate messages to EVERYONE.

As a woman, I really don’t need to grow a larger penis and as a heterosexual, I am not interested in giving her more pleasure.

It is interesting though, how many junk mail pieces are around money, health and sex and the same holds true for spam. Spam is cheap and easy for scammers, phishers (interesting word) and creeps who spread viruses, worms and spyware.

Are you aware that about 50% of Spam still comes out of the USA?

China and Hong Kong provide 20% of the spam while other countries do lesser amounts. One set of figures not available is the spam out of Russia which is purported to be growing just as the piracy, and identify theft, is purported to be increasing.

Now many baby boomers, having been on the web for a long time, see the same old spam pieces coming through and know how to ignore them. I received an advertising piece the other day that I thought was interesting and when I asked my husband about it, his comment was, “is he still pushing that same crap?” He first saw the advertisement ten years ago.

There is now a whole bunch of legislation around spam and there are protocols around adding people to lists. Does it work? There are prosecution cases in ALL countries with spam laws.

But my spam keeps increasing. I get it on Twitter. I get it on Facebook. I get it even on LinkedIn and other groups.

One solution is to limit your social media. I have many friends who have done that.

Another solution is to report the spammers; it might mean a few more in prosecution but it is unlikely to stop the spammers, scammers and phishers

And a final solution – ignore it and while it will increase, if it stops working, something else will be found to sell drugs, finance, debt management, quick fix tools, cough syrup, sex toys and pleasure and all the rest of the Junk we call spam.

Oh and finally, be kind when you think that if baby boomers had not wanted to keep in touch, have more, and more, and more…we would have no spam or SPAM or Junk or ….

Roberta is a keynote speaker, facilitator and mentor. You can find her through which links to her blogs, articles, ebooks and speaking.

Image by Aaron Gustafson

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