Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(January 1999)

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Subject: Re: Spam Police
From: "jeanne @ jacy . com" <jeanne @ jacy . com>
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 09:18:13 -0600
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <3 . 0 . 32 . 19990131093210 . 00b61880 @ mail . netnames . co . uk>
References: <3 . 0 . 32 . 19990131093210 . 00b61880 @ mail . netnames . co . uk>
Reply-to: jeanne @ jacy . com

Ivan Pope wrote:
>I am also still waiting for anyone's definition of 'spam'.

I sure don't know, but I've been following this thread with great
interest. I run a couple standard mailing lists, one for a client (an
author) who also has a completely opt-in, outgoing-only newsletter
available for subscription. This is newsy in nature and does not sell
or push products although I suppose the announcement of a featured
article in XYZ magazine could be considered a commercial. People
subscribe via a form on the Web site, no email confirmation step is in

We've sent out four newsletters to date, to about 4,000 people. There
is a tag line on the newsletter that indicates what steps had been
taken to be on this 'list' and likewise, to unsubscribe. The latest one
got about 4 very ugly and vulgar responses, most likely from a spouse,
sibling or SO using a shared email address and unaware of what the
other half is doing. One threatened to report me to some blacklist or
other and it caught me off-guard. Nothing has appeared to have come of
it (yet) but it has me scrambling to implement a confirmation step.

If *all* unsolicited email is spam, then one could argue the point that
my client's newsletter could in some circumstances be considered spam.
It's scaring me a great deal because this is *my* ISP etc which this
goes through. I have cable access, the only game in town, and if I were
to lose that, ugh. 

It's a very grey area, IMO, and probably scares legit people away from
setting up newsletters, some that I might like to be on.


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