A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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April 15, 2005

Could spam die?

cyberspeak-kantor.jpgInteresting spam commentary at USA Today by Cyberspeak columnist Andrew Kantor.

Kantor speculates that spam will soon die out. The reason? Kantor's logic is a bit complex, but it boils down to a prediction that merchants are going to stop hiring spammers to advertise for them.

I wish Kantor's soothsaying was on the mark. But there are a couple of flaws in his assumptions about the spamming business. Specifically, he's incorrect in believing that spammers are primarily paid just to get people to read their messages (as opposed to receiving a commission from sales generated by the spam).

I emailed Kantor with my take on his article, and he posted my response at his personal site. Here's my answer to his article's question about why spammers work so hard to slip past filters:

Why are they marketing to people who seem not to want their messages? Remember, spammers are sales people, just like the door-to-door encyclopedia or vacuum-cleaner salesmen of yore. It's a profession that rewards stubbornness and persistence. (People absolutely hated telemarketing too, but it apparently was a successful sales channel.)

Check out Andrew's piece, and then see if you agree with my response. (You might also be interested in his little experiment in Usenet harvesting, The Spam Project.)

Posted by brian at April 15, 2005 7:35 PM


He's a fucking technology writer. lol.

Who cares what the moron thinks.

Less spam = More $ in spamming, that simple.

Looking at his spam project was like looking in my anti-spam folder. :)

and btw lol @ him saying "Spam doesn't generate sales very well." If that was the case then why would they do it?

Posted by: xxx image gallery at April 16, 2005 7:35 AM

Some of this is a bandwagoning effect. Those who have been following IT security issues (spam included) know we have just seen the tip of the iceberg. Now the problems are affecting the everyday user, and invariably the mainstream press will attempt to make some sense of the matters, and speculate as to solutions whether they are making sense or not.

Posted by: Michael at April 16, 2005 10:57 AM

loldumbass. The press has no clue unless they're fed a fake newswire from some corporate tool.

Posted by: Pavan at April 24, 2005 4:57 PM


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