Saturday, January 24, 2004

Spam Us. Because We Demand It!

Spam. The one thing that seems to define our times is the ubiquity of messages and data that confront us, the vast majority of which are unwanted and intrusive, to one degree or another. Commercials, at least, pay the freight for the television and radio programming that we watch. And, of course, we are able to utilize hefty amounts of denial in regard to commercials. We can fantasize that WE are too smart to be programmed by commercials. OUR buying decisions are NOT influenced by ADS! Spam, on the other hand, is not so easily susceptible to denial. Who can deny that spam is an intrusive drag on our time? We can, at least, lie to ourselves about the rate at which we enrich the spammers.

Now, don't get all crazy on me. I made my money in direct marketing, which is a wonderful business for many reasons, but one of the best things about direct marketing is that you know exactly what your competitors are doing. No guesswork involved. No doubt. The first rule of direct marketing is this: If he repeats the campaign, he made money from it. This simple rule is the reason we have so much spam in our inboxes every morning. It also offers the one foolproof way to eliminate spam. IF we wish to avail ourselves of it.

We merely need to follow Nancy Reagan's dictum, and JUST SAY NO!!! That's it. It really is that simple. All spam would disappear in under thirty days. Not most spam, but all spam. Now. All we need to do is stop giving the spammers money. Period.

I know that I should go on and on, making my case, adding links, and filling out this post. But why? There can be no debate. As surely as an apple will always fall down, due to gravity, any spam you get a second time, made money for the spammer the first time, due to the law of supply and demand. When I get one of those Nigerian letters, what always hits me is "This cheesy come-on STILL WORKS?!?!?!" And all of these Viagra and penis elongator missives make me sad for the condition of all the women who are clearly confronted by men who feel inadequate, since the sheer number and variety of these spams show that there is enough business from these to enrich entire colonies of spammers.

And then there is an entire industry that has sprung up to enrich those who promise to mitigate this problem of unsolicited commercial email, whose products probably work about as well as the penis cream does. Plus an unending amount of articles and books trying to tell us about the terrible problem of spam, and what we can or should do about it. Including this post. And I work for free!

And, since we can NOT say no, we can expect more of the same, plus an increasing amount of laws and regulations coming down the road, all because the public can't keep their plastic inside their pants. Please. Just say no. Stop this avalanche of crap that arrives avery day, every minute. I am getting a minimum of a thousand spam messages a week. My "delete" key is wearing out. Email newsletters are about to be legislated out of existence. Email itself may become unusable soon.

The next time you are tempted to respond to an offer you just can't refuse, JUST SAY NO!!