Tough medicine for buckshot emailers

There’s “traditional” spam — you know: the kind selling body-enhancing pills or virtual companionship — and there’s “homemade” spam. This is the mail that comes to you because you have some vague connection to a product or service the mailer has. Or one of those unsolicited buckshot blasts you get from publicity people. A bit more refined, but spam and a time sink.

Recently, Dean Peters of Heal Your Church WebSite — you do have this in your feed reader, right? — wrote an answers-to-questions post, including this problem:

I dunno why, but the following folks feel they need to use the comment form to send me entire sermons preaching doom-n-gloom, soliciting ‘donations’ and/or attempting to sell me Jesus junk

And then he listed the mailers’ email addresses, with the addressed hyperlinks. Today’s version of feeding the spammers to the wolves, by which I mean other spammers who’s robots will scape the addresses from that blog.

I’ve seen this before, and under the rubric “Turn about is fair play” I think I approve. It will only take a few well-placed examples of this kind of response to remove the incentive bother with unsolicited, broadcast emails.

Three more thoughts.

  • If you want to speak to me, use the contact page. Excepting the one person I’ve banned from this blog, if you write me I will reply as quickly as possible.
  • There’s a difference between a buckshot email and an email to a stranger concerning a particular issue. But God help you if the first contact is a about trying to make a sale.
  • Since some people are genuinely clueless about the etiquette of email (and since spam robots have taken over the world) it makes sense to have a contact page within all but the tiniest organizations that parse out emails to the right person. For WordPress, InTouch is my favorite.

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