Here is why people get blocked

Today I got spam from something called "Bloglines" from IP address 65.214.39.152:

Hello,

(address) has recommended the following blogs.
If you are not a Bloglines user already, you can create a free account
easily, by following the link below. If you are already a Bloglines
user, you can add these blogs to your account.

Bloglines is a free web-based tool that lets you read and keep up with
all your news feeds and blogs from one central page. Simply subscribe
to the blogs you're interested in, and Bloglines will tell you when there
are new articles available to read.

(address) has included the following message:

-------------
TDC Theory and Telegraph Style
http://spammedblog1

Stone Forest or Human Forest?
http://spammedblog2

Why dumpling is widely loved foods in China
http://spammedblog3

My Mother Likes Chinese Martial Arts Very Much
http://spammedblog3
-------------

(some guy)'s Blog - http://spammedblog4

To subscribe to some or all of these blogs, click on the following link:
http://www.bloglines.com/spamlink
If you are not interested, simply ignore this message.

Sincerely,
The Bloglines Team

I have no idea who Bloglines is and never signed up for this. From the message content, it looks as though this might be some sort of "forward to a friend" mechanism that is being abused to send spam. But, I don't have time to track down who to complain to, and Bloglines certainly isn't making it any easy for me on that front -- there's no unsubscribe link, no "report abuse" link, or anything like that in this message, where I could quickly report to them that this is unwanted and give them a chance to address whatever problem they have.

Since they're not helping me out, and I'm very busy today, here's what I'm going to do. First, I'm going to hit the "this is spam" button in Gmail, to tell Google that these guys are up to no good. I'm sure I won't be the only one doing that, and it wouldn't surprise me if enough people did this to send their future mailings to the bulk folder.

Next, I'm going to create a Gmail filter that takes any mail from anything at "bloglines.com" and send it straight to the trash.

Problem solved -- for me. But not for Bloglines. They never heard anything back from me, and I am now easily able to block their mail. They'll never get a message through to me again.

This is how people end up getting blocked:
  • Lack of permission/sending mail to people who don't want it.
  • Not making it easy for me to report back to them that there's a problem by reporting abuse or unsubscribing.
  • Letting complaints stack up against them at ISPs that don't report this info back to the sender, like Gmail.
Bloglines has successfully fulfilled all three of these "don'ts" -- they should expect some deliverability problems soon, if they're not experiencing them already.

Tools like Gmail's "report spam" and easy filtering mechanisms are widespread nowadays, making it even easier for a sender to trip up and anger enough people to find themselves in trouble. I think this highlights how important it is to make sure you adhere to best practices, else you're going to find your mail voted down and/or blocked by unhappy recipients without even knowing about it.

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