When Terminology Attacks

I was reading a mailing list today, as I often do. Some random guy, nobody I know, he posted a request for help. He said, more or less: "Hey, blacklist XYZ has listed my double opt-in server. What should I do?"

Approximately 13 seconds after posting, he was verbally attacked in response. He was accused of being a spammer, and ridiculed, for daring to use such a term as "double opt-in."

That's what actually happened. What could have happened instead is that they could have congratulated him, or at least made mention of how good it was, that he is actually utilizing confirmed opt-in.

Instead, a discussion forum made up of supposed thought leaders, people who actively work to stop spam, accused the guy of being a spammer. They didn't accuse him of being a spammer because he sends spam -- but instead, they called him a spammer because he used a term that they do not like.

What's wrong with this picture?

E360 Failure Update

Ed Falk on E360 dropping lawsuits with prejudice (meaning E360 cannot refile).

Mickey points out that E360 reached a settlement agreement with Mark Ferguson but not with the others. I wonder what that means. Is Mark on the hook for something, and perhaps he should have just waited it out? Or does the settlement amount to both sides closing their mouths and getting on with their lives, as is often the case? I guess we won't know until and unless either party decides to clue us in.

Do you want to fund the lawsuit?

Mickey Chandler asks, "Do you want to fund the lawsuit?" Meaning, if you're splitting the hair very thin to make the case that what you're doing *must* be legally compliant, ask yourself: Do you really want to be that edge case that gets pulled into court? If not, do the right thing and back away from the edge. It's not about what you can get away with under the law. It's about following best practices, not sending spam, making it easy for people to unsubscribe, and doing what ISPs want.

If you're asking yourself, how close can we get to the line without stepping over, it may well be that you're asking the wrong question.

Offers You Can't Refuse

Dylan from email service provider eROI talks about how he got an offer to sign up for services from a competing email service provider.

And, as Dylan puts it, "they are using my emailROI email address that I stopped using over 4 years ago. And this sender is something that I have never heard from before in my life nor have I got emails from them before."

Yikes. Spam, anyone? Read all about it here.

MAPS: Ancient History

Check out this very old presentation about the Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) , from October, 2000.

I had already left MAPS at that point, but apparently, my personal brand was strong enough to leave my name in the presentation, as it indicates that RSS was created by me.

Also, I designed that presentation template, as well as the MAPS logo and logotype of the time. Oh, how horribly dated it all seems today.

MAPS created the first Realtime Blackhole List (RBL), the very first DNSBL, way back in 1997. It's hard to believe that anti-spam blacklists are over ten years old!

One of MAPS other blacklists, RSS, was a re-branded version of my original Radparker Relay Spam Stopper (RRSS) blacklist, which I first shared with the world back in May, 1999.