My Useless Usenet Advertising Page

How To Get My Money

New as of May 4th, 1997! A guide on how to get my money. Updated as recently as February 10th of 1998.

The problem

People seem to have reached the conclusion that it is reasonable and appropriate to send hundreds of thousands of emails, or post news to thousands of groups, to advertise their products.

The debate

There are many arguments offered by the advertisers to explain their actions, and attempt to justify them. These arguments are all flawed. I will gladly refute any such argument. A partial list is enclosed:

It's just like sending junk mail to people's physical mailboxes.
Not really. If you send me physical mail, you pay postage. If you send me email, I pay connect time, storage fees, or other fees; even if my provider includes these fees, the more storage space and bandwidth they use, the more they have to charge me.
It's a free country, I can do what I want.
It's a free country, I can have sex with whomever I want. There are still limits. If you see a bulletin board, labled "wanted/for sale", and there's a sign saying "no commercial advertisements", you can still put commercial ads up. This doesn't make it a good thing, or an acceptable one.
I get lots of money, and a lot of people appreciate it.
Feel free to make a list of people who like it; put up a web page and ask for names of people who want your product info. You'll get all of those people, and won't waste everyone else's time.
We have a century old tradition of sending direct mail.
We have a two millenium old tradition of considering women property. Age does not justify anything.

The solution

The Usenet Advertiser Blacklist is a beginning.

Support this list! Make a point of calling people who junk mail you, and letting them know that you are not doing business with them, because they bother you. Especially do this if you would otherwise buy the product.

Also, we now have the RBL, which is a way to stop trading network traffic with spammers; even more direct than just not buying their product, don't give them free network services.

In the meantime

You can do a lot to cut down on junk mail. Make sure to complain to the postmaster of the site the mail comes from. If it's AOL or Netcom, consider "abuse@[site]". If it's a service that does mailings, write them and let them know you'll charge for your time for any further messages. If you get one, take them to small claims court. You'll probably win. Hand the judgement over to a collection agency and forget about it.

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