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With apologies to Robert Pirsig, I have slavishly copied style of his very famous book - "Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" - into title of this article. That, of course, is where any further comparison stops.
I do, however, have a good reason for concocting my title.
I recall that Mr Pirsig's book explored themes for an improvement in self (in particular) and society (by inference), and one of those themes was QUALITY. Applied to every aspect of our existence, quality of what we do can have a profound effect, from highly positive to lowly negative. Whatever we say and do, write and send, can have those effects, obviously.
So, maybe it's not so much quantity of SPAM that we all get that is problem (although, there are limits, right!). Maybe, we should be concerned more with quality - in broadest sense - of message? In particular, I'm thinking of messages that are relevant, appropriate, targeted and - dare I say it - even helpful!
However, SPAM we all love to hate - shot-gun style, bulk commercial email, splattering all through system - would obviously rate very low in quality stakes, for most people (although, just quietly, I understand there is a secret network of SPAMmers who simply delight in sending each other into lowly orbit every day?), but business-to-business email must surely have its proper place. And, that would include all businesses, of course, not just Blue Chip and Silicon Valley...
Which, very soon (if not already), will begin to trouble strident anti-spammers even more: as more and more people set up their own online e-businesses all over world, there may come a time when there are more businesses online than there are mere consumers.
Hmmm...now, there's a thought! ;-(o)
You are no doubt aware that many agencies - government and private - continue to grapple with SPAM genie, but ultimately it is, I think, impossible to "get it back in bottle".
In that regard, I have read a number of articles - and have even received an unsolicited email about "permission marketing"! I have responded to some but, try as I might, none have returned with an unequivocal, "dyed-in-the-wool", "shake-it-till-it-breaks" definition for permission marketing. I suspect it will be a while before I do.
But, I would be eternally grateful to anybody who can supply it!
Somebody once said, "Nothing happens until somebody sells something." Well...fatuous as that may sound, we are all trying to "sell" something to somebody. Right?
By all means protect consumer to a reasonable and effective degree, with appropriate legislation and penalties. But, it would be shooting ourselves in foot (or worse) to burden e-business with self-destructive restrictions and penalties.
Roger Burke has been involved with computers since 1967, and has managed to break quite a few, over the years. He, and his wife Sherry, are now actively engaged in online self-publishing and promoting specific affiliate programs at http://online-wealth.com . If you have any comments or questions about this article, please send emails to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org . Copyright 2001, Online-Wealth. All rights reserved.