Spam: Poison Pill

Written by Richard Lowe

A common way for spammers to create their vast lists of email addresses is to cull web pages for "mailto:" tags. There are many different programs, available for small to huge costs, which will do this automatically, easily and efficiently.

I monitor my web site log files on a regular basis, and I'm always amazed atrepparttar vast numbers of spam harvesting programs that regularly scan my pages. Not only do these obnoxious things steal email addresses, they use bandwidth which I pay for without any kind of compensation. I put up my web pages for people to read not for some scumbag spammer to scan them.

There are many ways to combatrepparttar 132816 spammer. None of these methods are perfect. As in any war, both sides are continually developing new weapons to use againstrepparttar 132817 other. New methods work for a short time untilrepparttar 132818 enemy comes up with countermeasures and overcomesrepparttar 132819 weapon.

One ofrepparttar 132820 more effective ways to confuserepparttar 132821 spammer (not hard because they don't tend to be very bright) isrepparttar 132822 "poison pill" defense. This consists of handingrepparttar 132823 spam harvesting robots some pages which appear juicy, full of yummy email addresses ripe forrepparttar 132824 picking.

The email address on these pages are fake. They have nothing to do with reality and exist only to chokerepparttar 132825 spam robots, causing them to overflow and possibly even crash.

Here's how a typical poison pill works. A script is created which performs all of these tasks. It is important thatrepparttar 132826 scripting be done onrepparttar 132827 server, so CGI, ASP, PHP or a similar scripting language must be used. Server side scripting must be used because many spam robots are not smart enough to understand client-side scripting languages such as JavaScript.

The script creates a page which appears in all ways to be a normal document in a web site. The page may include some text informing human visitors ofrepparttar 132828 intention (this is important so any people who seerepparttar 132829 page are not confused).

It also needs to include a meta tag informing all robots not to indexrepparttar 132830 page. This is critical, as you do not want robots such as googlebot or scooter (the spiders for Google and Altavista, respectively) seeing this stuff. Don't worry, spam harvesters ignore these meta tags.

"SPAM And The Art Of Marketing Maintenance..."

Written by Roger J. Burke

Here is my latest article. It may be freely used in ezines, on websites or in e-books, as long asrepparttar Resource Box is left intact.

I would appreciate notification of where it was used, and if possible, a copy ofrepparttar 132814 ezine or newsletter that it was used in. Please send notification


I detest SPAM, but there's an awful lot of it going aroundrepparttar 132815 Net, as you know. Co-incidentally, there's an awful lot of another-four-letter-word-that-starts-with-S going around with it (just so there's no mis-understandings, I'm talking about porn)!

If you don't know what SPAM is, most Netizens would maybe say "any unsolicited commercial email". Others, more strident, would say "any email I didn't want", which sort of begsrepparttar 132816 question, doesn't it?

Now, it (almost) goes with saying that unsolicited, bulk, commercial email is - to put it delicately - a pain inrepparttar 132817 posterior. We've all been getting a lot of it already through our regular, bricks-and-mortar mailbox for years, so why should we have to put up with it overrepparttar 132818 Net?

Well,repparttar 132819 short answer is, of course, we don't! What do you do now withrepparttar 132820 SPAM in your real mail-box? likewise withrepparttar 132821 electronic variety and leave it at that: problem gone.

Not "solved" of course, just gone - until next time. And, that gets pretty tedious and annoying, right? Right...

Enterrepparttar 132822 anti-SPAM legislators.

And, quite properly too. However, granted that there should be, and must be, some form of penalties applied to repeated offenders (offline and online), still I think we have to be careful - to use a fractured phrase - not to crackrepparttar 132823 egg thatrepparttar 132824 golden goose laid!

Picture this: You operate a successful bakery and are doing alright. You don't have a website yet, your profits are good and you're holding your own againstrepparttar 132825 competition in town. There you are, busily gettingrepparttar 132826 next batch of muffins intorepparttar 132827 oven and this guy walks into your store. Happily, you put down baking tray, take off your baker's hat, and turn to what you think isrepparttar 132828 next customer.

Only, he isn't.

Instead, after politely introducing himself and establishing his credentials asrepparttar 132829 new kid onrepparttar 132830 block fromrepparttar 132831 Better Baking Soda Company, he then calmly tells you that he can improve your profits by 25% if you use his fantastic new baking soda.

Are you going to start throwing week-old muffins at him, for havingrepparttar 132832 audacity to interrupt your work? Or, knowing what your costs are, vis-a-visrepparttar 132833 whole baking process, are you going to stop and think for a bit - and then start throwingrepparttar 132834 muffins, but only maybe? ;-) Onrepparttar 132835 other hand, maybe your business isn't doing too well, or you want to do better. Instead of throwing those muffins, maybe you should think about how you can make them last longer?

That's a very simple scenario, but one that is repeated thousands of time, every day, in all forms of business. Indeed, it's how many businesses must operate, being those types that sell only to other businesses. And, one ofrepparttar 132836 most important tools of business is marketing, its proper operation and its effective maintenance.

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