Monday, July 23, 2007

Spam, spam, spam, egg and spam

We all know what it is. Not so many realise that the term originated from its use in this Monty Python sketch (or the script). Someone may know the correct technical terms, but not only are there straightforward spam emails promising enlarged bank accounts, kudos, pharmaceutical access and somatic appendages, there are also those designed to see if you respond by clicking a link or composing a reply. As readers (and automated spam-filters) get better at avoiding spam, spam-writers have become (a little) more creative, for instance, sending a 'news headline' of considerable interest with a link to the 'full story'. However, a (possible) new one I hadn't seen before was an email praising my blog in general terms (without any mention of specific content), expressing a desire to ask a question, but first wanting to know if I reply to emails.

If this was a genuine email from a regular reader, then my apologies for (anonymously) embarrassing you. Please ask your question. I do reply to emails, but a tip for anyone wanting to contact a stranger by email: make it clear you're not a spam-generator. And a tip to spam-writers: this would make a good scam.

2 comments:

jess smith said...

Today I saw a job advertised to write spam regulations for Samoa and Vanuatu. Despite the locations, I didn't think it sounded like my kind of job. I wonder whether the introduction of the final report will mention Monty Python?

Mister Tim said...

Ever see this discussion of spam from the House of Lords?

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldhansrd/vo030506/text/30506-03.htm