Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(December 1997)

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Subject: Re: An alternative to spamming?
From: "Manar Hussain" <manar @ ivision . co . uk>
Organization: Internet Vision
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 1997 09:28:27 +0000
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
Comments: Authenticated sender is <manarpop @ [194 . 154 . 62 . 72]>
In-reply-to: <3 . 0 . 3 . 32 . 19971204153432 . 0091c3f0 @ armchair . mb . ca>
References: <E0xdfes-0002cI-00 @ stingray . ivision . co . uk>

> I guess I'm nuts and sad, then.


> There's a world of difference between a friend telling me about a product
> that he or she likes, and that I might be interested in, and a "friend"
> sending me an advertisement.  If a friend tries out some new motorcycle
> tires, say, and thinks I might like 'em too, that's fine.  I welcome such
> information.  But that's discussion, not advertising.  

My point was to try and illustrate one end of the spectrum to illustrate 
it's not so cut and dried. You're trying to have your cake and eat it 
here. You agree "that there's a world of difference" because one case is 
clearly acceptable but don't seem to see that the two cases are merely two 
disparate points of the same line - and that there must therefore be a 
grey area in between
> On the other hand, if that same friend sends me a bloody email brochure,
> with no concern other than scoring himself a profit, then the @#$%!! gets
> blackholed.

Who ever said anything about the friend doing it purely to core himself a 
> >Fact is that we all have a lot to gain by relying on the ability of others 
> >to act on our behalf.
> I agree.  But advertising is NOT acting on my behalf.  It's acting on the
> advertiser's behalf.

One of the beauties of life and economics is that it's not a zero sum game 
- it IS possible for something to be to your benefit and the advertisers 
benefit too!!
> > With respect to information channelling this is 
> >going to become far more important in an online environment. The person 
> >might be a friend who knows you well or a list admin that keeps a list 
> >ticking along such that you think it useful.
> As long as the friend has MY interests in mind and not merely his or her
> wallet, that's fine.  As long as _I_ signed up for the list of my own
> free will, that's fine.  As soon as it's stuffed down my throat, that's
> NOT fine.

Agreed - this is basically my point. The rest is just a logical extension 
of it. If you trust someone to bring you something that is actually likely 
to be worth your time to look at (based on the fact that they have tended 
to do just that in the past) then you'd be mad to say "sod off" to such a 
person starting a discussion with "I know this is an ad but I think you'll 
find it interesting".

> Too far in reverse?  I think not.  I simply refuse to tolerate receiving
> ANY advertisements, unless I have specifically requested them.  If more

But you've just contradicted yourself! I think we got such a SPAM problem 
that we're in danger of falling into the age old pitfall of not being able 
to rationally state the position our sober thoughts actually support. I.E. 
the tolerance of any grey areas goes out the window - as well as the 
ability to see that there is a grey area at all. You form the unbreakable 
premiss that "advertising is bad" and no logical conclusion that may be 
based on assumptions you agree with that contradicts this is likely to 
have an effect.

Ho Humm - I guess the one consolation is that this irrationality is 
possibly/probably required in order to shift towards the "correct" middle 
ground. In other words we're not capable of moving to the middle ground, 
merely staying near it as we swing between extremes. If the severe 
problem of SPAMming is not met with an over-reaction maybe we won't see 
it resolved at all.


Internet Vision      Internet Consultancy      Tel: 0171 589 4500
60 Albert Court        & Web development       Fax: 0171 589 4522
Prince Consort Road                          vision @
 ivision .
 co .
London SW7 2BE                 

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