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                     The E-Marketing Digest
                      Volume #2, Issue #76
                     Copyright, Webbers.com
                          Sept 16, 1997
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                    Gary K. Foote, Moderator
                  

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Table of Contents

+ Moderator's Comments

+ New Subjects

+ Ongoing

    "Finding Web Reviewers"
       - George Matyjewicz

    "Legal aspects of UCE, Europe"
       - Cheryl Gilbert

    "Bulk email and an introduction"
       - Fabrizio Bartolomucci
       - Claudia Hafling

    "Bulk Mail/Spam & A Solution?"
       - Sharon Tucci

    "Netscape and IE Explorer Differences?"
       - Dave Jones

    "Legal Aspects of UCE"
       - Paul Myers

+ The Corkboard

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                      --------------------
                            Ongoing
                      --------------------


From: Rainmaker 
Subject: Finding Web Reviewers

At 07:15 AM 9/15/97 -0400, Jon Bard wrote:

>Subject: A Tip & A Request

>Is anyone aware of a single source with e-mail addresses and URLs for web
>reviewers?  For example, I'd like to submit my page to all the various web
>magazines, books, directories, newspaper columnists, etc. that review sites.
>Short of buying up every magazine I can find (which I'll do if needed),
>there must be an easier way to access all these folks.

There are URL's  that review sites and publish the results on the
Net.  One is Sitegrade.  They review your site and give it a
grade from A+ to F.  If you are confident in your site, use them
The down side is if your site is not so good, it is published on
the Net for the world to see.  We used them, and were so
impressed, we posted their criteria at our site - http://www.gapent.com/pr/

Regarding publications who review, there are a number of
computer-related publications that do this, but they have been
overwhelmed of late.  The best alternative would be to send an
e-mail to them asking if they will review your site.  Our
Automated Press Releases reaches over 7,600 media contacts, but
we have never had this request.

George

_______________________________________________
George Matyjewicz            "Rainmaker Extraordinaire"
Managing Partner                http://www.gapent.com/rainmaking/
GAP Enterprises, Ltd.        mailto:georgem@gapent.com
http://www.gapent.com
Tel: (201) 939-8533 Ext 821              Fax: (201) 460-3740
Automated Press Releases: http://www.gapent.com/pr/
Specializing in Professional Firm "Rainmaking" programs.


           ***  NEW POST - Legal aspects of UCE, Europe  ***


From: cgilbert@esg.nl (Cheryl Gilbert)
Subject: legal aspects of UCE, Europe

Mr. Schweitzer raises a few questions about the legal aspects of
unsolicited commercial email.

First, you seem to be viewing UCE as a free speech issue, or at least you
related it to the Internet Decency Act. However, the legal case against UCE
is not legislation of speech but theft of services. Your right to
commercial speech is not in question. What is in question is your right to
force other people to pay to hear that speech. These are the same reasons
that junk faxes were outlawed. Currently in the US, there is a movement to
have UCE covered under the laws that outlaw junk faxes. The logic is that
UCE is postage-due marketing and costs recipients time and expense without
their consent. This bill is HR1748, known as the Smith Bill. For more
information about the legal issues see:
http://www.cauce.org/

I don't know about pan-European legislation, but I imagine you'll be seeing
some sort of law against UCE in the Netherlands soon. UCE is a serious
issue for businesses here. We pay by the minute for our local phone time,
and if you multiply the average 10-20 UCE I get per day times each employee
in a business going on-line, you suddenly have a significant money loss.
The mills of the laws can grind rather slowly here, but this is a society
that allows people to decline junk real mail and since UCE has the
additional theft of service problem, I imagine that everything that is not
opt-in will be shortly forbidden.

Cheryl Gilbert, Director of Training
ESG Internet Services, cgilbert@esg.nl
Why should you consider a European content provider?
http://www.esg.nl/esg/webservices/europe.html


           ***  NEW POST - Bulk email and an introduction  ***


From: Fabrizio Bartolomucci 
Subject: Re: Bulk email and an introduction

>Those were the lucky times, if you ask to be removed. Many of these
>people will wait for the remove requests and read them as a sign that
>real humans read and answer that email. Then you REALLY get hit.

Has anyone tried to answer with forged "returned mail" messages, instead?
There could be some "intelligent" spam generators that could induce the
address is non-existent and stop targeting it. Any experience on it?

Fabrizio Bartolomucci
Author of the Eyes & Mind page at:
http://www.thru.com/art/uk/eyes-mind.html


           ***  NEW POST - Bulk email and an introduction  ***


From: Claudia Hafling <102440.51@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: Bulk email and an introduction

Dear Paul:

You wrote;

>* Every unmoderated business newsgroup in
>Usenet has been destroyed by
>spam. All of them.

I certainly don't like reading spam in the newsgroups I belong to, but
then again, I just skip them.  It's no big hardship on me.

>...some twit who
>thinks they have a "moral right" to spam will hit their list with
>something seriously offensive and run off half the contributors. And
>then hit the list with a mailbomb.

[moderator snip]

>...nightmare hit a friend of mine recently. 18 megabyte mailbomb sent
>to hundreds of people, destroying people's systems along the way. The
>computers many of those people use to create their incomes. Why?
>Because a few people on the list complained about the spams. They made
>the mistake of trying to explain to the "person" involved why spamming
>wasn't a considerate thing. They tried to be helpful.

[That is] criminal and I definitely think that those who do
this should be caught and prosecuted.

Legitimate e-marketers are people like you, and Gary Foote,
and myself and others on this list.  I use opt-in lists if and when I
send direct e-mail for clients.  I send brief messages which give the re-
cipient the option of responding to me or to a client URL if they wish
further information.  I write professional messages, and only promote
clients with legitimate, legal and what I consider to be ethical
businesses.

Now - I don't like pornography on the net and especially do not like
it in my e-mail box.  I think there should be special restrictions
against this.  I am all for legislating against this because my
stepdaughter also uses this computer and I certainly don't want her
exposed to this.

However, other sorts of UCE, although they are tiresome and a pain
in the neck, can simply be deleted from my screen without ever being
opened and do not cause me any great concern.  And in the U.S., most
of us have online services or ISPs where we pay one fee (usually around
$20/month) for unlimited usage and e-mail, so it doesn't cost us (or
at least it doesn't cost me and most of the people I know) anything
extra to download spam.

The reason I say the radical anti-spammers (again - I am anti-spam, but
not radical about it) can hurt the rest of us is that, here in the US
anyway, they are lobbying the government to legislate e-mail and
disallow UCE completely.  The problem is with the definition.  What
is UCE?

How do they determine what is bulk e-mail UCE?  One proposal I heard was
to mandate ISPs to disallow the delivery of any single message going to
more than 50 people.  Well, I bet this list we are all reading right
now goes to more than 50 people.  I have a newsletter that I send out
via e-mail once a month, by subscription only, to more than 50 people.

I just don't trust my government to legislate sensibly, or fairly, what
goes on in the land of electronic commerce.  And anyway, e-commerce is
international so making laws that affect only Americans aren't going
to effectively stop the problem.

Again, I don't like spam or spammers.  I agree that they are liars.  This
morning I got mail from Nothere@nodomain.  Needless to say I didn't bother
sending a "remove" request.

I just don't think it necessary to make such a big deal out of spam.  I
delete spam and don't worry about it.  It doesn't affect me or my small
(very small) business one way or another.  And I am always suspicious of
anyone who is so fanatically for or against anything, including spam. I
fear that in the long run, they may do more harm than good.

-Claudia L'Engle Hafling
Media & Marketing Concepts, Inc.
The full-service public relations,
advertising & marketing agency
102440.51@compuserve.com
(800)544-6482



           ***  NEW POST - Bulk Mail/Spam & A Solution?  ***


From: Sharon Tucci 
Subject: Bulk Mail/Spam & A Solution?

Bob,

I read the following too late!

>Oh dear, I hope nobody here has fallen for the IEMMC scam.  The IEMMC is
>operated by a notorious consortium of spammers, and there is widespread
>evidence that requesting to be put on their NO SPAM list will in fact
>increase your spam level.  It appears they are just using that ruse to
>collect validated e-mail addresses for spam fodder.
>
Last night, I wasted time adding on the major email addresses I use and
receive SPAM on at IEMMC.  Surprise surprise. ALREADY my level of SPAM
has increased.

>Finally, everything I've mentioned so far has addressed users of some
>fragment of the Internet, generally residing somewhere within the USA. What
>about legislation in other countries? Does France's language requirements (a
>website hosted in France must be at least partially in French) apply to
>e-mail? Does mention of the word "swastika" cause UCE to be censored in
>Germany?

Kurt, excellent food for thought.  I wanted to comment on the above.
I am situated in Montreal, Quebec.  Quebec has *very* tight laws
about advertising and fines can be very high (I got hit with a huge
one for a second offense of answering my 800 number in English). In fact,
with our political situation here, considerable resources are dedicated
to L'Office de la langue francais (office of the French language) whose
sole duty it is to ensure these laws are adhered to.  A couple of months
back, there was talk that they were starting to go after Quebec
businesses who had web sites that were not fully bilingual (both French
and English) or unilingual (French only).  I haven't heard much about
it recently though.  To get to the point - if you were to take the law
literally, anyone sending me ANY kind of unsolicited email in English
would be taking actions which are illegal according to our laws.

The whole issue of knowing different country's laws is quite complex.
For example, *every* site that offers any type of contest *should* be
registered with our "Regies de Lotteries".  If they are not, then they
should stipulate that residents of Quebec are not eligible.  Grin..
I actually know of one person familiar with this law who says he won't
do business with any online company offering a contest if they don't
provide this disclaimer. His reasoning is that if they don't include
that, they are not a professional company.   Ironically he
lives in New Jersey :)

I'd like to give my own comments on SPAM and how it has affected me.

First, I have four domain names... and primarily use one or two email
addresses on each of them.  I publish two newsletters via email, where
each article featured is retrievable by autoresponder.  In all, this
accounts for about 1,000, give or take a hundred, different email
addresses.  Can you guess what happened?  In case not -- a compiler
of email addresses decided to take it upon themselves to go through
ALL of back issues and added on my autoresponder addresses... over 500
of them ... to their list as "padding".  Can you guess what happened
next? These email addresses were then spammed from a "faked" address.
In case you have never had the experience of someone requesting an
autoresponder document from a faked address, it gets kicked back,
just like any undeliverable mail does.  I not only got nailed with
this being done four times in one day (before I realized what was
happening), *I* ended up getting a warning from my ISP about the
load I was putting on the system.

How I put an end to it: one of the people included an 800 number
for information on some type of scam. I called the 800 number,
left a message like I was really interested. He returned my call
within an hour.  I told him he got ripped off on his list.  I
pointed to the repeat of domains.  Needless to say, he was more
than willing to tell me the name of the company who sold him the
list.  I contacted them, pretending to be interested in purchasing
lists and then told them to get my domains off their lists or my
lawyer would be contacting them.  Well, it worked.  But I'm not
thrilled at what I had to go through to get it done.  I feel that
I was stooping to their level.

In the midst of all this, I've figured out a solution.  Or at least
I think so.  I just don't know where I would have to go to explain
this :)  We all know that bulk mailers account for the majority of
the SPAM problems.  They've stooped to using fake return addresses
in order to avoid the problems with getting their mail out (such
as ISPs blocking mail, getting flamed, etc).

The solution stems back to the mid 80's where something was
incorporated into online requests (be it email or otherwise) called
the Request for Comment on an authentication service.  It defined a
query & response protocol that was used to identify who was behind
a connection. Over time, this was redefined and became known as the
"Identification Protocol".  However, it was used in pre-web days and
on Unix systems. (Many Unix systems still have this, although very
few, if any, make use of it.)  Part of the reason that use of it was
discontinued was because of the demand it took on server resources.
(Any transaction required a "handshake" between computers or
computer and server in order to be completed.)  Another part was the
way that many users access the net make it difficult to complete the
transaction (for example, AOL and CompuServe).

Personally, I think that SPAM is enough of a problem that it would
be worthwhile for this to be reintegrated into Internet architecture
if in fact it could be used to test the validity of a return address
on email.

I realize the above is a rather disjointed explanation... I know
very little about the Internet's architecture.  Note: although I've
heard about the existence of this protocol from quite a few different
sources, I've never seen mention of this type of usage for it
anywhere.

Cheers!

Sharon Tucci

/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\/$\
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Practical how-to business advice for the budding entrepreneur.

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           ***  NEW POST - Netscape and IE Explorer Differences?  ***


From: dave jones 
Subject: Re: Netscape and IE Explorer Differences?

>It appears that I will have to revise this stand. I'd like to know if
>there's a website which has a succinct listing of the specific
>potentials for difference in appearance between Netscape and IE Explorer
>(best if it reviews different versions of the two browsers, i.e.,
>Netscape 3 IE 3).

Here are a few links pulled from my reference file which purport
to illustrate the differences between the browsers (note:
comments are NOT mine, so please don't complain to me about them :).

BrowserCaps (http://www.browsercaps.com/picker.ptx) provides information
about browser support including platform information and beta versions.

Ron Woodall's "Compendium of HTML Elements"
(www.htmlcompendium.org) lists what versions of HTML,
Netscape, MSIE, and Mosaic support a given tag.

If your running on a Windows platform, The HTML Reference Guide has
a great comparison section for MSIE, NN, and Spry. It comes as a
Windows Help file for both Win3.X or Win95 systems. You can find this
guide at:
http://subnet.virtual-pc.com/~le387818/

This site has a nice list of all the tags AND it tells you
which tag is supported by which browser and version.
http://www.woodhill.co.uk/html/html.htm

Browser Features Chart
http://www.infodial.net/infohelp/htms/browsupp.htm


Good luck!

Dave Jones
NetEffect - OnTarget
Turnkey Targeted Email
http://www.neteffectllc.com/ontarget


                ***  NEW POST - Legal Aspects of UCE  ***


From: "Paul Myers" 
Subject: Legal Aspects of UCE

Kurt,

> I understand that Nevada has passed a law making it illegal to send
> e-mail to  someone residing in that state without a "prior
> relationship" between the two parties.

A typically misguided legislative effort. Who will enforce this? And
what about the fact that a number of bulk emailers have started either
routing their spam through foreign servers, or originating it from
foreign servers? This despite the US base of the advertiser.

And how do they define "prior relationship"? Does that cover me if
someone signs up at a web site and asks for regular updates or
commercial announcements, and then forgets? Claims they never did? What
do they have to say on the matter of culpability when someone decides
that the best way to get back at a person for a disagreement on an
issue is to start adding people's names to that person's lists without
their approval?

Signed up from a web site, there may not be a traceable route in the
headers to prove the origins of the email. Are we all then forced to
change software if our current systems don't support verification
emails? How far do we need to go to cover ourselves from the one person
in thousands who is looking to create hassles?

Legislation isn't the answer. Politicians, with very few exceptions,
don't understand the net. Their jobs require they spend too much time
at other things for them to truly develop a good understanding of the
culture. Blazes, those of us who make our livings online often have to
scramble to really keep up with the changes!

And of course, there's the issue of borders and sovereignty.

We need to determine the outcome of this one ourselves. Let's keep Big
Brother out of it. He doesn't know how to behave in polite society.

> about the IEMMC global filtration site, saying 'Bulk-Emailers must
> "clean" their lists through this site.' This seems unlikely to occur
> without some legislation that forces "bulk-emailers" to use the site.

They have to use the global remove list in oreder to be members of the
IEMMC. I picture this as an interesting attempt to get a lock on the
"ethical" image in the industry, much like the BBB's approach.

The IEMMC is a joke. The problem is that no one gets the punch line.

Walt Rines talks about the business as though it were not some form of
theft. Cyber Promotions ignored 17 remove requests from me, and still
sends me their nonsense. AGIS seems to conveniently forget that their
"global remove" list depends on the new user knowing who they are and
where to find them. Even if they did actually honor the requests, the
process is flawed. I believe it is deliberately flawed. It is not
possible that the fourth largest (backbone-less) backbone could miss
such simple considerations.

The morality of saying that you need to sign up for a "Do Not Mug" list
escapes me. As does the logic. The legality is another matter. I oppose
any incursion by the government, whether at the state or federal level,
into Internet commerce beyond enforcement of existing statutes
concerning fraud, etc.

> The provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that attempted to
> legislate "Internet Decency" have been struck down as being
> unconstitutional. I've yet to hear about national legislation
> regarding UCE. Is there any?

Attempts are being made to get such laws passed. They will only succeed
in forcing the spammers offshore. Perhaps they'd enjoy having offices
in the Bahamas....

The proponents claim that this is the goal. That they can better
isolate the spam that way, blah blah, yadda yadda, etc. Start cutting
access to smaller countries, and you then have an entirely different
problem. One that could involve a whole lot of other issues.

Their reminders that the cost per minute for access and phone time is
large in other countries compared to the US is wonderful. IF one
ignores the real technologies involved. Get a direct connection from a
willing provider (AGIS, perhaps?) and you bypass the telcos per minute
charges.

Use the state of the art systems they have now, and you can shove a lot
of spam through those pipes. The cost won't be enough to cut it down.

And frankly, there's a good chance they can cut deals with the
local governments and possibly even the telcos to locate in many of
these low wage areas. The global sword cuts both ways.

All of which is soon to be rendered moot by advances in wireless
technology...

As for the Constitutionality of the matter, yes, they can pass laws
on this and enforce them. Commercial speech, contrary to what the
spammers would have you believe, is not protected in the way that
personal or political expression is.

Ask Sanford. He was in the fax broadcast business before he got into
spamming. Seems to have a talent for finding ways to force the
recipient to pay for advertising...

Paul
--
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