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PICList Thread
'[OT] Excuses from Telesystems'
1999\12\21@175853 by Igor Korchoun

    Hi, PicListers,

Today my colleagues who are looking through the PicList made me aware of the
displeased e-mails from some of you.
First of all - sorry if I caused any problems for any of you or violated
privacy by  "Information letter" from Telesystems.

I'll try to explain my personal opinion regarding the unsolicited e-mails.
Of course advertising in general (banners, spam, post cards etc.) can be
regarded as being the harm, but on the other hand sometimes it can contain
helpful information.
Personally I do not object when receiving advertizing material via e-mail if
- it is not too frequent;
- it's size does not exceed 10-20kB;
- it's subject is within my interests;
- return address is valid and I can unsubscribe myself.

We always try to send our information according to these rules to avoid
discomfort of the recipients. I repeat that this is my personal opinion only
and of course you can disagree with it.

By any means if you want to be removed from our e-mail's database pls send
us e-mail with "Remove" in subject field. Pls check that you send your
from the address which you want to be removed.

And to answer one of the questions - no, we did not use the list of the
PicList subscribers when compiling our database.

Sorry again.

With best regards,
Igor V. Korchoun,  president of "Telesystems"
WWW site :

1999\12\21@185832 by quozl

Anybody who says sorry about this must be good to deal with.

The point about the frequency is a difficult one ... the sender cannot
know the frequency of all unsolicited mail for a given user.  I get
about ten a day.

James Cameron

1999\12\21@194508 by p.cousens

Igor Korchoun wrote:
>      Hi, PicListers,
> Today my colleagues who are looking through the PicList made me aware of the
> displeased e-mails from some of you.

Was anyone pleased ?

> By any means if you want to be removed from our e-mail's database pls send
> us e-mail with "Remove" in subject field. Pls check that you send your
> e-mail
> from the address which you want to be removed.

> I expect that you, personally, remove ME from your list.
> And to answer one of the questions - no, we did not use the list of the
> PicList subscribers when compiling our database.

I would also like to take this opportunity to request the list
that without reassurances from you, (telesystems), that this will not
happen again,
you be REMOVED permanently from the Piclist

Peter Cousens
email:  or
smail: 48, Yarmouth Cresent, London, N179PQ, England.

1999\12\22@015831 by Dr. Imre Bartfai

Hi Peter,

On Wed, 22 Dec 1999, Peter Cousens wrote:

> Igor Korchoun wrote:
> >
> >      Hi, PicListers,
> >
> > Today my colleagues who are looking through the PicList made me aware of the
> > displeased e-mails from some of you.
> Was anyone pleased ?

Yes, I was pleased. I think it is a personal opinion and it is only a
question of - as another PIClister wrote - frequency. I do not get
normally very often unsolicited e-mails, so, just in case I read all of
them carefully. Igor's letter is not treated as spam by me, as it serves
valuable information me. Even if I would not intend to purchase the
said programmer I think it is a good idea to compare them and such way
make a decision. Or do you turn you TV off, Peter, if you see ANY ad?

Of course this is my personal opinion as I mentioned, but I feel the
threat of Peter's against Igor as an overkill.

Regards, and wishing merry xmas to all including happy new Y2K.


1999\12\22@023048 by NCS Products

At 12:48 AM 12/22/99 +0000, Peter Cousens wrote:
>Igor Korchoun wrote:
>>      Hi, PicListers,
>> Today my colleagues who are looking through the PicList made me aware of
>> displeased e-mails from some of you.
>Was anyone pleased ?

In defense of the Russkies, I found their product
(or at least the specs) to be very appealing!

Perhaps a better way to get their message across would have
been to simply post it to the PICLIST, but I didn't find that
particular e-mail to be evil spam.

1999\12\22@024751 by Mark Willis

Hi, Igor;

The problem with unsolicited e-mail is multifold;  I don't agree on your
4 criteria on UCE, myself:

> - it is not too frequent;
 There are a LOT of companies, world-wide, on the 'Net, if each "just"
sent me one e-mail monthly to tell me of their products, I might as well
just drop my Internet connection.  Do that math, figure out just how
many e-mails a day it comes out to, you'll not like the huge number you
get.  That'd make your inbox bog down badly.

> - it's size does not exceed 10-20kB;
 Those people with a 2400 baud connection in Ghana, would think of that
as an atrociously huge e-mail.  Most people overseas pay, by the minute,
for their phone calls.  Myself, I get 1-2 Megabytes per day, and I only
have a 3Mb inbox right now - I would rather not have to download mail
every 4 hours, I at least get to sleep nights right now <G>

> - it's subject is within my interests;
 You must be LOTS more lucky than I am here;  I usually get "Send me
money and I'll tell you how to get other people to send you money",
multi-level SCAM posts, not within MY interests <G>  I'd say that I've
maybe received ONE SPAM that was even a close match, and I boycotted
that company, because of the way they presented themselves.

> - return address is valid and I can unsubscribe myself.
 Pretty rare, that;  If their return address IS valid, most SPAMmers
will just send you more SPAM later, as they now "know you're a live one"
when you try to unsubscribe.  So, most recipients of UCE, having been
burned until they learned better, send complaints to the senders' ISP,
asking them to yank the Internet Access of the sender, until they learn
to behave.  I imagine that there are at least, what, 300-400 people on
here that can read headers and write effective LARTs?

SPAM has these problems:  (Yeah, I'm paraphrasing CAUCE's info <G>)
 Cost-Shifting. Sending bulk email is amazingly cheap. With a 28.8
dialup connection and a PC, a spammer can send hundreds of thousands of
messages per hour. Great for the spammer, BUT, WE all get to pay for the
costs of dealing with it. Want cheaper ISP fees? Get rid of SPAMmers.
On AOL, about 30% of their e-mail bandwidth is UCE;  That extra
bandwidth raises AOL's rates, or cuts into other services that AOL could
provide for the same monthly charge.
 Fraud. Spammers know that about 95% of recipients don't want to
receive their messages. As a result, they make the mail "subject" look
like it is anything other than an advertisement.  They relay their
messages off the mail server of an innocent third party.They forge the
headers of messages, making it appear as though the message originated
elsewhere, again providing a convenient target to misdirect recipients'
 Waste of Others' Resources. When a spammer sends an email message to a
million people, it is carried by numerous other systems en route to its
destination, once again shifting cost away from the originator. There is
no justification for forcing third parties to bear the load of
unsolicited advertising.

 There's a long tradition in the US, of making commercial enterprises
bear the costs of what that do to make money. For example, it would be
far cheaper for chemical manufacturers to dump their waste into the
rivers and lakes... however "externalities" (as the economists call it)
are bad because they allow one person to profit at another's -- or
everyone's -- expense.

 Displacement of Normal Email. Email is increasingly becoming a
critical business tool.  In the late 1980s, as more and more businesses
began to use Fax machines, the marketers decided that they could Fax you
their advertisements. Remember the piles and piles of office supply
advertisements and business printing ads that came pouring out of your
Fax machine, anyone?  Made it hard to get your expected, NEEDED Fax in.

 Annoyance Factor. My email address is not in the public domain! I pay
a fee for the use of it, monthly - same as I pay my rent.  I will have
control over what it is used for. If I wish to receive tons of
advertisements, I will join a list server designed to carry such (and,
there are many such.)  I will not be forced to suffer the flood unless
and until I actually request it.

 Now, let's see what I used to get daily before I learned to read
headers;  Seven pornographic web site spams, four letters from some guy
named Dave Rhodes and his cousin Christohper Erickson telling you how to
make $50,000 in a week, somebody telling you that you're too fat and you
need Pyruvate (sprinkled with Blue Green Algae), and two offers to buy
stock in a "New Startup Company"...only the broker is a really bad
speller and can't decide whether he's selling "stock" or "stork."

 Oh, and there was an email from the "Postmaster" telling you that when
you tried to "Remove" yourself from a junk email list, the address:
"" was, of course, "Unknown."  So after a half
hour of delays and frustration, all you've got to show for your efforts
is a box full of spam. Is it any wonder people are annoyed?

 Incompetence.  It's been proven, time and time again, that SPAMmers
just plain are not capable enough to take names OFF their lists - Some
notorious SPAMmers have been caught, breaking court orders to remove
someone's name from their list, again and again.  Despite jail time as a
consequence;  The state I live in (Washington State, USA) has "remove
lists" that SPAMmers are supposed to check and remove domains/users
who've joined those lists, they don't.

The only reason I don't get 15-20 or more SPAM a day, like I used to, is
that I've learned to "LART" (send complaint letters) very effectively,
so the SPAMmers ISP's have dropped their access to send e-mail to me.
Works rather well.  Then I changed my e-mail address.  And I'm still
getting 2 a day or so.  Changing my e-mail address monthly is about
what's needed to STOP 'em - kind of hard on mailing lists, and
impossible for friends and family...  That's not a solution.

 Ethics. Spam is based on theft of service, fraud and deceit as well as
cost shifting to the recipient. The great preponderance of products and
services marketed by UCE are of dubious (to put it mildly!) legality.
Any business that depends on stealing from its customers, preying on the
innocent, and abusing the open standards of the Internet is -- and
should be -- doomed to failure.  Anyone who uses stolen credit cards to
open ISP accounts and send millions of e-mails (as is quite common for
SPAMmers to do), doesn't belong in MY inbox.  Or on the Internet, IMO.

"Targeted" mailing lists are fine IMO for *physical* mail - where the
sender pays the postage costs of the mailing;  They don't belong on the
Internet, the Internet is not the same as a postal delivery service.
(Obviously to most people - I don't pay a monthly fee to the US Postal
Service, for the right to receive mail in my mailbox.  QUITE different
situation.)  A lot of people have been "burned" by SPAMming companies,
happens, they learn eventually.

I've heard the "Just Hit Delete" argument, too;  That's a lot like
paying for a COD package, then burning it without seeing what's inside;
Not very effective at stopping the sender from sending another the next
day.  The SPAMmer's already spent MY money, by the time a UCE makes it
into my inbox;  even if I then filter it out, my ISP's still had to
spend money to pay for the bandwidth.  And they pass their costs to
their customers.

For good information on how to market on the Internet, here are some
ways that I'd recommend:

* Make sure your web page is easy to use, clearly usable, and usable by
those with text-only browsers.  (There are people with low or no vision
doing things you wouldn't believe, one of my friends sets her own
jumpers by touch & maintains most all her hardware herself - just calls
me when it's really BROKEN;  And, I've been known to web surf with
images turned off.  Everything should still be findable and usable with
no images, and PLEASE use ALT tags somewhat <G>)  Look at your web pages
with images turned off, see if you can "get there from here".  Those
overseas on a bad phone line at 2400 baud, paying by the minute for
their phone time, will be able to do business with you - as will those
using Dos Lynx, NetTamer, and other text browsers.  I've seen some web
pages so graphics intensive that (even at 56k baud) I just give up and
find someone else easier to deal with.  Thumbnail those images, people
will appreciate it.  Go light on animations, too, many people find them
distracting and annoying (they'll mess up some browsers, like mine, also

* Register with search engines.  When I'm looking for a product, I go
search on Altavista, Yahoo, ...  (I'm sure other people use different
search engines.)  Anyone who objects to an ethical business registering
with all available search engines, is VERY confused <G>  Register all
over the place, certainly.  There are engines that will index your web
site with all search engines, a good way to go.

* Join some of the many mailing lists applicable for your products;
Read their charters and/or FAQs, see what the rules are on each for
commercial postings, and adhere to those rules on each list.  The
general rule on the PICList, in a nutshell, is "Don't anger the
Netizens" - James Newton just posted about this the other day, I'll hunt
that down and e-mail it to anyone who wants it.  (Yes, I know that I'll
get "the same" ad possibly, this way - I chose to join the PICList, so I
don't mind posts within it's charter;  I don't get posts about Vacation
Properties In Hokkaido, though, which I don't want to see, as they're
not on charter for this mailing list.  It WORKS, and if/when I don't
want to see PICList posts, I could unsubscribe.)  It's the difference
between your "significant other" borrowing money from you - and a total
stranger taking money from your wallet, quite different experiences
subjectively, though either leaves you with less money than you had <G>

* Put a short ad or teaser in your .signature file. Unobtrusive, yet
pervasive, especially in this age of search engines archiving usenet
messages.  (The PICList is archived.)  Brief is good.

* Create an Opt-IN mailing list for those of your customers who want to
keep up to date on company products and information;  Opt-In means that,
(like the PICList), the customer sends a Subscribe request, and then is
sent a "Cookie" that they have to respond correctly to - or they're not
on the list.  The reason for this is that, with this setup, someone else
cannot subscribe an innocent 3rd party, without their permission, to
YOUR mailing list, then start a war with them (Yes, it's happened here,
it wasn't fun.)  Forge-subscribing people to mailing lists seems to be a
"hobby" for some jerks, so it's really a good idea to have that

Also:  See, that's a GOOD site
about how to Market on the 'Net.

And:  I would suggest you change your list of people you send e-mail to,
to use an Opt-In strategy, by the way - Many people on the Internet will
object to any and all unsolicited e-mail sent to them.  I've taught
quite a few people how to read headers.

 Mark, Admin #2, PICList Anti-SPAM admin <G>

Igor Korchoun wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I re-ship for small US & overseas businesses, world-wide.
(For private individuals at cost; ask.)

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