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PICList Thread
'Perhaps a Peaceful Ending? [OT]'
2000\04\20@171806 by Todd Peterson

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I appreciate our being added back to the PIClist, and am thankful that home
addresses are not a part of the piclist log, because most certainly mine
would be burnt down by now ;^)

If I may, I'd like to simply copy the letter I wrote directly to James
Newton in response to his recent post to the list.  I'd also like to thank
him for taking the time to read it and for re-subscribing us to the list.
It may be of interest to any that have been following this thread.  Our
apologies to any that have found our quarterly announcements offensive; we
will be building a postal-only announcement list from this point on and
discontinuing e-mailing of our quarterly newslist and new IC announcements.
Again, thank you to James, and apologies to all whose time was wasted.  For
any that would like to better understand the sequence of events, the letter
is as follows:



Good afternoon James,

I noticed your recent post to the PICList and am replying to you directly so
that you can understand what happened and also our plans to prevent this
from happening again.

As a background, we have been selling PIC-related products worldwide for the
past five years, and have been an active member of the PIClist community,
assisting others as needed.  We have several signup lists on our website,
and over time have collected a large amount of e-mail addresses for info
requests.

Periodically, as we announce new IC's, we post these announcements to the
list.  As we personally know quite a few members of the list, have e-mailed
with them privately over the past years, and post our announcements so
infrequently, I myself don't consider this recent announcement spam, but am
willing to consider that other think it so, and therefore treat it as such.

I've noted the recent trend in the PIClist to keep off-topic items declared
[OT], so rather than use the list as the means of disbursing this quarter's
announcement, I investigated the possibility of sending the e-mails
privately.  A program was found that would send to the names of the
PIClisters individually from our files, which has the net effect of sending
to most of the PIClist personally, rather than through the list.  I
hindsight I wish this option would not have been taken, but at the time I
thought it would be the most appreciated.  Honestly, we've had so many
PIClisters request to be notified as new IC's are released that I didn't
consider it to be spamming at all.

I've had many private e-mails and phonecalls the past couple days stating
that they are surprised at the mostly negative response and that they want
to continue receiving periodic updates.  List-serve addresses were carefully
removed from the list, please note.  I'm not sure if you're subscribed to a
similar list, The BASIC Stamp list, but if not please read a reply in the
thread similar to the one currently on the PIClist:

>I gladly second Ray's comment! These products are 100% stamp related. I
>not only don't want him to stop I want him to continue to announce products
>like this!

So at best, please remove us in your mind from the 'filthy spammers'
category and call this an honest mistake.

Not only that, call it an 'Honest, On-time Only' mistake because we've
decided to remove the electronic newsletter signup list from our website, as
well as return to postal-only product announcements.  James, you'd not
believe the foul-languaged messages we've received today.  Operating as a
Christian business, this has brought us much sorrow.  I'm sure you'll
understand why (and perhaps appreciate) that despite the many requests we've
had to continue, quarterly new product announcements will not be performed
electronically, period.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at (816) 257-9954.
I would like to continue on as an active, helpful participant of the PIClist
(being an authorized Microchip Consultant), but it seems that our fate with
this is in your hands.  Perhaps already too much hurt has been done, and my
replies would be met with cynicism, and my being re-joined to the list would
be unfruitful.  I'd be interested in your thoughts here.

Respectfully,

 -Todd Peterson
  E-Lab Digital Engineering, Inc.

(816) 257-9954   FAX: (816)257-9945
http://www.elabinc.com

2000\04\24@130459 by M. Adam Davis

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Todd, it is difficult for me to broach this subject without being angry.  When
people use the internet without understanding how to use it appropiately I'm
torn between two reactions:  Assuming that they really have no clue about what
they are doing, or assuming they do know, and they just don't care.

You have owned the domain name ELABINC.COM for nearly 2.5 years, so I can only
reasonably assume that you know what you are doing.  What you did was send
unsolicited email to the members of the PICLIST.

There is no way you can twist the definition of spam to suit your desires.  You
sent spam.  You agreed not to do so when you signed up for webhosting with
NETINS.NET:
"Acceptable use of Email does NOT include:
Sending unsolicited mass mailings of any nature, including those with a
"negative option" for continuation. "
(PLEASE see http://www.netins.net/policy/ and reread your agreement,
specifically http://www.netins.net/policy/#email)

You sent a mass mailing, which very few of us solicited you for.  You can take
the issue, twist it around, make it sound like you are a reputable company which
misjudged your potential customers, but the reality is very different.  You say,
"Honestly, we've had so many PIClisters request to be notified as new IC's are
released that I didn't consider it to be spamming at all."  By putting it that
way you make it sound like spam is a subjective judgement.  It is not.  There
are hard and fast rules that you can apply to your actions which judge whether
it is spam or not.  It would be interesting to know what you meant by "so many
PIClisters".
1% (20) ?
10% (200)
50% (1000)
90% (1800)

Todd, if this is your understanding of how the internet works, you do not
deserve to be hosted by any reputable hosting company.  I am reporting your
misuse to NETINS.NET and CW.NET.  CW.NET has a more verbose acceptable use
policy, you might be interesting in reading it as well, though it only applies
to NETINS (they are under fire from CW for allowing you to send your mail).
http://www.cwusa.com/internet_aup.htm

I hope that you do not do anything rash (such as abandoning email for postal
mail).  There are many benefits to doing business on the internet.  I have
looked over your product line, and it is a useful lineup (though I would not be
using them myself, they do not meet my needs).

While you have not contributed much to the piclist, I would encourage you to
continue to answer questions as you have done in the past (ie, this product
would solve your problem) as that is relevant and useful.  I personally have not
minded the few product announcments you've posted to the list either.  Giving
back to the community is one good way to get back in the good graces of all.
Perhaps there is code you can post on your site (unprofitable devices, not fully
developed devices, etc), or you could spend more time helping newbies on the
list out with simple problems (I know, the piclist is a time sink ;-)

I also hope you have not been too put off by the many foul-mouthed emails which
you have received in response to your latest announcement.  I wish people would
be more civil and gentle about reprimanding their fellow users.  This spam is a
mark against your name and company as far as many people are concerned, but it
can be removed.

I do not wish to offend you in this email, and I hope it is informative rather
than inflamatory.  I needed to get this off my chest.

I wish you luck in your endeavors.

-Adam

P.S. Sending PIClist members spam is bad enough, but HTML spam email?  You know
how testy we are when it comes to HTML email!  ;-)

Todd Peterson wrote:
>
> I appreciate our being added back to the PIClist...

<snip>

> Respectfully,
>
>   -Todd Peterson
>    E-Lab Digital Engineering, Inc.

2000\04\24@145616 by Todd Peterson

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> I do not wish to offend you in this email, and I hope it is informative
> rather than inflamatory.  I needed to get this off my chest.

Good afternoon Mark (and list),

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  Looking back at the past week's events, I
certainly wish that the decision had been made to send the infamous
announcement through the list's server as usual, as opposed to private
messages.  I apologize that some have taken offense to this approach, and
want them to know that had it been known that even one would be offended,
the announcement would not have been sent in that manner.  And now, knowing
that some _will_ be offended if the practice continued, rest assured that
individual mailing of announcements will not be attempted again.  I
understand (and daily face, of course) the frustration of dealing with so
many nameless, unrepliable get-rich-quick, etc., etc. mailings, and I
certainly don't want to be counted among that bunch in _anyone's_ mind.  I
understand that I may now be, and know that only time and good fruit will
change that, both of which I hope all see.  In any case, again my apologies
for the private e-mail notifications.

I would also like to mention that it's been a pleasure to be among this
group the past few years, and I look forward to continuing.  I've had my
hand in PIC's for quite some time now, and would be happy to assist (on or
off list) those using what I'm familiar with, such as the Hi-Tech C
compiler, in-circuit emulators, LCD's, stepper motors, EMI problem solving,
general circuit design, etc.  I'm at the number listed below all day;  feel
free to call and I'll be glad to make your acquaintance and offer any (free,
of course) assistance I can.  Perhaps in speaking with me you'll realize
that I'm not as ruthless, arrogant, or uncaring as the week's past thread
has implied.  I also hope I can be of some assistance, too.

Thanks guys,

Todd Peterson
E-Lab Digital Engineering, Inc.

(816) 257-9954  FAX: (816) 257-9945
http://www.elabinc.com

2000\04\25@195421 by Brian Kraut

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O.K. everyone, he made a mistake, he was called on it, he paid for it, and he
apologized.  Now we all know all of the ins and outs of what spam is and isn't.  Can
we drop it and ge on with our lives?  Feel free to flame me OFF LIST and I will just
delete and go on to the next message.  Please don't respond to this on the list.  I
think most of us have heard enough already.

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