[linux-elitists] speaking of hunting/defeating spammers...

Ryan Waldron rew@erebor.com
Wed May 2 01:56:37 PDT 2001

On Wed, 2 May 2001, Aaron Lehmann wrote:

> On Wed, May 02, 2001 at 12:34:54AM -0700, Don Marti wrote:

> Why do spammers spam? Are they idiots or blatant sadistic misanthropes?
> Does _ANYONE_ actually read or reply serriously to spam? I can't
> imagine anyone making money from spam unless the net population is a
> few order of magnitudes dumber than I envision.

I used to wonder about this myself.  After all, it's pretty much
inviting open attack from some very clever, motivated, and net-savvy
people to get your Internet access turned off.

But after talking with some direct-mail marketing types some years
ago, when they told me what the response rates were for spam,
especially (and this makes me sick) all HTML-ed-up email, it was
staggering.  Response rates an order of magnitude (sometimes, so they
said) higher than direct-postal-mail, and for a minute fraction of the

In short, spammers spam for two reasons - they haven't learned that
their particular pitch doesn't work, and will soon quit, or they've
learned all too well that it always pays off handsomely.

And that, of course, remains the real deal - until the cost of sending
out each message is marginally higher than the expected return *per
message* (and barring gov't intervention, which is a medicine
typically much worse than the illness), it's going to continue.

Sad, but true.  I guess it's just hard to underestimate the amount of
intelligence some people will show.

Ryan Waldron    |||   http://www.erebor.com    |||    rew@erebor.com

"The web goes ever, ever on, down from the site where it began..."

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list