Spam! Spam! Spam! The Evolution of The World's Most Hated Unsolicited Messages
"Spam" comes in many shapes in sizes - not just in a metal tin. Although the term spam is used for all kinds of unsolicited messages, one thing holds true: it's annoying. And "annoying" may seem a understatement for those who
receive a deluge of spam each day in their various technological devices. Let's travel back in time to see how "Spam" has evolved over the centuries. Get a life, norm.
- Pre-historic spam. 9500 B.C.. - Neolithic Age. Unsolicited cave paintings ticked off even the most patient and reasonable homo-sapiens.
- Electronic spam. 1864. Telegraph spam. With the invention of the telegraph came the opportunity for scammers to prey on wealthy Americans by sending them sketchy investment offers.
- Non-electronic spam. 1935 - Chain Letter Spam. In what is considered perhaps the earliest example of a chain letter. "Send-a-Dime" chain letter started in Denver and soon flooded post offices in Colorado and neighboring states with
hundreds of thousands of pieces of mail.
- Meaty spam. 1937. Spam - The Meat Product. Hormel presents Spam, the meat product made of pork shoulder and ham. Little did Hormel know that the mysteriously salty lunch meat would result in a never ending avalanche of
urban legends, jokes, and eventually a term that defines a wide variety of unsolicited advertisements.
- 1970: Monty Python Spam. The origin of the Internet message-related termin "spam" is coined in a Monty Python sketch about Spam, the meat product, being included in every dish on a restaurant menu.
- Internet spam. The dawning of the Internet Age brought with it myriad opportunities for schemers and scammers to mass solicit unwitting recipients. 1978. ARPANET - Spam. The first known example of modern Internet spam -
although the term did not yet apply to such unsolicited messages - occurred when an advertisement for a new Digital Equipment Corporation computer was distributed by Gary Thuerk to nearly 400 ARPANET users.
- Early 1980s - "Spam" adopted. The term "Spam", which came from the aforementioned Monty Python sketch, is finally adopted by Internet users. Ir represents unsolicited messages that are sent out in bulk for a variety of purposes,
some of which are especially nefarious.
- 1988. Electronic chain letter spam. The first electronic chain letter, entitled Make Money Fast, caught many Internet users unawareness. Many variations of this infamous letter are passed around.
- 1995 - AOL Spam. Internet service provider. America Online, sends out millions of spammy, unsolicited startup disks to homes across the country, trying to attract more users.
- Mid 1990s - Email Spam. There is a massive influx of the amount of unsolicited mail sent round the Internet, and the world will never be the same. In fact, the phenomenon will become so widespread than in 2010, spam will represent
88% to 91% of all email received.
- 200. The Spam Battle of the Millennium. The turn of the millennium saw a massive uprising against spam and spammers. Email providers integrated spam filters into their platforms and the battle between spammers and spam-hater
has been raging ever since.
- 2002. SPIM. Internet Messaging Spam. Also known as "SPIM", instant messengers began receiving a slough of spam messages from mostly pornography-related "spimmers". Didn't anyone teach them that it's rude to interrupt a
Mobile phones, Internet gaming, and social media ll present new platforms on which spammers can unload their trashy messages.
- Mobile Text Message Spam. Also known as "spaSMS", commercial mass-marketers begin spamming out SMS text messages offering all sorts of silly offers and advertisements. These methods are especially engaging to those who
have no monthly text message plan as they are charged for each text.
- Social spam. blogs and community forums have opened even more doors for annoying spammers to slip their foot into. You will often times see long strings of links to commercial sites (i.e. Canadian Pharmacy) pasted in the
comments at the bottom of the page. My, how the Canadian Pharmacy gets around the web.
- Email spam. Email spam is still as big of a problem as it has ever been. In 2009 it was estimated that spam costs businesses and individuals a global total of $130 million. Apparently those spam filters don't quite work the way they're
- Online gaming spam. This form of spam wears a variety of hats, but it unusually revolves around someone trying to sell their online goods for the real world - either person - to person or through a website.
How to not look like a spammer
Here are some best practice guidelines to follow if you are using email to advertise and inform others about your business:
- #1 do not provide deceptive header information.
- #2 Do not use misleading subject lines.
- #3 Display clearly that the email is an advertisement.
- #4 Include a valid location/postage address somewhere in the message.
- #5 Provide an opt-out option and address opt-out requests immediately.
Created by Column Five.
Sources: www.time.com | www.spam.com | www.ferris.com | www.googleblog.blogspot.com | business.ftc.gov.