Aug 29 2004

Let the Gspam begin

So after months of zero spam to my Gmail account, I’ve received 33 spam emails in the last 4 days. Not a deluge, but surprising nonetheless. The Gmail spam filter cause 31 of those, a 94% success rate!

I wonder if it’s related to using that account to sign up at recently?


Aug 29 2004

For Fun Raising

I was lookign threough old photos today, and this has to one of my favorites. it cracks me up every time I see it. The unintended comic genius is not only layered, but compunded by the fact that this was posted in a laundromat in St. Louis Park in 2003. Hilarious.

Side note: When I finally sold my Sega Genesis (with SegaCD!) a few months ago, I got a whopping $16. It was worth every penny to be rid of that beastly thing 😉
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Aug 28 2004

Christian Spammer preying on Ministries?

I got some more Christian spam today. The unsubscribe page looked eerily familiar. The layout/text was exactly the same as before but it was totally different ministry. I think there’s a Christian marketing company offering it’s tainted list to ministries…

This latest one was from World Relief. I don’t think WR knew they were spamming, and believed the marketing companies assertions that it was totally legal.

Which, under the CAN-SPAM act, it kind of is. You see they give you a clear unsubscribe choice, but… here’s the kicker… you’re only unsubscribed from that ministries copy of the list. Not the actual master list. The master list seems to stay intact, only to be sold to another ministry, from which you must unsubscribe.

The thing is, it’s not ethical. Just because I have my email posted on my church web site does not give you, or anyone else the right to email me marketing emails. You may be asking for donations, or letting me know about an important ministry opportunity, but it’s still marketing.

I’m going to try to track down the offending company and give them an earful. I’ve already sent emails to the two ministry victims encouraging them to talk to the vendor and, if the vendor doesn’t listen, take their business elsewhere.

UPDATE: My email response to the Day of Hope email bounced- the mailbox was full. More interesting was the mail server that responded: MAIL.ONCOREGROUP.COM. Oncore Group Services seems to be behind the Day of Hope site, and was behind the other site that spammed me… hmmm… coincidence? I think not. Perhaps I need to have a little email conversation with OnCore… but wait! They don’t have a contact email on their web site. I guess I’ll have to call a web marketing firm to contact them. Yeah, that makes sense.

UPDATE: My buddy Kevin hooked me up with a contact at OnCore. They are a class act. The missing email was a mistake that’s been corrected. They removed all my emails from the master list and told me the source of the bad list: They were told it was an opt-in list. Apparently you can afford them… because they are full of stolen addresses. Ugh.

The response from OnCore had a great line:
Rest assured that we do not wish to be “like the world” in any of our efforts to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Amen to that.

If you’ve received an email from a ministry whose unsubscribe page looked like the picture below, please forward it to me (info at nickciske dot com) so I can compile a list of affected ministries.
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Aug 27 2004

Instant eMail Scramble

This is highway robbery! Not only do they use a fallible method to hide your address, there are better free options out there. $34.95? You gotta be kidding me! I pity the fool who has fallen for their marketing jive.

I’d link to them, but they don’t deserve the page rank…

Aug 27 2004

Tolstoy on Christ’s teachings

“There are many reasons for the failure to comprehend Christ’s teaching…but the chief cause which has engendered all these misconceptions is this: that Christ’s teaching is considered to be such as can be accepted, or not accepted, without changing one’s life.”
– Leo Tolstoy

Aug 27 2004

Photo Friday: Modern

Taken at IKEA Minneapolis.
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