Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005
I've just discovered something amazing. The Roundup, my bi-weekly ezine, has a love life! As a matter of fact, it appears to be doing much better than I am in that respect. You see, The Roundup regularly receives email messages sent to its subscription address. The last one started, "Hi, It's been awhile since we talked. I'm wondering if you've been thinking about our last conversation…."
Oh, Roundup, you little devil you! Have you been sneaking around behind my back with other ezines?
It's not just The Roundup that I have to worry about. I also have a number of autoresponders that I use. In case anyone doesn't understand the term "autoresponder," it's an automated email address. When you send a blank email to an autoresponder, the technology automatically sends you a pre-written message. I use autoresponders on my web site to give visitors samples of my freely distributed articles. Well, danged if my autoresponders aren't carrying on illicit affairs behind my back as well. One of them is apparently involved with the same sender whose wanton behavior with The Roundup is causing me so much concern. This autoresponder receives the identical email message about remembering previous conversations. Jeesh, I could have a major war on my hands if this keeps up. All I need is for the Roundup to find out about the autoresponder, and then what?
Oh, wait! A new turn of events! The Roundup just received an email with "Get Your Share of E-Z Money" in the subject line. This oughtta give it a competitive edge. As far as I know, the autoresponder is stone, cold broke. It'll be no match for the soon-to-be stinking rich Roundup.
Speaking of autoresponders, another one of mine -- and I am embarrassed about this -- has apparently been inviting communication with Heather, a gorgeous 19 year old who has to take nude pictures of herself to pay her college tuition. Well, Heather, I want you to understand something. My autoresponder does not have its own credit card. 'Nuff said? But you might try The Roundup. It'll soon be making lots of E-Z Money!
But this email intrigue continues. A new message just came in addressed to "Undisclosed Recipients." The subject says "Hello, how have you been?33, " and the body asks whether Undisclosed Recipient is drowning in Credit Card Debt. Hmmm! I wonder where I should forward this. The Roundup won't need it, what with all this E-Z money soon to be coming in, so maybe I'll send it to that frisky autoresponder. Perhaps when it gets rid of its existing credit card debt, it can get a charge card and help Heather get her education. I'm sure it'll be only two or three seconds before I receive another email offering sure-fire guarantees around getting a credit card. That'll come in handy for Heather and Auto.
But wait! This is the last straw! Now my web site is sabotaging me behind my back. Now as far as I know, and I do know because I designed the site, it contains a number of resources for business people and entrepreneurs. But what's this? I now have an email from a sender "who has just visited my site and thinks I would be interested in hearing more about an opportunity involving horses." Horses? Is my web site self-generating equine-related content at night when I sleep? Does it have a dual-personality? This opens up possibilities for a catchy new logo: "Business by day. At night -- oats and hay!"
Such is the allure of my technology's secret life. But this does answer one question for me. Now I realize that spammers are actually targeting ezines, autoresponders, and web sites. It makes a lot of sense. After all, no actual person would ever fall for this stuff.
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