Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not represented as fact|
The Spammer Who Doesn't Condone Spammming
29 October 2001 Edition|
When the news broke last week that Asia Online had been placed into liquidation
it was only a matter of time before the vultures began circling in an attempt
to swoop in and grab a mouthful of the remaining value.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
Take this email
sent from Philip Hunt of StrongNet to those who are using Asia Online as a
web-hosting company or who for who the company offers authoritative nameserver
Is it commercial in nature? YES
Was it unsolicited? YES
Was it sent by email? YES
Which obviously means it is Unsolicited Commercial Email or, if we use the
common vernacular -- spam.
I contacted the writer of the email, Philip Hunt from
and he confirmed that he had indeed sent out the email in an attempt
to pick up some extra business.
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When I asked him whether he considered the emailing to be spam he replied
that "it's fairly specific to customers of Asia Online" and that it wasn't
the same as the completely untargeted spam that comes from the USA.
I asked if he would be happy for those who have websites hosted by his company
to also engage in spamming as a method of promoting their products or
"We don't condone spamming" I was told.
"So you'd be happy if a competitor of yours decided to spam those people who
host with you with an offer for their services?" I asked.
I was told that "this was a different situation because Asia Online
had already announced its liquidation."
However, the situation perhaps isn't all that different and trying to grab
business from Asia Online by spamming its customers is still
going to reduce shareholder's value
In the case of Asia Online, the loss of this business (as opposed to the sale
of it) could also mean a reduced sale-price for the business, the loss of
jobs and possibly even a reduced creditor payout if it all turns to custard.
Philip seems to remain unrepentant for his spamming. Despite saying "perhaps
we shouldn't have done it" he says it was the first time that StrongNet has
used spam as a marketing tool and that he has indeed picked up business
from Asia Online customers as a result.
And just how did he get ahold of the information that determined who
was hosted at Asia Online?
Well he claims that he simply performed a Zone Transfer from the old
nameserver at ns99.waikato.ac.nz before the ability to do such things
What do you think -- is spamming the customers of a liquidated competitor
a decent or ethical way to drum up business?
Has StrongNet done themselves any favours through this breach of Netiquette?
Please call me on 021 143 8343
Have you received an email or two with this message in the subject line?
Tomorrow I'll try to unravel exactly why this spam has been arriving in
mailboxes around the countryside and what it all means.
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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