Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
Maybe it's a symptom of tofu poisoning, or perhaps just the combination
of winter weather and open-toed sandals dulling their senses -- but the Green
Party is about to make a giant gaffe when it comes to using the Internet as a
political lobbying platform.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
According to IDG (see headlines below), the party plans to revamp its
website and include
what amounts to a "spam the editor" form.
Apparently, visitors to the site will be able to type up an email and
automatically have it distributed to the editor of goodness knows how
many publications all around the country.
Now, given that Green MPs (assuming there will be some after July) are
paid handsomely for their services, I consider that this email will be
of a commercial nature.
Also, given that no editor I know of has requested that their address
be included in this list, I consider such email to be unsolicited.
And, since it's email that's being sent to many recipients in a single
shot, it's also a bulk mailing.
So let's see -- bulk, unsolicited, commercial, email. By jingos -- isn't that
the common definition of SPAM?
I'm sure the Greens will disagree; but then again, don't most spammers usually
include a similarly worthless disclaimer in their dross? "This is not spam,
you are receiving this email because you have previously expressed an interest
in...." or "This email complies fully with the proposed bill....". You know
the sort of thing.
Sorry guys -- if it looks like spam, tastes like spam and smells like spam,
then no matter how much you protest -- it's spam and should be treated as such.
So what can be done to knock this type of stupid behaviour on the head?
Well I urge any editor who starts receiving these bulk emailings to do what
you'd do with any spam -- report it to the sender's ISP and ask that they
enforce the terms of service associated with that account.
I would also suggest that the hosting company (which appears to be Orcon)
be asked to shut down the site as a spam-source.
Certainly if one of these spams arrives in my mailbox that's exactly what
I'll be doing.
Do the Greens realise just how much damage their really stupid idea will
do if just 1000 supporters a day decide to take advantage of this service?
Do they really think that editors have nothing better to do with their time?
But wait -- it gets worse!
What's to stop entrepreneurial types from taking advantage of this service
to distribute their press releases to all those editors?
What's to stop supporters of other political parties from taking advantage
of this service to voice anti-green opinions to all those editors?
Sorry folks -- such a service would be a bomb with a very short fuse and if the Greens
were to go ahead and implement it then they'd surely be doing nothing but
illustrating that they're far from ready to have any say in the running of
Do the Greens really think that their supporters are so stupid or lazy that
they can't work out how to send an email to the editor of their local paper
all by themselves? How insulting!
Now, before you all say that my opinions spring from political bias -- I have
to say that I was actually planning to vote Green this election.
Okay, so it's more a protest vote than a genuine desire to see them hold the
balance of power -- but I'm certainly not pushing the boat of any other
Unfortunately, this little plan by the Greens has showed me just how unready
they are for coping with even the most trivial level of responsibility -- so
I guess I'll have to go back and rethink my voting strategy.
What's Going On Here?
You're probably asking -- what's going on? Why is Aardvark Daily being
published this morning after I told you all that it was going to disappear?
Well the number of people who said they'd be prepared to subscribe eventually
reached just over 100. At $50/year that's still a long way short of coming
even close to offsetting the costs involved and isn't really an option -- but
a sponsor has come out of the woodwork and made an offer that looks as if
it will keep Aardvark alive.
Sponsorship has always been my preferred option -- since it keeps the column
free for everyone while ensuring its continued publication without quite
so much of a fiscal loss.
An announcement should be made in the next day or two about who the white
knight is and what it means to readers.
Have Your Say
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