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  • Pull Technology Takes Your Ezine Off of the Spam Wars Battlefield
    Copyright 2003, Bill Platt

    I have been writing about the Spam Wars for more than two years 
    now. Once, I had even predicted that the Spam Wars could lead 
    to the death of email marketing. I hate being so negative, but 
    the trends have shown many members of that anti-spam community 
    to be blind to justice. 
    With the widespread implementations of blacklisting and 
    filtering, the chances of an ezine of reaching its intended 
    recipients is greatly dimished. 
    The person who has subscribed to an ezine very likely requested 
    the subscription themselves, and in most cases, they verified 
    their intent to receive the publication (double opt-in). 
    It is a fact that a person could verify his intent to subscribe 
    to a publication two dozen times, and still the ezine they had 
    subscribed to could be blocked from ever reaching their mailbox. 
    That is the nature of blacklisting and spam filtering --- 
    neither one cares if a person has requested to receive an 
    email or if a current relationship exists between the sender 
    and recipient. Both the blacklister and the spam filter will 
    arbitrarily block a message from reaching its intended recipient 
    based on a certain criteria defined by some system administrator 
    sitting behind a keyboard somwhere else on the planet.
    In this spam nasty environment, there are the spammers on one 
    side of the isle, and the anti-spammers on the other side of 
    the isle. Stuck in the middle are the ezine publishers who 
    abide by all rules and guidelines for proper email publishing. 
    Some anti-spammers deliberately target ezines because the ezine 
    publishers represent commercial interests. 
    Some people even use the anti-spam hysteria to settle personal 
    beefs with others and also to attack those with whom they disagree.
    Please note the adjective in use here, "some." This is an 
    important distinction as others in the anti-spam community are 
    folks like you and I, who are simply frustated with the level 
    of email aimed to our mailboxes for the purpose of selling us 
    access to p*rn or body enhancement products. 
    There is no doubt as to the existence of a problem each time 
    I open my email software. Yet, it has always been my argument 
    that some of the spam solutions are worse than the spam 
    situation they seek to solve. 
    A solution is not a good solution if it "throws the baby out 
    with the bath water." Some in the anti-spam community believe 
    that it is okay to sacrifice tens of thousand babies in order 
    to empty a couple tubs of water. 
    My answer, "two wrong's don't make a right."
    Other commercial enterprises have arisen that purport to be 
    possible solutions to the spam problem. 
    Whitelisting is a fairly recent entrant into the anti-spam 
    enterprises. And yet, other anti-spammers think that even the 
    whitelisting companies are an evil to be squashed. Of course, 
    their reasons for despising the whitelisting companies are 
    different from mine. 
    The anti-spammers who hate whitelisting generally hate it 
    because corporations and others with deep pockets are being 
    permitted to buy a pass to send unsolicited commercial email. 
    I am a person who is publishes an ezine and I offers support 
    services to other ezine publishers. The people with whom I 
    work are those who are publishing their ezines the right way, 
    by making sure that all of their subscribers are double opt-in 
    I find paid whitelisting offensive because the publishers who 
    are using double and triple opt-in are being told that the 
    only way they can assure delivery of their ezine is to pay some 
    third-party company an extortion fee to get their ezines to the 
    people who have subscribed to their publication. This applies 
    not only to people who offer free ezines --- it also applies 
    to publishers who offer paid subscription ezines. 
    You would think that if a subscriber has paid to receive the 
    ezine, then that should indicate a serious intent by the 
    subscriber to receive the publication in question.
    Some are making a ton of money in the attempt to limit spam 
    email. Yet many of their systems are so flawed that requested 
    ezines cannot reach their intended recipients, paid subscribers 
    cannot get the email they have paid to receive, and worse, 
    people who have an existing business relationship don't always 
    get their communications through to their business contacts 
    --- sometimes ending up angry customers and in lost business.
    Some of the blind to justice anti-spammers will read this and 
    snicker, "Darn shame." What does that say about them?
    Although "some" anti-spammers have tried to twist the 
    perception of my Spam Wars commentaries into a pro-spam 
    ideology, they have never been right in doing so. I do not 
    support spam, and I find the hundreds of p*rn advertisements 
    to be something I do not want in my email box. I also do not 
    want to learn how I can grow my phallic unit or my breasts to 
    unnatural sizes.
    Instead, my argument has always been that there absolutely has 
    to be a better way to stop spam. I think highly upon the skills 
    of the programmers who have brought us this wonderful world of 
    the Internet. I just wish someone could come up with a better 
    solution to combat spam --- a solution that does not penalize 
    those who run their commercial online enterprises with the 
    highest integrity. 
    After all of these years, someone has granted to me my wish. 
    Would you be at all surprised if I told you that for the first 
    time in years, I am very excited about ezine publishing again? 
    Someone has brought a number of existing technologies into an 
    umbrella operation which uses "pull technology" rather than 
    "push technology."
    Email is a "push technology".
    Quikonnex is a "pull technology." 
    Through the Quikonnex system, you can subscribe to certain 
    "channels", kind of like channels on your television. 
    "Channeling" (pull technology) allows the subscriber to 
    receive materials in straight text, full html, voice, video, 
    or interactive media. 
    Subscribers are notified directly --- desktop to desktop --- 
    when new materials are ready. Notification comes through the 
    Awasu software, which is an RSS reader, and utilizes a 
    technology very similar to the Yahoo! or AOL IM. 
    Within the Quikonnex system, subscribers do not pay to use the 
    software or to receive information. Publishers do pay to use 
    the service, but compared to other distribution systems, the 
    cost to operate up to 100 channels is dirt cheap at $19.95 per 
    month, and it is all spam-free. 
    Learn more about the Quikonnex publishing system:

    Bill Platt owns http://thePhantomWriters.com . Do you need free content for your website or ezine? Our archives deliver more than 350 free-reprint articles available for your use. http://content.thePhantomWriters.com . Do you write your own articles? Let us distribute them for you to our network of 6000+ publishers & webmasters http://thePhantomWriters.com/distribution

    This article was originally written: November, 2003

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