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A Rose By Any Other Name. . .Is Just Email

October 3, 2017

I’m an old IT guy. That means that YES, I know what all the commands are that you can use in that C:\ black box. And I use eMail. I use it a lot. Most social media apps have private messaging that encrouch on eMail. I have an msn.com address, a hotmail.com address. Several gmail.com addresses, Facebook’s private messaging, a Twitter account, and a LinkedIn! account that has email. That doesn’t even count my corporate email.

My early career was as an email expert. I wrote training materials for Microsoft and WordPerfect. I even wrote a book, Microsoft Exchange Connectivity Guide. Email was pretty much waht I did. Which is why I hated SPAM. SPAM is unsolicited email. Today, much of it is caught by email firewalls. And the CANSPAM act required that SPAM include an opt out link. But, SPAM itself is a blight on the world. There’s no place for it.

Or so I thought.

I actually have two work emails. They point to the same mailbox, but one address is rbliss the other is rodney.bliss. I picked the rbliss name, the company assigned me rodney.bliss. I never use it for anything. I’ve never once typed it into any web form. I’ve never given it to anyone as my email address.

It recently started to get SPAM. The SPAM is mildly sophisticated. It sends me what it thinks are interesting advertisements for conferences. I delete them without clicking UNSUBSCRIBE. The SPAMMERS “scraped” the email address from a message, or they simply guessed that the address at my company is (firstname).(lastname). Like I said, I hate it.

But, then, I got an unsolicitated email and thought, “That looks interesting.”

The email came to my LinkedIn! email. I had to ask myself why I was okay getting SPAM in my LinkedIn! account, but not my corporate mailbox?

Context.

LinkedIn! is a bunch of business folks exchanging electronic businessness cards. And if I went to a conference and someone approached me and offered their card and a sale pitch, I would listen. I might not buy, but I’d listen and think nothing of it. But, if that same person were to show up at my house? “I’m sorry, we’re not interested. Take us off your list!”

On Facebook, for example, occasionally, I’ll get unsolicited messages. Maybe it’s an old high school buddy wanting to reconnect. maybe it’s a friend of a friend. The point is that I don’t see a problem with it. And yet, if I got a random “request” to my msn.com account, I’d be suspicious.

Each platform has it’s own specific language. LinkedIn! is business. Facebook is social. Twitter and Instagram are celebrity. If you hold the conversation in the right venue, you can get more interest where in the wrong venue, you will get shut down. I thought over my various messaging apps and addresses while writing this and then thought of the one I forgot.

Oh, and I have WordPress private messages, of course.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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