More credit card offers...from Miami University?

Sound the rant alert. I've written here before about how much I don't like getting credit card offers in the mail, but I've learned to deal with it. Or, I thought I had. Then came the onslaught of offers from the Miami University Alumni Association for a card branded by Miami - "support us and save with our low introductory rate!" Groan. One of those mailings I could have dealt with...but I've gotten four identical offers in the last two months alone - and I didn't even attend Miami. So, that means that not only does Miami (and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the organization they're working with to make this offer) not observe the national "do not contact" lists I've subscribed to, but that unless they are *trying* to tick people off, their mailing list management also stinks. Apparently they have some data privacy issues to work through, too.
Continue reading More credit card offers...from Miami University?

Weblog Converted to WordPress

I've moved this weblog to use WordPress, instead of Movable Type. While I found Movable Type generally agreeable, WordPress has become a favorite as I've used it with the Summersault Weblog, especially in its handling of comment and trackback spam which, other than writing posts themselves, had become the most time-consuming part of having a weblog - not good. So, I'm still ironing out a few glitches from the transition, but otherwise it should be business as usual with a more consistent look thrown in; let me know if you notice any problems.

Stopping Credit Card Offers

I had come to accept that possessing and using a credit card necessitated the related evil of receiving pre-approved credit card offers, and similar junk like insurance quotes. But just today I read the fine print on the back of one of these offers, and found reference to a new service that allows you to opt out (permanently, or for five years) of the databases used by the major credit card companies to generate these offers. You can either go to www.optoutprescreen.com, or just call 1-888-5-OPTOUT. It's worth noting that you can also call 1-888-LOST-NUT or 1-888-LOST-OUT to reach the same service.

I will have only you with love forever

Spam of the day:

From: peters mikel <petersmikel@yahoo.ca>
To: chris@summersault.com
Subject: my good friend reply me quick.

I am very happy to write you email, i hope you are in good condition of health. as for me iam fine. my name is mike chris am living in spain i want you to been my good friend. please, I dont have any friend, i will have only you with love forever. i want a good relationship that will develop forever . email here my tele number 34606367081 call me i hope to hear from you god bless you Amen.
Thanks
mike chris.

Fighting Spam

Today I had a speaking engagement on combating unsolicited junkmail (spam). It was one of my first opportunities to speak about this topic to a public audience, and I was glad for the chance to share all of the knowledge I've accumulated about what is increasingly the bane of the Internet. A lot of people seem to be content to hit the delete key as they sort through their e-mail, but I think many are realizing that this approach doesn't "scale" well -- insert here numerous statistics about how much it costs and will cost in lost productivity, abused resources, deaths of baby seals, etc. The participants in my seminar were thirsty for details about the phenomenon and how to make it go away. I think the complexity of the issue can be surprising to some, so end-user education is one of the best things one can do to address the problem.

Any way you look at it, spam sucks, and it's not going away. As it becomes more of a problem, folks will look for better solutions, and I'm glad that I'm involved in that effort.