What is the use of spam?

Hi, what do you think of spam email messages? I know most of you are just annoyed by them and you simply delete those nasty spam emails. I have been doing the same ever since my email address got collected by spam bots but lately I have been thinking there must be a way of getting at least something out of all this garbage. I mean if there are people sending out spam messages 24 hours a day then there must also be other people on the receiving end who somehow react to those messages. I’m sure there have been social studies on this subject, you can examine the contents of spam to get an idea of what the Internet community is interested in.
Anyway, what are you doing about spam? How many spam messages do you receive per day? What do you do with them?

Hello Nicole,

Thanks to you, I’ve just learned a new word: bot (in fact, we are all gaining some kind of knowledge from each other on these forums, one way or the other). I’ve looked it up and it seems to have the sense of ‘parasite’. It’s still a mystery to me who makes up all these new words and how they become official!

Fortunately, not too much spam finds its way through my computer (as yet!) and it only takes some extra clicking to get rid of it, so I don’t think I’ll need to resort to poisoning, at least for a while…

Hi Conchita,

To my generation, you know the people who grew up thinking that gay meant happy and cheerful, spam referred to tinned chopped pork and it tasted horrible. Perhaps as has been suggested, it refers to the fact that you always found spam in your sandwiches, whether you wanted it or not rather like unsolicited junk electronic mail. Sandwich - now there’s a word not many people know the origin of - but that’s another story.


Funny way to describe a generation, Alan! It beats all others: the war generation, the 68 generation, the beat generation, the television generation, the flower people, the yoghurt generation… don’t sound half as picturesque, except for the last two examples maybe.

At the same time, you certainly managed to make the word ‘spam’ sound even more awful. Imagine what it must mean to those for whom pork is impure…

I’m quite sure that the contents of spam email message are analyzed for marketing purposes. After all they show consumer trends and how internet users react to certain keyword phrases. In a certain way spam messages are an indicator of a society’s values and preferences. By the way, if you think it is easy to create good spam messages you are wrong. You constantly have to come up with new phrases that trigger a response. I’m quite sure that there are only few really professional spammers out there. Those are the ones who actually make money by annoying people. But then again maybe not all recipients of spam emails are really annoyed. There probably are people who are actually glad to get spam emails because these are the only messages they get. Don’t know if this is true, though :wink: