by Bob Osgoodby
E-mail is an extremely important and effective means of
communication and is used by millions of people, for personal
and commercial purposes. Its convenience and efficiency is
threatened however by the rise in spam. Spam currently accounts
for over half of all e-mail traffic, and most spam is fraudulent
or deceptive in nature.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been attempting to fight
spam over the years. Unfortunately, their efforts have been
less than successful and everyone’s inbox continues to be filled
with this junk on a daily basis. In the last calendar month
alone, I received 62,028 unsolicited e-mails.
ISPs have developed filters of all kinds. Some look for
keywords, and others check for certain punctuation patterns or
word patterns. Some penalize the use of ALL CAPS, or the number
of bad addresses (bounces) which are returned as undeliverable.
Some rely on complaints from their subscribers and will blacklist
someone if a complaint is received.
The worst ISPs simply dump an e-mail without notifying either
party of their action. If I send you an important e-mail for
example, and it violates one of their filters, you will never get
it or know it was sent, and I am not notified it was not
delivered - this is totally unacceptable.
The bottom line is some ISPs are doing more harm than good.
Legitimate e-mails are not getting through in many cases.
Publishers of “opt in” newsletters and ezines are seeing their
publications summarily “trashed” by some ISPs or nodes because
they triggered a filter. I defy anyone, who publishes on a
regular basis, to produce a 3,000 word document, which is
squeaky clean and does not violate at least some of their
Many spammers harvest addresses from the web. They have software
that searches the web for keywords they specify and they build
targeted lists. Others gather addresses from Newsgroups or
Bulletin Boards. Some of your larger ISPs may be simply trying
to turn a greater profit. If they sell their address lists to
spammers, they then have “carte blanch” to send anything they
wish, but they then unmercifully dump others without notifying
either the sender or the recipient.
Think about this. I have a screen name with a major service. I
use this to check my e-mail to ensure that my newsletters are
being received by subscribers to that service. On many occasions
it never gets there. My e-mail account does however get pounded
by vile spam of all kinds, that even the most basic filters should
block. That screen name has never been used for any purpose
other than to receive e-mail. It has never appeared on the web or
been used for a Newsgroup or Bulletin Board posting. I wonder
how those spammers got my address.
The Federal Anti-Spam Bill, effective January 1, 2004, sets
requirements for commercial e-mail, including opt-out provisions
and valid postal addresses. It also prohibits misleading subject
lines or fraudulent return addresses. Violators face fines as
well as prison terms.
While there will be a maturation period, this should work. I
really don’t care if someone sends me an unsolicited e-mail as
many times I do receive something of interest. I receive ads
sent through the U.S. Postal Service every day and don’t give it
a second thought. As long as those sending unsolicited e-mail
follow the rules, it is something I can live with.
To make it work however, the ISPs have to stop filtering e-mail.
If I receive something I don’t want and can get off their mailing
list, this is perfectly acceptable to me. How dare the ISPs
presume to be the guardian of my e-mail and summarily block
something I may wish to receive.
I think the “do not spam” registry is a bad idea. It could
contain millions of e-mail addresses that would have to be
checked whenever bulk e-mail is sent and will drive valuable
publications off the web. There is a difference between bulk
mail and spam. Bulk mail is the only way a publisher can send
their publications to the thousands of people who want them.
While spammers use bulk mail, the difference is in the content
and not the method.
Critics complain that the law sets requirements that, if met,
will grant marketers protection as having sent "legal" spam.
So what! I know it will take some time to iron out all the
wrinkles in this, but when they do, we will have a far better
Internet. This will ultimately give control back to the end
user – you and me, the consumers – to determine what we want
to receive, and not some faulty filter designed to “protect us”.
The ISPs can play a critical role in the success or failure of
this legislation. If they continue on their current path, it is
doomed to failure. They must not summarily block any e-mails. If
this federal legislation works, and I think it will, the spam
will stop as the violators will face significant civil and
How can you help? Let your ISP know how you feel. If they are
not responsive to this problem, and continue on their current
track, vote with your dollars and switch to one that is. If the
ISPs approach this properly, we will have a solid Internet f or
personal and business use, and valuable e-mail will not be lost.
If they don’t, they will be doing more harm than good.
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10 Universal Principles of Success
by Dr Kem Thompson
Success is not something that only a chosen few can achieve.
Everyone can be successful in every area of his or her life.
You just need to know how to do things in such a way as to make
sure you succeed every time. Success comes as a result of forming
certain habits, and continuing in them. Consistency is key.
To succeed, you need to be a certain type of person. Dont be
discouraged if you are not yet that type of person. With
practice, anyone can become a successful person.
The successful person thinks in a certain way, talks in a certain
way, and acts in a certain way.
The list below briefly outlines 10 of those ways (and a bonus tip!).
Anyone who consistently applies these principles to any area of
their life *will* experience success in that area.
1. Vision: Have a clear picture of what exactly it is you
want to achieve or become. Keep this picture at the top of your
mind at all times. Doing something you want to do, because you
want to do it, will motivate you to succeed at it.
Start with the end in mind.
2. Belief: Believe without a shadow of a doubt that you
can do it. Believe that you will succeed. Believe in a Higher Power
(God),who is helping you get what you want. Stay away from negative
influences (people, books/articles, anything negative), which make
you doubt your ability to succeed. Surround yourself with things
that remind you that you can, and will, succeed.
3. Responsibility: Realize that you alone are responsible
for your future. You alone are responsible for the outcome of your
efforts. Dont look for anyone to blame. Feel free to ask for
help as you need it, but remember the final decision is up to
you. Its your life, after all.
4. Affirm: Make a habit of saying out loud what you hope
to achieve. Speak of it in the present tense, e.g., I am fit and
trim, as opposed to I will be fit and trim. If you feel
speaking out loud to yourself, write down the affirmation. Then look
at it (or better still, rewrite it) several times each day.
This helps your mind stay focused on the goal. It also builds
your self-belief and confidence.
5. Commitment: Make a firm commitment to take appropriate action.
Decide to take whatever steps you need to take to help you
achieve your goals. Then honour the commitment you've made. Too often
we find it easy to keep our commitments to others while neglecting
to keep our commitments to ourselves. This pattern has to change if
you're to succeed in life. You do matter, you know:)
6. Set a SMART goal: Now that you know what you want to
achieve or become, you need to define it by making it a goal.
Your goal has to be Specific, Measurable (you need a standard to
help you know when youve achieved it) and Motivational (its
to inspire you and keep you motivated), Attainable and Attractive,
Realistic (no point setting an unrealistic goal such as I want to
a millionaire this evening) and Timed (State when you hope to
7. Plan and Take Action: Work out a plan of action. Break down
plan into baby steps. Take a step or two each day, reminding yourself
that each step is bringing you closer to your goal. Perform each act to
the best of your ability, filled with faith, determination and purpose
to reach your goal. Most importantly, be consistent.
8. Persistence: Do not give up until you have achieved what you
desire. In the course of things, be willing to change any part of your
plan which turns out not to work, and try something else. Thomas Edison
did not give up in his quest to invent the light bulb, even though hed
failed 10,000 times. Now thats persistence! See every
failure as a
stepping-stone to success and as a temporary set back. Learn from it and
push on towards your goal. The only time you really fail is when you
give up, so keep at it, you'll eventually get there.
9. Gratitude: Maintain an attitude of gratitude, knowing that your
dream is about to become a reality. Refuse to grumble when circumstances
look contrary. Refuse to complain. Be grateful for where you are now,
and for where you are headed. Look around for things to be grateful for.
Youll be surprised to find quite a few. Look for the good in every
circumstance and think of what you can learn from adverse ones.Be
thankful for the lessons you're learning in life.
10. Become a giver. In your relationships, always think in terms
what you can do for the other person. What goes round comes round.
After all, whatever dreams you have most likely involve interacting with
other people. Be kind and generous to all; you never know where your
breakthrough will come from.
Bonus Principle. Be in the know: Find out everything you can
about your situation/goal. Read books, listen to tapes, and talk to
experts, whatever it takes. This will help you make wise decisions and
keep you confident as you go along.
So there you have it. I have given you a summary of principles which,
if you apply consistently, WILL guarantee you success in any endeavour.
Don't just take my word for it, though. Prove it yourself by actually
applying it to your life situation. Go through the wheel of life,
(grab a copy here: www.daysofsuccess.com/wol.pdf),
select an area of your life you want to work on, and then begin to
apply the above principles diligently to it. You WILL see results, and
I'd be happy to hear about them so do email me and share your success
Knowledge is not powerful until you act on what you know.
Think about that. Better yet, act on it! You'll be glad you did.
Dr Kem Thompson
is a Personal and Business Success Coach. She teaches
individuals and groups how to achieve success using the Universal
Principles of Success.
Subscribe to her FR*EE newsletter, 'Days of Success!' and receive
a thank-you gift by filling in the form here:
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