The Spam Experiment

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Phil Bradley's Great SPAM Experiment. How do we get spam?

I am starting a BLOG to ask for your help in getting SPAM!

Crazy right?

I got the idea originally from reading Phil Bradley's Great SPAM Experiment. How do we get spam?

I don't want to take away anything from the excellent work Phil Bradley has done on the subject of spam and where it comes from. His original article was written October 2002, and I write this now in December 2004. I think spam has changed significantly. I have actually tried to get spam using some of the same methods as used by Phil. However those methods have yielded me little results. For example I haven't see a lot of spam as a result of posting to newsgroups. I'm just not sure this is relevant any more.

So I'm asking you guys to help me out! Help me get spam!

WHY?

I'm a technical sales guy. I actually sell enterprise level spam software to major corporations, universities, and even one Governor's office.

What I am trying to do is build a large stream of spam that I can use to test the effectiveness of various anti-spam solutions.

The first step is to get SPAM. Right now I'm only getting about 100 spam messages a day. That isn't very much!

A typical corporation that I deal with is getting 3,000 spams a day. I even have some companies that get upwards of 70,000 spams a day.

I see the reviews written in some major networking magazines where they tested the software against 4,900 spam messages. Come on! That isn't a real test. That is one day of email for a 250 user company. A real review needs to be based on thousands of emails.

That is what I am trying to do.

So... Now I need your help in getting spam.

I have two domains I want to get spammed.

benfitts.com - personal email. This also helps me test false positives. This is my control email.
tuffwebhosting.com - this is used JUST for this test. The domain doesn't really do anything. I just wanted to make it look like a legitimate business so that maybe I could get a little bit more spam.

So I'd like to ask you guys to help by starting to send me some spam! Sign me up to mailing lists. When you see those unsubscribe boxes sign me up!

As an added treat... Why don't you pick your own usernames?

So lets say you are BlogBOY2004@tuffwebhosting.com and BlogBoy2004@benfitts.com. I'll post the results of which addresses are getting the most spam and you guys can track your results that way. That way when BlogBoy2004 shows up as the most spammed email address you'll know you were the best at getting SPAM!

An alternative would be to select names based on where you are signing up. So if you are signing up for a particular newsletter.... lets say the Staples office supply newsletter you might use: staples@tuffwebhosting.com. However I don't think this is as fun as we can't see how good YOU are at getting me spam.

Wow, thats enough for today. Lets see who is going to be the first to get me some spam?

- Ben Fitts
ben@benfitts.com

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