Thanks for the response sardion. I checked out RentACoder--looks neat, some of the jobs they have on there are right up my alley too. Unfortunately,
they seem to be having technical difficulties right now; the registration page (among a few others) won't load.
I'm trying my luck with a more localized job search site, nwjobs.com (I live in WA) as opposed to careerbuilder or monster for now. I will probably
go along with those later today or tomorrow; they've just never helped much the other times I've used them.
I have applied at several firms in Seattle that I found that actually don't require a degree, and we'll see how that goes. Unfortunately, getting
one of those may be kinda bittersweet--it's a 90+ mile one-way commute and my car scares me just going a few blocks over to Wal-Mart.
I do plan on getting back into school as soon as I can. Unfortunately though, I'm not even in a position to take out a loan at the moment. My
credit sucks, so a straight personal loan is out of the question (and I'm renting, so can't even go with a refi); I also owe my previous school in
Texas quite a bit of cash, which is preventing me from getting federal aid. I've tried looking into scholarships, but I have a bad habit of looking
at the wrong time of year, when all the ones I might be able to get are either months away from closing or just closed. By the time it comes around
again, I've completely forgotten about them and have moved on to other worries.
As for being so obscure last night, I figure that if I am going to get any further advice, I might do better to give some more details. I've had a
couple of hours of sleep since then, so it doesn't seem quite as bad as it did then.
Basically, I send spam on a daily basis. It isn't the standard Viagra or Home Refinance emails, and I'd be pretty surprised if there were a single
member or regular viewer of ATS who receives any of the emails I've ever sent. I aim at a highly targeted market in a specific metropolitan area.
The content of the mailings is also quite informative, more of a newsletter than "click me and buy my services."
We're also pretty good about handling any remove requests as well; it isn't completely automated, so every once in a while we may goof on that, but
it isn't from just wanting to keep that extra lead.
Based on the content of the mailings and how we've handled ourselves in dealing with removes, I have no ethical problems with it at all. Where I
have a problem with is how we obtain the addresses, and that's also where my skills as a developer have been mostly used.
There are several industry websites pertaining to our target market that contain the vast majority of our potential clientele's contact information.
I've developed software to rip the email addresses off of these, and if it were for any other use I'd be quite proud of the work involved--probably
even try and sell them for a couple of bucks.
This causes me only mild ethical problems--we don't have an opt-in subscription, so we are sending these out to people who may not want them. But at
worst the receiver wastes five-seconds of their day clicking reply and typing "Remove" in the subject line. Not the greatest scenario, but not the
I started to get scared when I found this
one day while surfing the web. It's a link to
project honey pot, a project dedicated to stopping spammers. The page I linked to has excerpts from the CAN-SPAM act fo 2003, dealing explicitly with
email address harvesting--basically, what I do on a daily basis. If I'm interpreting correctly, there's a potential fine there of up to $75 per
email sent; even on a "slow" day, that's still more than I make in a month.
And, to top it off, my personal computer's IP is already on a couple of email blacklists for this stuff. I know that's pretty irrelevant unless I
ever want to set up a server of my own, but it's just one more nuisance this caused.
I know I very well could be shooting myself in the foot here by talking about this this publicly, but it's starting to bug me a little bit too much
to just sit by and blow it off any further.
Thanks again sardion
Edit to add: rentacoder is back up now...I'm going to be trying my luck there.
[edit on 12/27/2006 by MCory1]