The spam/not-spam issue is a continuum. At one end is the strictest form of double opt-in. Registrants thoroughly understands what type of information they'll receive, from whom, and how often before they provided their e-mail addresses. The company sending the e-mail sticks to what it promised. This is the area just about anyone would agree is not spam.

At the other end of the spectrum, the sender harvests e-mail addresses off Web sites and discussion lists, performs dictionary attacks (define), or even steals e-mail addresses. Then, he uses an open relay to blast the e-mail, using an innocent person's or organization's e-mail address in the sender line. The content? A pitch for Viagra or some other physical-enhancement drug, or maybe pornography. This is the really nasty stuff. If you ask most people, they'd call it spam.

What about the area in between? Where does your organization fall?

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