Thursday, October 16, 2008


We all know what spam is, and we've all received some. But is there a term for semi-spam, an unwanted piece of e-mail that has at least a small justification for being sent?

Back in April, I wrote a post about one of the Democratic debates in which I referred to an excerpt from a sports book. I took issue with one of the statements in the excerpt, but I was generally positive about the book based on what I had read.

So a day or two ago, I receive an e-mail from a PR firm which says (appropriately edited so as not to give any more publicity to this book):

Dear blogger--

I'd like to thank you on behalf of [the author] for helping spread the word about his book on your blog. If you find the time, we'd greatly appreciate any more words you could post for your readers to remind or encourage them to read this book.

Thanks for any and everything you can do.

All best,

This isn't exactly spam, I suppose, since I did write something about this book. It does share some characteristics with spam, in that it is unwanted, and almost certainly comes from an automated process. But semi-spam doesn't seem like a clever enough term; maybe I should put Barbara Wallraff on it.

I did respond to the flack:
Offer to send me a copy, and I'll be happy to review it on my blog.

I'll let you know when I hear something.

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