How not to establish your business

Got mail today from an address I didn’t recognize with the subject “Wedding Photos”. We’re planning a wedding so I figured it might be something relevant, especially since it was a big (4MB) message.


Some local startup wedding photographers decided the best way to get business would be to scrape the addresses of local people getting married off of a wedding forum and then send them email. Well, not really scrape, because the address they’re sending to isn’t one that Candice uses on those forums. As best as we can tell, they searched the forums for people in Ottawa, followed the links in their profiles back to their websites, and then collected the email addresses from those. And listed them in the To: field, from which it seems that they sent mail to about half a dozen people total.

They don’t stop at email, either; take a look at the last couple weeks’ worth of posts to the wedding forums. There’s nothing like a dozen “bump” posts to make sure that forum moderators eventually realize that you’re just here to spam, folks. Good plan.

In any case the end result has been spam complaints to their ISP. Since they’re using an email account at their ISP instead of in their own domain, this might prove inconvenient. They don’t have a website, either, just a gallery on Photobucket that’s over its bandwidth limit already, so their Google presence just shows their forum posts. For now, at least, because shortly people will be able to find this post, and learn how Absolute Detail Photography in Ottawa are spammers.

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