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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Are you in the habit of refreshing computer screen and have you heard of ‘bacn’ ?

Net addicts have this habit – when they get up late night, instead of going to the rest room, they plug on to their computers to check for new e-mails.  Many are in the habit of continuously refreshing the screen to check for a new e-mail.  The tinkle sound of receipt of a new e-mail could be most wanted as also the most boring one ‘oh not another now !’ – even as you rush instantaneously to see what it was – it all depends more on the sender and sometimes the subject.  We all receive and send many e-mails daily.  Perhaps users of e-mail themselves are old timers as modern day youngsters prefer twitter and other social networking sites such Orkut, Facebook and many other forums. 

We have moved far ahead of the days when the postman came calling – for those who experienced, it was a nicer experience – a feeling that you had somebody to care for you on earth.  The festival seasons would abuzz with greeting cards being sent to ‘near and dear’ – nice ones conveying warmth and love and most importantly the handwritten words and signature of the sender  .. all that is lost when you send a group mail.

Many are in the habit of forwarding and subscribing to chain mails. Sometimes they share things which are nasty and not so good, sometimes there is suggestion that mail is to be shared with a group of more than ….  and that such sending would bring prosperity and money to the sender…. Why would one believe in all this !

Sure you have heard of ‘spam’  - it could be unsolicited commercial e-mail. Junk e mail or otherwise e-mail spam is unsolicited bulk email (UBE] – sending nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by e-mail.  Not to confuse this, with the intentional sending of mails to a large group of people.  Generally, when you keep in touch with a large group of known persons,  and when you are to convey something identical to all of them, you send them the contents in e-mail listing all your recipients and grouping them together.  For practical reasons, you might think of masking your group so that each recipient would feel private and not in group of unknown – you might mark your recipients in bcc – this is not spam, as long as your recipients are known to you and perhaps want to receive your communication also.  

Now a new word has been introduced to describe an e-mail that is not spam and is not personal either……… it is bacn.  Bacn – intentionally one-vowel short buzzword is defined as : Email you receive that isn't spam... And isn't personal mail. It's the middle class of email. It's notifications of a new post to your Facebook wall or a new follower on Twitter. It's the Google alert for your name and the newsletter from your favorite company.

Whether the addition of a new word is going to alter anything is not worthwhile discussing, but it remains a fact that such communications are inundating most users.  It would also include lots of e mails that you receive from sites / groups that you intentionally subscribe and therefore is sent to you on request – but often is not read by the recipient for a long period of time, if at all. Bacn has been described as "email you want but not right now”.  By nature it is different from spam as it is received upon recipient signing up and need not necessarily be a bulk mail.  These could be news alerts, periodic messages, wiki watch lists and messages from social net working sites.  The word ‘bacn’ reportedly was coined at Pittsburgh in 2007 and is quite popular amidst blogging community.  

In e-mail parlance,  Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While you would have faced e-mail spam, there exists other forms such as  : instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social networking spam, television advertising and file sharing network spam.  Spamming is resorted to as the Advertisers have no operating costs and they are not accountable for such mass mails.  It is close to the disturbing telecalls that one gets on one’s mobile.  Spamming has been the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions.

Technology also brings about minor irritants in its wake…..

Regards – S. Sampathkumar


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