The History of Email and Email Design

44 years ago, Raymond Tomlinson was working on ARPANET (the U.S. Government’s precursor to the publicly available Internet), and invented email. It was a pretty big deal because up until that point, messages could only be sent and read on the same computer. This allowed a user and a destination separated by the & symbol. When he showed colleague Jerry Burchfiel, the response was: Don’t tell anyone! This isn’t what we’re supposed to be working

What is Native Advertising?

As defined by the FTC, native advertising is deceptive if there is a material misrepresentation or even if there’s an omission of information that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances. That’s a subjective statement, and I’m not sure I want to defend myself against the powers of the government. What is Native Advertising? The Federal Trade Commission defines native advertising as any content that bears a similarity to the news,

What is the CAN-SPAM Act?

United States regulations covering commercial email messages were regulated in 2003 under the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act. While it’s been over a decade… I still open my inbox daily to unsolicited email that has both false information and no method to opt-out. I’m not sure how effective the regulations have been even with the threat of up to a $16,000 fine per violation. Interestingly, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t require permission to send an email

Do Not Track: What Marketers Need to Know

There’s already been quite a bit of news about the FTC’s request for Internet companies to enabled features that empower consumers to not be tracked. If you hadn’t read the 122-page Privacy report, you’d think the FTC was setting some kind of line in the sand on a feature they’re requesting called Do Not Track. What is Do Not Track? There are a number of means that companies track consumer behavior online. The most popular,

Is Your Marketing Illegal?

Attorney David Castor, an attorney firm specializing in startups and SaaS businesses, emailed me over the weekend with the news that the FTC has settled with its first victim of new disclosure laws. As part of the proposed settlement (PDF), PR firm Reverb Communications and owner Tracie Snitker must remove any iTunes reviews that were written by Reverb employees posing as ordinary customers and who failed to disclose a relationship between Reverb and its game