This forum is on Google. Many of the threads (including, most likely, this one) are searchable on Google. Google does this by using a software program called a "bot". Essentially what it does is to check all new topics on a regular basis (about once every day or every few days). The more stuff on Google, the more ways that people can find us, then the more people who find us. Then those new people post more topics, which are in turn picked up by Google, and the process continues. I'm not sure if this is what you mean by the site being advertised but the truth is that this is the main way that we get new members (see Craven's list). This is the way that many sites work. A2K isn't unique in this.
And, as these new people come in, we make new friends. I'd never seen Dek before. Or TechnoGuyRob. Or a host of other people. And I'm happy that they're all here, but they wouldn't be here without Google.
This is wholly unrelated to any spam you may be receiving. I'm sorry you're getting spam, but it could be related to any manner of other things (you may have signed up for something; your email address may have been sold, etc.) or even related to absolutely nothing.
One thing that many spammers do is, they send out thousands of emails. And they don't check to see if the emails work. They just have a program that sends to [email protected]
, [email protected]
, [email protected]
etc. Substitute AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, chello, btinternet, sympatico, earthlink or any number of large Internet Service Providers or email providers, from any country. Spammers send out these long lists again and again. They don't care if even 99% of the addresses bounce. It doesn't matter to them, because it costs them the same - nothing - to send to 100 addresses as it does to send to 1,000,000,000 addresses.
Before the 'net, I'm sure you know, some companies would send out junk mail (many still do). And a respectable return on junk mail is usually about 1% or even as low as 1/10 of 1%. Hence if a junk mailer sends out 1,000,000 pieces of mail, they are hoping to generate sales to 1,000 - 10,000 addresses. But sending paper junk mail is costly. Even with bulk mailing permits, there are printing costs, plus envelopes have to be purchased and stuffed and somehow the whole thing has to go to the Post Office, etc.
For spammers, the return can be closer to 1/1000 of 1% because their costs are nearly nothing. So for every 1,000,000,000 emails, they might hope for a return of 10,000 orders. Since they have no printing or mailing costs, they derive nearly pure profit. There are far fewer than 1 billion working email addresses, and buying a list of working addresses is $$. So instead, many spammers usually just send out a long list as I've outlined above. They get some hits (and if you send them a note back telling you that you want to unsubscribe, they know that your address is a good one) and a lot of misses. But that doesn't matter because it's all factored into their percentages.
We will never sell your email addresses. We hate spammers as much as you do, and we're never going to sacrifice your trust to get in bed with those kinds of unscrupulous people