Saturday, 15 August 2009

A Peek Into a NUS Mailbox: Events, News, Careers and Advertising

Besides the regular CORS and IVLE alerts that I look forward to receiving in my mail, most of the mails in the account are advertising (read: spam) forwarded and sent by NUS members. It is quickly reaching to a level where many minor events are sent in e-mails to the whole NUS even though it affects only a small percentage of the recipients.

For example: Sports facility closures, various student competitions held by external organisations, any NUS event that needs people to fill up the space, job postings no matter how small, sports trials...

You are expected to check your e-mail regularly [ source ]
You are expected to check your e-mail regularly [ source ]

And the list goes on .. SOC Technical Services sends 'Patches' alerts everytime there's a Windows or Office patch released. Never mind that Automatic Update takes care of this already.

Then there's Estate & Development News sending restaurant closure / opening alerts. Then there's What'z Newz @ OSA with 90% useless news (e.g. Free Entry to NHB Museums, NUS Volunteering Network recruitment) and useful news (such as the Transitlink Card Replacement) so you can't block them... the list can go on.

Weekly Patches E-Mail.. when Automatic Updates already takes care of it... No way to unsubscribe..
Weekly Patches E-Mail.. when Automatic Updates already does it... No way to unsubscribe..

Such news should be posted on their own web pages and not e-mailed out to all the students in NUS. Perhaps because NUS mail is so easy, just compose and send. Updating the webpages may require more steps due to the publicness of the web pages.

Most of their mails don't take up much space but they do take up my time as I have to skim through each of them and delete them. And those big emails.. those more than 100KB.. taking up valuable email space... those are the most problematic ones.

Here's a peek at some of the spam I have received. If you are a company, you now know who to contact to spam the 100% guaranteed verified NUS student mailing list.

  1. Toshiba laptops offer sent by NUSSU Bizcom Nustyle (with a 830KB image attachment)

    Two mails, each 1MB, was sent with a big image as a attachment.

    ATTENTION! Toshiba laptops offers!
    ATTENTION! Toshiba laptops offers!
    And it advertises only for Toshiba laptops. Lenovo, Apple and other NUS tenders were not given this excellent marketing opportunity to reach NUS students.

    How did Toshiba managed to convince NUStyle to send the advertising?

  2. Annual Kaspersky Lab IT Security Student Conference from SOC (sent 3 times by 3 different senders)

    A job position hiding behind a security competition event...

    Annual Kaspersky Lab IT Security Student Conference
    Annual Kaspersky Lab IT Security Student Conference
    And the mail was sent 3 times to all SOC students, with two mails being 500KB. Props to NUS Students' Computing Club for not sending the attachment. They were also the first one to send this out, while the other two just forwarded the mails to all SOC students without checking.

  3. AIA Campus Photo Contest 2009 sent by NUSSU Bizcom

    Learn a new marketing strategy today:

    AIA Campus Photo Contest 2009
    AIA Campus Photo Contest 2009
    Just hold a contest, even a simple one like a photo contest, and you instantly get an opportunity to advertise your company to NUS students. And save on the fees for hiring a design firm.

  4. Ubisoft Singapore Facebook Page sent by SOC

    This may be of interest to the Communication and Design majors, but to ALL SOC students??

    FW: Ubisoft Singapore Facbook Page
    FW: Ubisoft Singapore Facebook Page
  5. Events Totally Not Related To Some Students

    Such as this launch of CLing, a *totally* mandarin event, sent to all students. A 1MB email.

    Instead of sending to only Chinese students, the email is sent to the whole school.

    FW: Business China - An Invitation to the Launch of...
    FW: Business China - An Invitation to the Launch of...
    Thank you for wasting 10 minutes of my time reading through the whole email only to find out that it is conducted in a language I don't know.

  6. CCA Advertisements (743KB email)

    So you are running out of members in your CCA and have a strong connection with What's Newz @ OSA...

    NUS English and Chinese Debaters Recruitment Drive
    NUS English and Chinese Debaters Recruitment Drive
    IF I wanted to sign up for the CCA, I would have done so during the Matriculation Fair.

    Imagine if all the CCAs send emails to recruit more members...

  7. Swensen's (500KB email)

    Another event not completely related to NUS.

    ATTENTION! Great Swensen's Deals!
    ATTENTION! Great Swensen's Deals!
    There is a unsubscribe notice at the bottom, but I wonder whether it really does work (the email ends with

  8. Plus many mails from NUS Career Centre

    In July 2009, they sent 5 mails. In May 2009, 14 mails.

    eNewsletters you can't unsubscribe from..
    eNewsletters you can't unsubscribe from..
  9. And Career Notices From Other Unknown Sources

    Even SOC Unix e-mail accounts have spam.

    part-time marketing research job available
    part-time marketing research job available
    This mail was sent to my SOC UNIX e-mail account. I wonder how they got hold of my UNIX e-mail account which I never used in the first place.. Hmmm?

See my previous post and this post for more past e-mail rants.

My humble request to all NUS email senders, please use NUS groups. This way, we can opt out and in various mailing lists.

Except CORS and IVLE. The worrying thing is that some senders send important information as well as useless information using the same e-mail alias (e.g. 'What'z Newz @ OSA' and the SOC staff). That is why it is so dangerous to automatically direct them to the Junk folder based on the sender's e-mail address.

Strangely enough, events that deserves to be e-mailed don't get e-mailed. For example, when the CORS rounds start, an e-mail should be sent one day beforehand to remind all students to bid. And when a tutorial balloting round starts, another e-mail should be sent if the student is eligible to rank in the first round.

Similarly, when the closed bidding period is starting and I have been either outbid or the module has higher demand than vacancy, a warning e-mail should be sent too. This is what e-mail should be used for... but...

(gritting teeth)... must.. tolerate... one... more... semester...


Anonymous said...

that was funny. :D

NUS Business School Student

Anonymous said...

stop whining

Anonymous said...

Totally understand. Failed to receive some really important mail because my exchange mailbox got flooded by NUS mails (that were largely rubbish). Luckily for you, it's all over now!