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Any free email harvesting programs?

Posted on 2007-08-01
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I wonder if there are any downloadable programs which can be used to gather a few email address from targeted audiences?

How do people do this short of buying some list?

thanks.
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Question by:newbieweb
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Expert Comment

by:ahoffmann
ID: 19614766
could you please explain what you mean by "targeted audiences"
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 19616446
people who own restaurant franchises, for example.
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by:ahoffmann
ID: 19616510
and where should they gather?
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 19616591
in my database!

OK. How about a simpler example. I want email adresses to churches.

I have heard about harvesting programs.  That's what we're talking about, right?
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Expert Comment

by:ahoffmann
ID: 19616902
> in my database!
hmm, either this answer is a joke, or you totally confuse me

if you want to gather information from your database, simply use your prefered tool to access the database and start a query there
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 19616937
I want to harvest names (email addresses) from the World Wide Web into my database.  There are programs out there that cost money and I posted this to see if there are are any free ones.  

Do you know of any?
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Serena Hsi earned 1200 total points
ID: 19621964
These "harvesters" exist, and they're pretty inexpensive too. But, to use the data gained from such a harvester is illegal and considered SPAM since you don't have an existing business relationship with the owners of the e-mail addresses.

If you were one of those big-time scammers that the FTC goes after, e.g., your spam bilks millions of consumers out of money or creates so much junk email that AOL, Google, Microsoft, or any of the top ISP providers take action against you.

So, if the fear of lawsuits don't bother you, consider that if you are fined.. it's about $11,000 USD per email offense. If you sell this e-mail data to a client and that client uses the email data for spam broadcasts; BOTH of you are legally liable for that spam.. at least in the USA.
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Expert Comment

by:Serena Hsi
ID: 19621969
You'll just have to compile your database the old fashioned way... through public domain sources.
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 19622804
cogitate4u,

I'm convinced.  Anything that even resembles SPAM is a very expensive proposition.

What do you mean by "public domain sources"?
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Assisted Solution

by:ahoffmann
ahoffmann earned 800 total points
ID: 19622905
your question is still a bit vage ...
I'd say that you can write such a script yourself, either using standard UNIX tools (awk, grep, sed, wget, ...) or all in one in a simple perl script, should be no more than a day to samble this together. Hope you're aware that such a program will run forever 'cause new pages are added to "the World Wide Web" every 1/2 second or so ...
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 19622926
No, I was asking a question. What he meant by "public domain sources"?  Does this mean the WWW?

I thought he said this was SPAM and not allowed.

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by:ahoffmann
ID: 19623005
with "your question" in my last post I meant your initial question, not any follow up comment
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 19623009
ok.
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Expert Comment

by:Serena Hsi
ID: 19628753
By public domain, I mean databases run by state, local, or federal government agencies that are made publicly available by the Freedom of Information act. All the usual laws about marketing still apply for usage in addition to whatever that agency's policy is on data usage.

Consider this:

Every business licensee, public/private school official, local/state/federal agency employee, etc., in the USA is tracked in a public database somewhere. Whether that information is web-available is entirely dependent upon the agency that manages that data. Most of that information is free to acquire and/or compile. You still need to be aware of who you contact because some people put FTC and other federal regulatory agency telephone numbers as their own contact number if their records are public. Other marketing types seed their databases with dummy data that tracks back to their company.

I haven't looked, but it would be safe to say that even religious organizations can be found on the Internet in a public database since they have to file with a federal agency (ya know, the IRS) their non-exempt tax status.

So, it depends on where to look that affects how you compile that database of yours.
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Author Comment

by:newbieweb
ID: 19628926
Thanks.  Can you direct me to some public domain databases to satisfy my curiosity?  Or are these sold through businesses that sell names?

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