What is Bacn?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Bacn, which is pronounced bacon, is an alternative to email spam. Though both these terms are of food origin, they actually refer to different types of email that you can receive. Spam is unsolicited “junk mail” that shows up in your email box. You don’t want this stuff and as far as you know, you didn’t sign up for it, or give the sender permission to send it to you. Spam includes scam emails, unsolicited advertisements, and occasionally malicious viruses meant to wreak havoc on your computer system.

On the other hand, Bacn — a term coined at the Podcamp Pittsburg 2, an unconference bar camp held in August of 2007 — is email you’ve actually signed up to receive. Such email could come from companies with which you’re registered, even sales companies or retail outlets offering you special details, newsgroups, blogsites, social networks or a variety of other sources. Unlike spam, which you usually don’t intend to read, most people want to read their Bacn — eventually. But like spam, it is a little piggy and requires a lot of space in your mailbox, waiting for you to read it. Bacn in the box can lead to hundreds or thousands of unread messages and may get in the way of finding those personal emails sent to you, which require a read and response more quickly.


You may not always realize you’ve signed up to receive Bacn. Sometimes signing up for one newsgroup, or one Internet store that actually signs you up for several. Usually Bacn comes with an unsubscribe message if you don’t want to continue to receive emails. When you do sign up to receive emails from a company or newsgroup, there may be a box you can check regarding whether you’d like to receive “other offers” from a company. If you want to avoid having your email address passed around, then make sure you either check or uncheck this box so you don’t start receiving messages you don’t want.

As you might try to reduce clutter in your home, evaluate the Bacn you get, and whether you still want to receive it. If you haven’t read a single piece of Bacn from a newsgroup in a few months, maybe it’s something you don’t need hogging up your mailbox space. Trim the fat by considering which mail you really do want, and weed out unwanted or never read emails by unsubscribing.


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