My friend and colleague Nick Usborne has the gift for a “turn of phrase.” He used the words white color spam in his blog a few days ago. Next thing he knows, Seth Godin mentioned it in his blog. Then came a call from The New York Times. And this article, Big Companies Add to Spam by Saul Hansell which quotes Nick.

You know what he’s talking about. When you register on the Palm site, for example, using an email address you don’t use for anything else. Subsequently you begin receiving emails you haven’t asked for from other big name companies – to that particular address.

These mainstream companies are (discreetly, it seems) trading your email address with one another. Or perhaps there was a box you forgot to uncheck, in miniscule type, that said they might “tell you about related products or services.”

This is a scam. And it’s definitely a form of spam.