... does not give you the right to send me 'junk mail' or automatically add me to your mailing list. Or does it?
I produce a monthly newsletter but I don't make a habit of automatically adding everyone to it that I happen to connect with - either online or offline. Yes, I might invite them to join and occasionally send them the latest issue if I think it will be of interest but generally I take a passive approach with my newsletter list. After all one of the issues people have is too much email. Given what I do, I'm not about to add to that by sending them something they don't want - even if it is the only one they ever need to read!
If I did take this bold step - the newsletter has a verification process, so they have to confirm they want to receive my newsletter and they always have the option to opt out at any time.
The more networking I've done, the more I've been added to people's email lists. Promotions for vehicle leasing, newsletters from solicitors, IT companies, web designers, therapists etc. Most of whom I don't even recognise the name or company. Where did they get my address from? Then I come across their name as I browse through the many forums and online groups or turn up at a networking meeting - ah, that's where they got it from.
Is it generally considered open season on your email address if you're listed on the same business directory or have 'connected' through a networking site? An invitation to freely send you unsolicited email?
I do email my business contacts list every now and then, if I have something particular I want to share or a seminar I want to promote but I always include the option to be removed from my mailing list, if they don't want to receive these in future.