I am a connoisseur of spam. Not that kind that comes in a can, but the kind that arrives in your inbox. While others find it annoying, I find it humorous. But, I think I’ve said that here before.
I twitter. I have found it an interesting medium for “micro-blogging” if you will. And, I have appreciated the real-time discussions that can be had with it. (Hi, Just Me and HB&GP!)
Recently, I have been getting a rash of “Followers”. One day, I think I got something like 10 new followers. When I looked at their profiles, I noticed they are all for internet marketing firms (SPAM) or most of them.
If there are any marketing people out there, I know you are probably taking offense to the fact I have just labeled your “email campaigns” spam. You are going to say things like “these people opted in (or didn’t opt out) when asked if they wanted to receive info in the future.” You will also talk to me about the laborious process you go through making sure email addresses are removed when “opt out” is finally selected. But, here is my rub. You are sending me email because I am a customer. I likely “opted into” the email because I was thinking you would send me important things – like warnings that my computer will explode if I hit a particular sequence of keys, so I should probably upgrade the firmware. Or that my car has a recall. Or that the latest version of my favorite software is available for download free of charge because I’m a loyal customer. I did not expect you to send me email about stuff I don’t own. Or to tell me about every little product release and accessory is now available on your online store. And because you are emailing to the masses, it is spam. I’m sorry – but my junk mail filters catch it and treat it like spam too. So, I’m not alone in thinking it is spam.
Anyway, so my new followers were all spammer sites. What made it interesting is the profiles of these “people”. One is a Christian father of 4 who lives in Medford, Oregon. He enjoys running, backpacking and wants to make the world a better place. Another one is a 20-something year old city guy who loves technology and wants to share his finds with me. Those are the ones trying to “get me rich quick”. Then there are the ones clearly trying to get me laid, at least on the phone or thru a web cam for the low, low price of $9.99 per minute. These are barely legal women who love puppies, pink, and long walks on the beach or some other nonsense.
So, I’ve start having to block people. Sure, I could make this easy and flip the switch on my profile that says only people I approve can follow my updates. But, then I would miss the joy of reading these stupid profiles. Also, I am afraid I would miss blogger friends finding me if I took that route. And to be honest, that has been fun – so I’m not willing to go that route yet.
Until then, I will read the stupid profiles someone thought up, try to determine what it was that I may have said that led them to be me, laugh, then block the idiots. Minor price to pay for my entertainment.
Note: I did do some research on what Twitter defines as spam and how they would like users to proceed with dealing with it or reporting it. Twitter monitors the number of blocks that occur on accounts. If they see a rash of blocks, they will investigate the account as spam. They also have an account (http://twitter.com/spam) were you can report spam through a direct message. This account also has some good tips on avoiding spam on Twitter, what they are doing, etc.