Tag Archives: Spam


Fascinating piece in Business Week on some of the spam practices within social media.  While the focus is on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, it reminds all of us who create content sites that we need to be vigilant about protecting our sites and our users from these dirt bags.  The piece cites an executive from an anti-spam software company who stated that spammers create as many as 40 percent of the accounts on social media sites. About 8 percent of messages sent via social pages are spam, approximately twice the volume of six months ago.  Because the email providers have become pretty good about filtering out obvious spam, the spammer have moved on to social.

What they’re doing now is embedding code that forces a “like” into a link to a page with something such as a video as bait.  Likejacking.  On Twitter, it’s provocative text linking to spam; on Pinterest it’s a photo that links to a virus or other spam.  I don’t think many of us are engaged in doing this – it seems to be a few rotten apples, some of whom have been sued.  Or are we?

There is still a tendency for marketers to use social media as we used to use traditional media – we talk, they listen.  We broadcast messages and wait for the register to ring.  Today, doing that on a Facebook brand page or within a Twitter feed is a sure way to get blocked, unfriended, hidden, or ignored.  To a certain extent, any sort of one-sided discussion is seen as spam in many folks’ minds.

We spend too much time wondering if social is marketing or PR or customer service.  We might argue about which department ought to control it.  Those are good discussions to have but what we can’t be doing in the interim is flooding our fans’ news feeds with off-target messages about us when we ought to be listening and engaging where appropriate with them.    Otherwise, how are we different from the likejackers?


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Who’s The Wise Guy?

Friday afternoon my phone rang. It was an insurance salesperson. Now, that’s not particularly unusual, I know, but what was strange was that he said he was following up the request I had submitted earlier that day for information. I hadn’t done that but figured it was a typical sales thing and didn’t give it any further thought. Or at least not until I checked my electronic mailbox, which is when the real fun started. Continue reading

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Spam Buddies

Spam 2

Image via Wikipedia

Everyone has different kinds of friends.  Work pals, sorority sisters, roommates, golf friends. Each plays a different role in our lives and some of the recent changes both in Facebook and Google+ reflect that – the notion of sharing different things with different audiences.

Lately I’ve found I have an entirely new class of friends:  spam buddies, and today’s topic is a cross between venting and asking you all how we might combat this.  I’m also of the opinion that it’s going to get worse based on the changes we’re seeing in Facebook, LinkedIn, and others.  But let’s see what you think. Continue reading


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Opting Out

SIERRA MADRE, CA - MAY 29:  Seventieth anniver...

It’s nice of folks to follow me on Twitter and in general I follow them right back. What happens next has become interesting. Quite often, I get a direct message (which in my case leads to a text message on my phone) thanking me for the follow and urging me to do something (click here, read this, etc.). That’s when I opt out – I either unfollow them or report them for spam if most of their tweets seem to be spammy – and I gather I’m not alone. Continue reading

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The Digital Myth

I was reading Ad Age this week and I came across this column by Judy Shapiro. In it she makes the very cogent argument that while technology helps in many ways it doesn’t really make our lives any easier:

The truth is simply this: Technology makes tasks easier, but it does not make our lives easier. Whether we are talking about replacing rocks with washing machines or rotary telephones with mobile video-chat devices, technology, in fact, makes our lives more complicated.

She goes on to talk about washing machines, the iPhone, and the fact that technology curing our ills is a myth that needs to die.  I couldn’t agree more.

Let’s make a short list:

  • The Blue Screen of Death
  • The Dead Battery and No Outlet
  • The Printer Is Jammed/Out Of Ink/Inaccessible to the network
  • Email/SMS/Everydamnplace Spam

I could go on. The biggest facts that shatter the myth for me are the overwhelming amount of information that’s hurled at each of us every day and the pace at which EVERYTHING happens these days.  I’ve received phone calls from people who wonder why I haven’t responded to an email they sent 15 minutes before.   I’m sure most of you have had to explain something you wrote in an email that didn’t come out the way you meant – nuance is hard in oral language and even harder in written – those are issues caused by technology, not helped by it.  How much time have you spent trying to fix the very machines that are supposed to be helping you?  Factor in the hours of time waiting for the IT person to get there when you figure it out!

When I began in business, I hand-wrote letters which my assistant typed.  If I wanted to change something, she typed it again.  In full.  Memory typewriters were a step up and word processors an even bigger advance.  Except at some point it took her longer to figure out how to format something in Word than it would have taken her to retype the whole thing from scratch.  That’s when tech jumped the shark for me.

I make my living by understanding both technology and how to use it to make our lives and businesses better.  I’m not a luddite.  But I say nice job, Judy.  What do you all think?

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