Spam, Spam, Spam

9 Mar

Not too long ago, spam was mostly email: viagra, pr0n, get rich quick schemes.  Nowadays tho, it’s all over: blog comment spam, twitter spam, facebook spam. Irritating, annoying, but effective: the spammers only need a fraction of a percentage of people to convert (i.e. click a link, make a transaction, get duped by a phishing scam etc) to make it worth their while. So they carry on.

There’s another type of spam though, and it’s a  particular pet peeve of mine: when an otherwise decent product or application uses deceptive or shady tactics to get me to promote that product. It’s happened to me a couple of times lately, and it drives me up the wall. Most often the promotion is in the form of a tweet that gets fired out to your network (“I just did xxx, followed by link”).  The really shady ones don’t tell you they’re going to do it, but there are plenty of others that don’t  make it super obvious that a tweet is going to go out, or are not fully transparent about what the content of that tweet is going to be.

So to app developers, I say this: if you make a good app or product, give me the tools to promote it, make it easy for me to do so, and I will. But trick me into doing it, and I’ll think negatively of you and most likely won’t use your app again.

If what if have is worthwhile, you shouldn’t need to resort to black or grey hat tactics to promote it, so don’t. Of course I get that a small business needs to promote their product, but do it legitimately, don’t trick me. The burden rests with you to be fully transparent, not on the end user to work out whether something is going to happen or not.  If there is ANY doubt in your mind as to whether it’s 100% clear as to what’s going to happen when your end user takes the desired action, you should reconsider. Please don’t be that guy (or gal).

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3 Responses to “Spam, Spam, Spam”

  1. Jodene April 16, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    I’ve been noticing tweets that I haven’t been sending out … it’s freaking me! I’m trying to figure out how to stop it and where it comes from and how to stop it … the investigation continues!

    Thanks for this … best I take it more seriously and get rid of them!

    • kai macmahon April 16, 2010 at 9:05 am #

      Hi Jodene. If you go to settings > connections on twitter.com, it’ll show you a list of all the applications that you’ve given permission to access your twitter account to (e.g. foursquare, gowalla etc). You can control or revoke permissions from there too if you need to.

  2. Jodene April 16, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Double wow … thank you so much! I went to the spam and found the sneaky spammer!

    I’m glad I found you and I’m officially a follower 😉

    Good luck, thanks again and have fun!

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