How not to do business.

30 06 2005

I just got spammed by someone using LinkedIn. I’m really getting tired of these things. I don’t like LinkedIn or any of the other ‘contact management’ sites. I have no idea who this guy is, or what his business is, so I visited his site (which I sussed out of his email address – the automated spam from LinkedIn had no contextual information, like, oh, who this idjit was).
His site was one big flash animation with music. That was the last straw. So I wrote him back. Thought I’d share this with the general populace. If you use LinkedIn or other websites that force me to log in to it to give you my contact information – don’t spam me with requests for me to update it for you.

First of all, who -are- you?
And while I’m replying, a few comments…
Your webpage is incredibly annoying. Flash animation and music on a
home page is a mark of someone fairly out of touch with technology and
actual implementation. By making Flash your default page view, you’ve
immediately alienated many users who may go to your site curious about
who are are and what you do. It certainly dissuaded me from doing any
further navigation on your site. When that music started blaring in on
my desktop speakers, I simply closed the window.
If you’d like to show off your prowess in website technologies, design a
site that is portable, well laid out, and useful. Do not play music. I
didn’t come to your site to dance a jig to your catchy little tune. I
came for information, not entertainment.
Furthermore, Linkedin is simply a mechanism for collecting email
addresses in someone elses database. If you have interest in doing
business with me, then ask me. Don’t ask some automated service to spam
me with a request to log into their site and give -them- my information
so you can update your address book.

I don’t expect this guy to Get It, but heck, at least I tried.
Update, an hour later
I got a reply back, arguing that LinkedIn is not a spammer (I don’t know how how else to define a service that sends me commercial email asking me to log into it and give it personal information, even though I did not ask for said services. The fact that someone else asked for it to do this makes it even worse). But the tone was pleasant, and they did include a vCard… which was linked to Plaxo. Another personal-information-archiving website.
Sigh.

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6 responses

30 06 2005
catya

Plaxo is not inherently evil – you CAN use it as a public thing, but they also have a very nice private system.

30 06 2005
Dr. Evil

It is so inherently evil! If you look at the little bit of concentrated evil at the end of Time Bandits, you can see a Plaxo logo. Plaxo refuses to give you control of when it decides to spam “your” contacts with their “hey, we’d love an update on your life” crap.

I’m evil, and I approve of Plaxo’s message.

30 06 2005
Stacy Martin - Plaxo Privacy Officer

Come on Dr. Evil… Have you actually used Plaxo or are you making this up? Because if you did, you would know that Plaxo members determine to whom, when, and the personalized message content of each update request message sent through Plaxo.
Plaxo only processes the members instructions and any responses they receive similar to a Yahoo! user sending email through that service. Plaxo does not initiate these messages, and unlike other services, we do not automatically send “reminder” messages to people who have been previously sent messages but failed to respond. Sure, we provide default text members can use, but they control the entire process completely. And on a related note, people do not have to become Plaxo members in order to respond to an update request message.

1 07 2005
John Parker

Plaxo is too evil. EVILEVILEVIL. I downloaded it, and it hit my router with web update requests so often the poor thing starting crying. I thought it was gonna a-splode, so I uninstalled Plaxo, and the router traffic went back down to the normal happy chortle of spyware messaging.
I know a lot of people have softened their stance on Plaxo since the original EVIL Napster founder has bid a fond adieu to his brainchild Plaxo and gone off to spawn other even more eviler new evils somewhere else, but they simply have short memories. Evil is as evil does.

1 07 2005
Dr. Evil

Dear Stacy,

No, I haven’t used it. The first time I heard of Plaxo was when it spammed me, followed by an apologetic note from a friend.

I’d sooner use Choicepoint. At least they admit to being evil incompetent.

Here, have a coupon for a nice latte. Everyone else should google for plaxo and spam and make up their own minds.

7 07 2005
Stacy Martin - Plaxo Privacy Officer

John – did you understand what Plaxo does prior to installing it? Plaxo keeps address book and other PIM information synchronized with your Plaxo Online account. This allows you to access your contact information from any web browser as well as receive automated updates to address book information.
If there was a lot of network activity soon after installing Plaxo, this was likely the result of the software sync’ing information with your account. Once the initial sync was completed, this network activity would have subsided.




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