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  1. #1
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    What do YOU consider "SPAM"
    Hello ABWers,

    In an effort to get a global perpective, what do YOU consider
    "SPAM"?

    Please answer YES or NO to #1-6 in your reply.

    #1. Is it spam when you get an email from a newsletter owner
    that you subscribed to, promoting another website?

    #2. Is it spam when you get a friend request at YouTube, from
    someone you do not know?

    #3. Is it Spam when you get a friend request at MySpace from
    someone you do not know?

    #4. Is it spam when a company you purchased products from,
    sends you an advertisement email for something else?

    #5. Is it spam when someone you do not know posts a relevant
    comment on your blog?

    #6. Is it spam when someone you do not know posts a relevant
    comment on your video?

    By reviewing these results, it will give us all a clearer understanding
    of what is, and is not "spam", in the eyes of those around the world.

    Thanks in advance for your answers! This should prove interesting!

    Moving Forward!
    Ken

  2. #2
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    I'm not sure that those questions, phrased as they are, will help anyone's understanding of spam. If, for exmaple, a random person leaves a comment on a blog ... well, that what blogs have comment for and unknown people are expected to leave comments there ... on the other hand the comment itself could be spam.

    I think you need to rethink your questions.


    Sue.

  3. #3
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    Sorry Sue, the comment I was talking about was a "relevant" comment -
    meaning that by reading it, you could tell that the person read your blog
    post, and is providng feedback based on what you said.

    Of course it would be a different situation if the person posted this on your
    furry pet blog:

    "Come see my website and get a credit card at: www. My Site .com"

    So by "relevant", I mean that it's obvious to you, the blog owner,
    that the person read your post and is replying.

    Hope that helps clear up what I mean. :-)

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Ken
    Last edited by VideoSyndication; August 24th, 2007 at 02:55 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
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    P.S. If anyone wants to re-write the questions, please do so!

  5. #5
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VideoSyndication
    Hello ABWers,

    In an effort to get a global perpective, what do YOU consider
    "SPAM"?

    Please answer YES or NO to #1-6 in your reply.

    #1. Is it spam when you get an email from a newsletter owner
    that you subscribed to, promoting another website?

    #2. Is it spam when you get a friend request at YouTube, from
    someone you do not know?

    #3. Is it Spam when you get a friend request at MySpace from
    someone you do not know?

    #4. Is it spam when a company you purchased products from,
    sends you an advertisement email for something else?

    #5. Is it spam when someone you do not know posts a relevant
    comment on your blog?

    #6. Is it spam when someone you do not know posts a relevant
    comment on your video?

    By reviewing these results, it will give us all a clearer understanding
    of what is, and is not "spam", in the eyes of those around the world.

    Thanks in advance for your answers! This should prove interesting!

    Moving Forward!
    Ken
    #1A. Since you have just joined ABW, is it spam if the owner of this forum decides to send you emails promoting the websites of all of the 36,418 ABW members here?

    #2A. Let suppose there are only One Million members at YouTube and you just joined today, is it spam when you get a friend request from the entire One Million members at YouTube, even if they just send you one email each, for a total of One Million emails?

    #3A. Same question as #2A.

    #4A. If you buy a pair of shoes from a shoe merchant, is it spam when that shoe merchant, sends you an advertisement email for Viagra later?

    5A. If the relevant comment on your blog is just to drop their links, it probably is.

    6A. If the relevant comment on your video is just to drop their links, it probably is.

    Btw, back to this question:

    #2. Is it spam when you get a friend request at YouTube, from
    someone you do not know?
    I know that you may have to make the first move if you want to make a few friends request anywhere, but are you really saying that you will like to be friend with One Million members at YouTube, or you just want those One Million members at YouTube, to send you their email address in a friendship reply, so you can later make money with those One Million fesh emails addresses?

  6. #6
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    I see your point Ken, but I still think it depends on the comment in question. A relevant comment can still be left with an attached URL leading to a landing page for purchasing whatever it was you were talking about. That can be viewed more as spam than a "normal" comment which might actually help your blog.

    I wouldn't like to rephrase your questions myself ... especially not without my first cup of coffee As they are currently phrased ... I would answer that I would not consider any of them to be spam as such ... but that would greatly depend on the content of each example.

    Sue.

  7. #7
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    VideoSyndication you obviously have an agenda as evidenced in the questions you asked and the way you phrased them (and I've been following the other threads). Don't you think that you may get more relevant responses if you remove all but the question "What do you consider spam?"?

    I don't believe that spam can be linked to any particular delivery method. It's more the content of the message that determines whether it's spam or not. For each of the questions above I could say yes, they're spam if they contain an unwanted solicitation. You also have to look at the (perceived) intent of the sender, are they sending me a funny video or are they trying to promote a product? Are they really interested in becoming my "friend" or are they trying to get a link to their product page in front of me?

    I understand that you have no control over the way other people use the tools that you make available. You have to understand that everyone that that uses those tools isn't necessarily using them the way you intended.

    Quit trying so hard to defend your honor. We are all very opinionated people here and it's very unlikely that you're going to share the same opinion with everyone.

    I noticed that in a lot of you posts you end them with "Moving Forward". It's time to move forward.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  8. #8
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    Is it spam when you use an automated method to contact people in which you have no personal contact with and are merely contacting them because you have a mechanical way in which to contact large groups of people easily?

    That is the question that relates to your practices and the question you do NOT ask. That you create straw men to avoid the real issue is very telling.


    It is simple. It is not spam when someone reads your site for a year and tells you they love the site and thanks you for it. It is spam when an automated bot doesn't read your site and just sends you some spam because you fit "a profile".

    Same for social sites. Sending friends requests to 500 people because they match a keyword is very different than sending a single friends request because someone likes the same bands as you and has posted about going to the bands shows and you share other common interests and you want to make a personal connection with that person.

  9. #9
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    Thank you once again for opinion Chet.

    Q: Is it spam to send a friend request to members of YouTube, using automated software?

    As I said in the other thread, I don't think it is. That's my opinion.

    The software automates what you are allowed to do by hand, and
    saves you hours of time.

    Example:

    Marketer "A" spends 8 hours sending 500 friend requests on YouTube
    manually, which you are allowed to do every day.

    Marketer "B" uses a piece of software that automates the process,
    and 500 friend invites takes about 10 minutes.

    So the same task was accomplished

    8 hours compared to 10 minutes.

    It only makes since to me to use software to automate this task.
    I don;t have 8 hrs per day to devote to any single marketing method.

    Sure "some" people will take ANY piece of technology and abuse it.
    We can't help that. That's not why it was designed. use and abuse
    are different.

    "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

    Hope this answers your question again Chet,

    Talk soon,
    Ken

  10. #10
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    ReMatt wrote: " >VideoSyndication you obviously have an agenda as evidenced in the questions you asked and the way you phrased them (and I've been following the other threads). Don't you think that you may get more relevant responses if you remove all but the question "What do you consider spam?"?" <

    I agree with the first part -- clearly, VS is looking for "permission" or "justification" for some bulk-solicitation plan which I think we all will agree is "spam." Certainly, automating 'friend' requests on community sites is spamming, and has even led to a lawsuit by MySpace against a notorious spammer. VS makes clear that he doesn't view this as a way to contact more friends, but instead identifies it as a "marketing method," and of course he's contacting strangers for the sole purpose of trying to sell them stuff they've never indicated any desire to hear about.

    But it's ridiculous to post a vague and general question which has already been answered dozens of times by dozens of people on this forum.

  11. #11
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VideoSyndication
    Example:

    Marketer "A" spends 8 hours sending 500 friend requests on YouTube
    manually, which you are allowed to do every day.

    Marketer "B" uses a piece of software that automates the process,
    and 500 friend invites takes about 10 minutes.

    So the same task was accomplished

    8 hours compared to 10 minutes.

    It only makes since to me to use software to automate this task.
    I don;t have 8 hrs per day to devote to any single marketing method.
    I'm sure there is software to blast thousands of e-mail messages also and these are looked down on because of the way they are utilized; to send spam messages.

    I've never been a member of any of the "social networks" but I would imagine that if I were receiving generic invites from dozens or hundreds of people a day I would start to find that pretty annoying. Spam has made e-mail all but unusable and I'm sure the argument by spammers started something like" "It only makes since to me to use software to automate this task. I don't have 8 hrs per day to devote to any single marketing method".

    I find it very hard to believe that you could send a "personal" message to 500 people a day and that that message be relevant to all of them. It would seem to me that a bulk sender of any kind is designed to get a message to as many people as possible in the shortest period of time regardless of the relevance.

    But it's ridiculous to post a vague and general question which has already been answered dozens of times by dozens of people on this forum.
    And of course Mark is absolutely right that another question of "what is spam" is redundant. However, that really wasn't the point was it?

    And you're right VS Guns don't kill people. People that misuse guns kill people. But you still can't take guns out of the equation, just like you can't remove a tool that is so easily abused.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  12. #12
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    Hello ReMatt,

    I see your point man, I really do...but it's the PEOPLE
    who use a tool that are the ones that abuse it - not
    the software itself.

    "I'm sure there is software to blast thousands of e-mail messages also and these are looked down on because of the way they are utilized; to send spam messages."

    You got that right! It's the person using the software that
    is unethical, or abusing the software, not the software or
    it's creator.

    The multi-million dollar corporation aWeber has a software I use
    that sends not thousands, but TENS of thousands of messages
    to my subscribers. These are folks who have opted in - AND
    have confirmed their subscription to my newsletter. This is how
    I deliver my newsletter each week.

    So while that's all well and good, Johnny Jackass can come along
    and upload 100K "leads" he got from a co-registration service,
    and start blasting them messages for everything under the sun,
    even though they did NOT subscribe to Johnny's list - ever.

    That's spam. That's abuse. That should be handled accordingly.

    It is Johnny that is abusing the software, and who gives other
    reputable email newsletters owners a bad name.

    It WAS NOT the software!

    I'm sorry guys, it looks like this won't stop, or be stopped
    unless you get me to admit I'm a spammer, which I would
    never do, because I'm not.

    Maybe my comedy was taken seriously, but I don't really
    have the energy in me to defend myself every day here.
    That's not increasing my sales, how about you?
    (Day 3 now).

    With that, I guess I'll have to be a silent member and change
    my status to "parasite"? I'm truly sorry to upset so many of
    you in my only 2 threads.

    Moving Forward!
    Ken

  13. #13
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    These are folks who have opted in - AND have confirmed their subscription to my newsletter.
    That's a far cry from sending invites to 500 "friends" that didn't opt in.

    I'm sorry guys, it looks like this won't stop, or be stopped unless you get me to admit I'm a spammer, which I would never do, because I'm not.
    VS I'm not accusing you of being a spammer and I'm certainly not attacking you and I'm sorry if it seems that way.

    With that, I guess I'll have to be a silent member and change my status to "parasite"? I'm truly sorry to upset so many of you in my only 2 threads.
    I hope that you continue to participate. You found yourself on the wrong end of a very unpopular issue and you provided a very good argument. Just because some of us disagree doesn't mean you should stop expressing your opinions. As far as I'm concerned that's what ABW is all about, seeing as many sides of an issue as possible.

    Before your previous post I had no idea that there were tools to blast videos and I agree that there are probably legitimate uses for them. That being said, it won't take long before they are abused and the use of them will be baned on most of the social and video networks.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  14. #14
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Ken,

    Automated systems of contacting people is spam and unethical no matter how you phrase it. Yes it's a business, but saying the software is just software and the people using the software are bad just doesn't cut it IMO.

    There is so much more you can do online that doesn't include grey area (or at least so much) yeah sure you might make less initially, but you'll sleep better and won't have to "defend" yourself and your model everyday. I'm not saying your a bad guy, you just really have to draw the line and decide, because by sitting on the fence, slowly but surely that picket gets further and further up your ...

    No one is asking you to go silent on ABW, actually I think we are all asking you to call a spade a spade and not phrase questions to justify your actions with convoluted meaning. You should to embrace the difference of opinion and if possible learn and grow with the constructive input of the member base. I know we want to help you see the difference, the question is if you want to be helped!

    Rematt said it best ... "it's time to move forward" and you can't do that by going silent or avoiding the real criticism and opinions of your business model, especially when they are honest.

    Respectfully,
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  15. #15
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    Hi ReMatt and Haiko,

    Thank you.

    I HONESTLY did not know that people feel this way about automated
    software. My goal since I came online was to automate everything I
    could, but I've never considered that spam. I understand now that
    many do, and feel passionate about it.

    I will continue to participate, and hope that my contributions to other
    discussions will be useful to someone.

    Thank you again. :-)

    Moving Forward!
    Ken

  16. #16
    Staril - Mad Cat Woman Sue's Avatar
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    I would say there are some things online that can be and ought to be automated ... the software for double opt-in mail lists comes to mind. But, I can't see any reason for others to be automated. Asking 500, random if targeted, people on any network to be your friend is one of them. Someone filling in a form for a newsletter is a very different case to you actually contacting someone to market to them ... actually in that case it doesn't really matter if you manually contact 5 people or automatically contact 500.

    I can actually totally understand the drive to automate as much as possible, I'm a programmer and I tend to do that sometimes as well. It is just that certain things don't lend themselves to be automated in a non-spam way. I might send an affiliate link to one friend who is looking to buy a purple widget, but I'm certainly not going to copy that email to everyone in my address book.

    I do hope you will continue to join in our various conversations on ABW


    Sue.

  17. #17
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VideoSyndication
    Q: Is it spam to send a friend request to members of YouTube, using automated software?

    As I said in the other thread, I don't think it is. That's my opinion.

    The software automates what you are allowed to do by hand, and
    saves you hours of time.

    Example:

    Marketer "A" spends 8 hours sending 500 friend requests on YouTube
    manually, which you are allowed to do every day.

    Marketer "B" uses a piece of software that automates the process,
    and 500 friend invites takes about 10 minutes.

    So the same task was accomplished

    8 hours compared to 10 minutes.
    Both marketer A and marketer B would be spammers. One would just be quicker about it.

    Why are they both spammers? Because neither actually wants to be my friend. Spamming within the rules of a social site doesn't make it not spam.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  18. #18
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    .
    Last edited by WyndhamVacationR-EricEwe; August 24th, 2007 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Not sure if there is a hidden agenda for this posting..

  19. #19
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    VS,
    while I also disagree with your general business model I do think you have handled the feedback pretty well. I have not posted much here but I have been lurking for some time and what I have seen is that people are very open to discussing opposing viewpoints and generally respectful where ideals differ. You've done a good job not taking the feedback personally and I think if you stick around and continue to engage in good constructive debate you may find some new opportunities for automation present themselves....after all....this business is as much about your "next" project as it is about the current one...

    Chris

  20. #20
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Whether something is SPAM or not has a lot to do with the context as well as the content.

    For example, a while back, I contacted site owners with sites having similar content as mine to submit an article for my site in exchange for links back to them in the article. From my experience (submitting the article) this can be a great way to promote your site so what I was offering was something of value to both of us. A two-way-partnership. I emailed perhaps 30 different sites with a template email - I guess a software program might have helped a little to automate this but not too much. I only emailed 30 hand-picked sites, not 300 or 30000. Was this SPAM? I don't think so.

    What if I sent the same emails to unrelated sites? SPAM? Yes. Bad content and context.

    What if I sent emails only asking 30 or 300 or 30000 related sites for a link back to my site offering nothing (or perhaps a worthless backlink on a trash site) in return? SPAM? Yes again. Even I only sent 3 such emails out, it would be SPAM. No two-way partnership.

    So it is not about automation or quantity but rather content and context.

    Does this Video Submitter offer content (a two-way partnership) in the proper context? If so, then it is not SPAM, even if it is automated. If not, then it is a SPAM machine.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  21. #21
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Question
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesehead
    Whether something is SPAM or not has a lot to do with the context as well as the content.

    For example, a while back, I contacted site owners with sites having similar content as mine to submit an article for my site in exchange for links back to them in the article. From my experience (submitting the article) this can be a great way to promote your site so what I was offering was something of value to both of us. A two-way-partnership. I emailed perhaps 30 different sites with a template email - I guess a software program might have helped a little to automate this but not too much. I only emailed 30 hand-picked sites, not 300 or 30000. Was this SPAM? I don't think so.

    What if I sent the same emails to unrelated sites? SPAM? Yes.

    What if I sent emails only asking 30 or 300 or 30000 related sites for a link back to my site offering nothing (or perhaps a worthless backlink on a trash site) in return? SPAM? Yes again. Even I only sent 3 such emails out, it would be SPAM. No two-way partnership.

    So it is not about automation or quantity but rather content and context.

    Does this Video Submitter offer content (a two-way partnership) in the proper context? If so, then it is not SPAM, even if it is automated. If not, then it is a SPAM machine.
    Are you sure ???

    I would have considered it spam if you had sent it to me.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

  22. #22
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Asking a related site for a link trade and giving them a page on my site with a link back to theirs is SPAM?

    If so, I am all for that sort of SPAM directed at me. I would write such articles all day long. On one site of mine, the traffic I got from one such partnership exceeded all of my Google search traffic for nearly a year.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    1. no, as long as there's opt-out
    2. no, if its some related person, or valid reason
    3. no, same above
    4. no, as long as there's opt-out.
    5. no unless its a link to a competitor or self promo
    6. no unless its a link to a competitor or self promo

    and any automated personal-type messages (myspace join, blog comments, etc) is always spam.

  24. #24
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesehead
    Whether something is SPAM or not has a lot to do with the context as well as the content.
    I agree 100%. What's unfortunate though is that the perception of the recipient also plays into the equation. I think that the dozens or even hundreds of junk messages that we all receive on a daily basis has made us overly sensitive to any email that we didn't necessarily want to receive.

    For example, a while back, I contacted site owners with sites having similar content as mine to submit an article for my site in exchange for links back to them in the article. From my experience (submitting the article) this can be a great way to promote your site so what I was offering was something of value to both of us. A two-way-partnership. I emailed perhaps 30 different sites with a template email - I guess a software program might have helped a little to automate this but not too much. I only emailed 30 hand-picked sites, not 300 or 30000. Was this SPAM? I don't think so.
    I've receive e-mails like this and I typically welcome them. Whether I agree to an exchange or not is unimportant, it's a legitimate opportunity for my consideration and I don't consider them spam. However BurgerBoy does. Now we have to add the recipients perception to the equation, something you have absolutely no control over. So the question is; do you stop sending e-mails that can be mutually beneficial or continue knowing that some will consider it spam?

    Then we need to bring up another part of the equation (this is starting to get more complicated than Einsteins Theory of Relativity) and that's the senders intent. That can be hard to measure, but not impossible. If I receive an email that proposes something that is beneficial to me it's not spam. If I receive an email that is a blatant promotion with no other benefit to me other than the senders assurance that I need their product, that's spam. And there are exceptions to this also. If I've opted in to a list and receive the occasional "spam" message from the owner of the list, then that's the price I pay for the other good information that I'm receiving by being on that list. Even television has commercials.

    Unfortunately the question of "what is spam" will never be settled other than the legal definition of it, and the law has enough holes in it to drain spaghetti. What it eventually comes down to is; "if I want it, it's good" and "if I don't, it's spam".


    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  25. #25
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    But that gets back to - did you include something that makes me think you actually visited my site and that is why you are emailing me. I get bunches (used to be hundreds) of emails a day asking for link exchanges, they are 99.999999% spam. Out of that bunch what isn't spam is the guy who actually went to one of my sites, talks about it, and has a site actually dealing with the same topic. I still refuse, don't do link exchanges, but I don't consider that spam.

    Our friend who started this conversation knows what is and isn't spam. This isn't his only endeavor that crosses that line, so don't be fooled by his used car salesman ability to tell you the seaweed in the trunk of the car got there during a sushi delivery, not from hurricane katrina.

    Chet

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