The image at right is a sign of my commitment to not participate in the newest so-called “feature” of MyBlogLog – community messaging. It would be fine if it was just left at that, where messages from communities could be sent to members via their sites. It’s not the best method of message distribution, but it could be workable. However, instead of leaving it at that, they decided to have the system send emails to all members of a community that says that there was a new community message.
You might think, well, you can just turn off community messages. Nope, you can’t, unless you want to turn off all emails from the site. Event-based email opt-in is something that has been around for ages. Just look at any forum – you have options for emails for Private Messages, Forum Replies, direct emails, just about anything you could think of, there is a way to opt-in, or more importantly, opt-out of that type of email.
I think it’s absolutely reprehensible that this is going on. There are people out there who are part of hundreds, if not thousands, of communities. Imagine if every community they were a member of sent just one of these messages. Then, think of one community that has maybe 200 or so members. One community message means that many emails sent out to everyone. What does this mean to you and me?
Well, it creates the possibility to turn a simple and very popular social networking site into what could be best termed as a spammer’s paradise. Not only that, a scammer’s paradise; it might seem far-fetched that this could happen, but imagine if a scammer were to make a community and get some members in it. One community message and you have a ton of people who got their proposition and they did almost no work at all. As it is, scammers are using similar sites to try to spread their message of false hope.
Why is this a concern? There are lots of people out there who are not aware of these scams and thusly susceptible to being scammed. Right now, it seems as if the management of the site are aware of the situation, but have chosen to do nothing about it. What if someone wound up losing money after receiving one of these community messages? Certainly then they might realize the problem with it.
Another thing that I don’t understand about MyBlogLog is that they don’t allow you to click a link to automatically report abuse. You have to send them an email about the purported abuse. How many forums, or other websites do you have to do that with? And, to make the situation even better, they don’t even have a Contact Us page – the link that is there is a simple mailto: link that goes to customer service.
I’d like to propose an idea – boycotting MyBlogLog. It won’t be an immediate boycott, but if they don’t take action on this – either by instituting email filtering, or by turning off automatic emails for community messages – in the next ten days or so, those of us who are opposed to this action should move our “blog networking” and the associated widgets to another service, such as Blog Catalog or BumpZEE. It might not do a lot in the short term, but maybe if some of the higher profile bloggers on Mybloglog were to do something, it might wake them up.
I’m not alone in voicing my discontent over this situation –
Snoskred, about the spammers and scammers who could misuse the system, also, on her commitment to not use the system.
Meg, who was one of the first to write about this.
Jon, from Smart Wealthy Rich, who created a basic logo to display on blogs and whose work I loosely based my image on
Andy Beard, who was the spearhead to bring this to light
Avinash has a lengthy commentary and a lot of responses to his position
Yack Yack says what everyone thinks – it sucks
The spot-er also weighs in.
I’d like to hear what everyone thinks about this, so feel free to leave a comment 🙂