A New Concept in Social Networking – Pay to Spam

They asked their members what they needed to do to make the venue better. Many ideas were submitted. Many of them had to do with the high amount of spam on the network. A “report this user” button was requested. Complaints flew about private messages that contained nothing but ads, profile posts that had ads in them, and comments that were nothing but ads.

A few weeks later, the company responded with a plan. They said they’d been listening to the community and here was their solution: Free members could not put links into profile posts, and could not email all of the members of the network. Paid members could spam to their heart’s content. If you paid, you could put ads on comments, profiles, and send them to all of the members in an email blast too!

This, they called “listening”. Too much spam, said the members. Instead of taking reasonable and logical steps to reduce the spam, they just decided to charge members to do it. The age old internet marketing answer to everything. Let them do whatever they want, just charge them for it. It is bad if they do it for free, but it is ok if the site owners are profiting from it. Profit again becomes the arbiter of right and wrong.

Google sets a marvelous example of this – penalizing people for paying for traffic, unless they are paying for it from Google. Restricting content on publisher’s sites if they want to put AdSense on their sites, but allowing Advertisers to break the rules. The almighty dollar rules.

The network in question (which will remain nameless in this post) goes on my ever lengthening list of useless time wasters. My account will be canceled as soon as I finish this post. A sad thing, because the network did have some potential. There were opportunities to interact, and ways to participate. But unfortunately, all so bloated with spam that it was an unpleasant place to be. Instead of addressing the problem, the company has decided to institute it as policy, that the problem is acceptable as long as people are paying to make it so. A paying few will drive away the heart and soul of the networking community. The best networkers will run at the sight of it, because they know that networking and advertising are two different things, and they are turned right off by blatant spam.

Not for me. I’ll go where I can associate with smarter people.

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