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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Social Book Marking – The newest form of MLM harassment.

It wasn’t all that long ago that people started to question why old friends and acquaintances were looking them up.

You’d be sitting at home doing something solitary like reading the paper or doing the crossword when you’d get a phone call. Answering you are surprised to hear that it is that old buddy from the 9th or 10th grade calling to “Catch Up”. A few minutes go by and after you have run the gamut of pleasantries and platitudes you politely ask “So what do you do for work now?”

“So glad you asked” is the response. “I recently got involved with (insert whichever fits, Melaleuca, Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, PrePaid Legal, Reliv and far too many others to list), and man do you ever need to take a look at this.” Some seductive numbers are offered in an effort to win an invitation to your house so they can show you how much money you can make. “Great, how does Tuesday sound?”

Tuesday arrives and everything looks wonderful until they tell you that all you have to do to make some serious cash is to sign up hundreds of people under you and before you know it, you too are making some serious greenbacks. This always brings the question… “Where am I going to find all of these people to sign up under me?” “No problem, just ask all of your friends and the people at the office and before you know it, the people you sign up are signing up people too and they are all under you making you money”.

Sounds easy right? Wrong. People are resistant to old friends showing up out of the blue with get rich quick schemes. In fact if you want to be removed from your social network of friends join an MLM scheme and see if the invitations don’t stop coming soon after your first few attempts to con your buddies into signing up under you.

How the hell is this like Social book marking you are probably asking? Well it isn’t in terms of buying anything but it is similar in how these vast networks of old friends and acquaintances looking you up and then constantly asking you to Digg this and add that to Delicious or write on my Super Wall. The good ones will actually provide their own page profile to Digg before asking but others expect you to do this for them as well.

I don’t know about you but it is getting so bad that I don’t even like to look at email and instant messages from people from my past any more. Hell, I am even starting to question messages from current contacts.

Another thing, what if I don’t like the content you asked me to social bookmark, what is the etiquette on that, if I say no will it somehow ruin the friendship if there was one to begin with? Or how about this, are the people within your social book marking circle book marking equally or are they building up a vast social book marking deficit that they will never make good on?

I don’t know about you but I for one can’t wait until Google completely removes the value of social bookmark links. Really what value can these social bookmarks have as I don’t even know anyone who uses them to find content on the web. If people aren’t actually using these social bookmark sites why do we have them? Is it because some socially inept programmer types think social bookmark sites are cool because they afford them a social circle even if it is only a virtual one?

Bottom line for me is this… If you are contacting me after all these years because you found my profile on Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn and you thought you would ask me to social bookmark your content, stay in the woodwork, I am really not all that interested in making a positive public declaration regarding your spam content.

Just like the MLM pressure salespeople of old, I am not interested in your schemes to make you rich, more popular or socially acceptable. Similarly to multi level marketing, it doesn’t take much exposure to the social bookmark scheme to grow weary of the one sided nature of the old friend contacting you with the request to Digg my story.

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Blogger info said...

Well let me say that it was a good read and somehow I feel targeted by your post. I ask you to Dugg the articles that I considered are cool, however everybody is entitled to his own opinion and can't be forced to do something that they don't want. You still have some liberties.

3:02 PM 
Anonymous dogday08 said...

I enjoyed your discussion regarding social bookmarking. I am giving it a turn right now to see if it is worthwhile for any websites. It can become distracting and I am sure something new will be presented in 09.

4:45 PM 

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Name: Sportsbook SEO
Location: Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

Web Developer/Producer since 1996. I have an intense creative bent that at times can lead me down paths best left unexplored.

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