MyBlogLog Plutoed?

MyBlogLog is a service I enjoy using, and which provides me with a significant amount of quality readers.

But it is becoming devalued

Recently Andy Beal decided to issue a free Zune MP3 player to a member of his MyBlogLog community. I actually thought this was a good idea to encourage people to use the service, as Andy has a high readership. Thus I did link through to him in my post “MyBlogLog – Antisocial Behaviour?”.

Shoemoney in the comments challenged Andy to a contest, and I pointed out that spamming your way to a large community isn’t highly regarded. Shoe at that time had already “contacted” 5000+ people in MyBlogLog, and that number later hit 8000+ people.

Today Shoe wrote about his challenge, but seems to be claiming that any success he is going to have will be due to his female picture. There is no mention of the fact that he also contact spammed 8000 people, and if you now look at his contact profile, he has since removed 95% of those contacts to hide the evidence, so that he doesn’t look like a “contact whore” as this practice is often described.

Whether inviting to share contacts with 8000+ people is regarded as spam is subjective. Shoe obviously thinks it isn’t as in Andy’s comments he said to me.

Andy – stfu dude I never sent anyone spam messages get a fucking clue idiot. Do you look at the people I add who thank me for adding them? Do you see ONE person complain that I spammed them? I went through and hand picked contacts so what its a social environment Im not spamming messages or websites so don’t make it sound like I am.

How eloquent…

If you look at the comments on his MyBlogLog profile, that he can moderate, there was certainly some confusion from the people responding.

OliverG wrote

Hi, why do you add me as a contact? Have we met? Have we communicated? This has a touch of SPAM.

Robin Wrote

Hey, thanks for visiting my site. Love some feedback. Robin

From what I can see, Shoemoney was adding one new contact at least every 20 seconds. Did he really visit a site?

So I did see a spam complaint, and you can hardly claim to be selecting sites if you are requesting contacts that fast.
When you request a contact, emails are sent to people maybe depending on how your account is configured.

Andy Beal has responded to the challenge today.

The problem is this challenge is not about sex vs zune, but social media & incentives vs spam.

Yes I agree that sex sells on the internet, but this test isn’t a way to prove it.

If Shoe wanted to prove it, he should have sent the spam requests with his own portrait, and started a second new blog for Nicole with some low quality content, and also spammed 8000 people with that account, and see whether Nicole gained more contacts than he did.

Why Plutoed?

The American Dialect Society (ADS) has voted “plutoed” as its 2006 word of the year. The verb, meaning ” to demote or devalue someone or something”, beat “climate canary” (an organism or species whose poor health or declining numbers hint at a larger environmental catastrophe on the horizon) in a run-off vote to secure the crown, although the latter did win the “most useful” word category.

Apparently the “Word of the Year” as reported on The Register.

If this is looked on as a viable tactic for MyBlogLog, the next stage will be MyBlogLog adding scripts. Who knows, maybe such a thing exists already. Maybe that is what Shoe was using.

It would be easy to scrape every contact from MyBlogLog. You would then create an add link for each member, and automatically visit the link.

MyBlogLog would then certainly be Plutoed.

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  1. says

    Andy — we’re going to continue working hard this year to keep the signal to noise ratio as high as possible. Over the holidays last month we released a feature that lets you only see messages from your own contacts and I think this will help. As always, suggestions on how we can do better are encouraged.

  2. says

    Oked to use a female avatar sure. It is fairly common, and in a similar way I use a simple logo as faces just don’t stand out.

    You don’t seem to get the point of the post though. Your “challenge” is totally invalid because of the tactics you used and didn’t care to mention in your blog post.

    Your tactics if employed by others would totally devalue MyBlogLog as a real social network, similar to LinkedIn but a little more casual.
    If it becomes standard practice to invite 25% of the members automatically, “carefully selected” my ass, the whole idea of contacts falls apart.

    If there was some special arrangement allowing you to spam 8000+ people with contact requests, I am sure Eric would have defended you in the previous comment.

    Btw great censorship on your blog comments. I gather you don’t want your readers to know how you are really gaining all the new community members.


  1. […] While I love MyBlogLog, I’m deeply worried about the ease with which the contacts system can be abused by spammers. Andy Beard wrote a great post about this yesterday which addresses a lot of the concerns. BTW, Andy gets an award for introducing me to whole new word, “Plutoed” which I hope never catches on as its sounds dreadful. […]

  2. […] There is quite a bit of discussion on monetisation as would be expected. The emphasis was that you would earn more money from blogging as being part of the community and gaining influence and “notability” than you would from any possible advertising revenue. This certainly turns the tables on what Jim Kukral was trying to demonstrate. (p.s. nice permalinks). Jason Calacanis has already given his opinion on this topic with a great counter-punch. Matt is still thinking about ways users can include some form of monetisation. Matt seems positive about MyBlogLog which is good news for possible future addoption. I found it interesting how Shoemoney agrees with Matt about criticism. In my experience Shoe doesn’t accept criticism very well, and certainly much worse than Matt who I feel handles it fairly well. In the interview Shoemoney states that criticism plays “a vital role”, “I never learned anything from a compliment” and “learn from criticism”. I didn’t link through to Shoe directly because he tends to censor criticism and trackbacks. […]