Jun 30 2007

Community Messages on MyBlogLog

Published by Meg at 3:17 pm under community, mybloglog, social media

It’s seems that a new feature - the ability to message all members of your community on MyBlogLog has been introduced by “popular demand”. I don’t like it one little bit.

Here are the results so far:

Community Messaging on MyBlogLog

An example I received (three times)

Hi, I just wanted to use the new messaging feature to tell you that I really appreciate having you in The __________ community!

and one of the advantage of having a community is to have a lot of friends. as mark of our friendship i’d like to exchange links.

drop me a word in case you are interested.

deep regards

XXX

What can you do?

  1. Visit the community and click the “leave” button (let’s see, I’d only have to do this a maximum of 918 times)
  2. Turn off your email notifications (you won’t get these messages any more, nor will you get notification of any “legitimate” messages)
  3. Don’t worry, they’ll all be there on your profile page, so you will have to filter through heaps of junk to find the “legitimate” messages
  4. DON’T message your community. Come on, surely I’m NOT ALONE in disliking this service.
  5. Ask MyBlogLog to add a new messaging option - do not allow mass messages from community owners

A Message to MyBlogLog Community owners - please take notice.

Do not diminish your reputation by using this mass mailing feature, however tempting it may be. I joined your community because it looked interesting. I know it’s there. I know what you do. Please don’t make me sorry I joined.

(As an aside - I wrote about spam tagging of MyBlogLog communities the other day, and have noticed there is (now?) a profile option where you can restrict who can tag you - the options are “everybody”, “my contacts” or “me”. I would highly recommend selecting the “me” option.)

Update: Hmm I tried to add a tag to my own profile and received this message, seems you might have to toggle this option back on if you want to add a tag.

MyBlogLog Tagging Error

Another Update:

This is my new MyBlogLog avatar:

avatarmbl.gif

Update: Other good posts

Andy Beard - MyBlogLog New Features - The abusive and Incomplete

Avinash - MyBlogLog Mass Messaging - Swallow Spam or Die

Both link to other commentary about this topic.

Update 4/7/07 - Snoskred has made a commitment not to spam her community. I echo her sentiments. She also links to Jon, who has also created an image you can post on your blog to show your dissent and commitment not to spam.

No Mass Mailing on MyBlogLog

Alex also writes a well considered post.

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60 Responses to “Community Messages on MyBlogLog”

  1. thinking_girlon 30 Jun 2007 at 4:34 pm

    There definitely is a downside to web 2.0 Meg.

    I’m quite wary of joining these kinds of communities for this very reason. I find it impossible to conceive of receiving “deep regards” from a total stranger.

    Fortunately for me my thinking_girl blog is something I am doing it 100% for myself so I don’t feel any great need to get out there and network. With professional blogs or blogs where people are trying to make money you kind of have to put yourself out there and you end up with stuff like this.

  2. robon 30 Jun 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Yup, you took the words right out of my mouth, well said

  3. Megon 30 Jun 2007 at 6:17 pm

    It’s not so much a “need” to network, but a “desire”. It’s about being part of a community (which I gather is why you joined up with Bumpzee) - not because you are trying to retire in the next 5 years!

    The point of the matter is that, irrespective of the reason one is blogging, these community networking sites need to protect their members from this, or they will quickly find their members opting out of the whole system.

    There will be a big outcry about this.

  4. Bengton 30 Jun 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks for the tip about restricting tagging to “me”, went and did that at once. And I agree about mass mailings, they are spam and unwanted.

  5. Megon 30 Jun 2007 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Rob & Bengt

    Thanks for your support.

    Andy (Beard) also has a post about the spam issue http://andybeard.eu/2007/06/mybloglog-new-features-the-abusive-and-the-incomplete.html

    I’m with Andy, I’ve already started leaving communities who are using this feature (for more than just making a point).

  6. Avinashon 30 Jun 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Nice to read your post against this new *trouble addition* over at MBL. I read your comment @ MyBlogLog official blog and their reply was too insulting to control. I’ve left two comments but they haven’t been approved yet.

    “Leave the community if its owner sends you a spam message”. Wow! What a nice way to hide your sin!

    I’m just waiting for their reply and then gonna post about this on my blog. I’m planning to include all the blog links where I find bloggers against this new messaging feature. I wonder if I’m the only person who feels pissed off whenever they release a new feature.

    Their try to control spam ended up forcing MBL members to join only 15 (?) communities/day because they couldn’t come up with a better solution. If someone wants, (s)he can still misuse the current limitations and stay visible 24/7/365 on their home page just by visiting 200 - 300 MBL blogs/day because that’s how they used to pick a particular person for their “Hot Members” list. If they had to control spam, they could easily add a message-approval option so that we MBL community owners could keep the spam away.

    I wonder if they even think before announcing a new feature!

    Since past couple of days, I’ve started to be active over at BlogCatalog and really love the way their system works.

    - Avi

  7. Megon 30 Jun 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Hi Avi

    Surprisingly I haven’t found too many posts - yet….but they will certainly come.

    I’ll be interested in reading your post, and I too have responded on their blog (comment pending).

  8. Leighon 30 Jun 2007 at 9:54 pm

    OMG Meg. I was pissed off after the bunch I got today..no where near as many as you.

    I would love to know how on earth they thought this was a good idea? How hard was it to at least add an option for people to choose not to receive them.

    I really like and enjoy mybloglog, but I certainly won’t be sticking around.

    I have submitted a suggestion to their suggestions board for an opt out feature… http://suggestions.yahoo.com/detail/?prop=mybloglog&fid=32973

  9. Megon 30 Jun 2007 at 10:34 pm

    That’ll teach me for embracing the community spirit :(

    It was due “popular demand”, but I don’t know how that is determined….. I’ve voted for your suggestion - thanks for posting the link.

  10. Davidon 30 Jun 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Meg…I’m glad that I found your blog from the Yahoo Groups that I just joined. This is a great post which led me to your “spam tagging” post. I think we all get enough garbage without adding to it.

    On a side note, my 16 year old daughter is Megan whom we call Meg on a regular basis.

  11. Megon 30 Jun 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks for dropping by David. I’m enjoying your blog too :)

    Nice to hear of another “Meg”!

  12. Avinashon 30 Jun 2007 at 11:26 pm

    @Meg: Thanks for being interested in reading my post! I’m still waiting to see my comments appearing on their blog but it seems to me that they’re not going to approve the comments left by me.

    Let’s see, if they don’t approve my comments and answer my questions, I’ve planned to leave comments on 8000+ blogs out of those 14,840 blogs that I’ve been tracking since last couple of months. I’m not gonna face their crazy suggestions all the time.

    @Leigh: Nice step! I’ve voted for your suggestion. Thanks for posting the link! We need to pull attention of *many* bloggers in order to get this feature added in MBL pretty soon. Seeing 23 catchy messages on my MBL profile and in my Gmail inbox, I’ve already started getting nightmares thinking what’ll be the condition when those 5,460 MBL community owners send me messages one by one!

  13. Megon 30 Jun 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Avi - not sure what time it is “there” (ie @ MBL) - could be they’re sleeping!

    Holy cow - 5,460 communities! I can certainly see your concern.

  14. Robyn Tippinson 01 Jul 2007 at 7:03 am

    Meg,

    Just wanted to let you know that we are going to discuss this on Monday. You have my email now, feel free to send me any other suggestions (and thanks for the heads up on the tagging bug).

  15. Andrew Kaplanon 01 Jul 2007 at 7:43 am

    That happens sometimes when you are on the “bleeding edge”. I am not a programmer, however it seems to me other sites put a parallel beta site option for users to click into to test. Dic BlogLog ever have a link to be on their beta?

    If not, they may want to consider doing that.

    Andy

  16. Megon 01 Jul 2007 at 11:18 am

    @ Robyn

    It will be interesting to follow the discussions around the blogosphere. But I’m somewhat perplexed that your reaction seems to discourage the “sense of community” which makes MBL popular.

    “So far, the majority of criticisms come from people in 300 or more communities. They are worried about the potential for spam and heck, I hear you. I’d be worried too. I’ll leave it for other people to debate why someone would join 5,000 communities and focus instead on pure numbers.”

    @ Andy

    I don’t know that parallel beta would really have been practical in this instance - perhaps more discussion of the implications prior.

  17. Markon 01 Jul 2007 at 11:20 am

    Thank you for speaking up about this, too. I posted a little of my own on my own blog and MBL’s. Their intent is admirable, but I think it’s misplaced especially since they didn’t offer some way of combating the problem. Telling us to “leave a community” is not a well-thought out solution, at least not one I have come to expect from a popular (and useful) place such as MBL.

  18. Avinashon 01 Jul 2007 at 11:31 am

    So they have approved my comments. But, hereis something for anybody who has joined 300 or more MBL communities.

    You should read their point #4. Here I’m posting the whole point:

    [quote]
    4) So far, the majority of criticisms come from people in 300 or more communities. They are worried about the potential for spam and heck, I hear you. I’d be worried too. I’ll leave it for other people to debate why someone would join 5,000 communities and focus instead on pure numbers. The vast majority of our users belong to a couple dozen communities that they have a genuine interest in and wish to take part in. I’m not going to get all Spock on you and talk about the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few (or the one), but it does impact our thinking.
    [/quote]

    After reading the point #4, it feels like a direct slap in the face of the person who has joined much more than 300 communities. Notice the lines in bold. These guys are doing no good for their reputation by writing such a senseless crap on their official blog. Why the hell wasn’t it written in their ToS that one should not join more than 300 communities because there are the chances of getting insulted if you do??

    People don’t waste their time joining lots of communities that they don’t have a genuine interest in. Yes, I joined 5000+ communities because when I visited ‘em, I found them useful. Meg and Ilker joined so many communities because there must has been a good reason to do so.

    I’ll be posting a post on my blog about this around 10:00 AM (IST). Currently, it’s 7:01 AM over here.

    - Avi

  19. Andy Beardon 01 Jul 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Meg I love your new avatar :)

    Bumped :)

    Talk of MBL is going to fill up the bumpzee top posts lists everywhere, not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.

    After that first encounter with spam tagging when it was first introduced, I haven’t had a problem. I have been leaving it to others to tag me… I find it fascinating.

  20. Sephyrothon 01 Jul 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Meg,

    I totally agree about this being a bad decision; fortunately, I didn’t receive any community messages though mybloglog; part of the reason is that I don’t join many communities manually and have set my “auto-join” settings to 20 page views from the default 10.

    I also think that you’ve hit the nail on the head with the best way to solve it - they should allow email settings for each type of email you receive, instead of a single Yes/No to email option.

    As far as sending messages to community members; if I want to let them know directly about something going on in my community (the US Blogs community) at Bumpzee, I’ll go around and leave a comment on their blogs mentioning what is going on, along with making a note on my blog, and possibly making a new discussion on the community. And of course, if someone tells me that they don’t want me to send messages about the community via their blogs, I’d respect that, but I didn’t receive any complaints when I did it about two weeks ago.

    Sephyroth
    http://www.sephyroth.net

  21. […] Meg slammed MBL and is also looking to leave the communities of spammers. It must be a real nightmare for people who don't use an email client that stacks emails. […]

  22. Megon 01 Jul 2007 at 1:38 pm

    @ Avi

    I’m not surprised that you perceived that as a slap in the face. I did too. Please post the link to your post back here.

    @ Andy

    Glad you like it :)

    @ Sepyroth

    Thanks for your support

  23. Louiseon 01 Jul 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Hi, I’m only new at all this but I don’t like it either. I like getting genuine messages from people but I have no interest in getting ‘community’ messages. I am quiet capable of visiting the blogs I want to visit when I decide I want to. There should be an option to opt out of community messages. If there is and I’ve missed it let me know.
    cheers

  24. […] a few people, including me, Meg of Blogpond, Ilker of The Thinking Blog and Andy Beard of Niche Marketing left comments over at the official […]

  25. Avinashon 01 Jul 2007 at 5:57 pm

    I’m sorry for the delay in my blog post! You can read the post now. :-)

  26. Megon 01 Jul 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Louise - no opt out option yet, but hopefully it’ll be coming.

    Avi - am reading it now, it was worth the wait :)

  27. Lison 01 Jul 2007 at 9:04 pm

    When I woke up this morning and checked my email, I thought “sheesh, ain’t I popular today?”

    This spanking new messaging feature without an opt out option is a complete nightmare. I especially love MBL’s “take it or leave it” suggested solution. Now that’s what I call top notch customer service.

  28. Ken Xuon 01 Jul 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I’m agree with you. Many people just keep sending spam & advertising. I wonder why MBL enable this feature without asking about our privacy.

    If MBL want to add this feature, they should also add some feature for us to select whether we will or will not received the messages! :(

  29. Megon 01 Jul 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Lis

    Hehe - almost sounds like a song “when I woke up this morning (dumb ditty dumb), and finally logged on (dumb ditty dumb), a whole heap of spam mail (dumb ditty dumb), made me write down this song….”

    Thanks for voicing your objection.

  30. Megon 01 Jul 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks Ken

    Hopefully our “roar” will be heard over the 180,000 members who “might feel otherwise”.

  31. Avinashon 01 Jul 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Meg,

    Glad you took the time to visit my blog and leave the comment. It seems like I’m not alone in the category of people who woke up and found that suddenly, he has tons of messages in his Gmail inbox.

    Really, when I woke up and found 22 messages in my inbox (all from MyBlogLog), I was worried about the message senders thinking if someone nuked the MBL office! Ok, take it easy. ;-)

  32. Megon 01 Jul 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Cheers Avi

    One of my first reactions was to turn off email notifications. But that made it even harder to track legitimate comments - and of course, the extent of the misuse of this system.

    I was going to update with links to other posts, but since you seem on top of it, I’ll defer to you - “don’t let the turkeys get you down” :)

  33. cooperon 02 Jul 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Yes, I wrote a brief notation on this the other day.

    I have enjoyed my blog log ,because although I had been blogging for some time and had quite a few readers I hadn’t really looked at new blogs in some time.
    I found some very good blogs but get tired of the spam and then this community message thing- I thought my head was going to explode, or that maybe there had been some kind of world disaster.

  34. Steve Hayeson 02 Jul 2007 at 3:32 pm

    My thoughts about this are quite opposite.

    I join communities as a form of social blogrolling — they are blogs i want to visit again, but not necessarily frequently enough to have them in the blogroll on my blog. While it should not be overdone, I’m quite happy to receive messages from commonities I’ve joined.

    What I’m not happy about is people who join my blog commonity and never return to read the blog. If you’re not interested in a blog or community, then DON’T JOIN. If you are interested, you won’t mind receiving reasonable messages from them, and you don’t HAVE to join communities you are not interested in.

    When I see MyBlogLog profiles with more than 100 communities, I back offf quickly and hope that they won’t join my community. NOBODY can be interested in that many, and follow them up with return visits.

    I would rather see a feature to remove people from my communities if they haven’t visited for a long time — perhaps with a setting so that I can keep valued community members permanent, and others to remove after a few months if they haven’t visited.

  35. Avinashon 02 Jul 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Steve,

    You wrote this:

    I join communities as a form of social blogrolling — they are blogs i want to visit again, but not necessarily frequently enough to have them in the blogroll on my blog. While it should not be overdone, I’m quite happy to receive messages from commonities I’ve joined.

    What I’m not happy about is people who join my blog commonity and never return to read the blog.

    And I’ve an answer. Technically speaking, everybody who joins a community is not bound to “visit” your blog and read each and every post, leave comments, etc. There are too many people who just don’t have spare time to waste visiting each and every blog community they join. Do you think all the people who come in this category are web freak?

    Most of the time, people visit a MBL community and if they find it interesting or related to their niche, they join the blog community. If the author is really interesting, they’ll then subscribe to the RSS feed so they can stay up-to-date even without visiting a blog. Now do you want to kick all these type of people out of your MBL community just because they are reading your blog posts via a feed reader and not visiting your blog to read the same posts?

    I think you should experiment with your own technique (i.e. removing community members from your community) and soon you’ll realize that your subscriber number went down to 30 from 3000 (of course, if you have a big MBL community).

    Just my thoughts.

  36. Megon 02 Jul 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Cooper & Steve

    MyBlogLog was really beneficial when I started blogging, because it allowed me to meet and interact with other bloggers and it literally provided me a portal to the blogosphere. I have NEVER made a nuisance of myself, with self promotional “visit my blog” type messages, and a majority of my comments were made privately to blog owners.

    I embraced the sense of community, and rewarded bloggers that I felt made an effort with their blogs with a membership of their community. I subscribed to many and visited others from time to time. And I meet some wonderful bloggers who I am still communicating with to this day.

    As time went by, and my blog subscriptions climbed, I had to rationalise (as one does) the amount of time devoted to keeping up with many blogs and social networking sites. Perhaps it’s a sense of netiquette that if one joins your community or befriends you, that you, in most cases, reciprocate.

    There are many communities that I am a member of, and subscribe to the blog, but rarely feel the need to visit. Does that mean I’m not “qualified” to be a member of that community?

    I wouldn’t be offended for a second if members of my “community” didn’t visit my blog. But I would never insult them by sending a self-promotional type message, because I respect their privacy and would never assume for a second that they had consented to receiving this type of mail.

    And how does one define “reasonable”? Is a daily, weekly, monthly message reasonable? With no limitations on the amount of messages - the onus is placed on us to do the “leaving”.

    And we’re made to feel like WE’RE the ones who have done the wrong thing by embracing the community spirit.

    Steve, I appreciate your viewpoint, but understand that we all have a different level of interaction with MBL, and to me it seems like they’ve changed the rules in the middle of the game.

  37. Steve Hayeson 02 Jul 2007 at 6:27 pm

    To me, “community” means that there is some kind of interaction between community members. I’ll join a blog community if I like something posted on a blog, and think I have some common interests with the bloggers whose community I’ve joined.

    For that reason I have no objection to receiving messages from them.

    But many people seem to join communities just to show how many they can join, regardless of whether they have any common interests with others in the community, or the blog that the community relates to. That, i think, is a far worse abuse than sending messages to people who have joined one’s community.

    I’m not interested in promoting my blog to people who are not interested in any of the topices, but I am interested in promoting it among people who share common interests, and that why I like MBL - I hope, by looking at the communities of whose who have joined my communities, I’ll find others with common interests, and find their blogs interesting.

  38. Megon 02 Jul 2007 at 7:01 pm

    Steve

    Well, that’s your opinion. I disagree. I’m assuming you DID send out a community message, and feel you have to defend your actions. It would be interesting to ask your 42 + 6 + 7 community members if they wanted to receive emails from you. Just because they might follow your every written word on your blog, doesn’t mean you have the assumed right to message them whenever you feel like it.

    I have not done this, but I don’t see how joining a community “regardless of whether they have any common interests with others in the community” can be labelled “abuse” - it’s a passive exercise and does not impact upon the community whatsoever.

    Membership to a community is automatic, if someone wants to join they can. It’s not like adding friends. Perhaps you might suggest to MBL that they implement an “approve membership to my community” function. Then you can control the quality and ideology more rigorously of those who join your community, since you seem so offended at those who join but are not interested in your every written word.

    How about a compromise? When joining every community, a member has the option of ticking a “receive messages from this community” box - this would ensure that a message is only received by those who request it.

  39. liamon 02 Jul 2007 at 10:30 pm

    couldnt agree with you more…makes the blog logic seem way to commercial…The individual interaction is what makes blogs blogs…if you get my meaning

  40. Megon 02 Jul 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Liam

    Yes, I do know what you mean :)

    Thanks for your input.

  41. Steve Hayeson 02 Jul 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Well, yes, I did send out a community message, but I didn’t feel I had to defend my actions, because I only sent it out AFTER writing my two previous comments. I didn’t know about this new feature until I read about it on your blog.

    Now I’ve written about it on my own blog, sent out a community message to draw people’s attention to it, and linked to your blog so they can read the other side of the story.

  42. Megon 02 Jul 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Steve

    Fair enough. As your post didn’t track back - I’ll include a link here:-

    http://methodius.blogspot.com/

  43. Matt Keeganon 03 Jul 2007 at 12:55 am

    I’ll be leaving several communities who have spammed me since this mess began. In addition, I plan on making certain that I am not automatically added to any other MyBlogLog communities simply because I appeared on their site 10 times. I am sure that happened because I stumble like crazy.

  44. The Green Fairyon 03 Jul 2007 at 1:57 am

    Posts like this make me very happy that I abandoned MBL long ago!

  45. digitalnomadon 03 Jul 2007 at 6:56 am

    Good for you. I join you.

  46. Megon 03 Jul 2007 at 7:07 am

    Guys, thanks for your support.

    Matt - I’ve done the same with many communities. I do like the auto-add feature, as sometimes I’m not aware that blogs I visit have MBL communities, or I’ve forgotten to join. But this new messaging feature has certainly made me question the auto-add option for me.

  47. wamyloveon 03 Jul 2007 at 7:45 am

    This was just a bad idea and I think it crashed the site this afternoon…

  48. Avinashon 04 Jul 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Hey Meg,

    I just read someone’s post that says “maybe people join hundreds of communities for Search Engine Optimization purposes so they can make money by enough clicks on their ads”.

    Now doesn’t that sound like an intelligent point? LOL I’ll like to suggest such people to learn Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing, Website Monetization and Web Analytics properly before they start making points like this. :D

  49. Megon 04 Jul 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Avi

    Yeah I think I read that one - or something similar. Had to bite my tongue (or the blogging equivalent) ;)

  50. Snoskredon 04 Jul 2007 at 7:03 pm

    I’ve made a commitment not to spam people using this community messaging system. You can do the same, and also show the little badge on your site to let people know you won’t spam them. :) I linked to your article about it in my post, too.

    Snoskred
    http://snoskred.blogspot.com/

  51. Megon 04 Jul 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Snoskred

    Thanks for letting me know. I’ve updated my post with a link to your post and Jon’s badge. I’ve also added the badge to my sidebar.

  52. Kathie Thomas, A Claytons Secretaryon 04 Jul 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Spam in social networks - it’s getting to be a pain!

  53. Alexon 05 Jul 2007 at 3:20 am

    Meg,

    Great post. I have been vocal on MBL blog about this new feature but have to admit failed to share on my own blog.

    What I find rather sad with this new feature is that MBL failed to think about one core issue - CAN-SPAM. Unsolicited mass message is definitely qualifies as SPAM. We can argue for and against it but the core issue still remains.

    I think that this feature CAN be made very useful via implementing several simple steps that would lead to people CONSCIOUSLY making decision to receive these messages from me but not until then. I’m absolutely against spam no matter which form it takes and will be posting on it on my own “howtospoter” blog.

    Alex

  54. Sephy's Platzishon 06 Jul 2007 at 4:38 pm

    MyBlogLog: Enabling Spammers…

    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……

  55. […] has blasted the new feature and has lots of great […]

  56. […] features introduced by MyBlogLog had cause some uproar from concerned bloggers like Andy Beard, BlogPond and […]

  57. Ian Kennedyon 13 Jul 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Hi Meg,

    Just want to let you know that we just added the ability to opt-out of Community Message email. For details, see my post at:

    http://mybloglogb.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/07/at-your-service.html

  58. Megon 13 Jul 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks Ian

    I included this in my weekly update.

  59. […] Snoskred posted commitment Not To Spam Via MyBlogLog, Andy Beard Has spoken his mind, Meg has blasted the new feature and has lots of great comments, Rob at Yack Yack makes his opinion known, Avinash has a great post […]

  60. […] how I rationalised it back then. MyBlogLog was really beneficial when I started blogging, because it allowed me to meet and […]