How Do I Know if I’m Spamming?

Old 1 Comment on How Do I Know if I’m Spamming? 219

Eli, why are you spamming my G+ feed with all these posts.  lock it up.

(Let me just first say… “Lock it up”…  What does that mean?)

In the world of web marketing we have to walk a fine line between being advocates for our products, and dirty nasty spammers.  When you advocate your products you create strong brand relationships, but when you are a spammer you just piss people off.  The issue is that the line between those two things can be exceedingly thin, and almost no one agrees where the demarcation is.

Now that I am putting real time and money into I am working to promote the content on the site as much as possible.  This not only brings in traffic, but it also is a boost of moral support to the authors to show that I stand behind their work.  Unfortunately some folks see my advocation as spam.

I would argue that when you try to define the difference between being an advocate and being a spammer it really all goes back to your intent, and how you go about communicating with folks. Are you informing people who you honestly believe will care about the content?  Did these people give you consent to contact them, and to break off contact?

When you start promoting your work many folks want to literally tell everyone they know, have known, ran into once at a subway station, and generally has a pulse.  The thought is that your ideas are so great that you will convert these unwilling masses to loyal fans.  Using email address scrapping and other such ify methods you send out your masses to the world, and promptly piss everyone off.

Email is the most dangerous tool to use for communication because folks feel that it is so personal.  You were given an email address for a reason, and it wasn’t so that you can spam the person.  You may later find out that the reason you can no longer find anyone to go the movies with is because everyone added you to the spam filter for anything you send them.  If you are going to use email marketing you should have an explicit signup process generally through a service such as Constant Contact.

The question then comes to what about when you start posting on social networks.  When you use your Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter account to start blasting out content.  What constitutes spam at this point?

I would argue this goes back to questioning yourself on what the purpose of the messages is.  Are you sharing what you yourself believe is drivel, or are you sharing something you think your followers would enjoy?

With I am now sharing every post that is submitted, and some folks consider this spam.  My feeling is that is my future.  It is a vital part of my 10 year plan.  I want to create a place where geeks can tell their tales, and I want to show them that I am supporting them and their development, not just gobbling up their content for it to fall into the forgotten shadows of a massive blog site.  Promoting their content is in both the authors and my best interest.  It makes my authors happy, and frankly brings in a lot of traffic.

This then comes to the difficult part of running your own business.  The point where you have to remind folks where the door is and  let them know there is no hard feelings if they choose to leave at any time.  With social networks it is exceedingly easy to subscribe/ like a page and to unsubscribe/ dislike a page.  There are no huge hoops to jump through.  You just click a button and it’s done.

I would rather have 10K subscribers that actively care about what I’m posting, than 320K subscribers that randomly subbed and then rarely interact.

At the end of the day when you ask me what is the definition of spam, and where is the line between spam and legitimate communication the reality is that the line doesn’t exist. You have to look at your business situation. Make an honest assessment about the needs and motivations of your clients and perspective clients, and then make a bet with the full realization that your bet may be wrong.

For me I’m going to keep plugging all new posts on into BufferApp so that they can be posted on a schedule to my Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.  I figure if I’m going to ask authors to submit posts to the site I’d be a sad sack of crap indeed if I didn’t do my all to publicize their work. (Not to mention, other than some grammar issues, most of the posts are actually pretty darn good.)


Eli Etherton

I am Eli "the Computer Guy" and have been in the tech industry for approx. 20 years doing all kinds of odd projects. I started as an electronics tech in the US Army, worked in corporate IT during the IT Boom, was an individual consultant and grew my tech shop to have numerous full time employees and supported small business clients with computer repair/ server maintenance/ web development/ surveillance systems/ telephone systems until the great recession. After that I started creating video training on all the topics I know and now have a YouTube Channel with over 500K subscribers. I am the founder of and my plan is to create a tech "news" site that I would actually find useful if I was still in the server room.

Related Articles

1 Comment

  1. Aamir Shahzad June 17, 2014 at 1:00 am

    I think there should be some limit on the number of post to be shared daily, may be 3 post daily shared or 5.

Leave a comment

Back to Top