Rinse and repeat on LinkedIn spam

Time for another missive on LinkedIn spam. I’ve touched on this topic before, discussing the notorious Pav Sanka and his inability to use a contact for its intended purpose.

Well fast forward to today, when the equally slimy John Keats – the Chief Sales Officer of 123 Greetings (visit at your own peril). Another person from the sub-continent who feels it appropriate to ignore clearly written information on what types of messages I’m happy to receive via LinkedIn.

For those who don’t remember, here’s a recap:

Contact Settings
Happy to share my knowledge and consider job offers, but please don’t contact me with spam.

Interested In: career opportunities, consulting offers, job inquiries, expertise requests, reference requests, getting back in touch

With that in mind, here’s the message I received today from John Keats:

Subject: CPO & CPM – Strategic Partnership
From: John Keats Chief Sales Officer at 123GREETINGS DOT COM
Date/Time: April 25, 2012

Hello Michael

I represent 123greetings.com (World’s #1 e-Greeting company) with 30 million opt- in users across the globe.

We help advertisers to reach their targeted audience on CPO and CPM basis via our email campaigns.

The Average performances are 6% open rate and 5% CTR and we can target users demographically and geographically.

You can message me for more information and I will be happy to discuss with you further. You can add me in Skype (greetings_sales)

Best
John Keats
Cell phone: +1 646- 257- 3763
Email:john.keats@123greetings-inc.com

Chief Sales Officer
123 Greetings.com, Inc
1674 Broadway, Suite 403, New York, NY 10019

Ok, let’s look at what messages I stated that I’m happy to receive via LinkedIn and which of these it matches up to:

  • career opportunities: No
  • consulting offers: No
  • job inquiries: No
  • expertise requests: No
  • reference requests: No
  • getting back in touch: Are you seeing a pattern emerging yet?

So – should John have sent his message? No way.

If I had even a remote interest in electronic greeting cards as part of a marketing campaign I might be running, I would have gone out looking for the relevant information.

And looking at this companies’ website, it doesn’t inspire me with confidence. It’s a design reminiscent of mid 2000, with all the design queues which give it the look and feel of something dodgy and untrustworthy you’d associate with India – right down to the use of generic and dodgy stock photos and more advertising than you can shake a stick at.

The consideration and application of ethics in marketing is something oft ignored by less scrupulous users of social media and communication networks. Those who fail to consider ethics in marketing also fail to realise the damage their activities do to their business and reputation.

I’ll bet this is why Pav Sanka tried to get in touch with me last week by phone, considering that Pav’s own name and business name (Vinsky Consulting) doesn’t appear on Google results without my entries appearing right next to or even before him and his company. It’s the same level of permanent record that’s given to Contractjobs.com and Lucy Plumridge thanks to their lack of business ethics and my well-honed SEO skills.

So, here’s the reply sent to the latest LinkedIn spammer. Will it achieve anything – likely not. However, if it does make the person in question reconsider their obnoxious tactics and think twice before misusing LinkedIn, then it has achieved its purpose.

John,

Let me be blunt and respond to your message with a question, did you bother to read the contact box on my profile which clearly states what kind of contacts I’m interested in receiving?

Let me answer that question for you – No, you did not.

You have sent me a message, a message with no purpose or relevance to why I’m here, and offers me nothing that’s aligned to the messages I’ve expressly stated up front that I’m willing to receive.

Spend a moment in my shoes – I get several messages here a day, on top of all the other informational networks I need to participate in to stay at the top of my profession. If you think that messages like yours are a valuable use of my limited and valuable time, you are sorely mistaken.

Connecting with you is of no value to me. You’re not a social network practitioner – you’re a bleeding sales person who’s so ineffective in their job that they don’t bother to read available information and form sound judgement. There’s simply no benefit to me in connecting with someone like you I don’t even know who is of zero relevance to me.

In short – you’re just another pain in the arse spammer who abuses networks like this for their own means and wastes other peoples time.

I’d thank you to refrain from such wasteful messages, and future pay better consideration to the messages you send so as not to waste other peoples time. Needless to say, I’ll be circulating your message and my response amongst my circle of influence both online and off to make sure that they never do business with you or your company.

Michael.

As I said last year – people like John need to learn the purpose of social networks, and understand the manners and expectations that goes with using them.

Spammers: Please die

Yep, it’s one of the few subsets of the human race I actually wish genuine harm befalls them. They are the scourge of the electronic globe, spraying every corner of digital existence with their flaccid graffiti in the vain hope it might sell a few more fake pills or trashy manuals that show you how to do everything.

Of course, despite their poor outcomes they somehow still manage to make something out of these exploits – a result of the stupid and incompetent members of society who don’t take personal responsibility to educate themselves on internet security and safety. These people should be removed from the gene pool, but that’s a post for a whole other time.

Today is no exception. Thanks to the lax security at Gawker which exposed many thousands of people’s email addresses (I look after my email address like a credit card, and before that breach I had received not a single piece of spam), I received the usual Nigerian scam variants as well as phishing attacks to hand over bank data to banks in countries I don’t even reside.

Normally, those emails aren’t anything to write home about. However, this one message I received through LinkedIn really incensed me to the point where I gave it with both barrels to the guy behind the message.

Hi Michael,

Your profile looks interesting to me and also noticed that we are following the same group, probably we are on the same wavelength. I believe that we might be able to add value to each other and exchange some good ideas that might be beneficial for both of us in the near future. I would be very happy to accept your invitation and get connected with you.

Click here http://au.linkedin.com/in/pavsanka to view Pav’s profile and then add Pav to your network (pavanssv@gmail.com).

I will look forward to accept your invitation. Thank You.

regards
Pav sanka

Now just to give you a background, the only group of which both Pav and myself are members is the Social Media Marketing group.

Let’s look at Pav’s profile, and see if you can figure out what got my back up:

Pav Sanka
Senior Consultant at VinSky Consulting International – Open Networker
Sydney Area, Australia Information Technology and Services

Pav Sanka’s Summary
Providing premium recruitment services to National and Multi national companies especially in the IT and Telecommunications area. Supporting all types from permanent to contract.
My goal is to always deliver the best talent in the market place to offer the specified client the best service at a very competitive price.

Specialties
IT Development, Business Analysts, Business Intelligence (BI), Web Designers, Architects, Technical and Solution Architects, Database Administrators (DBA’s), Programmers (.NET, C#, C, C++, JAVA, Oracle, Web), and Designers, Testers (Manual and Automated Testers), Project/Program and IT Managers, Solution Sales Consultants and Business Development Managers (BDM), ERP – Technical and Functional Consultants, CRM Consultants – both Technical and Functional, Software Engineers, Progress 4GL, SCADA

Did you click on the link I added for this company’s website? I dare you to – because 1996 called, and it would like its web design back.

Funnier still is that the page was created in MS Word. He claims to either be a professional programmer, or work with them or sourcing them for your business – and he can’t come up with a basic web page, let alone on in a respectable editor to save his life. Doesn’t fill me with much confidence about his business.

Those who use LinkedIn will also know that you can state clearly in your own profile what types of messages you’re happy to received. My profile states this clearly:

Contact Settings
Happy to share my knowledge and consider job offers, but please don’t contact me with spam.

Interested In: career opportunities, consulting offers, job inquiries, expertise requests, reference requests, getting back in touch

Was Pav’s contact fitting with my stated contact settings? No. Did he bother to read this before sending a message? Obviously not. Did he see that he wasn’t even geographically relevant to me? Nope. Did he even bother to see that I’d recently changed jobs (this week in fact) and twig that I wouldn’t be interested in offers? No again.

Should he have sent his message? No way.

Was I sick of receiving these messages? You bet I am.

So, I let him have a bloody good serve. I might have been a little OTT with it, but it was 5:30pm, I was on my train home, and would have preferred to be catching up on my RSS feeds for the day then dealing with this rot:

Pav,

Let me be blunt and answer your email with a question, did you bother to read the contact box on my profile which clearly states what kind of contacts I’m interested in receiving?

Let me answer that question for you – No, you did not.

You have sent me a message, a message with no purpose or relevance to why I’m here, and offers me nothing that’s aligned to the messages I’ve expressly stated up front that I’m willing to receive.

Spend a moment in my shoes – I get several messages here a day, on top of all the other informational networks I need to participate in to stay at the top of my profession. If you think that messages like yours are a valuable use of my limited and valuable time, you are sorely mistaken.

Connecting with you is of no value to me. You’re not a social network practitioner – you’re a bleeding recruiter who’s so ineffective in their job that they don’t bother to read available information and form sound judgement. Heck, I’m not even based on the east coast and in your geographic area of relevance – so there’s simply no benefit to me in connecting with someone like you I don’t even know who is of zero relevance to me.

In short – you’re just another pain in the arse spammer who abuses networks like this for their own means and wastes other peoples time.

I’d thank you to refrain from such wasteful messages, and future pay better consideration to the messages you send so as not to waste other peoples time. Needless to say, I’ll be circulating your message and my response amongst my circle of influence to make sure that they never do business with you or your company.

Michael.

Jacob Nielsen said this today in respect of web design, “Obnoxious abuse of a Web design element will ultimately poison the well for decent websites as users start shunning that design element, even when it’s well intentioned.”

The same could and does apply to spam – obnoxious use of messaging and social networks will poison the well for even the best intended websites and services helping people communicate.

People like Pav need to learn the purpose of social networks, and understand the manners and expectations that goes with using them.