Anatomy of an Inadvertant Spamming

August 1, 2009

Let me just start off by offering my apologies to anyone that received today’s fiasco: 8 emails to sign up for ShareThis. I am not one to blatantly spam my entire contact list (at least not anymore (at least not intentionally…alright, cut me some slack, I’m trying here!)) but fell prey to poor process flow and lame UI at the site’s registration portal. Part of me senses the irony as well since one of the people I spammed is an early investor in the company (Heehee).

It started innocently enough: full registration for a service I use frequently to share content with my network…you’ll probably recognize their green and white logo on the bottom of most articles and blogs. Once I signed up, it asked me if I wanted to connect with friends also using the service. Well of course: I love to connect!!! Wrong choice.

After asking me to search for contacts in my Gmail account, it brought in over 2,000 contacts and asked me to send them an email. At this point I should have thought about what I was about to do a little more. I assumed I was connecting with people that already used the service since the button on the bottom said “click to send 700 emails.” Well 700 people already using the service sounded about right so I clicked.

But nothing happened.

So I clicked again…still nothing.

After 8 times I gave up and figured there was a glitch in Firefox or the process keeping me from moving to the next step. Wrong!

I think you know what happened next. Most of the responses so far have been nice:

“Don’t sweat it, happens all the time.”

“You may have a virus, you might want to check it out.”

Others, not so nice. I am not sure what it is about spam or email that drives some people bonkers but this may have pushed some “friends” over the edge. We’ll have to wait and see.

Lessons learned…again my apologies.

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