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.


Facebook and the Past

February 22, 2009

The great thing about Facebook is how it bridges the past and the present. Over the past few years that I have been on Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with people from old jobs, old friends from places I used to live, college buddies, high school sweethearts and even elementary school friends that I haven’t seen in almost 30 years. This experience, however, has also reminded me that some people never seem to grow up and things change less often than they should.

Is the draw to this reconnection with the past a longing for better days or something else? I have run into people from the past often enough to realize that most people fail to mature as they go through life. So if the odds are against making a meaningful connection with someone at a different emotional maturity level, why bother at all: shouldn’t the past just be the past.

Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You Can’t Go Home Again” and in many cases his work is still relevant. Life is about growth and understanding to me so when I come across people who fail to do either, it bothers me because I feel sorry for them. Granted, this is a bit “holier than thou” and not the most positive perspective I have in my life, but is it really wrong to want more for others?

Maybe what I am looking for are clues from the past to help me retrace my steps through life so I might better understand the present…maybe I am a hopeless optimist…maybe I should just leave the past in the past.

You know that things are getting really bad when your local newspaper starts asking for money. Its bad enough that major media newspapers are at risk of going under, but the West University Examiner…say it ain’t so!

Today, along with my weekly lawn turd, I received this letter:

“Dear Examiner Reader,

As you know, the West University Examiner is delivered to your home each week free of charge, The continued growth of the West University Examiner, along with increased newsprint and delivery costs, makes this an increasingly difficult challenge. However, we are committed to bringing each of you community news about the West University area and planned events as well as area advertisers who value our community and want to reach you on a weekly basis.

“If you agree that the West University Examiner is important to you and you would like to support the weekly delivery to your door, please let us know by sending your supporting payment outlined below. this is a one-time-a-year program that not only keeps the West University Examiner coming to your door each week; it offers a reward program to your personal carrier – a tip for services.

“Check the box below to indicate how you would like your payment to be divided.

Best Regards,
The Dedicated Staff of the West University Examiner
etc, etc, etc…”

Now I am all for supporting the local community (check out my other blog if you doubt that). But this letter irks me for a number of reasons:

  1. The West University Examiner was acquired by Houston Community Newspapers in 2006 which in turn is owned by ASP Westward, LP so this is not a small 4-5 person printing operation we are talking about.
  2. This was obviously a form letter as “the West University Examiner” was a different font than the rest of the letter…very sloppy.

I never asked for this paper and frankly I see no value in it so they should not expect my support. If its a bailout you want from me, I am already tapped out!

Takes on a whole new meaning…

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