Mybloglog messaging system and why I think it sucks

I just noticed the mybloglog mass message system thing. I don’t like it, it reminds me of that annoying myspace and orkut mass message thing. It is a recipe for spam spam spam and time wasting silly messages just filling up my inbox.

If every member of every community I’m in uses it just once a week, I’m in for a hell of a lot of reading and emailing/deleting.

Anyhow,  of course I had to try the thing out I so I mass messaged my 108 community members to see what they thought about it, I even told them that it was a one time message and apologised in advance too.

Here’s the kicker, I got a few responses, most agreeing with me. So I try and reply to their private messages and get this!

Message:* Now just slow down there, rock star! It appears you’ve become a bit overzealous with your messaging, or at least that’s what our new algorithm thinks. But we’re still fine tuning it, so if you think this is a mistake, just hit customerservice@mybloglog.com with an email and we’ll get you sorted.

Um…no, I don’t think so. If I get a message froma community member responding to something I sent them, I SHOULD be able to reply!

Come on guys, you’ve made some nice changes over there but this one is just asking for trouble.

Free advice time.

Drop the thing, or at least allow people to choose whether or not they can get these things. auto opt everyone out of it, and let them opt in to it.

Stick little checkboxes next to community members so we can selectively message certain people en masse.

If you go with an opt out system, then only show me members who have opted in on any mass message page.

One other thing, ever heard of letting people know about such things before you implement them?

I like MBL, I visit it daily, but things like this just give me negative chuckles .

Update:

Ive read a number of posts from people in the  mbl community who are annoyed about this. Ive had PMs on my mybloglog message page, but due to the way it works I get that silly message as outlined above, so have been unable to respond. Seems my one time mass message has put me into instant spammer terrority, or maybe it was because I once labelled myself a ‘schmoe’.

Anyhow

Avi puts it into a historical context of bloopers and avoidable slip ups

Andy makes his usual spot on observations

Meg too, tells it like it is.

John at disassociated explores a few of the issues experienced 1st hand and makes a few suggestion of his own too.

MBL have found themselves twisting in the wind and…well, just go and read it yourself.

Changes will no doubt be made in response to the criticisms out there. Why they have to wait a week to implement a few minor sensible changes, is quite frankly very puzzling. But hey, maybe they feel they have enough community capital to ride this one through too.

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23 thoughts on “Mybloglog messaging system and why I think it sucks

  1. Mike

    I’ve yet to even try it yet and I don’t imagine I will be. I hate bugging people with things like that. If they want to know what’s going on with any of my sites they can easily subscribe to the RSS feed. That’s what it’s there for.

  2. Case Stevens

    This feature, sooner than expected, will destroy any carefully build network of ‘friends’, who, in most cases, really are interested in each others blogs and blogging results.
    Bad.

  3. Seo Advice Post author

    Hi Avinash

    I just read it. I think its a bit airy fairy really. Whilst I hear the sentiments, I’m still baffled that some base fundamentals weren’t looked at.

    Its easy to criticise, and I’m not just criticising for criticisings sake, I just hope they hear the feedback and act on it.

    MBL is a great resource, a cool way of meeting new bloggers and people, but not at the expense of being spammed to the ends of the earth. Im gonna turn the email notifications to off, until they install some better options

  4. David Airey :: Creative Design ::

    I visit MBL almost daily too, and agree that this isn’t a good idea. The comments were already susceptible to spammers so this just further downgrades it.

    Off-topic, do you think there’s merit in changing your comment anchor text from robwatts to Seo Advice? If so I’d probably do something similar on my blog.

  5. Seo Advice Post author

    Hi David

    I’m always playing around with things and seeing how they affect a position. Part of the reason why Ive changed this is that it *may* have a positive effect in any numbers game. It may not too either, but it doesn’t hurt to experiment. Its also useful for a little project Im playing with, mainly from a drip drop overall branding perspective.

    Can’t beat a little prod and poke science after all :D

  6. Mike

    I’ve noticed one thing you can can do to at least cut out *some* of the spammy community comments on your MBL profile. Under messages set it to only show messages from those in your contacts list. That hid a few of the community messages for me. Of course if you have every community owner in your contact list this isn’t going to work for you. Worth a shot though.

    I imagine this won’t stop the e-mail alerts though =/

  7. Seo Advice Post author

    Hi Mike

    yes good points, although you can turn of email alerts in your profile settings. I didn’t really want to do this though cos on occassions I do actually get the odd message that I’m pleased to know about, but hey – it beats the prospect of potential flooding :)

  8. Robyn Tippins

    Just wanted to let you know that we’ll be going over all the feedback on this issue this week. Thanks for adding your two cents :)

    Also, the Rock Star message is for people who send more than 20 messages per day. If you didn’t send that many, then you probably fell victim to the bug that wonkied up that feature this weekend. We had a dozen or so people mention this issue this weekend. My sincere apologies! If you come up against that one again, please let me know. My direct email is in your comments.

  9. Andy

    I suggested a VERY simple feature edition about 3 months ago and while I received a positive reply – the change still hasn’t been made. I think they are a little too slow at developing/testing

  10. Seo Advice Post author

    Hi Robyn, thanks for dropping by.

    Just on that rock star thing. Would you agree that if a person initiates a contact then no matter how many messages youve sent, you should be able to respond?

    You could in theory get into a little conversation with 2 or 3 people, yet due to way the system is set up, find yourself unable to continue it, simply due to the message cap. Again just my opinion, but it could do with an increased level of sophistication

  11. Avinash

    Mike,

    Thanks for sharing the idea to cut out some of the SPAM comments! I’m going to try it and will be reporting back about the result.

  12. Nate

    I agree. Worst idea out there. However I was hoping that good community members would resist the temptation and not use the tool.

    Once I realized I was getting spam comments I started to implement the policy – if you’ve not read my blog and the message was obvious spam – I removed you from my community and contacts.

  13. Seo Advice Post author

    Nate, Andy thanks for stopping by.

    The cynic in me sometimes wonders whether such things are overlooked on purpose.

    Controversy marketing perhaps ;)

  14. Avinash

    Rob,

    Am I the only person who thinks that MBL has developed a personal calendar as well? This calendar must have 1 week = 8 days, no? ;-)

    @Mike, I used the method but it didn’t seem to work on my profile, even though I’ve only a few hundred people in my contact list :/

  15. Seo Advice Post author

    Avi, hear what you are saying – maybe they need a little more time to iron out the obvious :D

    No, that’s a little mean of me, its a cranky Sunday morning here

    What has been interesting is how they came out on the front foot, more intent on questioning motives of people with big communities rather than just saying ok, and implementing an easy fix or 2.

  16. Seo Advice Post author

    Good job Ian,

    Thanks for the heads up on this, I just went in and altered my settings.

    I’m glad that you guys saw the sense in this, its a win win for all concerned.

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