James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘Spam’

Blog: Reporting for spam on Twitter? What’s reasonable?

In Community, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Twitter, Twitter Tips on November 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Got in a debate yesterday with someone reference reporting spam on Twitter.  She doesn’t, I do.  Twitter themselves want to fight spam and have hired more for that team recently – and one of the things they’ll no doubt be doing is building smarter algorithms to challenge spam accounts faster.

One of the main learning points for those algorithms will be the accounts that people have manually reported for spam in the past, so by playing an active part, I’d hope I help improve both my personal experience of Twitter – and the quality of the platform as a whole.

For my part, I tend to report the following types of account for spam:

  • Those who Follow/Unfollow instantly, just in the hope of bringing themselves to my attention.
  • Anything that spams a whole bunch of individuals (usually iphone giveaways in my case. No idea why).
  • Those that tweet nothing but promotional sales material AND @mention me without good cause
  • Any application account that causes my own account to tweet without my express permission.

The last is probably the one that annoys me the most, but I guess it’s actually slightly off topic for this post.  Returning to the point, my friend (she’ll identify herself in the comments if she wants!) says no – she feels everyone and every business should feel free to use Twitter as they wish.  I’ll accept that, provided those actions don’t deliberately downgrade my experience of the platform.

What I’d like to do now is update this post with my thoughts – but before I do, I’m going to throw it out there…. I being unreasonable?

Blog: Should you unfriend / unfollow / unlink me?

In Blogging, Community, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Social Media, Twitter on November 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I’m looking for an app.  Usually, I find what I’m looking for pretty quickly. On occasion, I’ve hacked together a mix of things to suit the purpose. On this occasion though, I’m drawing a blank.  This all goes back a few months to a Twitter debate with my old friend Merv.  I posted on the blog and Mervyn pointed out that as he was connected to me on numerous platforms, he was rather inundated with notifications.

It’s an accurate observation, as any new post here will go to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook immediately. It’ll end up other places too, in due course. I do that intentionally because I want a variety of feedback and because my presence (and thus network) on each of those platforms differs.  Still, Merv struck a chord.  Am I inadvertently spamming people who’ve chosen to connect with me?

First pass on the analytics tells me my post-to-many plan isn’t all bad.  I have just under 2.5k followers on Twitter, just over 2.5k connections on LinkedIn, under 400 friends on Facebook.  The Facebook connections are predominantly outside the tech and recruitment industries – so the feedback I get from those readers is valuable to me. It’s fresh, untainted by constantly moving in the same sphere I live and breathe.

So what about the LinkedIn/Twitter audience?  Last time I checked (I can’t now, the Tweets app in LinkedIn appears a bit screwy!) – roughly 25% of my LinkedIn connections were also on Twitter.  I doubt all of them follow me, but let’s be generous and say they all do. That still leaves 75% of 2800 connections not picking up my blog via Twitter – and therefore justifies posting to both.

So the app I need then?  I need something to help me identify if I’m connected to the same person across multiple platforms. But when I get that information, what then?  I don’t want to spam you, but neither do I want to sever a connection without explanation and have to rectify that situation.  So I also want that app to be able to alert these individuals to the multiple connection points and ask what THEY think. Do they feel spammed? Would they rather disconnect in a few places?

How to close off? Well, as I said to begin with, I don’t have that app right now. But I do have a voice.  I’ve said before I use this blog to test out thoughts, gain feedback – here’s your chance! This is an open invitation to unfriend, unfollow or unlink me if you feel you get the same stuff in too many places from me.  Ideally, I’d do this more carefully by identifying those cross-platform connections and talking directly – but since I lack the tech to do this, I figure we just go open season on it!

I’ve noted connection numbers on those three platforms – I’ll report back any significant changes next week!

Blog: How many apps can access your Facebook profile?

In Facebook, Facebook tips, Social Media on February 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I intended recently to remove a Facebook app from BranchOut – it’s a recruitment tool, but one that so far seems more interested in spamming profiles than delivering value.  I then thought I’d blog about the methods, only to discover Andy Headworth had beaten me to it.  Great minds and all that. I’m not annoyed 😉 I’ve got a slightly different method – but I also want you to consider the other apps you find in there…

I try to keep an eye on the apps I install or authorise – after all, they all represent a potential security risk.  Even so, I was surprised to find 65 non-Facebook applications can access my profile. All were things I’d authorised at various points, but even so – at least 30 of them hadn’t been activated in the last 6 months (yes, Facebook shows you that).

Facebook Account Menu

The list of apps that have access to my details, or can post on my behalf, is now much smaller.

Want to sort yours out? Here’s what to do. Click on the Privacy Settings option. You’ll get a view of how different things on your account are shared – and indeed, while you’re here – check you’re happy with those settings.  For checking on your installed apps, the button you want is to the bottom-left of your screen.


Once you’ve found this, click on Edit Settings. You’ll see a short summary of the most recent apps in use, plus some other privacy settings. Instant Personalisation is one I blogged about recently, thought it’s not yet live on my account. Next to the short list of recent apps, click the Edit Settings button – you’ll see the full list. Facebook shows you when they were last used, and gives you the option to edit settings for each one. Next to the edit option though, there’s a little blue cross – click on that, you’ll get the option to remove the app completely.

In less than 10 minutes, I went from 65 apps to 39. I have a few things to check, but a load more may soon disappear too.  How many did you have?  More than you thought, I’d wager. Let me know in the comments!



Blog: YOU decide how much vitriol this recruiter gets!

In Recruitment, Social Media on January 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

Something slightly different from me today – I REALLY want your input!

As many do, I get spam emails from recruitment agencies constantly. I get cold calls, I get speculative CV’s.  It tends to suggest that in cultural/behavioural terms, they’re still way short on getting the basics right – and as such, shouldn’t yet go near Social Media.  I’ve recently had one which I believe presents a great case study on precisely this point.  I drafted the following, but then I thought I’d crowdsource a response.  Should I send them this and give them a chance to respond? Should I change it? Should I just ignore them and hope they wither and die?

Dear xxx

As I said when we spoke last week, we have no requirement at present. If we did have a requirement, we would first turn to one of those companies we work with as a consulting partner. Again, as I explained at the time, we’re currently talking to your firm, but that’s as far as the relationship goes.

Credit: Getty Images

If we hadn’t had the conversation prior, I would have thought your mail to be spam.  As we’d actually spoken in some detail a week ago, I don’t regard it as spam – I regard it as a clear sign that you in no way listened to, or registered, the information I gave you on that call.

If you’re unable to listen to a prospective client when being given information on the first call, I have no choice but to assume you’re also unable to listen or register information when given a recruiting requirement.

Finally, I have previously unsubscribed from speculative mailers from your firm.  The arrival of your email with three unwanted CV’s indicates no notice has been taken of my previous written communication either.

Please, explain to me exactly why you think I’d ever want to use you as a recruiter?

I have a load of meetings today – the comments are unmoderated, so feel free to speak out – but with due respect. I’ll review late this afternoon and decide how to respond.

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