This was supposed to be a vitriolically angry post, but my cat just snuggled up to me, so I’m a bit placated. You win.
It may seem really weird and antisocial, but this last holiday season, I decided to stay at home and spend it all by myself, on my own. I didn’t want to go out and see people – I just wanted some quiet time and retreat a little.
I’m really happy I did, because it enabled me to meet some amazing people online, and I mean really tremendously amazing people. One in particular (you know I’m talking to you) but that’s something that isn’t meant to be shared – yet.
Aside from having these experiences, I also observed something that disgusted me more than a plate of vomit.
See, I’m subscribed to perhaps 30 or 40 blogs or so. I don’t know. I don’t actually read all of the emails I get from being subscribed, but I always check each of them out, see what it’s about, and if it’s interesting I’ll read it. You know, keeping up to date, see what’s happening.
And I find real gems from time to time. You know the kind: People who say something that touches you, inspires you, or teaches you something. No? Let me know, I’ll send you a list.
What struck me is that already a few days before Christmas the volume of emails went down. During Christmas, hardly any emails. Christmas to New Year? Even Less. Fair enough, people have lives.
Up until yesterday, January 2nd 2011, none of the cool folk put out anything, with a few (worthwhile!) exceptions.
But what didn’t stop was the emails that go like this:
Hi! Sorry to be bothering you during the holidays, but I just HAVE to tell you about this. I guess you too want to go for big next year, and if you do (and of course you do!) then this might be the thing for you. Check it out!
Next, there is a link and when you click it, you go to… a sales page. Of course. An ebook, a course, coaching or whatever.
Really, people? Are you being serious? The only people sending emails to their list during the holidays, are selling something?
I mean, of course you want to sell stuff. So do I. Of course you send promotional emails (I don’t, but that’s more disinterest than anything else). Of course you want people to know, and of course you have people sign up to your newsletter.
But look: I remember when two or four months ago or whatever, I signed up to your blog because someone I really trust and respect recommended you. I checked out your site and while you didn’t really convince me, the recommendation of our mutual friend was enough.
Since then, you’ve sent me NOTHING but emails like the example above. Oh wait, you sent me one or two cool articles? Well sorry, the impact of those was brutally murdered by the further bullshit self promotion you kept sending me.
You know I’m talking to you: You with your float boxes that come up repeatedly, or even worse: float boxes that come up when I move to close the tab. Are you kidding me? Can you even remotely imagine how it makes me feel that you are watching where my cursor goes?
Who the hell do you people think you are? You promised me goodies and cool info, and all that means is sales pitches, even during Christmas? Where you even born with a clue, or did you have it amputated later on in life?
I have no problem deleting the odd email if it contains a sales pitch. If you send me awesome stuff mixed with your product-offer, that’s fine by me. That’s basically implied, right? And if I happen to be looking to buy, you benefit.
But you told me you would help and share etcetera. Are you really telling me that to you that means nothing but selling me your stuff?
You lied to me.
I demand to know why. I want to know why you feel justified in being one of the trendsetters in yet another form of stuff-it-down-their-throats-marketing. Hello, spam anyone?
Ah, but Martin: if you don’t like spam, just switch on your spam filter and shut up already, right?
No sir. To me you weren’t supposed to be spam. You were recommended by a friend. More importantly, you promised me something.
You broke my trust, and I’d like to see you even care enough to try to win it back.
And if you don’t, I want you to get the fuck off of my internet.
P.s. I assure you that it’s not because this cat keeps clawing at me, but for some reason this post got a little bitchy anyway. Well good. I hope you people share it, and I hope some of the people I was referring to will get to see it. I also hope they’ll learn something but I have little hope. What I do have are friends who don’t behave like this. People like you and me, who really try to help others. So let me close on that note. Thanks.