Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

Hey, Guys, Chill Out

posted at 2:04 am
on Jun. 24, 2006

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Boris and Darren both took the time today to whack matchstick.ca (those phone givers I just blogged about) with the “unsavvy” stick. Boris went so far as to say he’d “reconsider doing ANY business with Nokia in the future” because of gross infractions that led to them slapping a “spammer” label on Matchstick’s business practices.  What horrid infraction Matchstick commit?  Offer them a free phone with no strings attached.  I say: Relax a bit, fellas!

Boris wrote: A company that does “buzz marketing”, Matchstick.ca, had three separate people contact me via email. All of those emails were sent en-masse—I consider it to be spam. And I happen to know at least two other people (David Crow, Roland Tanglao) that got the same email.

Darren wrote: [I received] four emails from Matchstick from four different staff members all asking the same thing. And two of those messages came after I clearly expressed my disinterest in their offer. Matchstick might want to invest in some CRM software, and learn how to use it. I think they’ve qualified themselves as spammers, don’t you?

Meanwhile, today I received about 400 actual spams, advertising vi-a-gra, d-a-ting services and m-o-rtgages with gibberish and ph-i-shing links.

Uh, guys, Matchstick isn’t spam.

Spam is unsolicited and irrelevant; you have blogs about Vancouver and about tech stuff and you ask people to get in touch with you with tips (Darren says, “If you want to get in touch with me, feel free.”)  Spam is bulk and automated and indiscriminate—emailing a few dozen appropriate people one by one, even if you double up by mistake, isn’t spam.  Spam uses tricks to get past junk filters—Matchstick didn’t put text in an image or use tricky CSS or stuff random words at the bottom.

Please save your “spammer” hatred for scum who really deserve it, not for those who are clearly making an effort to contact you as an individual.  And yes, I know that Matchstick.ca is hoping to get some blog love from this, but I have signed no contract, promised nothing, and there’ll be a box in the mail here shortly.  But still, spam isn’t a nice person in an office writing you a personalized email offering you something for free, unless your spam is orders of magnitude better than mine.

In addition, I don’t even understand some of Boris’ complaints.  Boris: Why is it shocking that Nokia doesn’t know what model phone you currently have? *I* don’t even know what model phone *I* currently have unless I’m looking at it.

And what “Word document” are you talking about? I did everything by phone.  Here’s how this happened for me.  One person from Matchstick wrote me.  I wrote back tersely, but immediately.  She called and asked a bunch of questions, some personal, some professional.  She said she’d talk to Nokia.  Weeks passed.  She got back in touch and said I qualified. 

Total number of emails from contact to phone: 4. Hardly excessive, is it? I often need more emails just to plan to see a movie with friends!

However, I do agree with Boris that Nokia would probably love to have a “citizen journalism” package, or cheaper rates overall, in the Canadian market.  Canada’s cell phone service is just too expensive.  It doesn’t benefit Nokia one whit to have Rogers (who we’ve already established is the devil) charge me through, up and around the wazoo for cell phone service. I can guarantee that I’d like my phone better and upgrade it more often if I could use more of its features frequently without fearing a cell phone bill that looks like a car payment.

The Matchstick girl (I should say woman but “girl” carries some lovely undertones) told me that they’re still seeking bloggers. If you’re a Roger’s customer and a blogger in Vancouver, and you’d like to have this new Nokia phone, let me know and I’ll pass your name along.  Darren and Boris, I promise not to email you about this. 😊

Update: In comments on Darren’s post, Boris says that the third contact he received was from a photo blogger in Toronto, not a Matchstick employee. How is THAT spam—that’s not even commercial!  And how can you expect a third party to know what Matchstick has said to you?  Come on!

Update 2: Apparently, my use of a certain “V” word above was making this post the target of hordes and hordes of spammers.  Idiots.



 
 

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Previous entry:
I Won’t Be Nokia’s Bitch

Next entry:
Sushi + Magic == Fabulous Fun

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