My journey as a spammer and Reformation

spam
Spam

Imagine a thick dense widely spread forest. This forest has about a billion people.
You can discover only a single person among them. Those billion people want to be discovered.
You have a device to catch frequencies and tune out or tune in to particular ones.
So they all start shouting at the top of their voices so that you can hear them and discover them.

  • Some people shout in meek voices. Your device can't even catch them. Among them, few people have a super amplifier, so even though their voice is low, your device can catch their amplified voice.
  • Few start yelling gibberish loudly. But you hate the gibberish. You tune out the gibberish and rescue your ears.
  • Then a person starts singing opera loudly. You love it and start listening to this person. A week passes by and the opera didn't change at all. It's the same old tune, it's so redundant. You are tired of it.
  • Then you hear this person singing a song with beautiful lyrics - but you don't understand it, because it's in a different language. It's awesome, but you can't make any sense out of it.
  • You hear another person singing beautifully in a language you understand. You want more and more songs from this person. But they just stopped singing after few songs.
  • Now what if a person does the same as above but regularly? After a month of listening to this person's n number of songs, you decide to tune in to them forever and ever.
  • What if several people are doing the same and you just want to find the best one among them and stay tuned to them. But obviously you don't have time to listen to a million of them and choose the best one. You will start listening to each person for only 15-30 seconds. This is like the situation in The Voice. They need to grab your attention asap.
That's pretty much how blogging works. Here's the analogy:


Analogy
Forest story Blogger
Thick dense forest Internet
Billion people Bloggers. Yes, there are actually a billion bloggers including people who don't blog in English.
Gibberish Poor quality content
Awesome singing Good quality content
Lyrics language Blogging language
Different songs New content in every post
Same opera Same old content
Volume of the voice Promotion
Super amplifier Sponsor/Ad systems that invest in some blogs and make the blog visible.
15-30 seconds listening Headline/Excerpt/Snippet/Cool image/Summary that can grab reader's attention.

But here we just considered one reader, there are billions of readers with different interests. But even the best blog may not be worth a visit for some readers. For example, my Mom will just kick me out if I make her listen to Led Zeppelin everyday even if they are the best. Your blog needs to reach the right kind of audience.

Bottom line : The only combination that works is {New content + Quality content + Regular posts + Promotion + Right audience}.

~

Now how did I become a spammer?

Spammer -
"a person or organization that sends irrelevant or unsolicited messages over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc"

I prefer being invisible since childhood. I don't know why. I tried to put myself in different categories like introvert, just shy, socially anxious etc. But I just don't know. But I really want to vent out the million thoughts and weird theories my brain has. It's not just that. Sometimes I don't find what I need even after googling so much and I end up researching it too much. I want to share that research/experience to people who may need it.

So I started blogging. This isn't my first blog and I have had blogs during my college time. It was Orkut days, so promoting blog anonymously was super easy. One fine day I forgot the password. And the user Id. And the email id. Yep. There are 2 orphan blogs in the internet.

Then I started this blog after so many years. I published first post and forgot about it. Then somehow I posted actively from March second week on wards.

Obviously, I won't get any visitors as no one knew that the blog exists. So I had no other option than to promote. I asked my husband to promote it as his friend's blog. But no, he told everybody that it's my blog. So my identity here is semi-anonymous. Even now, nobody from my current work place know that I have a blog.

So I had limited audience and I wanted to spam them all as much as possible. But back then(until now), I didn't realize that it's spamming. I only thought of making my blog discovered by sharing every post link with people. Even if there's no response from a particular person, I still went on spamming them with more and more posts every week.

But that didn't get me enough traffic, so I resorted to anonymous/alias activities on Quora and Reddit, spamming everywhere. I got enough warning mails from both of them to stop spamming. Some of the sub-reddits blocked me forever. I got blocked from several other sites either temporarily or permanently. Getting blocked became just another daily thing for me.

My perception even after that didn't change. I considered all that as promotion.

My reasoning went something like this - Everybody spams(sounds like something House would say)
What about all those ads on Youtube and TV channels?
Why is Facebook giving the ads option to promote your posts/site/page?
Are all those Hogwarts letters to Privet Drive spam?

That's when I learnt about permission marketing coined by Seth Godin. He defines it as :

"Privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them."

You know somebody actually wants to read your posts when they
  • Subscribe
  • Follow blog or periodically check the new posts on your blog.
  • Follow social network projection of your blog - like Facebook page, Twitter handle, Google plus posts, etc.
  • Find your blog in some search engine.
  • Actually ask you to share a post with them.
Suddenly I realized that I became a spammer. I was sending non-permitted content to everyone.

spam
A wild spammer appears

Then I realized something more shocking. I have been a spammer all my life. May be not to the entire world, but I do spam my family and closest friends a lot.

  • Hey, look at this meme, you gotta look at this and lol.
  • Mom, Elon Musk came up with this new thing..Neuralink, you gotta listen to this..
  • This movie is so awesome, watch it, why are you distracted by your phone? Now that you missed 5 seconds of it, we need to re-watch it from the beginning.


movie spam
Watch it, love it!

For all bloggers who spam, there are many Facebook groups and Reddit sub-reddits just for blog promotion. That would be the best place to promote your blog.

TL;DR: Sorry for all the spam, I have stopped it :)

If you guys like any of the posts and want to read more, then please follow any of the steps mentioned above-subscribe/follow. As you may have noticed, I have updated the blog to make it easier for sharing, following and subscribing.  You will see the options on right side and on top of the page.

Spammers do have heart and feelings. Educate them about spamming and give them a second chance.

Fun fact: Spam word has been derived from Spam canned food after the Monty Python's Flying Circus did a Spam sketch on them. This second meaning to Spam other than as food was added to Oxford dictionary only in 1998.

For Hindi speaking people:

Dilon Mein Tum Apni Blog Promotion Leke Chal Rahe Ho
Toh Spammer Ho Tum
Nazar Mein Blog Stats Ki Bijliyan Leke Chal Rahe Ho
Toh Spammer Ho Tum

Remember to be kind, kyun ki spammers bhi kabhi human the.

Comments

  1. That's so important! Permission marketing will get you so much further than just spamming your friends. I've been there and I know what I'm taking about!

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  2. Your analogy of the music in relation to bloggers was SO TRUE. I like that you're poking fun at yourself in this article too. It helps those of us who may be doing the wrong thing not feel so stupid lol

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  3. Yes, it's always best to send out your posts or updates to those who have given you permission to do so. Great analogy at the beginning. All Opera does kind of sound the same.

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  4. Interesting post!! Very good read and important!

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  5. Glad you found a way that works! I love your analogy with music, makes it so much easier to understand.

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  6. Interesting article! Like the cartoons!

    ReplyDelete

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