I have been very vocal about new feature that MyBlogLog has introduced – community mass message as I see it as a huge issue for anyone participating in MBL communities. But I do have mixed feelings about this feature:
- I Hate It In Its Current State And Still Think It Can Be Great Feature
Now perhaps my opinion will not be the most popular but I’ll be sharing it anyway. Several bloggers spoke out on this new feature and if you want to read their opinion and multitude of comments I’ll provide link below post but for now – my take on MyBlogLog Mass Community Messaging.
I join communities for several reasons and not all of them might be obvious and perhaps some can be questionable but I’m just a human.
- Main reason for joining is to be associated with blogs closely related to the theme of my blog. And MyBlogLog is great at providing me with an easy way to find all those blogs. Considering that many of them are new and not attempting to optimize for SE while providing superb content – MBL is the ONLY way I would find them! By joining these communities I increase visibility of my own blog and perhaps return them a favor if they decide to join my own.
- An auto-Join community is second most common way I get into new communities. Sometimes they are not related to my own in any way but I find information interesting enough to visit it required minimum of 10 times and BINGO – I’m part of this community. Not that I’m against it as it gives me an easy way to find those blogs by simply reviewing communities I have joined.
- Reciprocal Join. This one will perhaps generate most criticism but hey – when someone visits my blog and joins my community I feel obligated (in moral sense) to at least visit them and leave a word of gratitude and in many cases I find their blog interesting enough that I might want to revisit later, so I join them even if they are not related!
Since you now understand my reason for joining you might be able to understand my reasons for speaking up against mass messaging. When I join community at no point was I asked for permission to send me emails as part of the community! I have never given an OK to fill my message box with unsolicited messages without EVER visiting my blog! Not only I never given permissions to send me messages I loose even the benefits of those people visiting my blog (reciprocal traffic). While I frown on SPAM messages left directly on my profile – at LEAST those people bothered to visit my blog and in many cases I have seen them join my community and hopefully subscribe to my RSS. That means to me that I managed to show at least enough value for them to visit my blog!
As it stands right now – I’m deleting ANY mass messages to remove any benefits for people who send them to me and leave community. I hate spam although I understand that some people simply failed to see the bigger issue with this new feature.
Unsolicited eMail is a SPAM!
And since by default our profiles are set to receive email notifications on any messages it hits my email box as well. I will not go over many other issues since other people have outlined them very well and here are some posts you might want to read:
- Andy Beard Has spoken his piece
- Meg has blasted the new feature and has lots of great comments
- Rob at Yack Yack makes his opinion known
- Avinash has a great post on this feature
And now Why I think it CAN be made into great feature. As a marketer I see an opportunity for how great this can be if implemented properly. It will allow one person to quickly launch a campaign on any important topic as long as it is not abused. I know it will be a temptation hard to resist so some checks put in place can make it more user friendly.
- Provide a new option in personal profile to Refuse receiving ALL mass messages except those explicitly requested via that community. This way any old communities we have already joined will not be able to send us messages.
- As part of joining community include an option to receive mass messages from that community (explicit permission) and leave it off by default. This way any new communities we join – we have that opion.
- Create a new option on community profile page to receive mass messages. This way any old communities we visit – we have an option to “opt-in” for their messages.
- Put a restriction on how many times that feature can be used. Something like once a month and then it will not be used at random.
This is just my take on this whole controversy and I have no intention to use this feature until all the issues properly addressed.