Feb 7, 2007

Yahoo Group Abuse...

I belong to several Yahoo groups that focus on the Scrapbook Industry. It's amazing to me how people mis-use those groups by placing major amounts of ads for their sales. I know I'm not the only one irritated by the abuse. Maybe a little primer is in order.

First: many people select the option of getting either emails for each new post or a daily digest of all the new posts sent to their inbox. I, on the other hand, always choose to read AT the group (like a message board) because I don't want all the emails in my box. You can change your settings at any group by logging directly into the group and hitting the EDIT MEMBERSHIP option.

That being said, I am finding more and more that some business owners do a mass send of their ads to ALL the groups they belong to. One recent one said, "Mention WHICH Yahoo Group you read this at for the discount." They may not realize that those messages don't only land at the group for people to read at their leisure the next time they log in, but they are sent to many, many in-boxes. If you get enough of those each day or week, it gets REALLY irritating. Not to mention that SOME of the groups you are sending to may not permit ads or may not be interested in your ad.

They may even be violating Yahoo's Anti-Spam policy by sending those ads that no one asked for. From Yahoo:

  • You agree to not use the Service to upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation, except in those areas (such as shopping) that are designated for such purpose.

Some groups are designated shopping groups where ads can be posted daily or weekly and that's fine as long as the group was set up for THAT purpose. But, some groups, like the Scrapbook Companies group was not set up for that purpose. It was set up for people looking to start a business to get information about the various direct sales companies and other options out there to do just that. We don't care that you have stickers on sale. Most of the people there sell stickers or WANT to sell stickers. Yet, some people just pop their ad out to every group on their list. All that does is annoy others. Annoyance is not a good way to build your business.

So, before you hit SEND on that birthday sale to all your groups, I would suggest that you go to each group and find out the rules for posting ads and then do so ONLY to those groups whose members are there for that purpose. Otherwise, you risk a public flogging that is never pleasant.

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