Today The Internet Made Me Angry

Last modified on December 9th, 2009

It doesn’t happen very often, but today was one of them. The main reason I was frustrated today is because more and more people seem to be treating each other (or at least me) as simply a marketing target. I used to get inquiries on my site of a personal nature via my contact form. That still happens, and I always enjoy that when it happens (in fact, I think that’s one of the biggest positives about blogging — being exposed to and forming relationships with people you may never meet), but more and more I’m getting random press releases from Vancouver marketing companies and other firms that want me to start using their services or pitching their products on my site.

On Twitter I saw the other day someone complaining about the lack of people to target on Twitter in the Vancouver area, and it kind of made me feel like that person was missing the point. Sure, if you’re a business, having a Twitter account can be advantageous from a marketing perspective. But what happened to just looking at people as a group of individuals where a relationship can potentially be developed? Why do I have to be a person that is only useful if I’m buying something from you?

The straw that broke this camel’s back came from a Vancouver marketing company that, despite my continuous complaints, continues to target me for random PR campaigns, asking me to blog about companies and products I really couldn’t care less about. First, it was a Facebook assault. Then it was an assault using a newsletter campaign (when I most definitely never signed up for their newsletter). And today I started receiving press releases via my contact form from them.

Someone once told me one of the most rude things you can do nowadays is to send someone an unsolicited email or put their name as a CC on an email chain they may not be interested in. Both of this actions results in the other person having to wade through content they may not care about in the least. I would much rather someone contact me via my form and be like “Hey Duane, we see you like cameras, do you mind if I we send you camera information in the future?” If I say yes, then sure, send me stuff. If I say no, then please respect that I don’t want anything. If I don’t say anything at all, it doesn’t mean that I’m interested. But when I receive random press releases, many of which don’t have anything to do with the content of this blog, I start to get a bit annoyed, and really wish it wouldn’t happen. Not only am I not going to buy any of these products, but it’s also making me think really poorly of some of the companies behind these campaigns.

3 responses to “Today The Internet Made Me Angry”

  1. Andrea_R says:

    I’ve been getting a few on my personal blog too, from people who can’t be bothered to read my about page to discover that yes, I have kids, but none of them are babies and no I can’t have any more.

    It mostly makes me grumpy.

  2. VancityAllie says:

    That’s very true. I’m also tired of the unsolicited mail. I don’t think they even read our blogs when they decided to email us…

    Do you think maybe there’s some sort of email list that’s being sold around with all the Van blogger’s contact info on there?

  3. David Brodie says:

    Sorry to see this is happening. There are a lot of PR firms who are engaging communities online effectively and helping social media grow and expand, and it’s frustrating to see that there are some out there that are still just glorified spammers. I have seen both sides working in PR and as a podcaster. I have been involved in several blogger relations campaigns that those on the receiving end seemed to really appreciate. Also as a travel blogger/podcaster myself I have got some really great pitches that have given me great content and helped my expand my audience. Unfortunately I have also seen others that were terrible (like the guy who keeps trying to get me to cover shower curtains for my luxury/adventure travel podcast – seriously did he even take two minutes to figure out who he was pitching).

    I hope (and trust) you will never receive one of these totally off target pitches from our team but if you ever do please let me know and also feel free to pass on any thoughts on how PR firms can work better with blogger/podcasters and other content creators. (@brodiedavid on Twitter).

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