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A Cautionary Tale of Social Networking

Andy Oram, a book editor for O’Reilly, recently posted to his weblog a quiet rant about how difficult it is for new bulk email senders to navigate through spam control.

For example, he writes:

Lots of promising social networking companies are stymied because the emails they send members and prospective members get trapped by spam filters–especially at the major email hosting sites.

Our sympathies. But there are two sides to every story. Some social networks behave idiotically and do not deserve to have their mail delivered.

Case in point: Tagged.com, which was — to be charitable — less than transparent in its description of what happens when new users signup. It asks new users for the password to their email account. Then, without warning, it spams all the addresses in their address book.

To confirm this, we carefully went through the signup process, using a Gmail account populated with test addresses. It’s not a case of clueless users blindly clicking OK.

There’ll be more tomorrow on the subject of new bulk senders’ troubles with spam filtering.

Richi Jennings

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