Warning, atypical post to follow: After quite a while of watching this
conversation, and some thought into the "problem", I wonder if the following
scenarios are held in the same view:
1) Amy W (from HR Block you all know who I'm talking about) started using
Twitter to gain insight into her companies standings both with positive and
negative effects. We (the marketing community at least) hailed her as a
visionary and placed her on a totem pole. Admittedly, initially, this was
done by hand but if you think it hasn't been automated your nuts! Yet, I
don't see anyone barking out about HR Block and other companies who are
using Twitter in this way.
2) Marketing companies ARE scraping twitter feeds for information on buyers
for both positive and negative feedback. In some cases this leads to an
automated following and in some cases response workflow kickoff. This
feedback along with data expansion techniques (getting your email and other
info about you from minimal starting points) are then utilized to send
marketing materials via email and/or direct mail. These same companies are
again being held on high as visionaries of the field.
3) If 1 and 2 are ok, then why shouldn't people be able to use an
applicaiton to identify and follow potential customers/consumers?
4) If Dean pursued building an "auto-blacklister" application that was given
away for free and allowed twitter users to subscribe to a feed of "spammers"
that would automatically be blacklisted when followed would that neutralize
your views of him)? If it would, then why hasn't anyone done this already
or are we lazier than the affectors?
Applications like Dean's will ALWAYS exist for twitter (and other services;
Craigs List, Ebay, MySpace, Email, etc) its a fact of life and there are
better ways of dealing with them (see #4) than legal representation. In
fact the code for something like Deans app is trivial (I'd post an example
but too many can be easily found with Code Searches).
Yes, at times, legal representation is a necessity but our sociciety tends
to think that the law is always on our (the US in general) side and not the
"bad guys" side. Legal representation should be held for use only when a
common ground can not be reached through other means. Truth be told, the
law is a very strict set of rules that harbors neither side and thats the
way it should be.
Let the angered responses commence.
- Jeremy Darling
PS: The app in #4 could easily be setup so that twitter users could mark an
account as a possible spammer, once the account reaches a known threashold
that account could then be auto-blocked. Also, when someone purchases the
"auto-follower" software in question that persons ID could automatically be
added with a higher count to the list, thus lowering the threashold for that