Monday, July 26, 2010

AC Etiquette: Spam-Flattery Will Get You No Where

I could've sworn I wrote a post a few months ago about how PMing other contributors and asking them to check out your work was bad AC Etiquette but I can't seem to find it so we'll say it now: PMing a variety of contributors and asking them to check out your work is bad AC etiquette.  There.

With that said, there's another form of bad AC etiquette.  It's called spam-flattery and gauging from the number of people who said, "Oh, thank you," back to the contributor who practiced this, a number of writers were fooled.  Read on for more.

A number of contributors received a message on their contributor profile last week.  The message read something along the lines of, "I've read some of your work and you truly are a great writer.  I can only hope that someday my short witty poems will be as good as your writing."  That's not word for word but that's the gist of it.  So I'm sitting there saying, "Oh, that's really nice."  I go to this person's profile only to find that several others have left thank you comments on his page.  Hmmmm. Something about this was amiss.

After a little investigating, I found that this new contributor was leaving the same kind of comment on every profile he could find.  When I left him a comment on his profile to the tune of "Thanks for your comments and I was almost flattered but I see you left the EXACT same comment on many, many, many other profiles. That's about like spamming but I welcome you to AC anyway and wish you luck with your writing."  Within seconds, my comment was deleted so he knew exactly what he was doing and it couldn't be blamed on AC newbie-ness.  I then PMed him.  "I appreciate that you want more page views but spam-flattery isn't the way to do it. Other contributors are already aware of your tactics so it might be wise to stop the spam before you end up getting reported to AC. Just some friendly advice. I did take a look at some of your work and it's a lot of fun. I hope you keep it up. With time and persistence, it will do really well. Just practice good AC etiquette and you'll get along with everyone very well. You'll also get more readers and more respect that way. Welcome to AC."

The same message goes out to all those new to AC who think they can get away with this type of behavior.  AC writers are connected across several networks.  We Twitter and Facebook when we see things like this happening and we don't like it when someone tries to take us for fools.  You're not as clever as you think you are.

In addition, when you do this, your page views may go up briefly, but if you're not writing quality content, that will be the extent of the spike in your views.  It not only turns off those who would've become your readers if you'd behaved properly to begin with, it won't do any good in the long run with page views anyway.

As always, practice good AC etiquette when dealing with other contributors and if you have any questions, go to one of AC's very helpful and knowledgeable community guides.


  1. I got that same message, and of course went to check out his work, they were funny poems, but he's not going to get many more page views from AC'ers if he continues this method.

  2. Whoever coined 'spam-flattery' should copyright it. It's the perfect term for a perfectly annoying practice. Fondly, mar

  3. Even though I've never heard of the phrase before I said it, it's actually been around for a few months when spam bots were first programmed to include flattery in spam which bypasses many spam filters. (I think that's the most I've used the word "spam" in one sentence!)