I just received a mass-mail from someone I know from Ignite Phoenix, asking me to vote for their child in some competition to be on the show, “Glee.” I won’t reprint the e-mail, because I have more taste than that. However, it carried with it the most insidious line:
“Yes, I realize I’m completely abusing our relationship by forwarding this email with such demand, but I couldn’t resist. We sure hope you do the same to help [child] get noticed…”
Therefore, this person was completely aware that he was sending something out that most everyone who received it would not want, care about, or appreciate cluttering up their inbox.
Completely ignore the fact that I despise all children: Is it okay to spam people just because you’ve gotten their e-mail addresses from some other means than a sign-up sheet?
See, here’s the rub: When you connect with someone personally through e-mail, you’re sort of agreeing not to bother them with useless messages, but there’s no contract saying you can’t. Unlike commercial e-mails which need to adhere to very specific rules, I can mess with anyone in my list of contacts as long as I don’t mind their hating me for it.
So it’s definitely not a good idea. Sending out even “cute” messages about helping one’s kids make a television audition is going to lose a person some friends and contacts. I’m definitely adding this particular connection to my spam filter.