9 out of 10 Spammers Recommend…

September 28th, 2012

Gmail!  Actually, it’s more like 6 out of 10.

Over the past couple weeks, I have been tracking the email addresses of the spammers whose accounts I am deleting (Ouch, my sore deleting finger!).  It is not a scientific survey, because I have missed a few - but the missing is totally random, so the stats should still be good.

I love spam

Here are the numbers:

  • Gmail 70
  • Rete24.com 15
  • Yahoo 13
  • Hotmail 5

There are also another 7 domains hosting email addresses of two spammers I deleted, and another six domains hosting emails of just a single spammer.

When I say this is not a scientific survey, I should add that I did not check to see how many days in a row I might be deleting the same spammer.  In particular, I have no idea if the Rete24.com spammers are several who have access to a free email account on that site, or a single spammer who owns that site, or a team of spammers working for that site.

Surprisingly, I deleted the infamous SteveJobsBookmarking.com only twice.

What is clear from this is that spammers really prefer Gmail heads and shoulders above Yahoo and Hotmail.

Spammer turns to scammer

June 27th, 2012

If there is one thing that social bookmarking websites get plenty of, it’s spam.  Tons.  Here at Zoomit, we have a very effective system that catches at least 90 percent of it, but we still have to delete a fair amount. Over the course of the past year or two, one spammer has proven to be a champion spammer - too stupid to move on and spam somewhere else.

You would think that after his account was deleted the first time, he would give up.  Most do.

You would think that after his account was deleted a second, third, fourth time… Precious few people are so determined to be evil or too stupid to know better that they continue past four failed attempts to spam the same site.

What more can we do?

But the folks from DVD Fab (and forgiver me please for not linking to them here) have had their account deleted at least 300 times, probably more like 400.  They have had their account disabled dozens of times, perhaps 100 or more.  We have changed their password and email address (so they can’t recover their password), and they just create new accounts. We have blocked their IP address and - Presto! - the next day they have a new IP addresss. And we have emailed them.  But like the smell of urine-soaked diapers and decomposing watermelons oozing from the dump, the spam doesn’t stop.

Quick poll (and feel free to respond below): Would you buy software online from a company this belligerent?  If they conduct themselves in this manner, how will they deal with your complaint?  With your support question?  With a failure to properly download?  With an unexplained charge on your credit card?

The admins of this site have taken the liberty of editing the spam submission:

Click on the image to see the full edits.

Want to spam us?  Are you ready to be labeled a scammer?

The Gold Medal of Spamming

June 8th, 2012

.

There are spammers.  And then there are Super Spammers.

Regular members of the Zoomit Canada community are probably used to seeing posts by DVDfabbookmark, that intrepid spammer who shows up day after day, year after year, no matter how many times I disable his account or delete his account.

And you might also be familiar with ArabRevolt, who makes somewhat frequent appearances here and at other social bookmarking sites.

In the spirit of the upcoming Olympics in London, I would like to award the Bronze Medal of Spamming to Arab Revolt, for holding on over the years and for keeping his presence across a number of platforms.

I would like to award the Silver Medal of Spamming to DVDfabbookmark for unparallelled perseverance and longevity (and thick-headedness?).

And the Gold Medal of Spamming goes to…

Yes, this newcomer managed to submit 61 spam entries in the space of a couple hours.  This spammer is on steroids.  But here is the fun part.  He spent a couple hours sweating over his mouse and keyboard to do these submissions while I slept.  In gratitude, I will make four clicks of my mouse and erase them all in one minute while he sleeps.

Somebody queue the sound effects [blast of dynamite].  Yes, that’s the sound the Gold Medal of Spamming makes here at Zoomit Canada.

How To Get Your Zoomit Account Deleted

December 13th, 2011

A week ago, blood was spilled on the floor of the Internet. Last week’s surprise purge of some of the most active users at BlogEngage (including the owner of this site) has brought to the forefront the long-simmering controversy of how social websites decide to delete people’s accounts. I say “long simmering” because both Digg and Reddit have often been at the centre of similar storms – the most famous incident was when Digg deleted Zaibatsu in YEAR.

I won’t bore you with the details of last week’s BlogEngage controversy (You can read about it here and here and here and here), because this post is about how Zoomit Canada decides when to delete an account (or a post or a comment).

As a summary, here are the three things that can get you in trouble on Zoomit.ca

  • If you spam
  • If you flame
  • If you submit objectionable content

Pretty much every social sharing website follows these same principles, but each site interprets spam, flaming and “objectionable” differently and each one has its own procedures for dealing with them. There is no one right or wrong way to address these problems.

The variable that probably differs the most from site to site is the definition of spam. For instance, at Fwisp, Blokube, HealthBuzzing and BizSugar, you are encouraged to submit and promote your own content (as well as others’, if you like); at Reddit submitting your own content is considered worthy of 30 lashes.

Flaming not appreciated

Flaming not appreciated

Here at Zoomit, spam is any page that is not Canadian – and that is made EXTREMELY clear on the submission form. Promote your own blog post or submit a newspaper article or TV news video, as long as it fits one of the five definitions of Canadian content.

What is considered flaming can also vary from site to site, and it is – in fairness – a subjective matter. It generally means to disrespect another member, to stalk him, to insult him, etc.

Objectionable content also varies from site to site. For the most part, it includes illegal content (inciting hatred or violence, for example). Or content that could give the site a bad reputation. Zoomit Canada is a family website, so there are certain topics that are obviously off-limits and there are certain words, mostly related to adult topics, that are off limits.

Here is the current policy on how Zoomit Canada deals with such issues…

Zoomit Canada’s Process to Deal With New-member Trouble

If you are a brand-new member who has not built a reputation yet as a participating member, and you spam, your account will be deleted. Period.

If you are a brand-new member who has not built a reputation as a participating member, and you flame, your account will be deleted. Strong opinions are welcome; personal attacks and insults are not, nor are potentially slanderous statements about third parties. Even if a President or a Prime Minister deserves scorn, be respectful in your scorn. We may choose to issue a warning rather than delete your account if we see other signs that you might be a valuable future member of the community.

If you are a brand-new member who has not built a reputation as a participating member, and you submit objectionable content, expect your account to be deleted. We may choose to issue a warning rather than delete your account if we see other signs that you might be a valuable future member of the community.

Zoomit Canada’s Process to Deal With Established-member Trouble

If you are an established member of Zoomit Canada with a reputation for participation, and you spam, your submission will be deleted and you will be warned politely. Your account will NOT be deleted – but if repeated warnings need to be issued, we might delete your account.

If you are an established member of Zoomit Canada with a reputation for participation, and you flame, your comment will be deleted. As with new members, strong opinions from established members are welcome; personal attacks and insults are not, nor are potentially slanderous statements about third parties. Your account will NOT be deleted – but if repeated warnings need to be issued, we might delete your account.

If you are an established member of Zoomit Canada with a reputation for participation, and you submit objectionable content, your submission will be deleted and you will be warned politely. Your account will NOT be deleted – but if repeated warnings need to be issued, we might delete your account.

Hopefully I have covered all scenarios that could put an account at risk, because I believe in transparency.  If I have missed anything, I will add it later on.  Your thoughts are welcome.

BOTTOM LINE: spamming, flaming and objectionable material will not be tolerated, but no established member need EVER fear for his account without warning. You work hard to help build this community, and you deserve to know that the Admins will treat you with fairness and respect.

Nine Social Bookmarking Spammers

November 3rd, 2011

When you run a social bookmarking website, expect lots of spammers. Oodles. Huge piles. Gazillions.

At Zoomit, we delete a spammer’s account. This is time-consuming, although less so than deleting individual posts. We also have a filter that catches at least 90% of non-Canadian submissions; the eyeball test catches most of the others for manual deletion.

Without further ado, here are the nine types of spammers we are pleased to delete…

The no speak-a English spammer. I guess these spammers speak so little English that they don’t realize that Zoomit is for Canadian content only. They can’t read the big, red warning sign. They don’t notice all the English language submissions. They can’t tell by having to select a province the story relates to. The big red maple leaf doesn’t give it away. The map of Canada obviously stuns them. The name of the site – Zoomit Canada – is obviously not helpful. You have to admire such determined spammers who are so eager to have their submissions deleted.

The two-headed no speak-a English spammer. Yes, this dude signed up for two accounts, one male and one female to spam us.  No English and no understanding of gender.

The stupid foreigner spammer. OK, these guys obviously speak English. So why are they spamming a Canadian website?  Both of them should have been able to read the warning sign on the submissions page, and both of them should have been able to tell the difference between states and provinces in the form.  Hands up everyone who thinks Chicago is in Canada.

The stupid foreigner spammer…with integrity! Does their integrity excuse their stupidity or their lack of integrity?  Oh come on, this one is precious.  A spammer with self-proclaimed integrity.  You have to admire the hutzpah as you hit the “delete” button.

The foreign email spammer. If you plan to spam an all-Canadian website, maybe a UK email address won’t raise a red flag.  Or maybe it will.

The mass spammer. Much like the mass-murderer or the serial killer, but without a bunch of messy bodies strewn about the website.

The branded spammer. Hint, if you place just the name of a product, that’s a pretty easy give-away that you are not submitting something to share with people but something you want to sell to people.  On a classifieds website, that would be cool.  On a news website, that is spam.

The advertising spammer. If a submission about a product is not bad enough, how about a submission that even reads like  an ad, complete with a price and a call to action?  So here is a question for you - would you hire an SEO company that reached you by spamming you?

And for the grand prize, would you hire an SEO company that lies to you - openly! - while spamming you?  And can almost write in English?

And here is my personal favourite…

The exceedingly careless spammer. Uh…need I say more?


Exciting Upgrades to Zoomit.ca Planned

October 14th, 2010

Significant upgrades are coming to Zoomit.  We will announce the details soon, but here are a few highlights.

1. A more advanced algorithm that resembles a little more the big social bookmarking websites and creates a little more competition for a front page appearance.

2. Submitters will be required to also vote/comment.  This is “social bookmarking”, not just “bookmarking”, so we want to encourage everybody to be social (and most likely lower the spam content significantly).

3. Some exciting opportunities for Canadians seeking DoFollow links for their blog posts and articles.

Stay tuned for more details.  We will also be sending out a rare personal message to each regular user.

Hit-and-run Social Bookmarking

June 14th, 2010

Here on Zoomit Canada, a lot of people come to post links to their own content.  That is fine.  Unlike some social bookmarking websites, we encourage you to submit your best material - as long as it’s Canadian, of course.  But once you’ve posted what do you do next?

 

Unfortunately, most people just leave. 

 

What?!?  Is that what you call effective marketing?  Drop a link and leave?  When you attend business networking meetings do you just drop your business card on a table somewhere and leave?  Of course not.

 

Once your submission is complete, you will notice that you land on the “upcoming” page.  This is for a good reason - so you can see submissions from other people just like you.  So you can check them out.  So you can vote for the good ones.  So you can comment for the ones of interest. (It’s not just Zoomit that does this by the way; Tipd, Sphinn, BizSugar and MMO, to name just a few, also send you to the upcoming page for the same reason.)

 

Why it’s worth your time to check out others’ submissions

 

Why is it worth your time and effort to look at other people’s submissions?  Well, for the same reason that you take the time to speak with people at networking meetings - because the value to you of participating depends on the relationships you build with other members.

 

“But I just submitted my site to get a link

to help my search engine rankings.”

 

Umm, if that’s how you think about linkbuilding, your understanding of how search engines value links in 2010 needs to be updated.  And so does your understanding of how most social bookmarking websites function.  Dropping a link and leaving - “hit-and-run social bookmarking” - won’t get you very far.

 

First, the more votes you get, the more links you get from the website.  This applies to most vote-based social bookmarking websites (Digg is an exception).  And you need votes to get your submission promoted to the front page (”published” or made “popular”), where on most social bookmarking websites you NoFollow link becomes a regular DoFollow link.

 

If you want good quality links from social bookmarking, here is what you need to do:

 

AVATAR:  Make sure you have an easy-to-recognize avatar.  You want regulars to check what you’ve submitted, and regulars will get to know you over time.

 

QUALITY:  Submit good quality content that others will naturally want to vote for. Subbing your home page is simply lame.  Nobody cares to read your home page or to recommend that others read it. Don’t damage your reputation by submitting  your home page.  Make your submission enticing with an attractive title that will draw attention and curiosity.  Ditto for the description.

 

VOTE:  This is crucial.  Vote for the submissions of other members (that’s why you land on the “upcoming” page when your submission is complete).  Don’t try a tit-for-tat arrangement like, “I voted for three of your submissions last week, so you have to vote for three of mine.”  But people do expect a certain amount of reciprocity, and if they see you ignoring their submissions, why would they vote for yours?

 

 

COMMENT:  Even better to attract attention of other members is to comment.  As much as most people value the vote more than the comment, it is the comment that draws the most attention.  Yes, people notice when you comment; they check out your latest submission.

 

If you want people to see your submission.  If you want more links from the submission.  If you want your link to be DoFollow.  Take the time to vote for and comment on the best articles that other people submit.  Nobody likes a hit-and-run social bookmarketer, and nobody votes their submissions to the front page.

Spammy the Guard Dog

November 17th, 2009

Huh? What is this?

This is our latest pet, Spammy the Guard Dog. He is very useful around the site, cleaning up messes that inconsiderate spammers leave lying around. Prior to Spammy’s arrival, we would spend half-an-hour every morning cleaning up overnight spam. Now, there are just a few crumbs that Spammy misses.

Spammy works at the submission level. When a new link is being submitted, Spammy runs up and gives a big, wet friendly lick to the submitter. Unless the submitter is a spammer. In which case, Spammy grabs the spammer in his teeth, rips him to shreds and all that’s left is the little notice you see here above.

Every website should have a Spammy.

Oh, and if you come here to spam, just remember…you’ll have to answer to our sweet but vicious Spammy.

What is Canadian News?

November 13th, 2009

One of the reasons for Zoomit Canada’s existence is to provide a place where Canadians can discuss things without getting overshadowed by what the rest of the world is discussing.  There are plenty of big international social bookmarking engines which sometimes include Canadian stories … but mostly Canadian stories get overshadowed by US and international stories. 

For this reason guidelines were created that essentially require stories posted to Zoomit Canada to be either a) on a Canadian website or b) addressing a topic specifically from a Canadian perspective. The topic might still be global in nature, but this ensures that it at least has an element of Canadianism to it.

That this is a somewhat arbitrary guideline is reflected in the conversation reproduced below (best viewed by clicking on it in FireFox or Chrome; Internet Explorer mucks up the letters). This is, however, the least-restrictive guideline that still distinguishes Zoomit Canada from other social bookmarking engines.

Crime on Zoomit Canada

November 1st, 2009

Zoomit Canada has a new “Crime” channel. It was noticed that there are a lot of stories about crime and justice that just don’t fit well into any of the other channels. For instance, in the past week the following six “crime” stories hit the Zoomit Canada front page:

http://canadiana.zoomit.ca/fbi-confirms-ont-man-linked-to-dead-islamic-radical/
http://canadiana.zoomit.ca/no-bomb-found-in-iqaluit-hotel-after-evacuation/
http://canadiana.zoomit.ca/guard-cellphone-number-like-credit-cards/
http://automotive.zoomit.ca/drunk-clown-nabbed-after-crash/
http://people.zoomit.ca/magic-mushrooms-seized-in-highway-stop/
http://people.zoomit.ca/father-son-team-honored-by-opp/

If you were hesitating to submit a crome or justice story before, now’s your chance.

Zoomit.ca


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