No, I will not link to your blog on MeFi March 12, 2005 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Dear Coni Yohen,

Thank you for taking the time to compose and send me unsolicited email begging me to post in your blog and create a link to it on MetaFilter. [+]
posted by fandango_matt to MetaFilter-Related at 11:09 AM (60 comments total)

I regret to inform you I have absolutely no interest in your blog since I do not share your strange and vaguely homoerotic penchant for obsessively watching and writing about young men running around in oversized tank tops and boxer shorts. Nevertheless, I encourage you to continue in your pursuits, and I wish you whatever success tends to follow people like you who spend the majority of their lives watching ESPN and sending spam at 1:23 in the morning begging strangers to post in your blog, and it is my sincerest hope this post will create the illusion that I care about you and your opinions.

Very truly yours,

(Fandango) Matt
posted by fandango_matt at 11:09 AM on March 12, 2005


What?
posted by delmoi at 11:13 AM on March 12, 2005


Matt, Evan, Nick & Dinesh:

Read your post on MetaFilter and wanted to invite you to participate in the first ever and first annual NCAA Tournament Bracket for Bloggers, a "Bloggers Bracket," if you will.

My name is Coni Yohen and I write and manage the web's longest running and most popular college basketball blog at http://www.jockstrapblog.com. I also write about college basketball on a regular basis for FoxSports.com.

To enter your bracket, please 1) visit http://www.jockstrapblog.com, 2) take two seconds to create an account and 3) click "Login to Bloggers Bracket" from the site's main welcome box (which looks different once you are a registered user). 4) Finally, be sure to check out the "Tournament Genie" before making your picks.

In addition to your participation in the "Bloggers Bracket," I would love to invite MetaFilter's readers to make their selections as well. If not, no biggie. But if you could be so kind as to post a entry about the Bloggers Bracket at MetaFilter after the NCAA Selection Committee announces the Tournament field on Sunday evening, I would tremendously appreciate it. (I'd do so myself, but the registration process takes a week, during which the tournament will already start)

Also, if you have any suggestions on other bloggers who might enjoy an invite, please let me know.

Thanks!

Coni Yohen, www.jockstrapblog.com

posted by fandango_matt at 11:14 AM on March 12, 2005


so what does this have to do with metafilter?
posted by puke & cry at 11:16 AM on March 12, 2005


Is Dick Vitale a MeFite? Perhaps he should handle this.
posted by jonmc at 11:21 AM on March 12, 2005


puke & cry, your question seems fairly obtuse. It has to do with Metafilter because our members are being spammed, quite pointedly because of their participation on the website. Does that clear it up at all?

For the record, forewarned is forearmed.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:22 AM on March 12, 2005


You know, fandago, I see where you're coming from but not everyone outside of the MeFi circle appreciates or much cares about the fact that we're so violently protective about front page posts. The guy was polite enough to deserve an equally polite, and far less snarky denial...

And this hardly constitutes spam.
posted by drpynchon at 11:23 AM on March 12, 2005


Matt, you mention he emailed you - y'know, these emails, you can send them as well.
posted by NinjaPirate at 11:24 AM on March 12, 2005


Well this changes everything.
posted by cmonkey at 11:25 AM on March 12, 2005


ohh, spamming metafilter members. 1 member got spammed, maybe 4 I guess? And?
posted by puke & cry at 11:28 AM on March 12, 2005


And this hardly constitutes spam.

With this I would strongly disagree. It is an unsoliticited invitation to an unwanted "opportunity", the very definition of spam. Just because its personal and lacks the bulk mail quality doesn't make it any less obnoxious.

puke & cry, you're missing the obvious questions: How were these emails harvested? How many more were garnered as well? Will these efforts continue, and will others join in the spammy fun? Just because *you* didn't get one of these charming emails, doesn't mean the site as a whole should remain ignorant of the effort.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:32 AM on March 12, 2005


Why can't I get spam like this?
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:40 AM on March 12, 2005


A user's email address does not show up on their user page unless you are logged in as a user.
posted by caddis at 11:40 AM on March 12, 2005


caddis - precisely.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:41 AM on March 12, 2005


It was a personal e-mail to a publicly available address with a request. As unpleasant as it may be for the receiver, and that is subjective, it isn't spam just because it's unsolicited.

When a lurker sees a comment of mine about some topic, thinks that I'd be in a position to give him good advice (or otherwise help him out), and sends me unsolicited e-mail, I either help or I don't. That's why my e-mail is available to the community. If that lurker is also offering Cialis at the lowest rates, well, it's spam, and also one heck of a find.

On the spectrum of things, sure, this case is a bit closer to spam than the example I give, but I still see major distinctions.. Bottom line, if you're vehemently opposed to getting mail like this, you should be a bit less public about e-mail addresses you value.
posted by drpynchon at 11:42 AM on March 12, 2005


I hope this means I have a truckload of records from Beggars Group coming my way...
posted by blacklite at 11:46 AM on March 12, 2005


the site is dead.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:58 AM on March 12, 2005


google has no cache, and no hits, either for the site, or for coni yohen. is this a joke?
posted by andrew cooke at 12:01 PM on March 12, 2005


I didn't list his URL and I transposed the first letters of his name because I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of a link.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:04 PM on March 12, 2005


In all the self-link threads I can recall there's a often suggestion that if you think your site is meta-worthy, you email a member and ask if they'll post it for you. Then that member can make the decision of whether it is Front Page material or not. That seems like whats happening in this case, unless you think this got spammed to many, many mefites.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:07 PM on March 12, 2005


With this I would strongly disagree. It is an unsoliticited invitation to an unwanted "opportunity", the very definition of spam. Just because its personal and lacks the bulk mail quality doesn't make it any less obnoxious.

You spam-nazis are really funny. If I contacted you asking you for a drink because we live in the same town, that's an unsolicited invitation to a potentially unwanted "opportunity". You'd define this as spam as well?
posted by dflemingdotorg at 12:11 PM on March 12, 2005


oh. well that'll show him.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:11 PM on March 12, 2005


The site is collegeball.blogspot.com. Or at least that's the first result on google for Yoni Cohen.
posted by anapestic at 12:39 PM on March 12, 2005


yeah thats it. Looks like he is something of a spammer.
posted by puke & cry at 12:51 PM on March 12, 2005


More here, here, here, here, and here.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:54 PM on March 12, 2005


so how did he get your address? is it freely available?
posted by puke & cry at 12:57 PM on March 12, 2005


Fair enough. Given the additional info, I concede that at the very least, he is an asshat.
posted by drpynchon at 1:05 PM on March 12, 2005


puke & cry: My email address is only available to logged-in members.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:09 PM on March 12, 2005


You know, somehow just from the FPP I was able to figure out what fandango_matt was talking about, and just what the [+] was going to say. This is hardly rocket science.

I'm pretty sick of the "wtf?" posts from folks who seem to think that using their brains for comprehension beyond the literal is not worth their time.
posted by frecklefaerie at 1:17 PM on March 12, 2005


dflemingdotorg, I guarantee you that if you contacted me asking for a drink, and phrased it such that you think it an exciting opportunity for me, then yeah, I'd think you were a ... spammer at best.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:17 PM on March 12, 2005


What if dflemingdotorg added a picture and was super-sexy? Would that be spam (assuming the pic was real)?
posted by drpynchon at 1:23 PM on March 12, 2005


Also, Wulfgar!, include the fact that the mail is from someone with whom you have no prior relationship. It's unclear to me whether he's even a MeFi member (although he got the addresses somehow). I agree it smells spammy.

On preview, what if instead of a drink it was an invitation to a webcam site?
posted by obloquy at 1:33 PM on March 12, 2005


Why can't I get spam like this?

Yoni e-mailed me too, and the only reason I can guess is that I was enough of an asshat to get his attention. If he looked at my site he might realize that I hate sports, hate people talking about sports, and have long since decided to quietly leave sports-lovers to themselves.

I wouldn't count it as spam, just a clumsy e-mail from someone who had no good reason to choose me from hundreds of superior MeFites. So I just trashed the e-mail quietly.

In the unlikely event that such e-mails become common, I'll just remove my address from my profile.
posted by NickDouglas at 1:51 PM on March 12, 2005


I'm the Evan, and it is weird--I got it too, and i don't think i've ever ever commented in a sports thread or anything. It's simple to ignore tho.

What Nick said.
posted by amberglow at 2:01 PM on March 12, 2005


YES, I WOULD LIKE TO SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR NEWSLETTER THANK YOU.
posted by exlotuseater at 2:03 PM on March 12, 2005


Wulfgar! : "It is an unsoliticited invitation to an unwanted 'opportunity', the very definition of spam."

Not quite. The definition of spam is "unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses". If it is being sent to 4 people it is not spam, no matter how unwelcome it is. If it is being sent to a lot of people, which appears to be the case, then it is. Don't conflate the two. That's like saying, "Receiving money from someone is the very definition of theft. After all, look at Al Capone: he was a thief." No, receiving money from someone against their will and illegally is the definition of theft. Al Capone being a thief does not provide evidence that your definition is correct.
posted by Bugbread at 2:11 PM on March 12, 2005


My email address is only available to logged-in members.

Maybe they got the email address from your web site (which anyone can see) and not by being logged in as a user?
posted by squeak at 2:58 PM on March 12, 2005


Maybe Matt should occasionally check the logs to see if any particular IP has been hitting a disproportionate number of user pages, too. Tinfoil, but, hey. Identify those dirty spam-ninja MeFites!
posted by cortex at 3:18 PM on March 12, 2005


That wasn't spam. Hell, Wulfgar's definition describes 90% of the email I get from my mother wanting to know if I am coming to dinner on Sundays.
posted by mischief at 3:59 PM on March 12, 2005


Just seems like a go getter to me.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 4:11 PM on March 12, 2005




Is that the address he sent it too?
posted by delmoi at 4:47 PM on March 12, 2005


This must surely be a new member (who could login and see emails, but not have FPP privileges yet. I'll bet Matt, Evan, Nick & Dinesh have posted in the last 7 days (dated from the email received by fandango_matt).

Won't take mathowie long to calculate upon whom the banhammer falls,
posted by dash_slot- at 5:51 PM on March 12, 2005


The definition of spam is "unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses".

Perhaps some might define it that way, but that's not a useful definition. When I get spam I don't have any way of knowing how many others received it, and yet it's obvious if it's spam. If some random Nigerian were to write to me and me alone to say he's the nephew of a former government official and I can help him recover $97 million, etc. etc. it is unquestionably spam. What do I know or care who else got it? Same with viagra, or whatever. Unsolicited commercial email from someone with whom you have no established relationship of any kind is spam.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:53 PM on March 12, 2005


Yeah I got one of those as well, and I ignored it. Seems strange how this guy picked addresses though, and since I particularly can't stand basketball, it was a wasted effort anyway.
posted by dhruva at 5:59 PM on March 12, 2005


My email address is only available to logged-in members

you, dhruva, and NickDouglas all have the same email listed on your profile as you do on your website. Amberglow has a different one listed so it depends on which address the mail was send to. If it's the one on his website then there isn't any mystery here.
posted by puke & cry at 6:52 PM on March 12, 2005


George_Spiggott : "If some random Nigerian were to write to me and me alone to say he's the nephew of a former government official and I can help him recover $97 million, etc. etc. it is unquestionably spam."

I can prove that statement unequivocably untrue:

Is it spam?

There, it is no longer unquestionable.

But, flippancy aside, reading the email itself (without the Google references to back it up), it doesn't seem unquestionably like spam to me. There is a very often stated suggestion at Mefi, which is "Don't self-post an FPP. If you have something that you made, and you think it would be a good FPP, email another member to look over, and if they like it, they'll post it". As such, at first glance, it looks like something sent on the suggestion of matt and mefi practice in general.

In reality, it turns out it was spam. But I personally couldn't tell that at first glance, and if you accept that sending unsolicited mail to even a single person requesting a post-up is by its nature spam, then that's ok, because according to your definition of spam, Mefi actively supports and recommends that Mefi users send spam to other users.

Besides which, it appears to be a free service. While he may make money from ad impressions, it can scarcely be called a "commercial email", as there is no intent of any commerce with the recipient.
posted by Bugbread at 7:07 PM on March 12, 2005


Matt, your use of MetaTalk as a dunking stool to shame this guy is inappropriate. Spam or not, his behavior doesn't appear to be widespread, nor is it more than tangentially related to MetaFilter.
posted by squirrel at 7:45 PM on March 12, 2005


I'm pretty sick of the "wtf?" posts from folks who seem to think that using their brains for comprehension beyond the literal is not worth their time.

Just what are you trying to say exactly?
posted by euphorb at 7:49 PM on March 12, 2005


It was obviously spam to me. If you read Yoni Cohen's email, you'll note he sends it to four MeFi users and says, "(I) read your post on MetaFilter" without referencing which post, who made it, and why it prompted him to write.

He then goes on to invite us to post in his blog and pleads for us to make an FPP for it because "I'd do so myself, but the registration process takes a week, during which the tournament will already start."

Like Nick, I hate sports, I hate people talking about sports, and I ignore all things sports-related, so why Yoni Cohen solicited four total strangers to help draw attention to his public obsession with basketball is a question best answered by Dr. Freud.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:54 PM on March 12, 2005


Said squirrel: his behavior doesn't appear to be widespread

See above.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:57 PM on March 12, 2005


This is the stupidest meta post today.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:04 PM on March 12, 2005


Like Nick, I hate sports, I hate people talking about sports, and I ignore all things sports-related,

Same here!
So to top the irony, three of the people he picked hate talking about sports.
posted by dhruva at 8:05 PM on March 12, 2005


4 of the people! : >

he actually sent it to the email on my website and not my profile page's email.
posted by amberglow at 8:14 PM on March 12, 2005


puke & cry, you're missing the obvious questions: How were these emails harvested?

From their personal websites, it looks like.

How many more were garnered as well?

The only four people addressed in the letter seem to be the only recipients based on this thread. Not that there isn't anyone else, just that no one else said they got it.

Looks like some guy picked 4 mefites he liked (or the first 4 he could find email addresses for) and mailed them some letter.
posted by puke & cry at 8:16 PM on March 12, 2005


fandango_matt : " He then goes on to invite us to post in his blog and pleads for us to make an FPP for it because 'I'd do so myself, but the registration process takes a week, during which the tournament will already start.'"

See, and I interpreted that in the opposite way: he didn't just harvest your address, but knew enough about Mefi to know about the registration post wait.

I'm wrong, of course. He is in fact a spammer. I just didn't realize that at the start, and while obvious in retrospect, it wasn't obvious to me at the start. I can only hope that if I make some interesting site and pass it on to another member to post if it catches their fancy that I won't be called out for spam.
posted by Bugbread at 8:27 PM on March 12, 2005


Upon further (sage) reflection, I think my objection to this call-out isn't that it doesn't appear to be spam; it now appears to be spam. But the dunking stool made me feel used as a reader. Here was Matt saying, "Everyone! Cast your eyes on the fool!" And while the writer of those letters may in fact be a fool, a better form for this callout might have been, "Has anyone else been getting these letters? I know he got my address from this site, and I want to know how widespread this is." The open letter approach just seemed gratuitous and manipulative. And I don't like being manipulated by anyone but my erotic ninja.
posted by squirrel at 8:28 PM on March 12, 2005


"Has anyone else been getting these letters? I know he got my address from this site, and I want to know how widespread this is."

That would have made the callout a little more clear, along with up-front proof that he was a spammer. As it stood, Matt posted a rebuttal to a letter someone sent him along with the the letter sent, leaving us to make assumptions, and you know what they say about assuming things.
posted by puke & cry at 8:50 PM on March 12, 2005


The site is collegeball.blogspot.com. Or at least that's the first result on google for Yoni Cohen.

Ha. Not for long. Now the first result on Google for Yoni Cohen will be Fandango_Matt likening him to a pervert. That was the intention of this metatalk thread, right? Google-bombing him as punishment?
posted by Hildago at 9:10 PM on March 12, 2005


4 mefites he liked

Then we can laugh at him just for being dumb enough to like me.
posted by NickDouglas at 9:25 PM on March 12, 2005


Hildago : "That was the intention of this metatalk thread, right?"

Nah. If you reread fandango_matt's initial post, you'll notice that he's switched the C and Y and changed the URL to avoid giving Yohen the satisfaction of increased traffic or googlerank, which means, by default, that the results will not be crawled as related, and hence no googlebomb.
posted by Bugbread at 2:13 AM on March 13, 2005


« Older Don't get snarky just because you don't like the...   |   Complete silence theatre Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments