Tuesday, April 10, 2007

(Don't) Sign Me Up!

Junk MailI just read a post on Seth Godin's blog where he talks about computer-generated responses (or at least responses that appear computer-generated) and how, in the end, they do exactly the opposite of their intended goal (encouraging you to continue a relationship).

This reminds me of one of the minor irritations of attending the local Chamber of Commerce's networking events.

Actually, it's not so much attending the event, it's the pre-registration that is the problem.

The folks who organize these gatherings ask potential attendees to pre-register. They do this for good reason as they need to have a rough head count for the purpose of providing food and such. You also get the added "benefit" of being on the list of attendees. The reasoning behind this is that, if someone wanted to meet you, but didn't get the chance, they could find you on the list. Great idea!

Unfortunately, what often happens is that bad networkers (often new members or guests) take the names and contact information and use them to pad their mailing and telemarketing lists.

Now, I don't mind listening to stories about what someone does for a living. When I sit down to chat with someone, there is an implicit understanding that we are going to share experiences and try to find a way to help each other. These other types, though, are just trying to cram their commercials down my digital throat.

The end result? If I meet them at an event, I struggle to head in the other direction.

Yes, if I were a truly good person I might try to help them understand the error of their way.

I guess I'm just not that good.

So, how would you deal with such a situation?


Debby said...

Funny you should ask. I have an email that shows up in my box everyday from someone that I stupidly put my card in his free drawing box, when I attended a networking event. I did not agree to get his propaganda and all I do when I see his name appear is hit the delete button.

Unknown said...

I've taken to creating mail filters for just such perpetrators.