Squarespace Spamming Twitter Trends & Scamming Users for Publicity

Squarespace... moar like SPAMspace, amirite?

Some of you already hate this entry because it has to do with Twitter. (In before sheeple, conformists, etc.) Well, you can skip this one if that's the case. Still with me? So here's a quick recap, few days ago I noticed #squarespace as a trending topic. So I clicked, as one does in a situation like this, expecting to read news that they merged with Jones Soda or something crazy stupid awesome like that. Well, turns out it's only a marketing stunt to raise awareness for their site. Using Twitter to promote something is not inherently bad. I do it, as do many users. But reading over the ad copy I got a little annoyed.

SquarespaceWait, how long?


1. THIRTY DAYS OF THIS SHIT? THIRTY DAYS? ARE THEY KIDDING?

2. All you're asked to do is include #squarespace in your tweet. So it's not even a writing contest or anything. It's pure nonsensical SPAM on tap. Look at the search results for #squarespace and witness the number of people ONLY tweeting that word. Even worse, in my opinion, are the users including the hashtag in tweets that have nothing to do with Squarespace.

3. The Twitter's API rate limits are notorious; They are bound to hit the rate limit and miss tweets. The only possible way for them to 100% keep track of everyone's tweets is if they requested whitelisting before the spamming started. Somehow I doubt Twitter went for it, assuming Squarespace even approached them.

So yeah, unless they count every tweet, it's a scam!

A good method of tweet tracking is using the RSS feed but once again there are limits. These limits surface when you try to subscribe to something that THOUSANDS of users are tweeting about at an unrelenting rate. I tried subscribing to #squarespace in a few web-based feed readers but none of them could handle the demand. I was too chicken shit to subscribe with a desktop client and run the risk of hitting my limit. I don't recommend subscribing to #squarespace with a desktop client unless you're behind seven proxies or something.

I probably just made things worse by explaining all that. FUCK!

Unless they found a way to run the feed from multiple places and combine them there's no guarantee they can collect every tweet. Running the query from multiple sources would also have to be synchronized. You can't simply have everyone (interns) request #squarespace simultaneously or they will hit the limit, simultaneously.

I didn't include it in the screencap but they're doing it under the pretense of rewarding their fans, to wit, the name of the contest is "iPhone Thank You Giveaway." Isn't this all a bit drawn-out and convoluted? If they wanted to thank their fans why didn't they just run a random number generator against their database–thirty times? It would have been awesome if they did that and silently mailed them out to people. It would have made a great story for sure. So why didn't they do it that way? Obvious answer is obvious.

And all this over an iPhone. Or rather, a $200 Apple Store gift certificate. And by the way, I'm only pointing that out to be informative. I really don't care about the semantics. One might argue that they're being super deceptive by telling users they can win an iPhone when indeed the certificate could be spent on something else. I don't care about that! It's symbolically an iPhone. If anything it's better that people think it's only for an iPhone. How many Apple fanboys you think use Twitter? You want them spamming the thing too?

No, what fucking gets to me is that all this is over a FUCKING IPHONE! The FUCKING IPHONE has been out for what, FIFTEEN YEARS? Who doesn't have a FUCKING IPHONE that didn't already want one eons ago? I was there when they announced it, never cared for it, went on with my life. People still covet this fucking thing? I use a Blackberry Curve, feels good man. It does everything I need short of sucking my dick. (Guys always says that about products they like but truth be told...) If there was an app for that I'd join in the hysteria too. Until then, I don't see what the fuss is about. (In before sheeple, conformists, etc.)

And seriously, every banner ad ever is about getting a free iPod or iPhone. Oh man, remember those banner ads that congratulate you on winning a free iPhone or whatever? Good times.

I have nothing against clever marketing or trending topics or even hashtags. Hashtags are great for events, event promotion, keeping track of topics and yes even marketing. If a clever marketer gets on the trend list it's cool beans, man. I really mean that! I'm no hater! Don't stop using relevant hashtags, people! If you game the trending topics, that's cool, players are going to play. The problem I have with the Spamspace scam is that they intend to run this for THIRTY DAYS.

That's thirty days of guaranteed spam, people! :D

If it was a week, I probably wouldn't care much. Two weeks and maybe that's pushing it. BUT THIRTY DAYS OF THIS? You've got to be shittin' me. Trending topics and hashtags have a natural rise and fall. But getting thousands of people to hammer the same hashtag for THIRTY FUCKING DAYS is not a real trending topic. One could argue that it's a legitimate trend right now but what about thirty days from now? "Swine flu" has been a trending topic since forever but the difference is swine flu is relevant, even if you can't be bothered to hear about it anymore, you dig?

I sent a message to @spam telling them I didn't care for this type of thing. Will they listen? I dunno, but I've done all I could.

The sad part is, I used to have a lost of respect for Squarespace. (Oh wow, read that sentence over again. Delicious Freudian Slip is delicious!) They looked like they knew what they were doing and were confident word of mouth would get people to go to their site. I'm a HUGE believer in word of mouth. You will never catch MY STADY stooping this low for "eyeballs." If our content is good, the word will get around. If no one is coming here it means we need to get our act together. I tell people about the site but it's not like I'm worried about hits or anything. Shit, last time I checked the analytics was MONTHS ago. How the mighty have fallen.

I used to think of transferring to Squarespace one day when I was rich and wealthy, not anymore. It's a shame because Squarespace has a really great product. But out of principal I could never associate myself with such an outfit. I'd feel dirty.

I'm not that guy that bans people from his friends list when they partake in stupid shit on social networking sites but I might look them funny when I see them IRL. You won't catch me taking part in the Scamspace scam. In fact, taking part of this makes you conformist sheeple.

First Post

Fallen - #
June 11, 2009 at 11:17 PM
LMFAO dude... who DOESNT want 30 days of spam?!? CMON! It's FREE spam!

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