Faux Pas. My Bad.

So, being the Internet obsessed social networker that I long to be, I made the dumbest and most frowned-upon faux pas yesterday.

I spammed my entire address book.

I’m so ashamed.

So, I found this pretty cool social networking site, and I thought I’d check it out.


It’s like MySpace for activists. You can only look at people’s profiles if you are a member, and the stated purpose of the site is to promote your favorite non-profit organizations and network with like-minded individuals. This automatically makes the intelligence quotient slightly higher than many other networking sites, and so far it seems to be lacking the creep factor of online stalkers. I’m sure it’s not totally absent, but it doesn’t seem to be as prevalent. When I first joined MySpace, I couldn’t believe how much porn spam I received, and requests to be friends with some really creepy people.

I created an ID, and the system automatically prompts you to look for your friends from your address book. So I uploaded my address book from my Yahoo account, and pushed the button that I thought would actually search for people, but what happened was that an email was generated and sent to everyone. Yes, I didn’t read the fine print, but it was still too easy to do, if you asked me. Yes, it was a totally bone-headed and ditzy thing to do, and I take full responsibility for being a bone head and a ditz. But still, it was just too darn easy.

It emailed everybody. Mind you, I don’t regularly update this address book because I don’t really use my Yahoo account any more (too much spam!). But the address book there is HUGE, and there are people I haven’t been in touch with in years, old acquaintances who are probably not expecting to hear from me at all, and old colleagues, who, when I look at their names I say “who is that?”

If you received one of these invitations, I am truly sorry. But perhaps it’s not so bad.

The really astonishing thing is that people actually signed up for it! I have six friends in my network, including one old college friend, Pavel (whom I knew as Jim), who is now a clown and performance artist in Berlin. I was very happy to get in touch with him, actually.

I really expected to get in trouble. I thought people were going to laugh or be mad, or scold me….and I would have deserved it. But I have a network now! Perhaps people will actualy find this a useful site!

And a bunch of folks at my office now know that my personal email is silly.goose. Oh, well. I guess it’s not a bad thing when you bring more of yourself into your work life. It mixes it up a bit. I always enjoy people letting their hair down after spending eight hours a day with them wearing a suit. I enjoy learning surprising and unexpected things about people.