Feb 20 2007
site:myspace.com keyword keyword keyword
What this did was bring up MySpace profiles of folks with the keywords I specified somewhere in their profile. I was amazed at the results I got. One of the keywords I used was “AIM” so that I would find a method of contact for these people. The reason I am writing this is because I got two completely different reactions from those I reached out to – one of total suspicion, and the other of real curiosity. In each instance, I introduced myself, my company, provided information for them to verify my credentials, and told them what my purpose was in contacting them. Here are two examples:
Suspect: this individual used the word “creepy” when I told him how I’d found him. He told me “Well, I have no idea who you are, and I could not possible take you seriously what so ever.” Even though he chatted briefly with me about a college co-op program he was in and about some political things, he obviously was suspicious of my sourcing method and told me that he “wouldn’t recommend going down this path.” I ended our conversation by letting him know that I would not contact him again, and wished him good luck in his co-op.
Curious: this person was a little sketchy at first, asking me if I was a spammer, but remained intrigued by encouraging me to “go on” with what I was asking. He said “what the heck” in response when I told him I’d found a way to contact him and thought what the heck? At the end he was asking what he needed to do to be considered for the opportunity, and I asked him for his email address and told him the name of the person I would be passing it to. That recruiter has since reached out to this individual and I’d love to see a placement come out of this.
Here’s the issue: where does one draw the line on privacy? Both of these individuals had put contact information on their accounts. (incidentally, I have my AIM name on our company MySpace account for people to freely reach out to me). Also, how would this be any different from sending an email to someone who listed it on their profile or on their webpage?
If you put your AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ, etc. screen name on a public profile, it would seem like you would welcome someone to contact you. Now, someone who abuses this and sends messages requesting dirty webcam sessions or assistance in moving money from foreign accounts, that’s not right. But in my case, I presented myself, gave my contact information and profiles for verification, and stated my purpose immediately.
Disclaimer: check with legal department to know if this would apply to the SPIM/spam laws