Sad statistic . . .

Oh, I realize that there are other things to be concerned about, or at least interested in, happening all over the globe.  However, as this one affects me more or less directly, it was hard to avoid.

You see, when I first started this blog, I put all comments on monitored status.  I really didn’t expect to get much traffic – I’ve been blogging on LiveJournal for over 10 years and can count on one hand the number of comments made on any post that didn’t come from a friend, or someone who became a friend. Truth be told, my blogs over there don’t get a whole lot of traffic even including friends.

That said, I was rather impressed when I saw my blogs here climb over 20 subscribers, and achieve the rank of 5 unique visits per day consistently.  I thought that was mind boggling.  Little did I know what was coming.

When I wrote the post on “Diet and Weight Loss” it very quickly became one of the most viewed blogs I’ve EVER written.  Which is pretty amazing since I didn’t offer any advice of any kind – I was just complaining about the fact that I feel judged by those who don’t face the challenges I have.  Imagine my surprise when I started screening 20 comments or more EVERY DAY on that one blog – all with user names or URL’s advertising some sort of weight loss product.  My first response was to edit a few and let them post, while replying to them that I would not allow links to any commercial product.

That didn’t work, as the comments kept coming.  So I closed that post to all comments, and edited my Copyright notice to reflect that I would not approve comments advertising products.  Undaunted, the comments continue to flood in – but now they are targeted at the “Spirituality Newsletters?” post.  I’m still blocking/deleting around a dozen comments per day.  And the URL’s are still going to sites that advertise Diet & Weight Loss products.

I know that some would say, “this is the price of fame” – and I’d agree, except that I don’t feel famous.  I’m a nobody who happens to voice his opinions through a blog, and about 26 people currently appreciate it enough to listen.  26 people – in a nation of 310 Million.  Oh, and did I mention that 3 of my most faithful pings are coming from other countries?  I get a daily ping out of Brazil, and almost daily pings from Italy and Spain.  I’m not what most people would call “famous”.  Nor am I a celebrity of any sort.  I’m just an over-the-hill disabled veteran with too much time on my hands and a brain I can’t disengage from the world around us.

The real question is – who are these people who can’t understand that I won’t allow others to profit from links to my blogs?

Email newsletter etiquette . . .

I get a lot of email newsletters.  It’s because I’m interested in so many different things.  Gun rights.  Health care.  Organic food.  Humor.  Movie news.  Education.  Human rights.  Government.

Well, you get the idea.  The point is that I already would get a lot of material just because of the volume of my interests.  But, it would seem that many people who publish email newsletters are either not understanding their medium, or they have a scam-artist mentality.

So, we need some basic rules on Email Newsletter Etiquette.

1.  When you send out an email, you only need to send one copy per subscriber.  If they like it – their email account has a way to create folders to store it in.  The email can be re-read as many times as they like before they delete it.  Don’t send another until you’ve actually written something substantially different – unless there is a major update, crisis, or a correction.  Major does not include fixing a spelling error.

2.  #1 also means that you do not need to have 16 assistants (or friends or colleagues) forward their copy of the same email to everyone on your subscription list.  Trust me, it gets less interesting the more times you get a new copy of the same thing.

3.  When I subscribe to your email newsletter, it is because I want to hear what you have to say.  I did not subscribe to newsletters written by the 15 top administrative assistants at your organization, nor did I subscribe to newsletters written by 300 other people around the world whom you think I might find interesting.  If you have nothing new to say, don’t give your voice to someone else.

4.  We need an immediate total ban on the practice of automatically signing people up for newsletters on the basis of signing a petition.  When I sign a petition, it is because I care about THAT ONE concern – not the 40 other things you care to stick your noses in.  There is one particular organization (feminist oriented) that I signed a petition supporting the position they liked about the Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan over marrying a non-Muslim.  The next thing I knew, they sent me emails about abortion, gun control,  birth control, US Supreme Court cases they were interested in . . . . and I agreed with NONE of the positions they took on those other issues.

Spirituality newsletters?

I’ve been reading about spiritual growth, and doing a lot of other “self help” activities, for many years now.  I look back at who and what I was when I started this journey, and I can see some real changes.  I laugh a lot more than I used to, for starters.

However, I’ve noted something recently that really bugs me.  In the last week, I have unsubscribed from at least a dozen different internet newsletters that were pitching themselves as “spiritual growth” or “seekers” newsletters, but were in fact “get rich quick” schemes.  I have no idea how I got on their radar – I’m not interested in becoming an overnight millionaire by taking money from others without a fair exchange.  And I certainly do not see any connection between fast profits and spiritual growth.  IMHO the people advertising such things are con artists and attention whores who know NOTHING about real spiritual growth.

Oh, and just in case you are finding a lot of the same type of stuff in your email in-box, here is a tip.  You can unsubscribe, block, “mark as spam”, or just delete anything that asks you for money as a part of finding spiritual growth.  They never work, and the proof is that the person offering it needs money from you.  Someone who is really enlightened doesn’t need to charge anyone for anything – from their point of view, the universe meets their needs without them having to put any attention on money at all.