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Every craigslist post defaults to "You are not allowed to email me about related services." It's not up to them to try and enrich my life with their new services I didn't ask to hear about.

It's blatant spam. But blatant spam and lawbreaking resulting in money hats is apparently okay around here. (It's not shady or illegal -- it's hustling and hacking the system.)

It's a very fair point, and I think it's good to always err on the side of "not being shady".

Just to play devil's advocate, many companies would never have broken through the clutter if they didn't break a few rules to be seen at first. This includes great companies many of use use every day (like AirBnB). Reddit was forced to create fake accounts and pose fake conversations to get started. Google certainly was breaking some rules when they began scraping/indexing the entire web (i realize this is an oversimplification).

The ones that are truly garbage disappear when they start breaking rules. They piss people off. The ones who do it right, and offer something valuable, rise up.

Again that is just playing devil's advocate. I don't think it's black and white, and I think it's a really interesting conversation

A brief quibble - Reddit was not "forced" to do anything. They chose to create and utilize fake accounts/conversations, but they certainly could have chosen not to do so.

Fair enough

I don't see the harm in them trying to help wanting people connect with a useful service that solves their needs.

The harm is you are you and you are not them. They are them and no matter how much we think we can make their lives better, they are busy and don't want to hear it.

The problem is when they are kinda dumb (most of the time?) and the targed spam or leadgen job postings actually work.

"Job in your area paying $175k/year for your exact experience!" -- but when you inquire, it never exists. Conveniently they happen to have similar jobs with compensation structures consisting of wobbly jello.

Read the classics: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/01/permission-m...

So is it just matznerd.com and natmobi.com who's domains I need to add to my blacklist?

Because those sorts of words are exactly what _every_ spammer uses to justify their behaviour. (including, hilariously, such beautiful grammar constructs as "… trying to help wanting people connect with a …")

It's spam, no question about it. If I get it from you I'll probably just ignore it, but if I'm in a bad mood or looking for timewasting activities, I'll report it to gmail/rbl/mailchimp/campaignmonitor/your isp - mostly for the lulz, but partly because I feel I owe some of my time to occasionally trying to slow the inevitable slide down the tragedy of the commons that the internet has been on since the eternal September…

I'm not going around advocating doing this, I was just pointing out that AirBnB used this technique to acquire it's first users...

You didn't just point out what they did, you said "I don't see the harm". That is a judgement about what they did.

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