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Crowdfunding Spam on Kickstarter… Nom nom nom

Ever since the website, Kickstarter.com, launched in April 2009, articles have been cropping up everywhere to teach you how to successfully run a crowdfunding project, and experts are excited to share your campaign with their 1,298,375,753,584 fans* on social media ~ FOR ONLY $7 DOLLARS!

Last year, I only received three or four solicitations during my calendar project’s three-week long run, and those messages weren’t particularly funny. However, this year has been different….

I received over a dozen messages last weekend, when I launched my 2016 Literary Cat Art Calendar
and, well, you know me ~

I love me some spam! Yummm!

Regency Cat Art, Mr Bennet offering SPAM to you

It began innocently enough on Friday night, with a direct message from Jamie Oliver:

“My name is John and I have a twitter account with which I share amazing projects. I have worked in crowdfunding for many years and know exactly how to catch peoples attention!
For ONLY 7$ I will tweet to my 40,000+ followers about your amazing project!
In addition here is 10% off [code: GiveMe10Off] for any ADDITIONAL services you would like to purchase from me such as getting you published in a Kickstarter Blog, My personal review of your campaign, or a crowdfunding guide and media list!”

So I pay this man a few bucks, and he’ll “catch people’s attention”, get my project published on some blog I’ve never even heard about, give me a personal review, and WAIT A MINUTE

Who are you??
Your account says “Jamie”, yet you introduce yourself as “John”.

I’m assuming you aren’t the Naked Chef guy. LOL!

Jamie/John works for SEOClerks.com, which describes itself as “the largest SEO marketplace on the planet. Browse through thousands of SEO providers offering thousands of Affordable SEO services under the market average.”

It’s like eBay for spam. Seriously.

Do you have a product or service that you want to virtually jam down people’s throats?
Have I got the website for you!

Find your own personal and professional spammer on SEOClerks, to help you rank on the 1st page of Google, gain 16,000 likes on Instagram, or receive 5 genuine comments on your blog FOR ONLY $1.
Wow. Tempting. ;)

Or you could just purchase a program that guarantees you “umlimited human traffic” for life. (Geez, that just sounds sooo wrong!)

” i will get for you 1500 twitter followers within 24hour …”

Likely these sneaky rats are simply spamming other spammers in an amusing paradox!

The real irony is that genuine people, and crowdfunding-based marketing businesses like BackerCamp, are already re-tweeting my tweets FOR FREE. :P

An hour later, I received another message, this time from Andy:

“My name is John and I have a twitter account with which I share amazing projects.
For ONLY 7$ I will tweet to my 40,000+ followers about your amazing project!
In addition here is 10% off [code: 10Percent] for any ADDITIONAL services you would like to purchase from me such as getting you published in a Kickstarter Blog, My personal review of your campaign, or a crowdfunding guide and media list!”

Well, hello again, John! Andy? Jamie, is it you?!

I am reminded of a cartoonish door-to-door salesman, who switches clothes and dons a faux handlebar mustache, in an attempt to repeatedly fool one potential customer.

Having ignored the other messages, I get one from somebody with the username “Easy”. Hahaha!
Dare I ask?

“My name is John and I have a twitter account with which I share amazing projects. “

Dog facepalm funny meme

There were a couple more attempts before the folks at SEOClerks grew quiet. Bless their hearts.

The next day, I was contacted by someone named Aileen.

“Kickstarter uses an algorithm that takes into account things like social shares, page visits, donations…. Our services can help you boost your ranking within Kickstarter so others can discover your project to begin with. We offer packages starting at only $5.”

For a second, I thought perhaps SEOClerks might be trying a different tactic… but “Aileen” works for My-Gigs.co, another pop-up crowdfunding business.

After a quick browse at their Facebook page, I can see that My-Gigs has helped several people get their businesses off and running, including:
PuttRay, which has achieved 8% of its goal, in its final days;
and this girl, who just wants to sing, and has received $18 towards producing her album;
and this future-husband/wife team of hypnotists, who have raised $6 towards their moving-in-together fund.
After being Tweeted and Shared on Facebook 800+ times, at least the hypnotist has managed to recover his cost of marketing through My-Gigs.co. :OP

And just like all the others, Aileen from My-Gigs has an alias.
She signed the email: “Best wishes, Faith”.
*sigh*

Kevin wrote to me, explaining that:

“Social media promotion is one of the keys to a successful campaign. We offer the best value promotion available starting at only $65 dollars.
We will share your project to 1K+ Facebook groups all with 2K to as many as 80K members. Getting your project in front of 2,000,000 people. All posting is done manually, no software, no bots, 100% safe.”

Woah, this guy means serious business! No $7 for you!
But what does he mean by “100% safe”?
That is rather disturbing. :/

Are these bots of which he speaks – NOT SAFE?

Do they inject toxic chemicals into your brain, or harvest your organs, blood, and/or soul, while you are strapped to your desk? Or are they planning to squash humanity into extinction, and colonize the planet for themselves?

Ohhhh… not *those* bots. Okay, sorry. My mistake.

I believe that Kevin is correct that social media is a key to success in business, but I think that it only works if your company can be trusted. People need to know who you really are (*cough* John), what you stand for, and why they should support you.

It doesn’t seem as if any of these people are addressing what makes social media so popular: people tend to make decisions based on word-of-mouth from friends they trust.

Aileen/Faith is probably right about Kickstarter’s algorithm, that shares + visits + donations = popularity, but I’ve never wanted to be popular with the world, and I can speak for myself to the people who matter most to me ~ my friends & fans.

If you love my work, I trust that you will share it with friends who might actually care. ;)

You guys are the reason why I do what I do, and if the other 1,298,375,753,584 souls* in this Twitter-verse are unaware of my existence, then so be it.

I will be our best kept secret. ;)


*I am counting intelligent extra-terrestrials and bots attempting to replicate us, because the human population on this planet was approximately 7,349,000,000 as of July 1st, 2015.

Tara Fly

About Tara Fly

A Crazy Cat Lady ... who divides her time between painting portraits of cats dressed in period costumes, watching BBC mini-series, growing weeds and wildflowers, and baking pumpkin pies seasoned with cat hair. Would you like some fur-flavoured coffee?

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