How to cope with eHow private message spam

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You know how it is: You open your eHow account to find fifteen messages from friends asking you to read, rate and comment on their new articles. To top it off, they complain about not having enough recommendations. Oh, and you have ten replies from other people (some of which you aren’t even friends with) about some mass message that someone sent out. They’re all useless to anyone but the original writer. What to do? As someone who has been fed up with the problem myself, here are the ways I’ve found to cope.

Step 1: Define your spam policy. I finally sent out a message to all of my friends saying the following:

Subject: New eHow etiquette rule suggestion

I have an idea:

If you are asking people to read and rate one of your articles, how about you read and rate one of each person’s articles first? That way they might not get as annoyed at the spam and they’re more likely to write back… Make sure it’s of interest, too. If it’s a very specialized topic, like how to repair a certain brand of hair dryer, don’t bother unless you know the person is interested.

Oh, and if someone sends you a mass email please don’t reply to all unless it’s an important contribution.

Just a couple of suggestions that should make life easier for all of us…

Happy holidays!

Best wishes,


Step 2: Make it clear from the start where you stand. When you make a new friend, send them a nice “good to be friends message,” but define your spam policy. Just say that if they’re going to ask you to read an article, they should read one of yours first. Then you’ll be more than happy to return the favor!

Step 3: When someone spams you, remind them of your policy. Consider removing repeat offenders from your friends list.

Step 4: Relax. Take a deep breath. You don’t even have to open the messages that look like spam! Delete them. You can even delete several at a time! Take a break and do some yoga or eat some chocolate. Get a massage. Whatever you need to do to handle the stress… I’m sure there are many great eHow articles on managing stress.

Step 5: Have compassion. Assume that everyone has good but misdirected intentions. Imagine the sender as a lonely homeless person sitting in a library, trying to earn an income so they can provide food for their children… Granted, this is harder to do for the people that you know are earning thousands of dollars, although I’ve noticed that the people I know do really well at eHow don’t send out spam.

Step 6: If all else fails and the problem is interfering with your mental health, quit eHow. You’ll still earn your residual income, but without the conflict. 🙂


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