Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Should I do like these deer--turn and run?

I always wonder about my experience with blogging compared to my fellow bloggers. At least to the ones I 'talk' to a regular basis. I wonder do you occasionally get the comments that are basically only links to lottery? Do you get them and delete them before anyone else sees them. It has been a while since I have gotten any, but it seems to go in spurts. And I had one comment back when I very first began that I had a strong suspision linked to a porn sight...I can't even remember now why I felt that way but I deleted it too quick to talk about.

Then I have gotten two or three emails from Justin, supposedly he works for 123 Greetings. Here is the main part of his letter:

123Greetings Studio is a unique 'platform' for anyone with a creative flair, who want to participate and expose their creativity to millions of people worldwide. This is a platform that lets you to showcase your creativity and promote yourself and your site amidst our 120 million unique users and mark your name in the world of creativity. Everything is absolutely free. You can be doodling with an amazing shot one day and have it sent out as an ecard to millions of users the next day. There’s no feeling like the joy and excitement to see your work take off and be exposed to so many people. 123Greetings Studio allows you to upload and share ecards and then link your card to your blog, other websites and on email.

As you are the creator of the work, you don't need any licensing and you will own the copyrights and get every credit for your work. You can market your work and your site through 123Greetings Studio. Please do let me know if you are interested to take a part and I would be glad to send you an invitation along with a Sign Up link. Once you Sign Up with the Studio, you will get to know a lot more about it

That was the second letter I got from him, and he even mentioned the previous one in the first paragraph. I didn't respond to either one of them. They were two months apart. I guess I am not a very trusting person.

Then either yesterday or the day before I received this email from Tal Yarkoni:

This is an invitation to participate in an online research study being conducted by Mr. Tal Yarkoni under the supervision of Dr. Simine Vazire at Washington University in St. Louis. The study investigates the relation between people's personality and the content and style of their writing, and has been approved by the Washington University Human Research Protection Office.

The study consists of a single personality questionnaire assessing your personality and background, as well as information about your blog (if you have one). You can choose to participate in either a short or a long version of the study, so your participation can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as 30-40 minutes.

Your participation is entirely voluntary, and you may withdraw from the study at any point after you begin. We will not ask you to reveal any information that could potentially be used to identify you, with the optional exception of the address of your blog if you maintain one. While there are no material benefits to participation, you do have the option of receiving information about your personality scores at the end of the experiment.

This is a one-time solicitation, and you will NOT receive any further e-mail from us. We obtained your e-mail address from your blog strictly for one-time use, and we will not maintain any further record of your contact information.

If you'd like to participate, our study can be accessed at:

And it goes on to give a link to a this is something that is tempting to do...the link goes to one page that is an agreement of sorts and it does seem straight forward. And the part that makes me want to do it is it says:

There are no known risks associated with participating in this experiment except for the potential for boredom or fatigue. However, upon completion of the study, you will be given the option of seeing your personality scores. Should you choose to view your scores, please note that there is a small risk that some of the feedback you receive will be unpleasant. There are no known benefits except for the knowledge that your participation is contributing to science.

The part in red is the really tempting part....I have looked the guy up and he seems legitimate. I love doing on-line personality quiz type things and would love to do one that was really a bit more in depth. I wondered does anyone else get these kinds of things and what is your response?


Betsy from Tennessee said...

I delete all of those things the minute I get them. I don't even bother to read them.. If they come to my blog, I delete them as soon as possible. If they come to my email, they go straight to "junk mail." I don't have time for that stuff--and like you, I don't trust them!!!

Hyde DP said...

Some are very obvious spam and I delete them immediately - sometimes like the ones above, they MAY be semi-legit in that they are not scams or scums but if totally irrelevant to the post they are usually quickly deleted.

Bottom line is be VERY careful but don't get TOO paranoid.

Mary said...

I've been very fortunate to not get spam on my blog, but I am not linked to any of Googles lists or searches so maybe that makes a difference? I started out planning to be a semi-private blog and have never changed my settings. I'd be very leery of trying anything that came to me that way and would probably just delete it. I delete any email with an unfamiliar address.

don said...

There are so many scams with brilliant minds creating more all the time, that I delete anything that comes across as someone soliciting...especially when they have contacted me. It strikes me as a questionable way for a university to generate participants for a legitimate study. Long and short versions does not sound like the normal constraints needed in research.

Rose said...

It sounds like everyone has the same thoughts I do...specially the part about them contacting me. I can't help but feel that the 123 thing is something they would make money from, or else they would then be soliciting more information...just trying to lead into it and catch me unaware...and do wonder about the survey thing--I can't help but be afraid of anything like this.

Deborah Godin said...

I got a blog one once, I think it was related to those "Nigerian banker" emails, but nothing like what you mentioned. I should have deleted it right away, but I got distracted, and now I can't recall which blog and which post it was on. I don't click on anything if I don't know the sender, and even if I do, if the attachment sounds weird, or has a caution flag on it, I chuck it.

Lene said...

I am a bit naive, but John is wathcing me - and he tells me to delete, delete, delete...

Sorry I`m late to visit you - but I have postet you a comment under your award post :)

Big smile from me :)

Red said...

I received the second one, and it seems legit, but I haven't done the study and may not. I don't know yet. I don't have enough time but maybe for the short one :)

Anonymous said...

I got that 2nd one too! I deleted it - I don't trust any of that stuff - I'm too scared of being directed to web page that'll transmit a virus or whatever to my computer! Mine said it was a one-time solicitation too, we'll see! Go to 1st before you go any further w/ it & see if they have any info about it.

Amanda said...

Hi Rose

I got that email too and was a bit unsure about it (and more so when I found your post and read the comments!). So I emailed the researcher's university address to check it out, because it sounded so legitimate, but some things didn't quite add up about it. Anyway, he replied immediately and now I'm completely convinced that it is actually a bona fide experiment - I've blogged about it here.

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