Invite - address book import gateway?

Hi there - Was the code for running one's own gateway -- for importing contacts from web-based email accounts -- ever released. I would be great to have this code as I am not an incsub customer but would really like this feature.

    ZappoMan

    Andrew,

    I understand why you can't offer the gateway to non-incsub customers. That makes a ton of sense. I also understand that you can't offer the code if it uses licenses from other people.

    That being said, would you *please* be willing to give some "notes" on what your gateway is doing, or maybe even point out the current state of the are in address book slurping. (Note: I have not yet attempted to google for this, I'm know that I can/should, and will eventually do this myself, what I'm asking for is simply your sage wisdom on this topic.)

    Btw, 2 hours into my premium membership I am loving the purchase... you've got a treasure trove of great info here! Thanks for putting it together, I hope it's working out for you.

    Thanks in advance.

    -Brad

    Andrew

    Hiya,

      That being said, would you *please* be willing to give some "notes" on what your gateway is doing

    The 'gateway' is nothing more than a PHP script that returns contact informations. We use a 3rd party script that we paid for so we can't release it. However, it works very similar to these scripts:
    http://svetlozar.net/page/Import-Contacts-from-Gmail-Yahoo-Hotmail-MSN-AOL-using-PHP-cURL.html

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    ZappoMan

    Andrew,

    I have a general question about the concept behind slurping address books as part of an invite process.

    I was recently reading about Shelfari and how they got a lot of heat for basically "spamming" all the contacts from someone's contact list. Now it sounds like the Shelfari team may not have handled things well from a PR perspective... but my question is one of a more technical nature...

    Do you find that the APIs for importing contact databases are well suited to PREVENT the spamming of everyone who has ever been contacted? Was this an easy mistake for Shelfari to have made? Or did they have to work hard at it.

    How do you advise your clients about the risks of this feature?

    Thanks for any wisdom you can impart.

    -Brad

    Andrew

    Hi Brad,

    I'm not familiar with the Shelfari situation. Could you please explain a bit about what happened and how their import feature worked?

    You see, our plugin doesn't automatically pull in address book data. Users have to manually enter their account information. I really don't see the spamming potential because users could just as easily go login to their mail account and send an email to all contacts.

      Do you find that the APIs for importing contact databases are well suited to PREVENT the spamming of everyone who has ever been contacted?

    I really don't understand the question? Our gateway only returns address book data if it's supplied with the correct user/pass combo for the particular account on the particular mail host.

    I may just be misunderstanding what you explained. Could you provide me with an example of how a gateway such as ours could be abused by spammers? Obviously if there's a problem I need to fix it

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    ZappoMan

    I will admit I don't have all the details, plus the details I have were pieced together by people who are very angry with Shelfari.

    What is claimed is that Shelfari implemented a "Invite your friends" feature... that had the standard type in your credentials, account info, etc... and it would send out an invite to join the shelfari service with a "cute little" email like "Do we like the same books?" (Shelfari is a social networking site for book lovers.) Well the people didn't think it was so cute as it is accused that this email would be sent to EVERY contact in the persons email list/address book.

    The shelfari-haters are filled with venom in describing this as they compare Shelfari to spammers.

    So, my more specific question is....

    As someone who as used a gateway API to get email addresses from gmail, yahoo mail, etc... How did you design your "invite people from your address book" feature so that your customers (let's say Shelfari had been your customer) don't end up having users complain that they are spamming their friends from their address book.

    I realize this is not really an issue created by your code, I am more asking this in the spirit of a developer asking another developer how you chose to implement the feature so as to not have backlash from end users.

    Cheers and thanks in advance for any details you'd like to share.

    -Brad

    drmike

    The shelfari-haters are filled with venom in describing this as they compare Shelfari to spammers.

    I have to admit that I would label them as a spammer as well although I haven't had any reports from any of my clients nor have they been reported as such within our spam assassin setup.

    Classmates does the same thing with scanning one's address book and sending out emails without letting anyone know that they are doing so. They are labeled as spammers by many and their servers are blocked. (One of our first actually. I got spammed by them a number of times.)

    Andrew

    Hi Guys,

    The reason I don't think ours would be considered 'spamming' is that it just grabs a list of emails from your address book and adds them into a text box. Users can then remove whichever emails they want before sending the invites.

    Also, there is nothing 'automatic' about ours.

      I realize this is not really an issue created by your code, I am more asking this in the spirit of a developer asking another developer how you chose to implement the feature so as to not have backlash from end users.

    Just don't make it automated or even semi-automated and you should be fine. The only thing our setup does is save users from having to open another tab/window and copy/paste email addresses.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

    ZappoMan

    Great advice... thanks.

    I agree that if you didn't say "We're about to send email to everyone in your contact list, is that ok?" then that would be pretty lame.

    I also agree that if you copied every email into a giant edit control and said "Is it ok to send to all these people" then that seems reasonable, and it would be a little unfair to accuse them of spamming if that's how their implementation behaved.

    Anyway, thanks for your opinions.