Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Plant a Tree, Spam a Friend

I have been in contact with Trees for the Future and frankly I cannot see why they are still partners with Mamasource. Not ONE thing has changed with Mamasource. Not ONE. They still have their email servers configured like those of the common spammer, they still do NOT provide and UNSUBSCRIBE link that actually will unsubscribe you from their daily emails or email digest and they are still HARVESTING and HIJACKING unsuspecting women's email address books on a daily basis.

Artie Wu may claim there is a programming error, but in my research I've found that Artie Wu is not technically challenged. Quite the opposite is true.

And he is still spamming you and other women in the name of moms, trees and breast cancer.

Frankly, I think Artie Wu is a smooth talker and has fooled his partners and subscribers into believing that all this spam is a result of programming errors. With his background with Vividence and all that he's done in the past with "intelligence mining" I find this very, very difficult to swallow. Artie Wu is far from technically challenged. He is a bulldog. He is known for getting information from his competitors with techniques that he won't divulge. His company Vividence, was one of the top places to go to mine data for companies. He sold that company for about $22M and he has top-notch programmers on board. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing.

And yet he still blames all this spam on programming errors, or better yet, on YOU.

I think not.

Please contact the good folks at Trees For The Future and tell them that you are sick of getting spammed in the name of their organization!

Their number is 1-800-643-0001

Monday, March 10, 2008

Still Spamming In The Name of Planting Trees

Looks like Artie Wu is still spamming people in the name of planting trees.

I wonder why Trees For the Future would tolerate partnering with such an obvious scam artist.

This post found on a random blog on March 10, 2008:

"so so sorry if you got an email from me about planting a tree!??! apparently this site, mamasource, which actually sounds like a great idea, hijacks your email list if you go to their site or if you sign up. so if you got one from me, i promise i didn't send it, and if you get a mamasource email from someone else just don't open it or even click on the link. blech. i hate spam."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Artie Wu's Spam Is The Gift That Keeps Giving

Looks like Artie Wu and Mamasource are still up to their old tricks.

Here's a post from a blogger in Scotland:

"Something terrible has happened. Apparently I unknowingly spammed all of my e-mail contacts. I received an e-mail from my sister-in-law a week or so ago (I'm assuming she did the same thing I did, hence the e-mail from her) that had information in it about something called Mamasource. I know I opened the e-mail but I don't remember what I did after that. (Name deleted) has informed me that somehow I allowed it to get access to my Gmail account and it then spammed all of my contacts. So, if I have ever written you an e-mail and you received an e-mail from Mamasource telling you that I want you to plant a tree or something weird like that, I am SO SORRY! I am not really sure what I did, but I didn't intentionally send you all e-mails from Mamasource and I don't really care if you plant trees for me or not. Sorry. I really don't know what to tell you all to do to stop getting these stupid e-mails, but just ignore them, delete them, or if you have Gmail, mark them as spam so they won't come through anymore. Again, I apologize for whatever I did to spam you. I didn't mean to."

Nice, Artie.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mamasource "How Slimy!"

Here is a recent thread I saw online:

"plant a tree" email

"I'm not sure if this is the right spot to post this - I'll try in TAO as well just in case. But I wanted to caution the mamas here about an email I received recently from a friend through mamasource. It was seemingly innocent enough - one of those "we'll plant a tree for each mama who clicks the link" things. They also offered to check your email address book if you wanted to find other friends of yours that were already members of mamasource - and they wouldn't store your password was the only other instruction there. So I did the change password, check list, change password back thing. After they checked, they asked me if I wanted to send the plant-a-tree email to anyone and they automatically selected 4 people. I said no to 3, allowed one, and thought that was it.

However, they sent out invitations to almost everyone in my email address book without my permission. I received emails from non-mamas asking what it was about, which is how I knew it happened. An invite was sent to my (deceased) mother's account, too... so I KNOW I wouldn't have sent that there. Plus, I had two people tell me that just by clicking the no strings attached plant-a-tree link, they got signed up for daily newsletters from mamasource.

Email attempts to mamasource were first totally misread and then ignored. When I sent an email through my mom's account to get them to end her subscription, they sent one back asking me to reconsider. When I explained the situation, who I was, my personal email address, I'd really like to talk to someone so that this doesn't happen to others, etc, I just received a "we closed this account" email. My other friend who wrote them got much the same response.

I have no idea if they're actually planting trees or not - I hope so for all this. But if I can spare someone else the trouble that I'm going through with them - and the complete refusal on their part to discuss it - I'd like to."


"Wow - thanks for the heads up! How slimy of them!"

"Interesting. I somehow got on mamsource's list of people to annoy, it was related to a mama I had bought something from online. I was like Why did she give them my email? Maybe it was the same scenario as with you, they took her whole address book."

"WOW, Glad I didnt open the few links I got from friends....I just had a bad feeling about it...Thanks for posting."

Check out the MotheringDotCommune forum for yourself.

Artie Wu, when will you stop these practices?

Monday, February 18, 2008

What Other Bloggers Are Saying About Mamasource

I am not the only one blogging about Mamasource. There are other women out there who are just as angry about the spamming, the email hijacking and phishing, and the unethical tactics that Artie Wu employs in the name of community that they too have decided to take a stand for what is right, to tell the world what is wrong with Mamasource.

So many of you love Mamasource...and that's fine, BUT do you love what they are doing to people's email address books? Do you love that they are using non-profits like Trees for the Future and The Breast Cancer Fund to further their agenda? Do you agree with using these charities to encourage people to give up their email address book passwords?

You should be thinking twice about these tactics!

Does it bother you that you CANNOT UNSUBSCRIBE FROM YOUR EMAILS?

It should. Because having an unsubscribe link that doesn't actually unsubscribe you is in direct violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

You probably aren't aware of how Mamasource's email servers re configured, but it might be of interest to you that they are configured like those of EMAIL SPAMMERS.

Try It!

Try and send an email to abuse@mamasource.com, and an email to postmaster@mamasource.com.

THEY WILL BOUNCE BACK! (and they are not supposed to!)

This site is shady and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Check out this blog and read Amy's story. Do you really want to belong to a community site that spams people in the name of trees and breast health?

Advice Goddess Blog

I know that over 500 of you have visited this site through my Google AdWords ads. I want you to know that my ad campaign is costing me money, and as a single mom, I really don't have it to spend. It is coming out of my own pocket, and the reason I keep this campaign going is because I feel so strongly that what Artie Wu is doing is WRONG. Plain and simple, he is scamming and spamming you, and it is WRONG!

He's got millions and I have nothing but the compelling evidence I've uncovered, my computer and my convictions.

I am NOT sponsored. No one is giving me money, no one is paying for my time or my ad costs. It is just me, and I have other things to do in my life, but each and every time I find another woman online who has been spammed, who has been scammed, and who has been embarrassed, I find it in me, again, to keep up my vigilance, to keep unearthing information supporting my statements, and to keep shelling out money so more eyes will look at this site.

You must look at the FACTS and decide for yourself if you want to support Mamasource with the way they are doing "business." And yes, it is a business.

Please visit the following blog and read her story and other people's comments. I am NOT THE ONLY ONE who is angry enough to write, angry enough to dig deeper into this supposed community site, angry enough to uncover these shady and unethical tactics for all to see.

Please visit Amy's blog at:
AdviceGoddess Blog

Sunday, February 17, 2008

What Other Women Are Saying About Mamasource's Email Phishing Scam

McAfee Site Advisor doesn't give this site a negative rating...yet, but these user comments aren't flattering:


Rating: Phishing or other scams

"Phishing for email addresses in your address book!!!"

"This site will steal your address book and send unsolicited email to all the women in it. Someone I know received a "flower" (small picture of a flower) from a friend via mamasource.com. Mamasource then offered to let this person send a flower back to their friend. They give you links to sign into your email account (gmail, yahoo, etc...). Then they ask if you want to send flowers to other friends in your address book. If you opt not to send additional flowers to your other contacts via this site, Mamasource ignores this request and sends it to all your contacts with female first names. They then repeat the process of offering those recipients the opportunity to reply with a flower, thus obtaining more email addresses of unsuspecting victims."

"I am sure once confronted with the facts mamsource.com will just say that it was a programming error, but this site should be shut down for their underhanded tricks."

(my note: this is exactly what Artie Wu told me in an email. Programming error. Ya, right!)

Posted at 02/12/2008


Rating: This site spams

"After logging in with an email password for yahoo, it went into my address book and sent flowers to people that I did not authorize. When I logged in to mamasource.com it does not list those flowers that I had supposedly authorized to send. They spammed a lot of my friends from my address book."

Posted at 02/08/2008


Rating: Phishing or other scams

"mamasource.com via "plant a tree" asked for my email password. Technically, this is phishing."

Posted at 12/06/2007


Have a complaint or a spam email from Mamasource? Please forward the email in its entirety to spam@uce.gov, contact your ISP, post to McAfee Site Advisor and everywhere else you can think of.

Mamasource is a spam site and is involved in email phishing. No matter how cool you think this site may be, you need to understand that their practices are not right and this type of spam site needs to be shut down.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Real Reason Artie Wu Is Building A Community Of Money...I Mean MOMS!

You may like the community at Mamasource, and really, I have nothing against a good community site, but you REALLY NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHY MAMASOURCE EXISTS, and believe me, Mamasource didn't come from Artie's desire to create a site that would help his wife find playdates for his 4 year old daughter, or to "make the job of being a mom a little bit easier."

This is part of an email that Artie Wu wrote to me on 2/10/08:

"But while our budgets are small and our site is not that fancy, our commitment and passion for serving Moms is very personal and real. I started noodling on the idea for Mamasource in 2004, when our daughter was 4 and my wife was having trouble scheduling playdates, and finding time to spend with other Moms due to her work schedule. I figured I would try and build something that could help her."

Great story line. Great hook. But the truth is, Artie wants to make money, lots of money, off of moms like you and me.

Oh ya, and his budget is NOT SMALL, or is he lying when he says in this recent Craiglist ad that "
Mamasource is a well-funded, early-stage Internet startup"?

If you read other posts on this blog, you'll begin to understand that Artie Wu is a master of harvesting information from competitors and has elevated "intelligence mining" to an high art.

I encourage you to read this whole post so that you might see why he wants you to be part of Mamasource.

He is building his subscriber base so he can pimp you all, I mean, connect you all with the providers of the goods and services you'll need in a "highly effective and personalized manner."

I would be inclined to believe there might be a stronger community aspect to Mamasource had I not been privy to his sneaky and underhanded techniques personally, but I can tell you that Artie Wu knows his demographics, and his main goal is to exploit you and take you for all you've got!

After all, this is what he build his last company, Vividence, on. He knows that MOMS SPEND MONEY...LOTS OF IT, and he wants a big piece of that pie, and he is willing to use every trick in the book to get you to sign up, even resorting to hijacking your email address book and spamming all your contacts, without discretion.

It's already been shown that once he has you, he won't give you up. He does NOT provide an unsubscribe link in any emails his subscriber receive, in DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE CAN-SPAM ACT OF 2003, just so he can keep his subscribers subscribed!

He is building up his subscriber base with these unethical email harvesting and phishing techniques, and he has but one reason for doing this. He wants to get his Number One demographic (YOU!) gathered in one place he can "provide you with goods and services."


Unlike his email to me, where he speaks about his "small budget" this Craigslist posting on 2/12/08 tells a different story.

Read this posting on Craigslist and decide for yourself what the Mamasource community is really all about.

SF Craigslist Posting for Mamasource Project Manager (2/12/08)


Reply to: job-571239120@craigslist.org Date: 2008-02-12, 3:54AM PST

Product Management at Marin-based Startup (Sr., Director - level) (corte madera)

Mamasource is a well-funded, early-stage Internet startup taking a deep and unique approach to serving the needs of moms. Since launching in 2007, our online network of local Mom communities all across America has grown at an exciting pace while being featured extensively on TV, radio, and print.

Why are moms so important?

Moms control 80% of U.S. household spending totaling $1.4 trillion annually.

Their #1 source for getting reliable information is via word-of-mouth from other moms - more than TV or magazines, more than the Yellow Pages. - Everyone from the largest brands to the local plumber relies on moms as customers, and they spend $100 billion each year on local advertising.

We are creating vibrant, local online communities where millions of Mom decision-makers come to confer every day around vitally important issues like raising their families, personal well-being, and their household spending decisions. We then connect them with the providers of the goods and services they need in a highly effective and personalized manner.

From day one, you will work closely with veteran founders who have been backed in the past by Kleiner and Sequoia, and you'll be able to count your co-workers on two hands. You will find that building a community for moms that actually works is an amazingly challenging intellectual and technical problem - combining sophisticated algorithms, constant analysis of massive amounts of data, user experience design, and social engineering.

We continually innovate "under the hood" in ways that our members will never see.

Ultimately, what they experience is simply the most friendly, relevant, and responsive group of local moms they've ever encountered online.

We stay focused on our customers, not the latest market or tech hype, and we've got a sensible, well-grounded business model that is already generating revenue. We work hard and love what we do, but we get a big boost from knowing that our efforts make the lives of so many moms just a little bit easier every day.

WE ARE SEEKING our first dedicated Product Management team member outside of the founders, who will:

* Shape our deep understanding of the customer, including her needs and behaviors, through data-driven analysis and gathering direct user feedback.

* Define roadmaps, scope, goals, and priorities for product initiatives.

* Create dev-ready requirements and deliverables and work closely with UE design, engineering, and QA teammates throughout the dev process.

* Define, measure, and manage against global metrics for product adoption, retention, and revenue, up to and including owning P&L as appropriate.

* Execute successfully at the data-driven, micro-optimization level: conversion rates, CTR, etc.

* Help make the company a great place to work and make a difference in all areas of the company's success (it's a startup!)

QUALIFICATIONS: We expect that you will have at least three years professional experience in product management for web applications. We are not looking for any particular domain expertise, but you must possess a true passion for the web and have worked before on highly interactive web apps with a strong consumer focus. Everything we do is data-driven, so you must be a data hound: you're used to living in the data and translating it into informed product decisions. You wouldn't think of making a move without knowing by which metrics success will be measured. You know Excel like the back of your hand. You probably already know SQL, but if not then learning it should be no problem for you. You are equally comfortable optimizing CTR and drop-off rates as you are defining use cases and flows. You must have extensive experience with the ins-and-outs of web applications and the web applications development process. You must be able to communicate requirements at a sufficient level of comprehensiveness and technical detail where engineers and QA teammates can run with them with minimal intervention. Handling corner cases comes naturally to you. You are loved by the engineers you've worked with and are always finding ways to make their jobs just a little bit easier and more efficient. You must be comfortable directly interacting with customers when needed, as gathering user feedback is part of the job.

A degree in Computer Science or other technical field is strongly preferred, but not required. Previous startup experience would be great. Most importantly, we are looking for a talented, driven teammate who is eager to work hard, learn quickly, and wear multiple hats. We encourage all qualified product managers who fit the bill to apply. This position is what YOU make of it: title and level of responsibility will be commensurate with previous experience and growth on the job.

LOCATION: You will work in beautiful Marin County within view of Mt. Tamalpais. We are located minutes from both the Golden Gate and Richmond bridges right off Hwy 101, making us within easy 20-30 minutes reach of San Francisco (a reverse commute!), East Bay, and North Bay. We enjoy all the benefits of being a startup in the SF Bay Area while remaining a comfortable distance from the reality distortion field that tends to permeate SOMA and South Bay.

CONTACT INFORMATION: This is a full-time, permanent position based in Corte Madera, CA. With a small team, we can be generous with equity. We also offer full benefits including health, 401(k), and more. We strongly prefer candidates who already live in the SF Bay Area, but we are willing to consider the right person located anywhere in the US. If what you've read sounds intriguing, please send your resume and a description of why you fit the bill.

PostingID: 571239120

Please write Artie Wu at this Craigslist address (since he doesn't give an address or phone number on his website) job-571239120@craigslist.org