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Is it from heaven or from hell?
And what Spiderman’s Force has to do with it!

Sorry for the slightly confusing blog title, soon it will all become very clear to you…

Just last night I received an quite interesting message via Skype… somebody told me that Message Magic (formerly called “Skype Assist”) will launch on July 15th, just a few days from now, with a plug-in for the Skype IM tool that millions of people use right now around the globe.

Before I share with you what exactly it does… here my little rant about this tool that is promoted as a marketing tool from heaven, that in my opinion could turn into a marketing tool from hell if… well, if users don’t remember the famous line from the first Spiderman blockbuster movie:



Thanks for all the information and direction.
I am sure that like most products, this has
it’s good and bad points.

People must really understand that they would not like to be blasted all the time with spam. So, do unto others. Give value and friendship.

People buy people, not spam!

So, once again – thanks for being you – REAL!

It is a honor calling you a freind!

Bill Connelly
aka: Cash Flow Dude
skype: chilly41

Lou Bonaventura says:

You hit the nail on the head on this one Frank. This is going to end up turning into another avenue for SPAM, I can see it coming! There is too much spamming going on already … I can’t tell you how many lotteries I’ve won or how many unknown relatives of mine who have died and left me millions in overseas banks LOL … this is going to make it worse in my opinion.

My wife and I already receive a huge amount of requests from people we don’t know through Skype to be added to our contact list … not the type of people we would be associating with either.

I’m not sure how they are doing this because we both have our Skype accounts set to block contact from anyone outside our contact list unless we send them our details. Maybe this is how they are doing it? I’m not 100% sure but I see this as trouble on the horizon and not necessarily a good thing. The idea is good on paper, but the execution could leave a lot to be desired.

Good article!

Janet Legere says:


I couldn’t agree more!

When I first saw SkypeAssist, I was concerned about the same things.

Personally, I am a marketer with a conscience and would only use the system to connect with people who want to connect with me.

The bulk send feature is going to be very dangerous as we both know that most online marketers are really unaware of spamming laws and can abuse systems quite easily.

I believe honest marketers will use the system honestly and it’s our responsibility to help others do the same.

I expect we’ll see some changes to Skype Assist before too long.

Thanks for this post … I hope those who need it read it


Janet Legere

Donna Fox says:

I officially hate Skype Assist

Just the fact that you could send me a message, Frank, and I think to myself, “I haven’t heard from Frank for years, this must be very important to him to ask for a favor from me”

… then to get here and find out you’ve bulk Skyped.

Ego issues aside, this poses a big problem.

As a women, I already get inundated with unwanted Skype messages. Once or twice a day someone starts a chat with me. I always accept and entertain for a while, because you never know if it’s gonna be a customers… but most of the time, it’s some guy trying to pick me up.

Now if they can do that in bulk? Skype women beware!

Dwayne Lumax says:

I see both sides being brought up , both reflecting the “good”, the “bad” and the “ugly”.

I for one see it as being no different than other tools presently being utilized by all kinds of internet marketers.

Take things like AdLandPro,safelists, Wowzza, APsense, etc. These are similiar in nature to SKYPE ASSIST.

Here ..let me explain: My point being is ultimately you have all these tools eventually turning into an arena where marketers spend the majority of their time “showcasing the goods” to other marketers!
And we all seem to readily accept that and embrace it with open arms.

As the owner of the SKYPE ASSIST addressed this potential situation originally being discussed here …he simply stated the one has the option to adjust their privacy settings to gain back some control as to by who and how many incoming messages they receive!

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out after JULY 15th. I don’t know about you, but i for one …will have my SKYPE open and ready to see and be part of this avalanche of action on that date!!!

Quentin says:

As an Internet Marketer I think it would be great however as a long time skype user I would have to say it will be abused and do not like the concept.

Like Face book and all these other means of communicating, people just treat them like mass list builders but what really happens is they just end up wasting so much time and give themselves a bad rating in the rest of the community.

I think in the end if it gets out of hand skype will kill it or we will all leave skype in the hunt for another service.


Cindy Battye says:

Hey Frank,

I pretty much agree. I don’t think it will be long before people will be spamming skype – it’s inevitable. The only saving grace is that it’s a paid service – so we wont get absolutely every muppet and his dog going nuts with it.

I think any tool which automates list building is fantastic – the more targeted the better! But… with automation (especially on the internet), combined with people’s desire to get rich in a nice easy way – and the ability to stay pretty much anonymous in doing this, it all adds up to a very real risk of abuse.

On a side note though – today, i was sent a skype message from a random skyper which contained a link to a virus. I don’t know if this happens a lot, but it has never happened to me before today – wondering if they are related…

James Brown says:

Hi Frank,

Great blog post and review! Being a long time spiderman fan I particularly enjoyed the analogy you drew with using Skype Assist.

My experience so far has not been great and over this past week I’ve received close to 200 messages about it

Personally I believe it has a very limited lifespan. Its far to easy to abuse and I can only see Skype’s customer service dept being bombed with complaints about it.

But I’m sure there’ll be lots of peoplewho disagree with me & will endorse it, and I already consider them in the category of having no friends and won’t mind in the end talking to themself on Skype.

Think about it… we don’t like telemarketers calling us or having our fax machines & email inboxes nailed with rubbish, so why will we put up with it on Skype?


Jason Lamure says:

Hi Frank,

I agree with Donna, I’m afraid
women will be hitting on me all day
long with skype pick up lines!

DOH…for us guys that would be
a good thing… :o)

But to be serious….I’ve been
hit by at least a dozen requests
to look at this since yesterday…

Most in my skype, some by email.

It’s has not bothered me yet and
like most things after the initial
hoopla the offers will slow down.

Can’t say much about the service
yet, having not bought in at this

Seems to have gotten a few people
over here to your blog so looks like
it is effective if used as you are
applying it Frank.

Best Regards,

Jason Lamure
skype = jason.lamure

Jimmy Chen says:

Oh no! I depend on Skype a lot. Wouldn’t want to see it go south. =(


David Smith says:

Hi Frank,

I have mixed feelings about Skype Assist. At first glance I thought there was great potential, yet another opportunity to list-build and increase contacts etc. Then like the rest of you, I also saw the possibility of receiving more junk mail without having to go to my inbox.

I do hope that it will evolve into something beneficial to all who use it properly. As a newbie to online marketing I have learnt quickly that when your list trusts you first then and only the will you succeed. Spamming might catch the odd prospect but your loyal list will serve you better.

I have yet to be convinced about the software itself as I can still not get it to work correctly and when I do it closes with errors. So will just have to wait and see.

Thanks Frank for asking me to comment and keep up the great work mate!

God bless you,

David Smith

Hey Frank.

You have some great points here. I fully agree with you.

I just see now in the near future all the friend requests I am going to get.. Oh boy!

Now when adding all these friends on skype how are you going to get to know them all? I have a hard enough time with it now. I have people on my skype now that I forgot who they are or peopl that added me that have not even talked to me. So far I think it makes more sense to have hundreds of friends on facebook than skype.. who knows maybe it will make more sense later to me.

Richard Wing says:

Frank when you contacted me through skype asking if I seen the SA tool. I messaged you back and told you I was hit by everyone on the net it seemed.

I indicated to you that it was destined to fail…

Everyone that messaged me when I responded to them wouldn’t respond back.

Whats going to happen is that my clients of whom I give out my skype contact info are going to try and reach me for support and I am going to get to the point where I assume they are spammers.

Its very impersonal and a time waster for the recipient. And if I were interested in what they had to say and I had questions and they didnt respond they have wasted my time. I don’t just go to any website just because a link shows up in a message.

For the same reason I don’t go to websites in emails that come from someone I don’t know.

Also what happens is that people will end up creating throw away skype usernames so they can spam anonymously so they don’t get their real account closed down. Therefore they are acting like email spammers who send from bogus email addresses.

I can see the good benefits if the broadcasting is done from your legit skype account and if everyone actually responds at the other end if questions are asked.

Anything short of that is BAD!

Richard Wing

Heello Frank,

Thanks for this thoughtful post.

I have sofar been bulk-skyped only by you, and that suits me just fine.

I already receive hundreds of spam messages daily and spend far too much time dealing with this annoying problem.

If I find out that Skype users are going to add to my spam problem in any significant way, I’ll simply ditch that service and find an alternative method that will suit my needs.

Your warning is appreciated and I thank you.

have a great day,

Hans van der Woerd

Kevin Riley says:

I already get enough invites from the Ghanian scammers (seems they are taking over the Nigerian letter scam), hot Italian girls who want to rape my credit card, and people who want to “speak Engrish” with me. All I need is a bunch of bozos auto inviting me.

I’m looking for the auto blocker software. Anybody who invites me and is not a friend or business associate is getting blasted to hell.

Aurelius Tjin says:

I’m must be a little out-of-date. Everyone else heard about this new tool and I only heard about it directly from Frank.

At this time, I can’t say if this tool will be a great marketing tool for marketers. We can only say that it is one way, but how responsiveness will it be? I mean, you’ll be adding and chatting with complete strangers. You’ll definitely need a marketing plan before approaching this method.

Let’s see how far this goes.

Wincer Song says:

Hi Frank,

I got message from skype friend about Skype Assist 3 days ago. I am afraid many people will use it for spamming.
Smart tool should be used smartly!

Soroya Ravencrest says:

Thanks Frank for the info. This is the first I have heard about it. As you and others have said we can only hope that it is not abused.

I will be taking a good look for myself now that I know.

Bad News for us who share info in our profiles, without it maybe they cant search.

If i get spammed i will block the contact

Bj says:

A conversation held on skype.

The name of the other party has been removed out of professional courtesy.

Did you see this new Skype plugin called Skype Assist?
Looks like an interesting marketing tool to me, check it out at…
(url removed)

Me : yes nothing more than a spammers tool. Anyone sending me unsolicited ads will be reported to Skype and their program they are promoting. The owner is also acting totally illegally by telling people to harvest skype id’s and sell them.

He : Yeah, you are right… was just trying it myself to see if it works. Maybe not such a good idea after all.

Me : I will let you know what skype says when they respond to my report. The owner has to be a complete and total moron and have absolutely no ethics when it comes to marketing.

His skype id is perfect i have to say that webloot – right that is exactly what he is trying to do loot the skype users

He : Thanks for your feedback. I think I will not ever use it again with my regular account.

Maybe with a spare one.

Me : I been looking this over and studying it for a couple of hours and no i haven’t signed up nor will i
You know me (name removed), 10 years on the net and never in all that time have i ever used any spam methods to advertise and i have no intention of starting now – i have always fought spammers and will continue to do so.

He : Good on you.
I can understand your point… I am just a techy geeky guy and just had to try it.

Me : i like tech things but not spam bots and that’s all this is

Summary In My Opinion The owner of this software Is obviously a spammer at heart with less morals than a cat on heat.

Why? Because he is advocating harvesting Skype id’s and selling them. He is advocating harvesting Skype ids and spamming them.

He is not going to care when you are reported for spamming to your program and you lose your account. All he is interested in is lining his pockets with you hard earned cash

Shafir Ahmad says:

Great as a “spam” tool i suppose.

I think this is worse than email spam, it ranks somewhere below “Telephone Spam”, since the whole nature of Skype is as an Instant Messenger, so the info is sorta sent and received instantly.

To me, skype is a very personal tool and so I won’t be adding anyone so easily. In fact I do get unknown jokers who try to contact me thru skype, who promptly get blocked.

But then, you do get spam on MSN messenger, Yahoo, so it’s a natural progression to Skype also. So whats the greatest and hottest thing since sliced bread now?

Hi Frank

Thanks for the invite to this blog thread.

I can see this can be a great tool if used right.

But as we all know many will abuse the use of it.

Robert Phillips

Cliff Teo says:

Like Aurelius, I also just heard about this tool.
Thank you for this information.
Same here, my concern is the spamming issue. I like the tool as it is very convenient for marketers like us to find like-minded people but once it become another spamming tool, we would be in trouble. The key is in the control. How can the service provider, Skype make sure this tool will never be abused? They should have the answer somewhere somehow..

Cliff Teo

Frank Bauer says:

Wow… looks like a hit a nerve here.

First, thanks a lot for everybody that commented.

Let me try to address your points…

@Bill Connelly: I absolutely agree, maybe if you give spammers enough of their own medicine they will learn? Or maybe not.

@Lou Bonaventura: The way I understand it, there might be people sending promotional messages in their contact invites. Stupid in my opinion as that will be zero effective I believe. Those invites go through even if you “block” messages from strangers.

What this means for me is that in the future I will make sure I read what the contact invite says before I accept it.

@Janet Legere: Agree, if this can just turn one unaware spammer into an educated relationship marketer it was already a success! And the more… the better… as long as it’s not spam.

@Donna Fox: Yeah, haven’t seen you since last September! Time to catch up.

I can definitely see your point. Anybody, not just women should change their Skype profile and not list more information then necessary and make themselves only reachable for people on your contacts list. Also, don’t accept contact invites from strangers that you don’t know (unless they identify themselves as a customer or at least a potential customer).

BTW… I send the message to you manually, SA still has some bugs… one of them that it “forgets” some contacts.

@Dwayne Lumax: Yes, I agree on that… all marketing tools only have the potential to be abused. We just have to stick together and kick the abusers as well as reward the responsible marketers.

@Quentin: If we keep our Skype settings right and pay attention who we “allow in”, I believe this can be controlled. Those that use the tool to abuse will in the end (hopefully) be kicked out of Skype… at least I hope!

As I mentioned before… I for one will watch more closely who I leave into the “inner circle”.

@Cindy Battye: I agree with your automation point… like with all tools there is the risk of abuse. That’s why I tried to educate.

Also your point on that the price tag of $14.95 a month is actually good, I agree… if it would be free it would fast turn into a major problem.

@James Brown: Right… we will not put up with being spammed on Skype. Those that will, will simply lose their Skype contacts one at the time and might even loose their Skype account altogether once Skype becomes aware of them abusing the power.

@Jason Lamure: LOL… you are funny Jason.

I have only been “hit” a few times in Skype so far, maybe because my setting are secure? Not seen it in emails yet… but then, I am sure my VA deletes those anyway.

@Jimmy Chen: Just make sure your Skype setting are right (see above)!

@David Smith: Not only the software literally need to evolve, but also the users in the proper use of it… or any marketing tool for that matter.

But I absolutely agree… relationship marketing beats spam a million to one!

@Colin Meunier: Yeap, watch out who you leave into your inner circle.

@Richard Wing: As I mentioned to you on Skype, I absolutely agree with you… thanks for posting it here in the comments now as well.

If people don’t reply on feedback to their own messages, why bother in the first place? Beats me.

Regarding your other comments… I believe we just need to make sure those we allow to be our contacts are legit and those that are already on it and start spamming is get banned.

@Hans van der Woerd: You are welcome. I believe as long as you leave your guards up and don’t just let anybody into your Skype contact list, you will be fine.

@Kevin Riley: LOL… I wouldn’t have expected a different comment from you. Luckily auto invites are not auto added to our Skype contact lists.

@Aurelius Tjin: Yeah, I thing as a mass marketing tool to strangers it will be like any other spam method… those people hope for one buyer in a million. But if used only for the purpose of spreading some news (valuable, free info only… not the latest “buy this” message) it can be a very useful time saving tool.

And by news I refer only to those news you would want to spread to your complete list of Skype contacts anyway… not the next best pitch!

@Wincer Song: Yeap, that’s my whole point.

@Soroya Ravencrest: You are very welcome.

@Colin Klinkert: They can only spam you once they are on your Skype contact list, so just watch out who you let on it.

BTW… how is your “European Vacation” doing? Heading back to Monaco soon?

@Bj: Sounds familiar. Yeah, like I said… bad as a spamming tool, good only if used properly.

Kenneth McPherson says:

Another new tool to add to the armoury of “weapons” in the ever increasingly packed world of contacting and finding new business associates. Like all new pieces of software that find their way onto our desktops it will have a function that serves while certain users will abuse it’s ease of use to intrude on our personal space. I like to think I will fall into the camp that makes it a friendly gesture as opposed to the one that makes people shy away.

Continued business success is always a matter of discretion in the face of many obstacles that are designed to maintain the equilibrium.

Some will, some won’t – thanks for reading, next.

Aritra says:

Hey Frank.. Thanks to Skype Assist.. atleast I got to hear from you atleast.. LOL…

On a serious note, thanks for this genuine tool.. i believe, if used the right way, this could work well for mass marketers!


Frank Bauer says:

@Shafir Ahmad: Hopefully not a great spam tool I would say.

Any tool in the world can be used for good or evil. Not the tool itself is good or evil… what people do with them is!

The greatest and hottest thing since sliced bread is called: Relationship building.

@Robert Phillips: You are right… let’s hope this blog thread will reduce the number of abusers.

@Cliff Teo: I think the key to control lays in the Skype settings… allow only your contacts to message me and keep the door locked (watch who you let in).

@Kenneth McPherson: Not sure how your comparison with “weapons” justifies mine between good and evil. Can weapons be used for good at all?

@Aritra: Sorry for not sending a message earlier. Yes, if used right is the key here. I look at it more as a time saver then a mass marketing tool.

Would you send out a newsletter to your opt-in subscribers if you would have to send 100,000 messages one-by-one? I know I wouldn’t.

The same applies to sending Skype messages like to sending emails… if the content of the message is of value to the receiver and they actually opted into your list, they will not mind it… maybe even appreciate it.

But if the message is send to strangers and / or has no value, they will rightfully scream “Spam”!

Juan Boulter says:

G’day Frank,

Was great to get your invite to this blob thread mate.

Here is my view on this new tool for Skype.

I would only use it to notify a select few on my Skype contact list. The few I knew who have large mailing lists.

I believe it would be a great way to eliminate the possibility for your message to get lost in SPAM filters and therefore be more read.

I do not see it as a way to mass contact all and sundry.

Thanks for the chance to air my views.
I appreciate your valuable time…
Talk to you soon…

Parvis Parvizi says:

Hey Frank,

I could not have said it better.

It is a good job we still have lots of ethical people in our industry, however there will be a lot of un-ethical people who will abuse this tool, so pleased to see your post on your blog.

Keep up the great work you are doing, and I may see you over in OZ soon as I have a great group developing over your part of the world, so a good excuse of travelling there.

keep well,

your friend
Parvis Parvizi

Dwayne Lumax says:

Awesome input and discussion going on here.

Thanks very much Frank for taking the time and responding to the comment posts and adding your follow-up opinions.

And also keep in mind everyone, the SKYPE ASSIST is only the “tip of the Iceberg”. If you recall from the site, GRANT plans to expand this concept model into other IM messenger systems such as AIM, GoogleTalk, Yahoo, MSN,etc

Not entirely sure, since i can’t get into GRANT’S brain, but this may or may not be something of a ‘field trial’ for him. If it turns out t obe a success and performs to a satisfactory level ….expansion into these of systems could become an extremely powerful and efficient mode of marketing, ….taking full advantage of its untapped potential.

Let’s hope everyone plays by the rules and the BAD APPLES quickly get weeding out, thus allowing the cream to raise to the top!

On the affiliate earning side, this could become very lucrative if it spreads into the over messengers over time. Looking forward with great anticipation to see where this goes.

Richard Mckell says:

Giday Frank, thanks for the input from you and all the folks.
I can only presume that Skype is getting on the social bandwagon.
People are people, and hopefully the spammers will get fed up if no one replies to their invites.
You would have to think twice before using the Skype me mode.Keep invisible, i think.

Tim Brocklehurst says:

Hi Frank

I agree with you about this, and I’m afraid Skype Assist’s life could be quite short if Skype have any control on how their API is used (and abused) – which they should… They must surely, they’re Skype after all! one of the biggest brands on the internet. Or doesn’t it follow…?

And yes – the graphics and copywriting are very UN-Skype.

Best make the most of it (in a good way) while we can ‘cos I don’t think it’ll be around for long.

Hope things are good with you Frank, time we had a chinwag.


Simon Ussher says:

I agree frank. This could unfortunately hurt Skype, if too many people abuse it to the point that people avoid skype altogether.

Pete says:

Well as it was said above, Skype assist could be a big problem. And for someone to ask if we can add a comment and then find the request was bulk sent, and as I havent even heard from this person for so so long…

I use skype as a business tool to “talk” to my customers, but to “Bulk” sent msg isnt my game. Sorry….

So I guess from now on I will be blocking a few more skype requests.

Phil says:

Thanks Frank, I hadn’t heard of this tool and I can see your concern.

I’m sure it will be abused, but the guilty will soon loose a lot of Skype contacts.

I’ve never bought anything from anyone that “spammed” me!


Sandy says:

Hi Frank,
If Skype Assist brought you to me, good stuff, and thank you for the opportunity to tell others about Australia’s Best Kept Secret.
Kakadu Juice, Wild By Nature. Not just another health drink. Made from aussie ‘bush tucker’. 100% Australian.Great product = Great Business Opportunity, and by the way, it makes you feel great too. Please check it out.More info on my blog.

All the best to all, Sandy

It’s a neat tool simply because skype is such a closed channel…meaning most of your skype contacts will be people you know very well.

You read their skype messages.

But if you’re promoting something it better be something really special.

Most smart Skype users keep their Skype a closed channel by blocking any user who contacts them without first asking to communicate by Skype (as I do).

And if people start wasting my time with inane Skype messages or promotions (or asking me repeatedly to comment on their blog using a program like Skype assist) then I will just block them as a user so they can’t contact me at all.

So it is a handy communication tool but don’t expect it to be a mass marketing tool.

Having said all that I can see how you could hypothetically educate people to join up with Skype, add you as a contact and accept your regular notifications, links to free content etc.

But they’d have to know 100% that’s why they were adding you as a contact.

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

To All,

Having received several chat messages earlier this week I dedcided to checkout the SkypeAssist and my first impression as a developer was that I could not belive someone wanted me to pay a monthly fee for this piece of c**p!

I decided to see how hard it would be to replicate what even then I saw as a potential spamming tool. The result was a proof of concept app developed in 3 hours from zero knowledge of the Skype API! Having tested this with a few close contacts I decided this was a very bad app indeed to release, and I am sure that Skype would not be too happy about giving me a commercial licence (I would be suprised if SkypeAssist have even applied for one)

So for all those rushing to pay for this on the 15th, think twice! plus at least one of the pending features promised is not entirly impossible to do, it would just make so much use of the skype servers that I am sure this app would be banned.

Andrew Sleigh

Bj says:

The Abuse has already started.
A friend of mine informed me just now he received a spam ad from someone using this spam bot.

That person has been reported for spamming needless to say.

If you claim to be an ethical marketer then join us in getting this piece fo garbage banned.

Start by registering a complain with Skype.
Report anyone spamming you with it.
Stop this abuse before it gets as bad as the spam abuse there is with our email addresses being harvested.

Lets see just who really does have ethics.


Alex says:

Hi Frank, good post. I haven´t see the product inside but my opinion, based on your words, is that even in the case people only will use it on the right (bright and honest) way, I don´t like it, because I consider Skype like my personal phone or my personal cellular… I mean TOTALLY PRIVATE. I don´t want to receive any skype message, even from my friends, if it is not directed only to me…. Do you know what I mean?

Leda Grace Rasmussen says:

You are so right – my first thought was this is SPAM and no one will want it after a few weeks.

Skype will of course not tolerate it and that will be the end of that.

No matter what the contacts we have are treasures and we all have to treat each other with great respect. Networking is all about giving!!!

Thank you Frank for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

Best Regards Leda Grace Rasmussen

Skype: netventures

Frank Bauer says:

A big thank you again to everybody that added a comment…

Before I reply to you, something very important I forgot in my last comment:

“Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, Dear Cindy Battye, Happy Birthday to you!”

Wishing you a wonderful 20th Birthday! Oh, and by the way… your Daily Niche Idea site rocks!

Ok, now on the my replies…

@Juan Boulter: Yes, agree… contact them with something useful. Don’t ask those list owners only to promote for you.

My point still is that as long as the tool is used to save time doing relationship building, by all means… use it. So might say: “You can’t build a relationship will a bulk tool!”

Yeah? Then how was it possible for e.g. Brian Edmundson to build a great relationship with his email list that he communicated with using an autoresponder? Autoresponders like Aweber of Add2it MailResponder Pro are mass tools as well!

You get my point.

@Parvis Parvizi: Thanks… ok, see you soon here in Down Under then.

And yeah, there will always be people who chase the “instant money” dream and try to abuse tools to get there, but they will not last long.

Plus with the right Skype settings… you can make sure your door stays locked to them.

I mentioned it so often… let me give you a screenshot to clarify…

@Dwayne Lumax: You are welcome. Speaking of affiliate commissions… Grant will need to rethink his strategy! Accepting PayPal and paying commissions on four levels is like mixing fire & ice. Will not last long this way… he needs to process credit cards without PayPal in order to be able to pay on multiple levels.

@Richard Mckell: Yeah, without the invisible mode I wouldn’t nearly get as much work done as I do now.

@Tim Brocklehurst: Yeap, has been now almost 3 month since we last met at your awesome workshop. Skype me any time!

Regarding short lifespan… yes, Skype Assist needs to:

1. Make clear on their site that they don’t allow abuse and will delete accounts of abusers and

2. Stop offering PayPal in combination with 4 levels commissions and

3. Hire somebody at to give them a site overhaul.

@Simon Ussher: The problem is also if Skype gets hurt… they WILL hurt Skype Assist!

@Pete: Understandable… I will also people that spam me with offers. Those that send me useful information are welcome to do so… manual or automatic is not important.

@Phil: Absolutely!

@Sandy: LOL… actually I knew you before Skype Assist. Hope your “juice” is good. Enjoy the free ad spot!

@Andrew Cavanagh: Agreed, it’s a handy communications tool… and I would even say that it shouldn’t used at all for sending “sales messages”. Just use it as time saver.

But you brought another good point up… how much of useful information and “checkout my blog” requests are too much?

Any feedback on that from anybody?

I would say max. 2 messages per month would be fine with me if both are at least one week apart.

Leaves another question: Is it worth $14.95 a month to send just 2 messages per month?

I think this depends on your Skype contact list size and how much you value your time.

For me it would be worth it. At close to 500 contacts and $197 value per hour, two manual message submissions would easily take me over one hour.

What’s your math on this?

@Andrew Sleigh: Interesting point… I am not familiar with that topic, does Skype Assist need a license to release a Skype API software plug-in?

But I agree on the current status of version 1.08… there is still quiet a bit work it needs and if they want to launch on the 15th, they better hurry up.

@Bj: Ah, back to the witch hunt. Nah, just teasing you.

IMHO: Complain first to Skype Assist and if they don’t shut the spammer down, then to Skype. But then again… I am just being nice.

@Alex: Hmmm… yeah, I can kind of see your point. I wouldn’t want to receive mass marketing message on my mobile / cell phone either.

But then again… if a friend shares good stuff via a mass SMS, I will not kill him for that.

@Leda Grace Rasmussen: Thanks for your comments… and get well soon Leda.

Bj says:

Hi Frank

I have just seen a video on aol where the moron that made it actually shows everyone as he spams 69 people.

Come on lets get real here.

The only way to stop a spam bot tool is to stop it at the source.

Frank Bauer says:

Hi Bj,

You mind sharing the URL to that video?



Bj says:

Hi Frank,

not a problem. I didnt post it out of respect and i was nnot sure on your posting rules but as you request it here it is.

Frank Bauer says:

Hi Bj,

Thanks for sharing that video.

If you have your Skype settings set as I have shown in the screenshot above… those kind of spam messages will never reach you.

Best regards,

Frank Bauer

Bj says:

Hi Frank

My Skype is open so that potential new clients can contact me.
WHY should I jepordise the growth of my business simply because morons create spam bots???


Dwayne Lumax says:

This comment is specifically being addressed to BJ.

Please BJ ….with all due respect, get you facts straight before making acusations regarding that IT IS in fact, in your belief , the owner of SKYPE ASSIST who has posted that AOL Tutorial Video.

I come to clear the air — this IS NOT the owner doing this video!!! The fellow doing the narration is Austrialian!!! and the owner of S.A is Canadian. In fact, this fellow doing the video …ironically is also a pre-existing member of my SKYPE Contact List.

I do not approve of or condone his actions. I am merely saying have to watch what you say, as that comment could be detrimental to his reputation and character.

Thank you for allowing me to set the record straight!

Hi Frank and all his avid readers, my name is Grant Andrews and I am the owner of what is currently named SkypeAssist.

First of all, I want to thank you Frank (and others) for putting in print a fairly a balanced view which points out, quite rightly, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Secondly, let me share with you why I called the product SkypeAssist. It is because, for the most part the features we provide in our software Skype already gives to us except we remove the restrictions we don’t like.

Skype allows you to search for one pattern at a time. We allow more.

Skype allows you to add one contact with a custom message. We allow more.

Skype allows you to broadcast one message to strangers. We allow more.

Skype allows you to broadcast to many contacts at once but to do so ALL contacts see all other contacts participating in the conversation… and we don’t believe all contacts should be aware of the other recipients of the message so removed that “contact sharing” feature they impose on users of the free version.

While there is no doubt the temptation will be there for some people to use the tool I’ve provided in a way that will leave many plugging their nose, going “whew!” what a smell, but I think those folks will learn pretty fast that certainly isn’t the way to go. After all Skype will not hesitate to shut abusers down pretty fast, no different than an ISP would.

Here are some Skype terms passed along to me by the Skype legal team located in the USA:

But at the same time others will use it responsibly, in the overall fashion it is intended, which I thought had been pretty clear, but will certainly be directed longer term. After all it would be a simple change to allow people to only broadcast to existing contacts.

Like your blog here, and other blogs pointed out to me, not to mention forum posts in numberous venues, and also the recently created facebook group, the features offered are creating a stir. Hey, we are having a good talk. GREAT!

One of the things that cause me to create this tool was so we could generate dialogue. You know, improve communications. Not you and me, but all of us in general. I personally think the state of email stinks. Why? Because I’ve got my ISP re OUTbound and your ISP for the now INbound (and who really knows what goes on in the middle…) deciding whether or not to pass along that single little email. I can’t tell you how many times messages simply disappear. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same.

Not so with Instant Messaging. It is delivered every single time in a heartbeat (except with a standard rate of exceptions due to software glitches, but certainly not at all the same problems emails face).

So the bottom line is this. Instant Messaging is powerful and it is quick. It creates dialogue. And most importantly it gives us an opportunity to build relationships in a way we’ve not had before. One of the most well know Skype enthusiasts on the planet, Julie Wolf, contacted me straight away when she heard about how far along we’d come with the product. Her statement to me was she wanted to align herself with my organization. Why? Because her specialty is relationship building using Skype as a means to an end… and what we do is multiply results if done correctly.

That is what technology is supposed to do, multiply results.

To those of you reading this, take note of 3 general thought I have here after midnight, and I am tired but wanted to reply before my busy schdule prevented me from doing so for another day.

1) PayPal will not be involved in any way. It was used as a means to an end in the prelaunch rollout while we get ready to offer friendly payment processors.

2) When person A strangles person B with a rope, does the rope get blamed? No of course not. Responsible people know they should not take a rope and strangle someone just because they can.

3) We are going to boldly go where no man has gone before… Instant Messaging is growing, as will the features it supports and the abilities you will have at your fingertips via our product, all in a flash! We all know the features on the table so far with our product. But you haven’t seen anything yet… we have considerable plans on the table and our goal is to be the single most important “assistant” to Instant Messaging unveiled. I could go over the various components we will be adding but hey, I can’t tell competitors what we’re up to via a public forum like this now can I.

Take care everyone. Perhaps I’ll drop by after we launch on the 15th. For sure I will if I keep getting reminded I said I would but got sidetracked…

Your internet friend, yes really, Grant.

Blessings to you all.

Bj says:

Hi Dwayne,

When I referred to
quote” The moron that made it ” unquote

I was referring to the moron that made the video not the other moron that has created the spam bot.

In fact at no time did I say they were one and the same, that is what you read into my post.

What could be more detrimental and self condemning of the video makers character and reputation than to show the world that he is nothing less than a self confessed spammer. The confession being the video as undisputable evidence.

Frank Bauer says:

Hey Grant,

Thanks for coming by and clearing up some facts.

Glad to hear that PayPal will not be an issue and your stand on the “evil” use of your tool.

Hope you also consider to hire somebody (not me!) to get your site look 100% professional. I assume you guys are working on the software issues of version 1.08, right?

@Dwayne & Bj: Peace bros! I have to admit I also first understood it the way Dwayne did and only on second read I caught your twist in words Bj.

@Bj: Nothing wrong to let your clients ring the doorbell before you let them in instead of leaving the door open all night in a neighborhood that has a few crooks in it.

Bj says:

In response to Grant.

I noticed that you neatly side stepped the fact you are harvesting and selling Skye id’s.

This is just as low down as it is to harvest and sell email addresses.

BVrad West says:

Hi Frank,

Re your Quote
Hi Bj,

Thanks for sharing that video.

If you have your Skype settings set as I have shown in the screenshot above… those kind of spam messages will never reach you.

Best regards,

Frank Bauer

My Responce:

This is all well and good but say that I do use my SKYPE contact ID (and I do) But now I need to change my settings and jeopardize acquiring customers. You are making my ligament customers who want information jump through hoops to make contact with me.

Can you honestly give me a ligament reason to have to change the way I use this tool just to accommodate Skype assist.

If you are using the name SKYPE in your business you must have permission from them to use their trademarked name.

Last but not least by any means. When my minor child receives inappropriate messages through Skype Assist. To Whom do I report these infringements?

Brad West ~ onomoney

Brad West says:

Some how a “v” got in the name field when the site timed out and I had to re do.

Sorry That is Brad West

Brad West ~ onomoney

Frank Bauer says:

Hi Brad,

No worries… those settings changes just protect you from spam. They don’t affect your existing Skype customer contacts.

Also, as a responsible adult I believe you should also change those settings for the Skype accounts of your children to prevent that they receive spam.

It the same with Skype like with your computer at home (or in your office)… you wouldn’t use them unprotected on the Internet, on your computer you use a Firewall and anti-virus software, in Skype you use the proper settings to protect yourself and those that you love.

Why should you change them now if you didn’t have to before? Same reason like with your computer…

Many years ago nobody bothered about Firewalls and Anti-Virus software… there was less hacking going on or at least nobody was aware of it.

As the operating systems became more complex, the number of security holes increased as well and hackers had it easier and easier to find one.

The same with Skype. Earlier versions that didn’t allow plug-ins where more secure… then they opened it up to allow the addition of features like e.g. provided by Skype Assist.

More features, but also introducing new risks… like receiving spam.

So what do we do? We protect ourselves from it.

BTW… regarding the use of Skype in the name of the tool, I hope that Grant checked with with Skype if he is allowed to use it.

If not, he might have to change the product name.

Best regards,

Frank Bauer

Dwayne Lumax says:

hehe …i guess GRANT listened to Frank Bauer’s advice.

If you login to your SKYPE ASSIST website website, you’ll notice it now has a new name. Obviously there was some concern with copyright infringements with using the SKYPE name from an outside product.

Btw …launch should be happening anytime now. GRANT told me, he would be sending out an email announcement to all members when it is officially a’GO”

Dwayne L.

Hyla Weimann says:

Hi Frank,

Like anything else, this tool is whatever you make of it.

I screen all my Skype requests to be added, and if someone bad slips through the cracks, I simply ban them from my contact list. I always check their profiles, and if it is not complete enough for my liking, I ask them to give me more information.

If you get to know your contacts you will soon know if they are ot be trusted or not.

Hyla Weimann

Frank Bauer says:

@Dwayne Lumax: Good on him.

@Hyla Weimann: Yeah, that’s basically what I do as well. No risk of getting spammed that way.

Best regards,

Frank Bauer

Dave Gilbert says:

Hi Frank i would like to bring the obvious deception the creators of SA have imposed upon an unsuspecting public.

on the 16th of july i recieved an email from grant andrews if that is really his name stating that skype assist would now be called message magic as he did not have nor will recieve permission from skype to use their trademark name.

i believe everyone that signed up for the pre-launch would have recieved the same email so i will not re-publish it unless asked.

Apart from illegally trading on skypes trademark in order to increase interest in his program there is also the question of are you breaking the law using this tool which mines Skypes databases for information not readily made public by Skype, is there a breach of the privacy act occurring where a user is able to harvest users skype identities.
As the owner/creator of a new web search engine we looked at various ways to promote our site, we too could have used a well established brand name to kickstart our marketing campaigns but this would have both been dishonest and very foolish as Mr Andrews is bound to find out.
How can you expect people to trust your product or your company when you use mis-representation as your main marketing tool, is Mr andrews just out to collect as many $15 amounts as possible in the next month or 2 while skypes legal team prepare their briefs and then dissappear into the mist with billions of ill gotten gains.
We put this question to Mr Andrews asking if he deliberately mis-represented his products alliance with skype in order to maximise sales post launch.
His response was to sidestep the question re-iterating what he had placed in that cleverly worded email he sent to all pre-launch members.
Frank I think spam will be the least of user problems i feel that the legal repercussions levelled against users of this system will be far more worrying.

Frank Bauer says:

Hi Dave,

Thanks for posting.

Would be interesting to read Grant’s reply to your post.

Best regards,

Frank Bauer

Dave Gilbert says:

Hi Frank we once again posed the question regarding the use of skypes trademark here is the transcript of that conversation

US. Do you admit going with Skype Assist was a mistake?

Grant.Yes it was a mistake. I had encountered other skype add-on product type sites that contained the word skype in their name and assumed it was ok to do and just went with it. I didn’t bother asking skype about it ahead of time because I thought they were so huge they’d take forever to get back to me and I wanted to move fast. It was sloppy on my part and caused a bunch of grief to make the switch.

the main problem with this response is that there is only one or two addons that actually mention skype and these are portrayed as ICQ for skype, pamela for skype etc,
these companies using skype in their product name are fairly large also however, the rest do not include skype in their name but are allowed to be promoted through the Skype site as “Authorised” or “Supported” plugins.
From Grants reply he obviously has done some research into the Skype system so his defence of his miss-use of the Skype trademark is flimsy at best, there is a set proceedure for developers that Skype insists upon in order to maintain both quality control but also to prevent users from inadvertantly breaking laws or exposing others to risk including spam.
MSN allowed un-controlled development of plugins for it’s software and paid the penalty with unscrupulous users sending all manner of spam and malware through it’s service severely affecting msn messengers reputation as an effective communication system.

Frank Bauer says:

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your follow-up comment.

Yeah, I can see how that could have been researched better by Grant. Well, those mistakes are not good, but can happen.

Probably a pain for him to having to change it now. At least he does change it, good on him.

Best regards,

Frank Bauer

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