Things begin with good intentions. You have to apply restraint and constraint for it to continue to have good intentions.
Bhise started his petition with good intentions. I asked him to desist from using the Instant Messenger as a medium for spreading awareness about it. There are other, less obtrusive means (the restraint part) – a single mail to his groups and his own blog.
Even the mail has potential to snowball unless (the constraint part) Bhise explicitly requests the recipients not to forward the mail. If they do want to help him (by all means, I do wish people would help him in this matter), host the link – on your own blogs, IM status fields and other non-obtrusive media. If someone is interested, he will either follow the link or ask you. This way, your commitment is tested too. Blindly sending the mail to your addressbook is like dropping a coin on a beggar’s palm – the deed is done and your conscience is salved.
I got hit by the exact event I warned Bhise about. I have done my bit for his petition. Signed it. Hosted a link – supported it with my arguments. And yet, I got an IM to “go sign it”. Now isn’t that irritating? Not exactly IM spam as of yet, but any bets on what its going to become? Unless it is controlled right now…