Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Spam. A Lot.

I do not understand spam. Not the canned "food" product (which I LOVE, by the way), but junk email.

Does anyone actually open up a piece of spam email and actually consider buying these things? Potential thoughts that run through a spam recipient's head:

- "Even though this is addressed to the wrong email, has no valid return email address, and clearly is unregulated and unsecure, it would be a great idea for me to send these people my money!"

- "An unregulated drug which could very well cause me disastrous health effects because it's unregulated through a reputable pharmacy for only $13 a pill? Sign me up!"

- "In fact I do need to reduce my mortgage. Let's go ahead and give some random stranger my social security number, full name, and address so he can set that up for me!"

- "Because I am a horny bastard who doesn't get enough attention from my wife, I would love to find some hot sexy vixen to take care of my needs for me!"

(Okay, maybe that last one isn't all that farfetched.)

Today, for example, I got an email entitled "You're Not Big Bone." (I'd give them props for spelling "you're" correctly (such low standards!), then they went ahead and misspelled "big boned.") The opening line for what seems to be an ad for a weight loss product:

"Yay! I have lost 0 pounds this week! It is so much easier to stick to Southbeach (low carb) while I am taking the Hoodia. Thank you so much!" -- Maude G., Miami, FL

Yeah, there's no typo there. Seriously. They're bragging that Maude didn't lose any weight at all. Sure makes me want to reach for my credit card.

What's more confounding to me, though, is how people actually understand what some of these spam messages say. There's so much extra crap in there, undoubtedly put there to defeat spam filters, which renders the message itself completely incomprehensible unless you know exactly what to look for. For example, I don't want to buy "VxIjAbGvRcA" -- in fact, just looking at that string of letters gives me a headache of the highest order. I'm reaching for the AxDyVjIqL as we speak. And no, I don't need to REFINANC3 my house. Unless your market is the 12-year-old geek who happens to own a home, that message is going unread (not that I'd want to read it anyway).

Sadly, of course, in the end spam propagates the internets because it must work. For every few million pieces of junk email that goes out, it literally just takes ONE schmuck to make it cost-effective. Kind of like those Publisher's Clearing House things where some poor old woman invests her life savings in magazine subscriptions because she "already has won a million dollars!"

I have not seen Spamalot, and for this I remain very frustrated, because I really want to see it.


kat said...

OMG! i love spam too! and spamalot!

MoDigli said...

My grandmother used to make spam all the time when I was a kid. I loved that crazy meat-product! :)

As for email spam - I shudder to think who is making that a worthwhile venture!

Steve said...

I have never eaten Spam, but as far as the othe spam is concerned, it does work, and there's a sucker born every minute. And since it's on the internet, it must be true.

Ryan said...

Yeah, like - if I really wanted to save money on Adobe Photoshop - I'd just fuckin' steal it. Duh. :)