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Henry Personal Stuff
Broken Promises Of The Internet

. . . Make huge money stuffing envelopes! Make hundreds a week! Send $5 to Get Stuffed!, Box 0, Trailer Park, Florida . . .

 

Although the Internet has been around in one form or another since 1969, most people seem to think that Bill Gates invented it along with Windows 95. When the Internet and the World Wide Wait came to the public consciousness, one of the promises was that demographic profiling could result in “precisely targeted marketing”. In other words, marketers would build profiles of your Internet viewing and shopping activities, and send you advertising containing only items of interest to you. That was the promise—and the premise. The reality is light-years removed from the fantasy.

Every day, Trilithon Software receives hundreds of (sometimes over a thousand) Spams. In fact the Spam exceeds the legitimate messages by around twenty to one. In somewhat inverted engineering lingo, the “noise to signal ratio” is twenty to one. Pretty much all of the Spam touts “products” that are of doubtful utility, doubtful legality, or downright fraudulent or illegal. Instead of precisely targeted advertising, we have the E-Mail equivalent of carpet bombing. Trying to run a legitimate business on a network clogged with the spewage of criminals is difficult to say the least—you have to spend several hours a day doing the equivalent of shovelling out the stables.

Most of the time, the products are irrelevant to me or my business. Every day, I receive Spam for tobacco products (I don't smoke). Every day, I get Spam for weight-reduction products (at 175 cm tall and 68 Kg, I am, if anything, underweight). Every day, I receive Spam for breast enhancement creams (I am male). Every day, I receive Spam for Make Money Fast schemes (that don't work). Every day, I receive Spam for As Seen On National Television (must be the nation of Elbonia). The list goes on, and on, and on . . .

Every day, I get Spam written in Spanish (I don't read Spanish), German (I don't read German), Polish (I don't read Polish), Chinese (I don't read Chinese) or Korean (I don't read Korean). Why these bloody idiots think I want or need advertising in languages foreign to me, I can't imagine. I can only assume that they are operating under Spammer Rule 2 (Spammers Are Stupid).

So what's the point of this rant? Well, the point is, the promise of precisely targeted marketing is broken, and looks to remain that way. Spammers obtain mailing lists of tens of millions of names (undoubtedly marketed by other Spammers) and adopt a “Spray and Pray” approach to sending out the junk E-Mail for their Spam Scams. Out of all of the several hundred thousand or so Spams I have received, there has not been a single “product” that I could deem the slightest use to me, even if they worked or were legal.

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Page Updated 2011 December 10