Saturday, March 6, 2010

SPAM is canned meat

In American studies 201, our Prof, Prof Martha gave us an assignment. She brought in these cans, gift wrapped and made us write about them. They were cans of SPAM. I was a practicing vegetarian then and was totally grossed out. Needless to say I did not eat it as part of the assignment. Knowing me I donated to the local food pantry or a friend who would eat it. Ugh! I can safely say, I have never and hope to never have to eat SPAM. I am thinking it can't possibly be gluten free.

Canned meat is not the topic of this post.

I have been thinking and writing a good deal about SPAM. Wanna see what else I have written? Go here.

I think the idea of SPAM email is fascinating. I just do. Recently I posted this to Twitter - which feeds my facebook...

I should like to meet some Spammers to better understand what their overall goals are. I have been getting some rather inventive UPS spam.

Which gardener this comment from a friend:

The goal is to separate you from your money. How about you give me a hundred bucks and we call it even.

And I replied:

See therein lies the problem, generally in commerce the exchange is based on a good or service of value. Where pray tell is the value here?!? ;)

Now my friend was teasing me and I was tongue in cheek responding, well kind of, I was serious.

I know SPAMMERS are trying to make a buck. But how in this case. How do they benefit from sending me a virus laden email, pretending to be UPS. Brown knows where my package is thank you Ms. Osma from Odessa. Brown also knows how to contact me, and frankly their English is impeccable...

Once while visiting my very good friend in Boston, SS and I took the T to Feline's. It was a decent ride. At the stop after we got on, three homeless people got on the train. Two middle aged men and an older woman. Clearly they were homeless. I am going to go with mental ill and/or struggling with substance abuse issues also.

They were hatching some kind of plan for the day for the balance of the ride. It was fascinating. In another context, in a perfect world, in suits, around a board room table these three could have ruled the world. Donald Trump cannot negotiate as well as these three. I remember being in awe of their attention to detail, their carefully constructed back up plans, evaluations of alternatives and barriers to execution.

It was an example of good business sense at its finest.

Yesterday while snowboarding with friends, I was noting that I thought the resort had not known about the school holiday and had failed to staff accordingly and that would hurt business, that good businesses know about events in the community and plan accordingly. My friend, a small business owner himself, chuckled and said, "You just can't turn it off, always thinking with the business half of your brain."

Well yes actually.

I think that is what has be so intrigued by the Vicodin SPAM and the fake UPS spam messages. The drugs I get, if you are running a bootleg pharmacy company, I can see SPAM being a viable marketing ploy, although fairly risky. Most drug dealers try to operate with a modicum of discretion. You may know which corner they are on, but it is word of mouth marketing and I can tell you there are no signs advertising why they are milling around on the corner. Vicodin email sort of makes the DEAs job that much easier I should think.

With the UPS spam it is anyone's guess I think. My anti virus software jumped on those emails like stink on a skunk. What possible economic incentive is there to sending me a virus and making my computer stop working. I cannot visit your bootleg sites if I am unable to connect to the Internet. Seriously. I doubt these folks with bad spelling but creative minds are working for the local computer repair shop. That folks makes some economic sense though, it is illegal but it makes sense to me and my MBA brain. I suppose sending me a snooping virus might make sense, but really if the virus mucks with my machine, it is not going last long, it will be found and then I am not working on the computer. As a freelance writer, that messes with my productivity and makes it less likely for me to visit your pay per click site...

What I find amazing is these folks have a handle on the business model, for the most part. They get marketing and they have an idea how the Internet works. Why not apply it to a legitimate business and work the hell out of it? Like the group on the train. They had a handle on the business model and I have no doubt that they executed their plan. I think their survival depended on it actually. It was a cold and snowy day. They had little room for miscues. So I ask the SPAMMERs out there, "Why not take this knowledge you have and apply it to a legitimate business. You have skills and creativity and that is half the battle."

I would love to have coffee with a SPAMMER. My MBA brain just cannot figure it out. In business the exchange or the balanced equation is easy - it is a trade for something of economic value... I have X and you want X and you have Y and I will exchange X for Y, it is that easy. Really, it is... it works - it has worked for years...

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