(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

CueCat, Version Two?

from the oddly-complicated dept

Remember the CueCat? The absolutely useless magazine barcode scanner that the magazine industry thought was the next killer app for the web? The product made sense from a magazine industry standpoint, but no one ever stopped to think why any actual magazine reader would ever want to go through the cumbersome process of hooking up a special scanner to a computer, reading their magazines next to the computer, being so interested in an advertisement that you wanted to scan it, and then happily looking at another ad for the same product online. Over at TheFeature I've written up a longer piece wondering if a new effort by the magazine industry in Europe is the second coming of the CueCat. It's yet another long, unclear process to somehow get you to look at more magazine advertising -- without ever explaining why anyone would want to do this. In this case, the convoluted process is that someone, somehow (they suggest via friend, radio or billboard) is given a keyword. For some, totally unclear reason, the person then takes that keyword and sends it via SMS to a special number. At the other end, that service (which, apparently you've already signed up for, because it has your email address), sees what keyword you've sent in, and sends you an email (not to your phone) with a special link to an online magazine, formatted using one of those funky online magazine products that lets you "flip" the pages like a paper magazine. So, you get a keyword, send in a text message, and the next time you're at your computer you'll have a random email message telling you to go a magazine's website. And, in some cases, they expect you to pay for this as well. Did the people creating this ever stop to ask "why?" anyone would ever do this?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    jeff, Jun 9th, 2005 @ 4:53pm

    No Subject Given

    Uh, isn't this called "spam mail"? (but with a user having to initiate the spam mail).
    Yeah, that'll work....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Tim, Jun 10th, 2005 @ 2:34am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Not really, if you're considering either UCE or UBE to be reasonable definitions of "spam mail" (I go with the latter). It may, of course, be junk to a particular viewer; it may be susceptible to abuse causing it to have bulk and/or unsolicited nature if you (somehow) spray the mails off to third-party recipients who didn't ask for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Vajrang, Jun 10th, 2005 @ 7:54am

    No Subject Given

    For a detailed critique of the old CueCat, see http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000037.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    ian, Jun 12th, 2005 @ 12:48pm

    Two million CueCats at $0.30/each

    as reported by Boing Boing, and still clueless at that price?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    knight37, Jun 14th, 2005 @ 10:53am

    I don't like spam!

    Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam spam spam spam spam spam spam beaked beans spam spam spam and spam!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    martyMAC, Jul 20th, 2005 @ 4:50pm

    PaperClick vs. Cue Cat

    Cue Cat was a long time a go. The same company who has changed it's name now DOES have the killer app.

    www.neom.com / www.paperclick.com

    Going to be HUGE.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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