Email

by Mike Masnick




Would Spam Work Better If It Were Funny?

from the well,-people-might-pay-more-attention dept

Jeremy Wagstaff has been collecting amusing names that spammers use in their messages. He's far from the only one to do so. There are various collections of the more amusing spammer names out there. However, Wagstaff suggests in putting out this latest list that spam might be a lot more effective if the spammers actually figured out a way to be amusing in their spam messages. While most people probably have an emotional belief that spam is bad... perhaps more people would read it if the spam was amusing. Of course, given the typical content of spam messages these days, it seems hard to believe that most spammers have much in the way of a sense of humor. And, given the intensely negative reaction that so many people (including us) get to any spam message -- it seems like the comedic bar would have to be pretty high to get most recipients past the feeling of being pissed off at the spam.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Logan, 4 May 2006 @ 12:12am

    Hi, Nice to acquaintance meet!

    I am man of business from Nigreia. Mind not my pour spealing. Instead be funnied by my pour use of inglish to con yuu from your monies.

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

  • identicon
    throbi, 4 May 2006 @ 12:20am

    Gimmi ur jockes!

    I live in China and I do spam. I generate sender names out of a dictionary. I randomly pick 2 words.

    Thank you for the ideea. I`ll go out and buy some dvds with jokes in english and I will randomly attach one to each spam.

    Or maybe I'll do some content matching: viagra-jokes for viagra spam :-)

    Just wait for the fun!

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

  • identicon
    ?, 4 May 2006 @ 1:58am

    All Your Base Are Belong To Us!

    Viagra for only $10!

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

  • identicon
    spam happens, 4 May 2006 @ 3:47am

    Of course...

    This is a no-brainer In the same fashion that many of you will forward jokes and chain emails to your entire address book, you would be delegated spammers. Even in "white-list" email environments, spam would find it's way to you. Of course, if it actually gave something (entertainment, in this case) back to you other than increased network traffic, decreased hard disk space, and a complete waste of time, would it still be considered spam?

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

  • identicon
    Dale Albiston, 4 May 2006 @ 6:14am

    Spam funny?

    to me a definition of spam that works is as follows:
    "Email i didn't want"
    Make it funny, as in actually worth while reading and its closer to one of the better TV ads. I.e. a sometimes funny distraction, yes its selling but so what?

    it would make a nice change anyway. and if well done would be one way round some of the better spam filters out there, since in way it wouldn't be spam...

    light at the end of the tunnel?

    probably not, but who knows?

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

  • identicon
    Aaron, 4 May 2006 @ 7:23am

    Maybe, but....

    I think when there are millions of spam messages sent every hour, the 'evolution' rate would be pretty high. You'd think spammers should be able to learn very quickly what works and what doesn't, and with a cost near zero, there's no disincentive to trying new things to see what works.

    IOW, if spammers had half a brain, they would have figured out the most effective ways to get responses a decade ago.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2006 @ 8:13am

    Spamusing

    Spammers' names aren't the only things amusing, as evidenced by Spamusement, an occasional webcomic based on subject lines. you were wrong cabinet sanchez!

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

  • identicon
    Myself, 4 May 2006 @ 8:21am

    Cabinet Sanchez!

    Ahhh, you beat me to it, Anonymous Coward!

    I personally wish "Live without fear in America" was available on a t-shirt, I'd wear that.

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

  • identicon
    Topher3105, 4 May 2006 @ 8:23am

    What, it ISN'T funny?

    Sorry, when I get spam from Georgeta Demertitis about CtAl1ds and V1aGta or from Nilofer Blakeslee asking me if I want to be an FBI or CIA agent, I find that pretty humerous.

    The way to make SPAM work, is not to make it spam, period. If spam was legitimate advertising for legitimate products by legitimate companies, then I would consider looking at spam. The problem is, they tend to be from phishing websites or scam artists trying to rip me off or finding ways of corrupting my computer.

    The best way to make spam work is to get rid of the scam!

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

  • identicon
    MobileConcierge, 4 May 2006 @ 12:12pm

    How about just get rid of Spam at the Source!

    We just got a DS200 Anti-Spam device which is based on Connection Scoring. Kills spam from the source.
    Read Brian Livingston's article at WindowsSecrets.com -
    http://www.windowssecrets.com/comp/060126/?PHPSESSID=f25cd2ca4a031a87629d4b30bce2276a#story1

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward #7, 4 May 2006 @ 12:22pm

    Filter

    I don't really care about spam (I agree it should go), because none of it actually gets to me. =) Gmail has blocked every spam message I have received and not blocked any of my personal messages as spam.

    Just a recommendation.

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

  • identicon
    michael, 22 Aug 2006 @ 7:55am

    Does spam work? Do the senders of it actually get anything sold? I suspect not. If I am right, it might be wortwhile to popularize this fact. Then spammers would stop. What do you think?

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

  • identicon
    michael, 22 Aug 2006 @ 7:57am

    Does spam work? Do the senders of it actually get anything sold? I suspect not. If I am right, it might be wortwhile to popularize this fact. Then spammers would stop. What do you think?

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.