Chain text for the new millenium
Posted by aogWednesday, 12 April 2006 at 22:07 TrackBack Ping URL

The Movable Type forums were invaded by junkers (not a weblog, the bulletin boards where Movable Type is discussed). This was was interesting. It was the standard chain letter / Ponzi scheme, except updated for the 21st Century. The key features were:

  • Use of e-gold
  • Denominated in Euros
  • Reproduction instructions discuss cut & paste, not copying
  • Pass the chain on by posting in online forums instead of mailing letters

But the best part was that it included instruction for netsearching to find target online forums in which to post the chain text!

Another interesting facet is that by using going electronic instead of sending physical letters, several benefits are achieved:

  • No need to target and piss off your friends, just post in random forums you’ll never read again.
  • The use of e-gold reenforces the anonymity of the transaction.
  • The monetary cost is reduced.

The question is, does all of this compensate for the (presumed) lower success rate without the guilt of a social connection? I note that the chain text mentions hitting 200 forums, so presumably there is some concern about this dilution.

So we see once again that everything new is old, that you can change the technology but you can’t change people.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Michael Herdegen Friday, 14 April 2006 at 01:04

200 forums isn’t nearly enough.

With real-world chain letters, if you got two people out of two hundred to further the chain, that would be a great response. Online, you’d have to hit maybe 500 forums to be sure of even one person participating.

It might be worth it if you were, for instance, an underemployed Chinese person, but in America even flipping burgers would be a more rewarding use of your time.

Unless, I suppose, you were employed doing something that required a physical presence, but allowed for other on-site activities. A lot of security guard positions are like that.

cjm Friday, 14 April 2006 at 10:49

95% of all white collar jobs are like that. but overall i agree with your statement that flipping burgers will be more lucrative. but people of a certain type are only interested in the big score, and so forfeit the certainty of incrementalaccumulation.

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