Holy crap. This weekend I finished the wall. I mean finished for real. I tapered the corners into the fence, and nearly completed the backfill. I’m gonna call the dirt guys this week and see about getting rid of the million yards of dirt I have left, and then it’s on to sprinklers. I’m so pumped that it’s done, I just stand in front of the window and look at it, imagining grass and a patio and pretty plants and flowers.
Sometimes you gotta wonder why spam exists at all. I mean, who the crap responds to this stuff? Obviously, spam sells products – or else we wouldn’t see it. So someone somewhere out there is actually clicking on and reading these things, and spending money as a result. Seems crazy to me, especially considering some of the spam I get. To me, this stuff is some of the least effective marketing I’ve ever seen. I mean, check it out… here’s a capture of my Hotmail “Junk Mail” box:
Let’s take them one by one, shall we?
OK great. See, here’s some good marketing. I might actually read this one. It’s in english, it’s target-advertising to me about something that I am really into. Good job eil.com/Espirit, it’s for this reason that I’ve actually used your site to purchase some rare Radiohead singles.
vvnn |?|-| arm .4 cy hh
Oh yeah, this is what I’m talking about. What on earth is this even? I mean, this guy, khwemah haliniak, isn’t even using real words in his subject. Not only that, there are periods and pipes and all sorts of random punctuation in there too. What is it selling? How can this possibly entice me to look inside? The only thing I can think is that maybe my curiosity to see if it’s a coded message from some alien intelligence might persuade me to check it out. Otherwise, I don’t see the logic.
HLZO Doc (fill in your name) htn
Hey, I wonder if hamidou huwzawie and khwemah haliniak are from the same country? Maybe Randomania or something? This one is almost in English. However, here we see a good example of cheap spam. These spammers didn’t bother paying for whatever that software is that actually inserts my name into the subject and lends creedance to their message. Nay, these spammers simply ask me to personalize the spam for them. Nice. I also don’t know what “HLZO” means, but my brain seems to want to read it as “hello.” That means I read this as: “Hello Doc David htn.” Hmm… still not very effective if you ask me.
Hi;, v1brat0rs!->> 1NTERNEET SSPPEC11^L! oii…
Sal wants to sell me vibrators. But he’s too leet to just come out and ask like a normal person. Here we see another common spam practice: making readable or recognizable words out of numbers and characters that don’t belong. Also, Sal is very redundant with his punctuation. With the use of both the semicolon and comma, there is no question as to whether or not I should pause after reading “Hi.” We also see a lot of letter-doubling. Again, who buys from someone who writes a sales pitch like this?
yblm Thiickkeenn your maan11y swordd vq
Ahh, now this speaks right to me. If we ignore the random opening and closing non-words, we can see that xueyan sebanc (estranged cousin to hamidou and khwemah) wants to “thicken” my “manly sword.” Let’s consider I’m a grandma with a Hotmail account. If, by some stroke of luck, I’m able to decipher the double-letter, number sprinkled, coded subject line – you think the statement “thicken your manly sword” will mean a damn thing to me? Here’s my wallet, take what you need.
ALERT: $10 Coupon Valid in ALL Stores**
DAVID, We Miss You
OK OK OK, here goes some decent spam. I’ve bought from buy.com on several occasions. Here they send me a coupon, and what’s better – they tell me exactly that, in English no less, right in the subject. I see who it’s from, I see what it is, I understand this spam. Also, BMG misses me. I dunno if that’s an attempt to guilt me into rejoining their music club or what. Yes, I have, at one point, been a member of both Columbia House and BMG. Under several different names no less. I’ll tell you the scam: Join under whatever name you want, take your 15 free cds, wait a few months and send them a typed letter telling them you’ve joined the Navy and will be on a carrier at sea for the next 24 months. You will be absolved of your commitment to buy more cds with no questions asked, every time. I used to be joined under two or three different names at each address, and we’d all go in the Navy or Army or French Foreign Legion eventually. Built the makings of my cd collection that way.
Almost vacation time. Today and tomorrow and then I’m off, can’t wait. Last night I messed around with some morphing software, and also learned how to DivX compress a video. I’m gonna take all the huge videos currently on my site and DivX compress them, since it shrinks them to much more manageable sizes (especially for the dialup dinosaurs out there). Morphing is cool, I’m gonna start morphing all kinds of stuff I think.