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[OT] spam (was Re^3: Dealing with CPAN reviews)

by doom (Deacon)
on Aug 22, 2009 at 02:23 UTC ( #790515=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Dealing with CPAN reviews
in thread Dealing with CPAN reviews

I've heard anecdotal evidence that spam has decreased. If so, it is likely because of the economy. After all spamming is a business.
I think more precisely, spamming is a double-con... the spam business cons con-artists into thinking they can make money by using spam to con some tiny but significant percentage of the public... a lot of the spam I see is clearly targeted at old people ("Top of the morning to you!") who are new to the net but not wised-up yet. I have my doubts that there are a lot of people like this left.


Comment on [OT] spam (was Re^3: Dealing with CPAN reviews)
Re: [OT] spam (was Re^3: Dealing with CPAN reviews)
by tilly (Archbishop) on Aug 22, 2009 at 16:15 UTC
    There is real money in spamming, so I'm sure they are doing that because it works. There may not be a lot of those people left, but they are probably more vulnerable to spam than most. Given how cheap it is to spam, even a very, very low success rate is profitable.

    Eventually nobody will fall for that and spammers will move on to doing other things.

      There is real money in spamming, so I'm sure they are doing that because it works.
      This is like saying that gambling must be profitable or else no one would be in the casinos at Vegas.

        "There is real money in spamming, so I'm sure they are doing that because it works."

        "This is like saying that gambling must be profitable or else no one would be in the casinos at Vegas."

        Both these statements are true, someone somewhere along the line is making money.

        False parallel.

        When I say "real money" what I mean is that it has become a business with significant cash flows. When things become businesses, whether legitimate or illegitimate, then inevitably you get people who put serious effort into tracking what they are trying and what proved effective. Therefore if they are sending a particular kind of spam a lot it is because that kind of spam has proven to have good enough response rates to justify it.

        This effort doesn't mean that spam is profitable. Plenty of businesses work hard, then wind up losing money. But once people invest that much of themselves in what they are doing, they try to improve. And the ones you find still doing it 5 years later generally are doing something right.

        By contrast most of the people in Las Vegas are there for entertainment. Pure and simple. They aren't gambling because it works, but instead they are gambling because it is fun.

        That said, the parallel isn't entirely inappropriate. There are people who seriously try to make a living gambling. When you look at that pool you find that they put energy into figuring out what works and doing that. Whether they are playing poker, counting cards at blackjack, betting other gamblers that they will lose, or are working for the casino, the professionals quickly learn what works and what doesn't, then try to do a lot more of what works.

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