Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Spam-Bots: An Appreciation

Within the next few weeks, one of our ideas will play out on video via our friends’ Seattle news parody show, Seattle Untimely. We don’t want to reveal too much right now, but let’s just say it involves a scene in the movie Boiler Room.

Anyway; myself and one of Seattle Untimely’s writer/actors, Charlie Stockman, were recently discussing our love of spam-bots. From your worst Viagra ad, to an old ‘friend’ notifying you of a new securities investment opportunity, to the most impassioned bots the internet has seen yet, Ron Paul supporters, spam-bots are the raging underclass of internet society. All over the place, we are seeing self-sufficient spam communities sprout up their own cultures and traditions. For example, just years ago, Myspace was the sole domain of humans. Nowadays, the spammers have moved into the neighborhood, and have caused a veritable ‘white flight’ of social networkers from Myspace to the gated community of Facebook. Although Facebook promises safety, it comes at the expense of the html pictures, the profile songs, and the seizure-inducing customizable pages of the vibrant Myspace culture. You may get mugged or even have your identity stolen by a spam-bot; but there’s soul there, man. It’s just like New York in the 1970s: You can guarantee that in thirty years, we’ll have a new generation of cultural critics who will write about spam-written Abercrombie bulletin posts in the same breath as Lou Reed, Patti E. Smith, and CBGBs. And just like those critical treatises on New York punk, you’ll want to murder someone after 10 sentences.

Spam-bots are usually considered to be inarticulate thugs trying to lure you into the ‘dark alley’ (i.e. getting you to click on their link) in order to steal your shit. Further examination, however, reveals them to be more intelligent in regards to their scheming than we initially think. Remember two years ago, where a ton of people started to post those “see who is viewing your profile!” bulletins on Myspace? In this case, the spammers turned the vanity of people against themselves by soliciting clicks on some profile tracker service that was actually spam-bot fraud.

That wasn’t all they accomplished with this scheme, however. While everyone was posting profile tracker bulletins and getting spammed, a backlash occurred when people responded with those “don’t click on the profile tracker bulletins – they are fake!”posts. Eventually, the Myspace bulletin board got so flooded with profile tracker and anti-profile tracker posts that it was extremely difficult to determine who the bigger asshole was: The tracker or the anti-tracker bulletin poster. In essence, the spam-bots turned a whole community against each under the pretense of a totally useless and narcissistic pursuit – just like real life!

So; today is the day we tip our hats to the spam-botters and demand a holiday in their honor. They’ve suffered for too long without rights in our constitution. If you have special spam-bot memories, post them in the comments.

Tomorrow: We propose the “Where’s Al Sharpton” spam-bot


Lindsay said...

My favorite spambot was when this MySpace profile called "Scott" asked me to be his friend because he was going to be in my Journalism classes at Temple.

Brandon said...

my fav spam bot was the one where ann was offering up free macy's cards. she's usually so generous but $500 macy's card?!?! Damn that's money.

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