Tue, 10 May 2005

Economics of spam

Lots of people have proposed the idea that spam is simply an economic problem: If people have to pay to send each spam, they would send less. This is not a correct idea. I say this so flatly because people can already ask strangers to send them email with a monetary attachment. When they get email from a stranger, they autorespond to it with a message that says "Hi. Thanks for sending me email. I've never gotten email from you before, so I want you to pay me $1.17 to read your email. All you have to do is sign up for paypal, and send me $1.17 via paypal. When I get it, I'll know which email to read." The $1.17 is a key that points them to the specific email that was sent.

Nobody does this. Why? Because it doesn't work. Do you think I'm wrong? No problem! Just send $1.17 to my paypal address and include your message in Paypal's comment field. If you have too much to say, end with "to be continued...", and send the continuation to my main address.

Posted [09:20] [Filed in: economics] [permalink] [Google for the title] [digg this]