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  • Submitted by: mswayne
  • Created: May 16, 2007, 12:34 pm
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The Idea

Ever wish you had a penny for each stupid Viagra email you get?
(I hear ya, ladies.)
Spamps are digital codes that marketers can affix to their emails to reach your inbox.
They would pay a fee to receive a Spamp, a portion of which is paid to the user. The user--whom I will now call the youser--can fill out demographic info and request certain marketing messages, perhaps they're interested in travel... or books... so that marketers better target their message. Marketers can also offer extra click-for-action awards.
This does not have to be set up in the classical email framework; I could envision this as a social networking site that matches marketers with customers and the Spamps would be part of the private message system.

I thought of this idea when I was...

It came in a dream. I was windsurfing when an otter with the face of Salvador Dali swam by and asked me if I had a license to play canasta, when I turned to reply, the sail, which had now turned into a silk screen poster of Lucille Ball, hit me in the head. I fell into the water and swam to a nearby island composed entirely of peanut shells.
The king of the island met me on the shore and proceeded to list the reasons why a paid-for email system such as Spamps did not work in the past and would not work in the future. He told me that they only money it would make would be the snarky "two cents" messages I'd get from TechGuy and Gods_Light...
I felt the urge to prove him wrong. And woke up.

Comments Posted

anathema Posted: May 16, 2007, 12:43 pm

That's some imagination you have there. Personally I'd rather receive no spam at all but maybe some people like it.

micco Posted: May 16, 2007, 12:47 pm

There have been proposals to use stamps to reduce spam. E.g.
The best schemes IMO are the ones that require micropayments from every sender paid to the recipient. For normal users, the micropayments wouldn't be a burden and your incoming payments would tend to offset your outgoing fees, but even a micropayment would be prohibitive for a spammer. However, all of these schemes would require a fairly major rewrite of the SMTP protocol, making adoption very unlikely since you basically have to put a new messaging system in place and try to get people to use it instead of their current mail.

Your idea to have channels set up specifically for spam where users get paid is a more viable plan. It doesn't eliminate email spam because it has nothing to do with email spam. I don't think it's reasonable to assume that if you give spammers an opt-in channel then they'll abandon their current email spam. They'd just do both.

Still, the idea of having a way for users to get paid to watch ads is probably good. I've seen other plans like this recently. I think there's at least one site which collects detailed demographics on users and then shows them targeted ads. They have to pass a quiz on the ad to get paid, so advertisers not only get targeted demographics but some amount of confidence that the user actually paid attention to the content. I don't have a link handy, but there's at least one site doing this and there's probably room for more.

fish99 Posted: May 17, 2007, 12:22 pm

I am not so sure about the idea but I had the same dream last night....

Merman Posted: May 17, 2007, 1:47 pm

I like the basic opt in strategy...somehow it would have to be made to be attractive to those who spam indiscriminately to see a real shift in the current methodologies for spammers making money. But, I think you have a winning idea Matt with a little more definition. :)

ByondByond Posted: May 18, 2007, 7:12 am

love the dream sequence ;)

mustang4 Posted: May 18, 2007, 12:57 pm

I think I'll go back to sleep now.

mswayne Posted: May 19, 2007, 2:42 am

And yet, my dream did not come true. No word from TechGuy and Gods_Light...

Robintje Posted: May 20, 2007, 11:31 am

Nice idea,

Great dream!

Brenden Posted: May 29, 2007, 9:55 pm

ok so I am confused a bit... are u saying i fill out a info pack and I still get spam but spam I may actuality use?

mswayne Posted: May 30, 2007, 3:11 am

Yes. I think that could be an element of it. If you use the filter, the messages sent to you would be worth more.

TinapBeana Posted: May 31, 2007, 9:13 pm

doh! got so tired of getting viagra and home refinance spam at a time in my life when i had neither a penis nor a house... then again, now that i have a husband and have bought a house i still don't like getting the viagra and refi spam, but at least now it could be conceivably useful! :D


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