Monday, February 18, 2008

Virtual Blight & The Ten Commandments For Online Marketers

Virtual Blight & The Ten Commandments For Online Marketers

Among the most powerful trends of the last three years has been the emergence of community-social-media-social-networking sites with large user bases and incredible traffic. The traffic enjoyed by these successful virtual communities creates financial incentives for bad actors who want to hijack traffic for their own purposes. The open participation inherent in user generated content provides numerous opportunities for the parasitic marketer.

Exploits can take the form of spam posts, sock puppetry, trust fraud and scams that use social engineering to take advantage of the good faith users. The exploit may also be by way of paid advertising that promote illicit or illegal activities (porn, pills, casinos, and payday lenders) or ads that insert malware on users' computers. These anti-social and sometimes criminal activities are generally carried out despite the wishes of the site owners and community residents.

In the physical world, spam, scams and unsavory promotions have parallels: billboards, liquor stores and payday lenders on every street, and prostitutes and hustlers on every corner. These are the telltale signs of urban blight in a community and left unchecked lead to abandoned and neglected property and a spiral of decay. Urban blight creates flight; anyone who can afford to leaves.

From Internet Marketing

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