Attention shoppers: Will the two middle-aged white guys please approach the check-out counter.
(Somebody call security.)
By Pat Dane & Mike Walter
Not even once.
Yet every three weeks, we get an envelope in the snail mail, urging us to buy some crummy magazines and to take a moment of our valuable time to fill out and return a good-for-nothing reply card. All for a one-in-six-billion chance to shake Ed's hand and get a check for a million clams.
But as annoying as these McMahon-o-grams can be, they're a part of life.
And now this junk is hitting the Internet -- in the form of unsolicited
e-mail pushing us to sign up for this great new service, or to check out
that stunning new cyber mall.
As Supreme Masters of New Media, we could easily rally the Netizenry in an unprecedented spamming campaign against these direct marketers. We could disable their precious new services. And we could plaster their cyber malls with crude graffiti -- or worse -- publicity shots of Mike.
But there's a small problem: We just aren't that upset by junk e-mail.
Drop 'til you shop
But contrary to the conventional wisdom of the Web, which dictates that
every junk e-mail must be responded to with a flame, we feel that the
more e-mail and advertising that marketers are dropping, the more the
digerati will be shopping.
However, for all the e-mail and advertising -- and the success stories in this issue of E Business -- not every idea for an electronic storefront is a good one. As a matter of fact, hopeful entrepreneurs approach us every day, asking our opinion about their concepts for new e-comm sites.
As Arbiters of Internet Excellence, we feel it's important to publicize the more, shall we say, "daring" ideas we've come across, most of which would never fly:
Virtual Value Jet (www.goboom.com)
Baudway Productions (www.greatwhiteway.com)
Shoplifters Online (www.klepto.com)
Two Peas In A Pod.com
The Doctor Is In.com
The UFO Gift Shop (www.bo&peep.com)
Publisher's Clearing House (www.pch.com)
Of course, most of these ideas are simply ridiculous. But before you pass them off as the comedic musings of a couple of Web columnists with too much time on their hands, consider this: The Publisher's Clearing House site is real.