One of my colloquial definitions for social software is "stuff that gets spammed", since there has to be some sort of valid participatory channel for spam to show up. We've seen spam extend from usenet to email to IM and now comment spam, but this, I think, is a new one: a spam weblog, Jenn Theater
The mail that shows up from Jenn, subject line Blog, reads
I saw your email on your Blog..cool stuff. [She didn't -- the spam came to my outbound mailing list address. - ed.]
I'm just surfing around trying to meet new people, so hi!.
Check out more about me at my blog
Email me soon, and say hello!
Garden variety spam, except that someone has gone to the trouble of simulating an actual weblog at Jenn Theater
, complete with backstory for "Jenn" (Impersonals and Friendster profiles, the latter perhaps intentionally mis-linked), and has cut and pasted complete wire service articles as blog entries.
The fake is pretty botched -- her blogroll is one link to Google news and two edit-me blanks -- but for spam, this took some effort, far more than simply buying ONE MILLION EMIAL ADDRESSES FOR $17.98!!!1!
So Jenn Theater seems based on the assumption that the pretense of "keepin' it real" is a useful enough strategy to merit the effort, and that simulating social engagement will raise the efficiency of some sort of advertising or PR. One possibility is that they are just using blogspot as a cheap tracking service (what percentage of email recipients will click on her link), but a more interesting possibility is that the blog itself is generating qualified sales leads for the sites "she" links to, like Impersonals.com, Chick Spirit, and the bands Mars Volta and Aalacho.
The poor execution makes the ruse unlikely to be worth the effort, but it also makes it easy to spot. One side-effect of the lowered effectiveness of garden variety spam will be more of this sort of thing. As both Sam Goldwyn and George Burns are said to have said, "The most important thing in acting is honesty. Once you've learned to fake that, you're in."