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Academia’s Bozo Spammers

The arithmetic of SSOSS Marketing

December 17, 2013 By Denny Hatch
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I received the following message in my Yahoo inbox:

Ross Thought in Action: New Research Relevant to You

The only Ross I know is Marji Ross, president of Regnery Publishing, and we haven't spoken in years. We know each other slightly and are not on each other's radar.

Normally I would scan and delete.

The word "Relevant" was the stopper. Okay, I thought, maybe these folks did some research and were sending me something of value. (Click on the link above or the image in the media player at right for what came up on my screen.)

The sender was Michigan's Ross School of Business. The headlines of the three lede articles:

"The Professional Life: Keep it That Way"
"Employees Might Cheat More for Less"
"Turning the Traditional Classroom its Head"

Also included: 29 hyperlinks. The first two were associated with the top story, "The Professional Life: Keep it That Way," and were simply "Read Article" and "Read Paper."

"Read Article" clicks through to the following:

THE PROFESSIONAL LIFE: KEEP IT THAT WAY
New research shows U.S. companies harbor a bias against overt displays of personal life at work.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The company holiday party — a time to relax and "be yourself," right? And the office desk — a space to personalize because you spend so much time there.

(Note: I work at home, not in an office. I am a lone wolf. The company holiday party is not relevant.")

The second hyperlink, "Read Paper", clicks through to the Wiley Online Library, displaying the paper cited within the article.

Still not relevant and still a waste of my time.

This Is SSOSS Marketing
SSOSS is my new acronym:

SHOVEL SHIT ONTO STRANGE SCREENS and see if anything sticks.

It is also known throughout the world as spam.

I had never heard of Ross and Ross had never heard of Denny Hatch.

The Ross people promised me relevance, and the entire message was irrelevant.

 
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