Twitter Friend Requests or The Pitfalls of Viral Marketing

Twitter, the reinvention of the wheel (if a wheel was in fact something people use but don’t actually know if they actually need it), lets people follow other people’s activity stream. So far so good.

The fact that Twitter is by now more popular than the Ribwich has led to constant notifications telling me that this or that person is now following me. Most of the time, the person is either a bot or a spammer (which, btw, is a great sign that you’re in fact not exactly the quarterback of the Interwebs). I usually don’t reciprocate the favour and don’t follow them (a good indicator always is the ratio followers versus following – if you’ve got someone who’s following 3000 people but has a measly following of 10 people, you know that person is either mighty unpopular or a bot, both you should stay clear of, for different reasons).

So today I received another notification of someone following me, the rather telling name was termpapers. Clearly a spambot, but as with human nature and all, I was still curious to see what exactly they were offering. Well, turns out they offer, tadaaa, termpapers. From their homepage:

Paper Masters writes custom term papers and research papers. Our research paper services provide a completed term paper, exactly as if our writer was you! You give us the complete details of your project, the date that you want the research from us and that’s it! Receive your custom research paper in your e-mail complete and ready to go!

I am flattered that someone is reading my updates so diligently as to actually glean from them that I’m still not done with my thesis. But no, buying your thesis is not a solution. It’s actually just very, very stupid.

So no, dear termpaper, I will not follow you and your exploits on Twitter. Even though your first and as of now only tweet is, in its naive attempt to mimic viral marketing methods, quite charming.