Friday, December 07, 2007

Dog emails dog

Brian, as they say, be careful what you wish for.

Who is Brian? Brian is an intern at Box.net. Not familiar with them? They are an online storage company: a virtual drive, if you will. My Netvibes membership introduced them to me. I rarely use them, but thought they were generally fine for a free storage service.

Then Brian contacted me.

See, Brian noticed I was blogging about Picnik, a great photo editing tool for free online. Brian, out of the goodness of his heart, thought I might like to know about Box.net's service to do the same; he even took the time to email my Gmail account to tell me.

Hello,

My name is Brian, I'm an intern working at Box.net. I saw your post about editing photos online and I wanted to write to you in case you would be interested in knowing Box.net now lets users edit photos online as well.

Using our OpenBox platform, users can now right-click on any image and edit it instantly, for free. OpenBox is a platform which lets developers write software that can be installed directly on the Box.net website.

If you decide you would like to post something about this on your blog, please let me know if you or your readers have any suggestions for the service.

For some more information:
http://www.box.net/services/picnik

Sincerely,

Brian
Box.net

Gosh, that Brian. Such a nice, helpful guy. Yep, I might have fallen for this "aw, shucks" approach...had he not included the URL I boldfaced above. See, it's clear from the appending of "picnik" on the URL that Box.net is trolling for Picnik users to switch, and Box.net is using this as a crude viral campaign to go after a competitor.

As it is, Brian, I'll thank you for the helpful hint, and suggest that you switch to a less crude approach in the future, perhaps tagging links with a URL tracker that you build, for instance, or an affiliate network? Brian, you may be a very nice guy, and, as you claim to be just an intern, maybe you didn't know that this approach might be interpreted as ham-handed, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and I'll suggest that you let your bosses know that they probably need to be a bit more subtle in their efforts to build awareness for a new product.

Thanks, but no thanks.

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