Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Modest Proposal, or In Defense of Prosper Spamming

Take these w/large mines of this is a tongue-in-cheek post...

I could think of a few unlikely scenarios where spamminess in the form of unsolicited borrower -> lender email is a good signal:

If the barrier to spamming were somewhat higher, i suppose mass-mailing could sometimes be a signal of desperation to get hands on money -- a condition that raises risk (because said desperation may come from dire, likely irreversibly bad straits, or from having stolen someone's identity and needing to quickly make use of that person's financials before s/he catches on), though it may also raise returns disproprotionately, insofar as desperate lenders may post above market rates.

Unfortunately, these instances have been rare -- instead, I've noticed far larger sample of very sizeable, not particularly competitive rate loans w/aggressive borrower spam.

Weighted for potential $ returns, maybe it is worth it to get one gem, and ignore lots of annoying spam (assuming one has sufficient diversification to pile on to the gem), but personal annoyance also plays a role...and once listing lag/stronger searches/better customized standing orders exist, this reason is less powerful.

Or, perhaps the _really_ aggressive spammers are also wheeler-dealers who annoy, but also tend to get more done/succeed financially through great effort -- the successful used car salesman, if you will (again, ignoring the likelihood that such a borrower also tends to have a reach that exceeds his/her grasp...)

More seriously, I happen to have a high tolerance for/am fairly amused by spam, read quickly, and am not afraid to delete lots of probable spam w/o making absolutely sure that no real message is buried in the pile. However, these are not typical traits (and the novelty of prosper spam will wear off at some point), and I suspect the average lender falls closer to the hating-spam side of the spectrum. The new ban-all-messages option is a decent temporary workaround for now...but might ultimately kill lots of useful interactions -- bad unsolicited messaging driving out good, as it were.

Note to the ether, as of late March, 2006: My tolerance for spam is wearing off. Thankfully, so is the spamming.


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