Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Spam Wars - Micromotives and Macrobehaviour

Lots of talk this weekend about Yahoo + AOL deciding to charge for email.

I made the point years ago that economic solutions to spam would dominate technological solutions. I still think that's the case (for a mini case study, read Calacanis).

Now, I agree 100% that Yahoo and AOL are the two firms most likely to abuse this for their own benefit, in a perfect case of myopia.

But I also think that the shift to incentive-based models which solve spam implicitly has long been inevitable, and will continue. You can't fight economics; and though Danah makes the point that kids are shifting to IM and asynchronous comms, those only make the incentive problem worse - not better.

If anything, in the coming era edge dominance, economic models like - which rely on, to use Schelling's words, micromotives to implicitly let the right kinds of macrobehaviour emerge - are going to be more and more ubiquitous. I think radical innovators will start to see them as opportunities for disruption, rather than threats to openness; they're mechanisms that the edge needs to be able to self-organize and self-regulate.

-- umair // 8:10 AM // 1 comments


One question that keeps popping into my head about this: What is to prevent spammers from setting up a front company that handles spam and non-spam emailings and paying for the email? I cannot imagine that the profit margins are so low for spammers that they cannot afford this service.
// Blogger B.D. // 12:37 PM

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