world's dumbest crooks - 2.0

Beaglefamily Don't you love the crook who is so stupid that he practically gives himself up?

A View From The Isle posted about someone who stole a laptop, then uploaded a picture of himself to the laptop owner's flickr account.  Crook_3 This my friends, is great material, you cannot make this stuff up.  If you recognize this man (to the right) please email Bill MacEwan at info AT workspace DOT com.


A few years ago my wife was studying abroad when her cell phone was stolen.  On a whim, she borrowed her friend's cell and sent the following message to her (stolen) phone:

Who are you and why did you steal my phone?

To her amazement, she got a call minutes later from a local police officer.  It so happened that the local resident who stole her phone could not read English, so he asked a nearby stranger to translate the sms message for him.  This stranger happened to be an off-duty cop!  My wife got her phone back later that day.

Stories like these might be a dime a dozen, but I think they're great! 

If you've got a story of world's dumbest digital criminal, please share!


update: just found this goodie over at CrunchGear

... a UK man sent a text message to what he thought was his pal’s phone number. Turns out, the phone number had been switched over to a State Policeman’s account. The officer received a text from 19-year-old Joshua Wayne Cadle, asking if he “wanted to buy some reefer”.

The officer, in fact, did not want to purchase the aforementioned “reefer” and promptly did some detective work and tracked down the teenager. No word yet on what charges he faces, but you can be sure he’ll take into careful consideration who he texts for drugs next time around.

Drug deal text sent to police by mistake [Textually]

Apple: getting it right... kinda

The Glory...
The Majesty...
The Wonder...
of me.

I am... Steve Jobs.

I sold you an overpriced gadget that may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread.

I then issued a $200 price cut just two months later.

But fear not... for I will give you a $100 rebate in iCash, that is - money you can spend on my iMerchandise at any iStore.

Oh "And One More Thing" - Love me.  For I did not need to give you this refund, but I love you because you love me, so enjoy this iGift of gifts.

- end of hyperbole -

Honestly, does anyone out there think early adopters aren't going to jump on his next overpriced piece of iGadgetry?  Will anyone out there wait for a month, or two, or three - to buy the next iPhone (now with a can opener!)  ? 

Sure, waiting might save you a buck, but after all, Isn't being an early adopter about being the first? 

when the ____ hits the fan

FanCC Chapman is brilliant.

Yesterday he posted this comment regarding the Quechup fiasco:

"...And it's going to get worse tomorrow when lots of people in the US get back from vacation and start accepting and starting another whole round of spam."

And behold... it is coming true!  It has gotten to the point that I've had to send out a department wide email across all of our offices warning them against joining Quechup. 

This is not to say that I'm getting too many invites internally, but I know I am in a few too many address books over here, and if I get another piece of mail from these people, I think we're going to have to start signing up their executives for SPAM.

For more coverage of this spammy goodness check out Greg V here, CC here, Pete Cashmore here, Godin here, Matt Dickman here, Doug Meacham here, and my own initial coverage here.

spamming your way to success

FallSo Quechup spammed everyone(link courtesy of Digital Hive)

And I don't know about you, but I don't think too many of us would even consider using their service.

ON A HOLIDAY WEEKEND, they flooded my inbox with spam or the worst kind: spam that uses the names of those I trust and respect.

So if you were Quechup what would you do?

5 Next Steps for Quechup

  1. Apologize - both on your website to new users and via email to everyone who's names you used in your spam emails.
    • Make it real and sincere, anything less you're just wasting ink.
  2. Change your terms of service - nobody will knowingly give away ownership of everything they write, nor will they give their address books or their own names for usage in spam.
  3. Never do this again - in the world of opt-in media, being evil gets you nowhere.
  4. Capitalize on the negative attention - by becoming a really good guy and giving away premium accounts to everyone you've wronged - free for one year, not 30 days, not 90 days, but one year.
    • If your product is any good and we do end up using it regularly, we probably won't mind paying a bit for it (or downgrading to a standard account) in a year from now - after 12 months of positive experiences. 
      • This should be standard practice in all new social networks.  We come to experience, we stay because they become part of our lives.
    • And even if we don't stay, Quechup REALLY needs to build some good will if they still want to be around tomorrow.
  5. Change your name and your message
    1. Rebrand, rebrand, rebrand (not three times, just doing this for emphasis), then relaunch with a better, more organic and friendly message.

OR you could jump headfirst into the deadpool.

Chances are this will happen anyway (unless you have an exceptionally  amazing  product), and doing nothing is a surefire way to speed up this process. 

But that's just me, what about you?  Any thoughts? 

What would Quechup have to do to get you in the door?

real meaning - giving what your selling

Ethical As marketers our goal at the end of the day is to sell. 

While we try to utilize ethical techniques, the underlying ethic of the position of marketer is a question on it's own. 

Why do we sell?  Is this truly good for the consumer?  Will this make them happier, more complete more human?  It is up to the consumer to determine both how they will use the product and how they allow product will impact them (both in it's usage and the resulting reflective personality images), but is it really fair or honest for marketers to build associations between grander dreams and simple products?  Nike sells movement, Hummer sells power, the armed forces sell achievement.

Everyone tries to sell happiness, satisfaction, good feelings.  Maybe this is why Going Green works.  We as marketers, are associating our brands with a TRUE feeling, a true emotion. 

Is this what we mean when we demand truth in advertising? 

Cartoon courtesy of Avi Steinberg, good friend and raving lunatic.  All rights reserved.

Props to Guy Kawasaki for turning me on to Life Remix, a great site with some insightful articles.


Perspective In todays world of flogs, advertiser-driver poor-quality consumer-generated content, imitation consumer generated video and guerrilla marketing, it often pays to take a step back and examine our own practices.

We all like to beat up on the unethical practices of floggers, and this is a practice that we as an industry need to highly encourage, it's keeps us honest.  But beyond OMMA and WOMMA, where do we draw our own lines in the sand?   How do we as an industry, as a collective of individuals, build a better, safer, more trusted and more reliable industry than the one we are quickly replacing?

At what point would YOU take YOUR NAME off the door?

My entire life I've gone to my father for this sort guidance.  He's an old media exec with old media values.  Honestly, integrity and good story telling are the pillars of his world.  What are the pillars of ours?

Leo Burnett was a brilliant visionary, but more than that, he lends an interesting perspective to the many of us breaking into the New Media World.  Perhaps more interesting that the values he presents, is the emphasis he places on his own personal pride.  His name is his value.  Much like modern day bloggers, he viewed his name as his brand.  In the video below he outlines the values he believed his brand stood for.  What are your values?  Would you leave if these values were compromised?  When would you want your name taken off the door?