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Subject: UKNM: madaboutwine.com and viral marketing
From: Piers Beckley
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 18:57:43 +0100

Just thought I'd let everyone know that when I went for my free bottle, the
order went through with no trouble at all and two minutes work on my part.


This was Thursday 6:30. If the virus grew exponentially over the next day
(and I know for a fact that it went out to more than 30 other people within
minutes after it vectored in here), then you would expect big trouble the
next day, probably peaking in the morning as workers read their email from
the night before.

So how could you limit the spread of the meme to a level your servers can
cope with? A couple of suggestions follow...

1) Limit the time that the virus can spread in by having a time window on
the original email. For example, you could have a note along the lines of
"This offer is only open from 6-10pm on Thursday 13th April!" - this would
have the virtue of making people use other channels of communication
(telephone etc) to spread the message quickly

2) Limit the infectiousness of the virus so that each vector can only infect
a limited number of other people. For example, the free code that you enter
into the box to access the offer could be a one-time number that the server
will no longer accept after it's been used to order something. As part of
the ordering process, the server then allocates three new unique numbers
which it emails to three people whose email addresses you have provided.

I'm sure there are many other ways of limiting the spread to a sensible


(course I'm still waiting on the order-fulfillment aspect of the deal...)

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