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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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A Couple of Really Creative Ideas

I came across two exceptionally clever marketing ideas today. Neither one of them are my own, but I thought I’d share anyway.

First off, a virus

One of my awesome readers sent me an interesting tip the other day - Apparently, his computer had caught a virus. No, keep reading, it gets interesting. He noticed that, when he loaded web sites with Adsense blocks, they were quickly covered up with a second advertisement. After doing a quick virus scan and finding (and curing) an infection, the graphical ads stopped and the Adsense blocks returned.

That has got to be one of the most brilliant viruses (virii?) I’ve ever heard of. You see, people tend to think of spyware and malware when giant flashing popups appear on their desktop for no particular reason, but everybody expects to see banner ads on a website, right? So, why bother purchasing ad space? Just steal it from every site on the net (with adsense code that is). By superimposing your own ads over competitors ads, you have a free advertising vehicle that will fly right under most people’s radar. My hat is off to whoever wrote such a clever bug.

Employ those bums

Brilliant? Maybe. Strange? Definitely. This guy is thinking outside of the box with a program he calls Bumvertising (yes, I know it’s been around since 2005. I just heard about it today, so sue me). Basically, he “employs” a few bums around town. They hold up his sign (in addition to their own) in exchange for food/cash/whatever. Check out his gallery to see what I mean.

I wonder how this idea worked out for him? He’s gotten all kinds of press, both positive and negative, and his forums are a mess of praise, hatred, and spam. What I’m really wondering is whether or not he’s violating any labor laws. Since he’s technically employing them, he’d have to pay minimum wage, deal with taxes, etc. I’m guessing he just took the simple route and did it all under the table.

Still, it’s an interesting idea, one that definitely got him a lot of attention.

Thinking outside of the box

I really need to work on my creativity. Right now, I’m taking a look at all of the resources I have at my disposal (a lot of time, a lot of (gullible) students, and not a lot of money), and trying to figure out how best to use them. Too bad you can’t learn how to be creative.

Oh well, maybe more Mountain Dew will help.

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4 Responses to “A Couple of Really Creative Ideas”

  1. Rajaie Says:

    The virus one is really clever, now if only I could get my hands on the source code

  2. Will Says:

    You can’t learn how to be creative, but drugs help.

  3. Random Says:

    Hey i dig your blog and podcasts.

    I am most creative when I take time away from the Internet and, in particular, reading blogs! Seriously - reading other people’s thoughts and ideas does ‘give’ me ideas but they are not original. When I stop reading blogs for a few weeks, I get all sorts of schemes just naturally drift into my head.

    Try it! But don’t stop blogging ;)

  4. Jenny Says:

    I noticed that Facebook’s ad board doesn’t seem to have any problem posting ads for contests. Could you use a contest for something like, say, “cute dog pictures” to get some email submits? You could seriously run a contest and give out a prize, if you feel bad entirely faking the whole thing… but I’d think some of the people that aren’t gullible enough to believe in “free giveaways!” might not even think to distrust a contest that looks legit. And if it’s something targeted like the example, you could target it to people with “dogs” and “photography” as interests, and I’d think it might work.

    Not as clever as these other ideas, but I thought of it, and thought I’d share.

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