Thursday, 31 January 2008

How not to write an ad: Part One

The image on the right is from my inbox on that hotbed of Viagra adverts that is Yahoo! Mail. I'm by no means an advocate of Yahoo!, but when you're creating a secret identity, it's always good to have a faceless multinational corporation to hide behind, especially when they do free e-mail.

I do rather think somebody is trying to tell me something, however...

Has anyone ever been to Craigslist? When I'm really bored, it's one of the places I tend to haunt to give me a cheap laugh. Despite the promise of it being a home of all kinds of classified adverts, I have to wonder whether it is actually used for anything except free personals - or adverts for sex from people who are either too cheap-ass, too wise, or desperate enough not to try out adult dating sites.

I wonder if it's successful.

You see, the sort of advert a girl will post on Craigslist goes like this:

are you young and looking for nsa and super horny, here are some picture of my body, send me some of you and a dick pic i want to see what is going to go into me (yes, this is an actual advert)

Followed by a couple of pictures.

Yeah, it's an easy trap to fall into.
And sometimes it seems serious enough. But I seriously doubt, as I'm sure you will (yes - you over there, YOU!) too, that anyone there is actually looking to have sex with someone random and bored enough to be visiting Craigslist themselves.

I'll admit it: once or twice I have been curious enough to respond to a Craigslist post, for a laugh more than anything else... once even taking a picture of my penis and sending it (hey, what can I say... I'm reckless) and the responses I got were all the same:

hey i know your not interested in meeting some1 ur not attracted 2, and i dont have a pic on CL. so plz go to the following address: [something beginning with tinyurl.com] 2 see my pix. much love.

This, of course, eventually links to a dating site, which ends up with yet another webcam site scam. Huzzah for that. The one response I did get - "Is Saturday OK?" - ended up with no contact from either me or her. If, indeed, it was a her.

The problem is, this sort of image really does make the gap for real prospective-casual-encounter people much narrower. As I expected, my investigative post on Craigslist didn't yield any results - even to say, "man, you're ugly; tits or gtfo" - and, eventually, people are going to give up on the internet. They're going to actually have to go back to hanging around in bars wearing extremely tight tops (in the case of the ladies) or shirts saying "Please?" (for the men).

Like that'll have as much effect. I should know - even though I've never tried.

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