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Junk mail tracking website

Which item of junk mail will I receive next?
(+1, -1)
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Back in the old days, when the internet was still powered by steam, I relied for CD recommendations on a website called firefly.com (Don't look for it, it's not there any more). Users of this site would enter a selection of CDs they owned, and the site, using a more sophisticated version of the (Most people who have Brian Eno's "My Life In The Bush of Ghosts" also have The Penguin Cafe Orchestra's "Another Green World") argument would then recommend some CDs you might like. It really was very good, and once I had entered about 20 CDs, recommended a whole slew of CDs I already had, but hadn't entered. I believe the technology was sold to Amazon for their book recommending thing, and the domain is now owned by Microsoft.

Anyway, this idea is to apply the same technology to junk mail, of which I receive a lot. Junk mail is sent to addresses based on which address lists have been bought by the junk mailer, whether your address is in an affluent area or not, which competitions you have entered recently, etc.
I envisage a web site where you can enter your postcode/ZIPcode, details of who you bank with, which credit cards you have, which organisations you belong to, which catalogues you have signed up for, etc. (but obviously not your name, address, bank account number, etc., for security reasons) and which junk mail items you regularly receive. The web site will then be able to do two things. Firstly, it will predict which items of junk mail you are likely to receive in the future. Secondly it will be able to correlate member details with junk mail (e.g. "Everyone who holds a VISA card, but not those who hold only Mastercards will receive a letter every six months encouraging them to buy a Bose Wave Radio").
The other service this site might offer is to show you what junk mail you're missing out on and, if it's something you want, what you need to do to get it ("To get on the mailing list of this lingerie catalogue, enter any competition in Pretentious French Cinema magazine").
hippo, Nov 05 2002

Brian Eno, for example http://www.allmusic...H&sql=B4dvsa9wgb23g
Scroll down to ARTIST BROWSER [thumbwax, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

What's That Hill? http://www.halfbake...7s_20That_20Hill_3f
[half] Your annotation reminded me of this idea... [hippo, Oct 05 2004]


       I thought Eno did "Another Green World." You mean there are more Green Worlds?
thumbwax, Nov 05 2002

       Byrne anno is spot on - Had my xreth listen to it a few weeks ago, my elf. I've had that on LP, 2 cassettes - CD. Traded Green LP away a few years ago. Here Come The Warm Jets is also excellent. What was the topic again? Oh, yes - email "ratings" - for comparisons, AMG (see link) has a little something called "Artist Browser" - it's a rollover utility which is quite useful, and for the most part, accurate. This might be somewhat of a guidepost for email "predictions", albeit - with different category names, types of results.
thumbwax, Nov 05 2002

       Bollocks! - I meant, of course, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra's "Broadcasting from Home" - go and buy it now.
hippo, Nov 05 2002

       If we were holding a contest to find ideas that went off topic the quickest then I'd nominate this one.
half, Nov 05 2002

       The musical confusion probably stems from the fact that Eno produced the Penguin Cafe Orchestra in the 70's.
snarfyguy, Nov 05 2002

       Thanks [snarfyguy] - Right, everyone, back on topic now.
hippo, Nov 05 2002

       I'm not sure how well this would work, but it occurs to me that much of the data entry part you mention could be automated by a tool that just poked around in your bookmarks, browser history, and local "cookie" files. These give evidence of web sites you have visited recently/commonly visit/subscribe to. These are ones most likely to have your email address. Obviously there are some privacy issues there, but not insurmountable ones.
krelnik, Nov 05 2002

       Um, I know it's an archaic idea, but I believe [hippo] is referring to junk snail mail, not spam! This tool would allow you to predict what you-can't-live-without-it offer might be in your physical mailbox tomorrow.

       I'm not sure I would use it either. I'm usually too busy making sure there's no "real" mail stuck in the adverts to notice what the junk's all about! Although, the ability to actually tailor my junk mail to some extent is kind of interesting. Alright - if it can help me figure out how to get free Victoria's Secret catalogs, I'll toss in a croissant!
ton80, Nov 06 2002

       Wow, that is an archaic concept.
krelnik, Nov 06 2002


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