Richard Brodie (
Sat, 4 Sep 1999 11:07:16 -0700

From: "Richard Brodie" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: JOM
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 11:07:16 -0700
In-Reply-To: <003901bef59e$9a699080$8121e7d8@proftim>

Tim wrote:

<<I don't consider word-of-mouth and MLM to be the same thing. Do you? If
so, why?>>

Great question... not the same thing, but the idea is to engineer
self-replication. In fact you've just inspired my next Meme Update topic...

<<Go to the actual website and you'll see that despite the
hype, no existing distributor is really required to buy from this new online
incarnation of Amway. (But a $19.95 membership is, however.)>>

I've been unable to access the site though I've tried several times since I
got your message. Anyway, Amway has many spin-off businesses and the fact
that they are doing an Internet one does not surprise me. But it would
surprise me if a non-self-replicating spin-off supplanted their main plan as
the major source of revenue.

<<"Viral marketing is like it sounds. Call it word-of-mouth, spawning,
self-propagation -- organic.

"Great new idea, right? Nope. Viral marketing has been around forever.
Spreading the word through word-of-mouth was the world's first form of
marketing. But the Internet has taken this organic from of marketing to new
heights by making communications better and communities of people tighter --
thus making word-of-mouth even more effective.">>

That is a good quote. It illustrates how people see things through their
existing paradigm. I don't know how many emails I've received from people
who say "memetics is nothing more than a new word for X." In the whole
article, he barely touches on the essential breakthrough in viral marketing:
engineering self-replication. The power of self-replication is really the
heart of memetic engineering.

Richard Brodie
Author, "Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme"
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