The other day while searching the internet for…that’s not important really…what’s important is that as usual, the misguided offerings from the search engine were more interesting than our original search request.
Rabid has re-discovered user-group forums – the end result of an evolutionary adventure that began with dial-up bulletin boards back in the 1980s. A light bulb didn’t quite fully switch on over our head, but it did flicker a little, then glowed dimly.
What if we harnessed the innate knowledge of all the resellers out there for our own forum where we could exchange ideas on ways to fleece ... er ... further our sales opportunities for mugs ... er ... customers?
There must be a million scams ... er ... promotions which Rabid hasn’t yet thought of, but which others might just have thought of, and might even have made work. And of course, we could offer them our own arsenal of lame ... er ... lamentable ... er ... likely marketing methods.
Righto then, no time to waste, where’s that nephew who claims to know all about the internet? Surely a forum won’t be beyond even his over-stated skills? Bang on the money there! Not only did he rapidly produce the Rabid Reseller Roundtable, a forum for discussing sales and marketing techniques in technology, but he wasn’t able to charge his usual over-priced you-wouldn’t-understand-it’s-a-web-thing fee.
That’s because we caught him futzing about in the Hatred Beyond Human death-metal forum and threatened to tell his father if he didn’t produce the goods for free.
So the forum is up and running in double-quick time. There are a few minor things which need fixing – like all the images of skulls and dudes with bloodshot eyeballs – but hey, that’s the price of progress and after all there’s no mystery about where he got the source code.
He assured us that Disturbed is just the name of the band and that they’re really a bunch of fun-loving musicians who would never sue us because we cloned their forum and certainly wouldn’t come around here and play their guitars really loud. Really, really loud. Really, really, really, unbelievably LOUD. Oh yes, they certainly did.
OK, so we gave them a couple of clapped out PCs for the band to destroy during their next live performance and they agreed not to play outside the shop ever again, and of course we had to get new source code for the Rabid Reseller Roundtable forum.
The suitably subdued nephew came back next day with a brand new forum website which seemed remarkably free of discussions about lazy, Satan-worshipping, animal-sacrificing psychos. The pallid dark background colours had gone as well, replaced with a much more cheerful, bright, happy, orange look and feel. The background music seemed familiar, but we couldn’t quite place it.
Time to start uploading some FAQs. What? Surely you jest? Everyone knows what an FAQ is, and every forum has to start with one. It’s an abbreviation for Friday Afternoon Questions. You just create a list of things you’d like to do on the weekend, and reasons why you’ll never get around to doing them.
Go to the beach. Can’t – it’s raining. Watch the cricket. Can’t – it’s on pay TV. Watch a movie. Can’t – the DVD player is busted – again. What? This is ridiculous. It’s not Friday Afternoon Questions? The nephew says we’ve got it wrong. Again.
There goes hours of typing down the drain. So, smarty pants, what is a “Frequently Asked Question”? Other than that one, OK? We’ll just leave it to the nephew to complete that part of the website. But there is just one more thing.
Where did the forum source code come from this time? We only ask because there is a tribe of dudes outside the shop wearing orange, marching round and round, banging on tambourines and singing something eerily familiar. Now where have we heard that tune before? Where’s that nephew?
Gotta go! Krishna’s calling!