About five years back I wrote an article with my colorful speculations about a locally advertised business - Model Quality Introductions. To my slight annoyance, that one article is consistently popular. I was strongly tempted to delete the article, as I was not comfortable with slightly tawdry speculations as the motivation for folk to visit my weblog.

If you type “model quality introductions” as a search string into Google or Bing (but not Yahoo - oddly), you get the site of the original business, followed immediately by my old weblog article.

This week I got an email (which I promised not to publish without consent) claiming to be from someone personally connected to the business, with the claim I was causing harm to their business. The writer was asking that I remove my old weblog article.

On reading the email there were two apparent possibilities. First, the email could be honest, and an attempt to rectify the unfair harm done by my article. Second, the email could be a lie - and an attempt by a marketeer (of some form) to eliminate unfavorable mention.

If the first were true, then I very much regret any harm I may have done. I offered to add the sender’s story, and hopefully offer some balance to readers who might be interested in their business.

If the later were true, then the email is lie, and a simple attempt to suppress any highly visible unfavorable information.

I should add that one of my very first jobs was with a guy who considered himself a super-salesman (Hello, Eric!), and would regularly offer bullshit persuasion on one topic or another. As a result, I tend to detect and reject very early the pattern of expression offered by sales/marketing critters. I should also add that while a teenager - and as a personal interest - I read rather a lot about Semantics and Psychology.

You can often tell a lot about a writer’s background from phrasing and how they express ideas. The initial email sounded rather more like the expressions of a marketeer, and rather less like the claimed source. Still … this was an uncertain judgement. In my response, I offered to encourage and protect the sender - if honest (and meant exactly what I wrote). I was - very carefully - honest in everything I said. At the same time I dropped in cues that I expected a marketeer would try to interpret as in their interest.

The subsequent responses fit exactly with what I would expect if the writer were a marketeer, and a third-rate mind. With each exchange, my conviction increased that the writer was a marketeer (and a liar).

Still … I could be wrong. The writer could be exactly as claimed. On that chance, I will honor my promises. On the other hand, my current bet is 10:1 that the writer is a marketeer.

As the exchange aroused my curiosity, I went searching, and found:

  • The online dating business must be hugely profitable, as the number of consultants and related businesses indicate.
  • The dating-service-with-rich-guys model must be very profitable, as “Model Quality Introductions” expanded to more locations - and there are many imitators.

The odds of a hired marketeer - outside the content of the exchange - seem rather high.

By analogy, I was playing chess, and the marketeer was playing checkers. Bit amusing, this. :)