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The strange world of educational viral marketing

Does anyone else get e-mails like this?

I went through your blog while surfing in Google, and was very much impressed with your site’s unique information. So, just thought of dropping you a note of appreciation.

Well, my name is Jenny and I’m from We recently published an infographic “13 Unusual Masters Degrees” which I think falls right in line with your blog’s content. You can check it here:

I hope you would be interested in sharing it with your blog audience. Please let me know if you have any concern.

The precise content of them varies. Sometimes they’re asking me to share infographics, occasionally articles and often asking if I will accept a ‘guest post’. They’re invariably polite but nonetheless written in a style which makes it obvious that the recognition of my “site’s unique information” served solely to add my name to a very long list. What they do all have in common though is that their websites never explain who is behind them. It’s viral marketing but without any discernable economic aim. The sites have no advertising, rarely any branding beyond that pertaining to the topic and I cannot see how any financial benefit accrues to whoever is doing this. Any insights into this strange world of educational viral marketing would be welcomed, as I’m receiving ever more of these e-mails and I’m utterly baffled by them.

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