Viral marketing: Marc Rochkind and Mudbag
Everybody knows that "viral marketing" is using the internet to spread interest in your product or service by "word of mouth", but Marc Rochkind (developer of the SCCS Source Code Control System at Bell Labs back in the early 1970's) notes in a post entitled "Mudbag and Viral Marketing" that a virus actually spreads by first infecting its host, or as Marc says:
Viral marketing isn't persuading someone to use your product; it's causing them to use your product without them even being aware. That is, not winning their hearts and minds, but their bodies. Then, later, after they're a customer, you can tell them what they've bought and try to get them to use it for themselves. That's when they start to spread the virus to the next customer-in-the-making.
Marc's latest product is Mudbag, a web-based multi-user database system, supposedly coming soon (Spring 2005).