Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Reflectoporn Post

Meagan, Rick and I have been given the task of leading a class discussion on eBay. We're given a to-do list of issues that we need to cover, but we also have some leeway to build a foundation, some background behind eBay that should (if we do it right) make conversation easier.

Here's one segment we've decided to leave out:


The internet has created a ready forum for the masses of individuals looking for a simple way to reach an audience. Never before has there been a more accessible stage for John Q Everyman to communicate his message to billions of eyeballs across the globe.

And, as frequent eBay users know all too well, sometimes that message is "here is my penis."

I'm told that the 'net is actually rife with nekid ladies and dudes, sharing their bits and pieces with the wired world. So how is the eBay "reflectoporn" issue different, you ask? The answer, class, is in the genius behind eBay's marketing: connecting the right "seller" (we'll call him “Buff") with the right "buyer" ("Blushing Co-ed" or "Tittering School Marm").

See, true exhibitionists aren't looking to show off the goods to the average porn-monger, although they probably do that too. No, Buff is looking to sell his package to a more general, wholesome group of customers. And since eBay has some semblance of censorship, blatantly setting up an auction using a pic of Buff's Yul Brynner isn't going to work.

Enter the teapot. Or the television screen. Or the mirror in the background, or the set of spoons or the metallic toaster, or anything with a reflective surface subtle enough to slip by the sensors, but expressive enough to win you a funny headline on fark, milkandcookies, or a coveted mention on
Okay, so we weren't really even considering it, but it's still pretty funny stuff. Plus I finally got to post "Yul Brynner" and not be talking about The King and I.

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