I got an e-mail this morning, with the heading:
This is pretty interestinand it goes on to say:
Colin Bruce sent you a private message
I keep getting messages from this "Colin Bruce Milne" saying he wants to be my "friend" on this, that or the other social network. He sends me private messages to say that he has private messages for me. But I don't know him, I've never actually talked to him or met him, he's never left a comment on my blogs, which is quite easy to do.
So why does he want to be my friend if he never talks to me, except for sending me private messages to say that he has a "private message" for me?
It's a bit like getting a slip from the post office asking you to call for a registered letter which tells you that you have a registered letter that tells you that you have a registered letter that tells you that you have a registered letter.
Why the infinite regress?
So I now find myself wondering if perhaps this "Colin Bruce Milne" is some kind of new internet species, the "professional friend". Perhaps he's not a real person, perhaps he's a 'bot. But if he is a real person, I now suspect that he gets paid a commission by conning people into joining social networks by inviting them to join the network in order to read a message to tell them that he has left them a message on another social network that they will have to join to read the message that says that he has left them a message on another social network, and if he gets enough people to join enough networks he'll qualify for the grand draw for the grand prize of a weekend in a timeshare resort in Naboomspruit, listening to salesman wittering on boringly about the benefits of timeshare.
So perhaps he's not my very own internet stalker, perhaps he's stalking other people as well, having discovered a new way to propagate spam.
He's not the only one, though.
There's another one, who sends messages saying:
I have a message for you.
Same technique: send a message saying "I have a message for you". Well, he obviously has my address, so I'm waiting for the message, and sure enough, a couple of days later it arrives:
I have a message for you.
What I really need is to find a way of introducing Colin Bruce Milne to Mr. John Erere.
I'm sure they'll get on like a house on fire.
I could become a professional Internet friendship broker, introducing professional friends to each other, and possibly to my old friend, Mrs Mariam Abacha, from whom I haven't heard for a long time. Perhaps I should forward the messages from Oxfam5 to Oxfam14 and vice versa, mutatis mutandis.