The Post's Dec. 8 front-page story about Alladvantage.com, which pays people to let the company track their Web surfing and to enlist others to do the same, was timely. However, the piece omitted one important problem with Alladvantage's business model: the vast quantities of spam, or unsolicited e-mails, generated by participants eager to recruit new members and cash in.
I am the moderator of the Usenet newsgroup sci.econ.research. Thanks to Alladvantage.com's incentive structure, I am inundated daily with numerous messages from its participants -- messages that consist of nothing more than the name of the company, the member's ID number and an encouragement to "Make money fast" by signing up.
Much of the time that I volunteer to Usenet is taken up with the flood of Alladvantage advertisements. And at least one major Usenet posting company, remarq.com, has indicated to me that it has devoted staff resources to writing filters that will block Alladvantage members from posting spam through its service.
The article points out that Alladvantage has a privacy officer on staff. He often has spoken out against advertising that shifts its costs onto unwilling recipients. The article should have included an address for Alladvantage so that those of us burdened by its spam could send it a bill.