Viral Marketing
病毒式营销

P = Presenter, M = guest on radio show
P=主持人,M=广播节目嘉宾

P: Now, one of the latest buzzwords in e-commerce is 'viral marketing' - using the power of the internet to advertise a product or service. I'm joined in the studio today by Michael MacAulay of the buzz.com website which monitors internet trends. Michael, what exactly is 'viral marketing'?
P:现在,在电子商务中最新的流行行话就是“病毒式营销”了,它指的是用网络的力量来为一个产品或者一种服务做广告。今天,我通过来自监控网络发展趋势的bazz.com网站的迈克尔.麦考利进入到了录音室。迈克尔,“病毒式营销”到底是什么?

M: Hi Tony. The idea of viral marketing is basically that the internet does your advertising for you. A good example is internet email providers like Hotmail or Yahoo. Every time someone sends you an email using a Yahoo address you get that little 'Do you Yahoo?' message at the end - basically advertising what Yahoo does, while still providing you with the service - the message you've received.
M:嗨,托尼。病毒式营销主要就是指网络为你做广告。互联网电子邮件服务供应商,如微软热邮和雅虎邮箱。每次有人用雅虎地址给你发邮件的时候,你会在信息的末端看到一个小窗口写着“你知道雅虎吗?” - 这主要是通过广告来表示雅虎是做什么的,而同时,它还是为你提供了服务- 你收到了信息。

P: But it's not limited to internet email providers, is it?
P:但病毒式营销不仅仅是限制于互联网电子邮箱服务供应商的,对吗?

M: Not at all. Hotmail is perhaps the most famous example but there's lots and lots of stuff on the web that can be seen as viral marketing. You might get sent, for example, a little game to play on your PC or a funny animation, something like that. More often than not, they're advertising a product or an event. The initial idea of viral marketing was that it cost next to nothing - great for ventures without a huge startup budget but I suspect there's quite a lot of money spent on this sort of thing now.
M:不是的。微软热邮也许是最有名的例子,但是网络上还有很多东西可以被视为病毒式营销。例如,你可能会在你个人电脑的屏幕上收到一个小游戏、一个有趣的动画之类的东西。通常情况下,它们是用来为一个产品或是一项活动做广告的。起初,病毒式营销的成本几乎为零,这很适合刚刚起步、资金不足的公司,但我猜,现在病毒式营销需要花费很多的钱了。

P: And presumably the idea is that people like the game, or animation or whatever and send it on to their friends.
P:也许人们喜欢游戏、动画之类的东西并会发送给他们的朋友。

M: Exactly - it spreads like a virus.
M:是的,这就像病毒在传播一样。

P: So far so good, but the word 'virus' is quite a negative one. I know from the emails we receive on the programme that a lot of our listeners are very concerned about the amount of unwanted emails - 'spam' as it's known - they already receive. Isn't viral marketing just another form of spam?
P:到目前为止,一切都还好,但“病毒”这个词负面影响很大。我从在节目上收到的电子邮件中发现,我们很多听众都关注自己收到的垃圾邮件,也就是大家所说的“spam”的数量。难道病毒式营销不就是垃圾邮件的另一种形式吗?

M: It's a good point Tony. The vital difference between viral marketing and spam is that one is providing a service and the other isn't. Viral marketing relies on people sending things on to their friends and family. Spam is sent to thousands of people at random. So they're very different. Having said that, the line does begin to get a bit blurred in places. There's the example of the company in the US that paid people - 50 cents an hour, I think - to let the company's viewbar display advertisements on their screens. However, the company also paid people 10 cents an hour if they sent the 'viewbar' to another person who allowed the ads onto their screen. Now that can be seen as encouraging people to send unwanted emails.
M:这一点提得好,托尼。病毒式营销和垃圾邮件的区别在于前者是在提供一种服务而后者不是。病毒式营销是通过人们给他们的朋友家人发送东西实现的。而垃圾邮件是随意地发送到人们手中的。所以它们很不一样。话虽如此,在一些地方,病毒式营销和垃圾邮件的区别还是很模糊的。举个例子,美国的一家公司为了让它的“工具栏”显示在人们的屏幕上,每小时付给别人50美分。但是,如果人们把“工具栏”发送给其他同意广告出现在屏幕上的人的话,这家公司也会每小时付给他们10美分。现在看来,这就导致了人们发送垃圾邮件。