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International Media Sensation

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MOST OF THE SUB-$1 PER SHARE COMPANIES that gain a big online following don't have a tremendous amount of news to report. It's no surprise, then, that the typically earnest holders of the stock look for any news item that might connect their obscure, unlisted company to the world at large. In the matter of just a few days, the Prodigy-using shareholders of Interlock Consolidated Enterprises tied their company in to supposedly relevant stories reported by Forbes, New Republic, CNBC, the evening news ("Mandela in South Africa was promising to build over a million homes in the near future"), and this last connection with the New York Times:

"I believe there was an article today in the New York Times business section which talked of pre-fabricated houses in Russia. I haven't seen it but I was told it basically says that these types of houses are BIG BUSINESS!!"

--Brad G.

The lack of any follow-up response to this message strongly suggests that no such article ever appeared in the Times. That's because the faintest whiff of pre-fab housing in any national publication would instantly have given rise to a gaggle of bullish messages online. Fact and fiction become frustratingly indistinguishable.

David Gardner and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool, Copyright © 1994