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Author Topic: Another internet lowlife  (Read 2765 times)
tranglos
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« on: February 23, 2012, 02:00:56 PM »

My new site has been up only a couple of weeks now. I've just received the following turd. (Names and addresses blanked out, because these people need to be not known.) It goes like this, emphasis mine:

Quote
Hello,

My name is ______ and I recently stumbled across your blog tranglos.com. I work for a company, __________ Inc., that connects bloggers with advertising partners. I currently have clients that are interested in sponsoring a few posts. This helps them with brand awareness and is a great opportunity for you to make some money from your blog.
Check out __________.org for more information and testimonials. Please feel free to contact me directly if you are interested in a partnership or have any questions at _____@______________.org. There is no need to submit the form on our site, as contacting me directly will lead to a quicker response.
If you are interested, contact me at this email address to begin the process.

Oh, and the subject of the email was "I love  tranglos.com!" With a double space before the domain name, a tell-tale sign this is a machine-generated script.

I told them what I think of them and where they can stick their brand awareness, but this stuff really makes me mad as hell. They are destroying whatever is left of any credibility on the net. Why the !@#$% is it so easy to be evil?
 
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Eóin
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 02:38:19 PM »

I come to the conclusion recently that there is nothing wrong with the internet at all, that in fact it is working as perfectly as one could ever want, just don't believe a word you read on it.
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berry
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 02:53:37 PM »

My new site has been up only a couple of weeks now. I've just received the following turd.
Welcome to the toilet  smiley
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Innuendo
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 03:00:10 PM »

I don't see anything wrong with that email. You can't blame someone from maximizing their income in this tough economy and the email was at least polite and respectful.

If you had encountered a true 'turd' you wouldn't have received an email from them at all & instead they'd have a bot responding to every one of your blog posts with a thinly veiled sales pitch for their products.

I hate unsolicited advertising in my email as much as the next guy, but in this situation I think they took the high road.
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wraith808
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 03:15:47 PM »

Why the !@#$% is it so easy to be evil?

I refer you to two quotes:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

"Power without responsibility — the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages."

Basically, to restrict the ability to be an asshat on the internet, you'd have to give bigger asshats more power, i.e. SOPA, PIPA, etc.  Once you have a site, you have to be able to deal with these, and recognize them as your own responsibility, IMO.

I hate unsolicited advertising in my email as much as the next guy, but in this situation I think they took the high road

If you believe they're serious, then yes.  It's more than likely a scam.  Just like there aren't Nigerians with a lot of money waiting to hand it out if you give them your bank account, there also aren't invisible investors willing to give you money on your blog for a few posts, especially if you don't have traffic.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 03:26:59 PM »

So give them to me!

One way to vet these kinds of things is by playing a MetaGame with them. If the offer comes back from *Another Domain* and they don't care (or don't notice!) then that is your answer. But hey, They're sponsoring, right? I'll take it if it's real money, and if it's not I get to craft a blog article about it. I have experimented with the "Zork Blog" concept, by which I mean that you can take similar stock pages and craft different link structures for different audiences. For the Teal Deer (TL DR aka "I can't be bothered to read real words"), then you tuck stuff behind "More Info" links, but for the quality readers, it's visible, etc.

I'm also a good content adapter - I can salvage an essay out of almost anything short of raw enztye-clone ads. So do like the Zen Masters sometimes did, when a poor/petty burglar tried to swipe a bit of silverware (aka nothing serious), the Zen Master would make a big show of inviting them in, having dinner, giving them the rest of the knife and spoon to go with the fork, and a scroll including instructions on where to sell the scroll to make enough to buy a loaf of bread. The whole production would be so over the top preposterious that the would-be thief would collapse in confusion, give back the stolen fork, and sometimes become a student.

So send them my way!  I have a shielded email system built especially for this kind of thing.

Edit: I just re-read the initial post: "...connect bloggers with advertising partners. I currently have clients that are interested in sponsoring a few posts." So from my interest in Free Speech vs Influences, I'd be interested to see whether they will accept a "hard line" from the blogger for veto rights, etc.
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tranglos
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 03:39:33 PM »

I don't see anything wrong with that email. You can't blame someone from maximizing their income in this tough economy and the email was at least polite and respectful.

If you had encountered a true 'turd' you wouldn't have received an email from them at all & instead they'd have a bot responding to every one of your blog posts with a thinly veiled sales pitch for their products.

I hate unsolicited advertising in my email as much as the next guy, but in this situation I think they took the high road.

I don't mind the spam (so much). I mind their business model. A "sponsored blog post" is a pack of bs thrown on unsuspecting readers.(*) If their business model is working - let's imagine that it is - that implies there are who knows how many "sponsored posts" out there, everywhere. This is not about unsolicited advertising. This is about advertising that tries to sneak in into your head without you seeing it for what it is. Exactly the kind of thing that would get anyone kicked out of DC before they could click Submit.

(*) I know, I know... And Eóin is right too. But there have to be places like here where you can leave your cynicism at the door, otherwise why bother? These people are stomping out what soul and integrity is left out there.

No, this does not surprise me, nor was I born this morning. I still hate it, because it kills the single most important thing we have as people: the ability to trust another one of us. And I know what I'm talking about - in all studies, my country consistently ranks near the very bottom in "social trust" or "interpersonal trust" indicators.

We don't trust our neighbors, our shopkeepers, our police, our doctors, our local and central governments, our bureaucrats (and they've all done plenty to deserve it). We don't trust our laws, and the only thing we barely (barely!) trust is the institutions of the European Union, because we don't believe they are quite as corrupt as we think ours are.

The point is, living in a place like this can be really distressing and sad. And fatal if your life or well-being ever happens to depend on a stranger throwing you this one little lifeline, like maybe give you a ride or call for an ambulance. This total absence of trust is the longest lasting, most destructive legacy of (what passed for) communism, and all the earlier turbulence of history.

When I read about how the people of Iceland got together, kicked out their government, kicked out the banksters and sat down and wrote their own new constitution from scratch, I thin of them as angels from a fairy tale. That takes trust in the folks around you.

Innuendo: do you trust the reviews you read on DC? If you do, does that have any value to you? I do, and it does. The people who take it away from me by deception deserve worse then calling them a bad name.

/rant!
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tranglos
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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 03:46:01 PM »

So give them to me!

Thanks, Tao, I will keep that in mind! I'm not into playing games like this myself, but I'd be happy to watch from the sidelines.

(No link at hand, but there was a story once about how someone actually got money from a Nigerian scammer. They essentially turned the tables: when the "Nigerians" started asking for money, their intended victim said yeah, sure, but I need (a token amount of US dollars) first to trust you're acting in good faith or some such. Maybe they did the PayPal thing - send me 2 USD from your account so that I know you exist. That was fun, but in the end doesn't change the fact that the Nigerian scam is still running high.)
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tranglos
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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2012, 03:51:35 PM »

Why the !@#$% is it so easy to be evil?

I refer you to two quotes:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

"Power without responsibility — the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages."

I buy the argument about law doing more harm than good in this case - but only partly. Commercial speech is not free speech. You can't sell me tap water in an opaque bottle and say it's premium whiskey. That's not free speech.

Other than that, I agree. I've been known to quote the Voltaire to exhaustion :-)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 04:08:33 PM by tranglos » Logged

tranglos
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 03:57:31 PM »

Oh, one more thing.

You can't blame someone from maximizing their income in this tough economy

Please tell me you are trolling me! This is exactly what spammers used to say. The original spammers, back in the day. "Can't blame us for trying to make a living, we're entrepreneurs just like you!" They were laughed out of court on many occasions, but more importantly, of course I can blame them  for their grossly unethical business model. All analogies are brittle and all that, but this is very much like running a garbage disposal company where you take people's money and dump their garbage in a local river. Customers are happy (garbage gone cheaply), you are happy (money coming in), and everybody suffers.

Come on, I can't believe you were serious there.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 04:05:10 PM by tranglos » Logged

vlastimil
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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 04:48:19 PM »

I believe the best you can do when you receive similar emails is to hit the Report spam button if your email service has one. Being angry about it is a waste of energy. If you reply to the email, you'll spend much more time than the spammer did filling your email address and domain name into an email template.

Once I did reply to an email, where a person was asking if they may add my web to their directory of web services. Of course it was an attempt to get a link from me. I was in a playful mood and replied and had an amusing conversation (I like playing dumb) but in the end it was just a waste of energy.

Yes, the internet of full of low quality content, be it sponsored blog posts, fake product reviews or link farms disguised as resource directories. They fill a niche in the internet ecosystem. Something has to fill it.
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tranglos
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 04:53:46 PM »

Yes, the internet of full of low quality content, be it sponsored blog posts, fake product reviews or link farms disguised as resource directories. They fill a niche in the internet ecosystem. Something has to fill it.

That's a mellow way of looking at it :-) You are right, life is too short. OTOH, yelling and screaming can be quite healthy too :-)
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 05:49:05 PM »

You should read Greg's (dogsondrugs.com) response to the same email...

http://dogsondrugs.com/20...06/the-week-in-review-25/

 Thmbsup
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 09:27:54 PM »

So give them to me!

Thanks, Tao, I will keep that in mind! I'm not into playing games like this myself, but I'd be happy to watch from the sidelines.

(No link at hand, but there was a story once about how someone actually got money from a Nigerian scammer. They essentially turned the tables: when the "Nigerians" started asking for money, their intended victim said yeah, sure, but I need (a token amount of US dollars) first to trust you're acting in good faith or some such. Maybe they did the PayPal thing - send me 2 USD from your account so that I know you exist. That was fun, but in the end doesn't change the fact that the Nigerian scam is still running high.)


No link at hand either but watch out for bad headlines, last I heard here it was still the Aussie Car buyers who got stiffed, only the money didn't get flipped to the Nigerians. Still trouble.

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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2012, 09:34:28 PM »

Since I wasn't clear send such things to me at Music655536@Yahoo.com

Just put a really smart subject so I know to rescue it if Yahoo auto-spams it.
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2012, 10:36:16 PM »

Come on, I can't believe you were serious there.

Maybe I've lived behind Ad Muncher and other layers of spam/ad/poo removal that I'm out of touch with what goes on when the internet is unfiltered? I often hear about epic-scale virus/malware/worm/trojan months after they've happened as nothing reaches me behind my layered defenses.

I was serious, but maybe my view from my digital ivory tower is skewed. smiley
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2012, 01:18:09 AM »

I refer you to two quotes:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

"Power without responsibility — the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages."

Basically, to restrict the ability to be an asshat on the internet, you'd have to give bigger asshats more power

I think that was rather well put Thmbsup
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tranglos
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2012, 04:08:21 AM »

I think that was rather well put Thmbsup

And I agree, but there are limits to where these arguments apply. Not everything is speech (hence free), and not everything is protected.

I lived through the early Spam Wars, it was issue #1 or very close to it for a long time. Just to give an example, you can't put your slogan (commercial or not) on the wall of my house without my permission. That's not speech, it's trespass. (And I even believe it is sometimes justified, as when the speech is politically motivated graffiti in an environment where you have no other venue to publish your speech. But never when it is simply commercial.) You can't hit me in the head and say you're only expressing your views, either. This is only to illustrate that the mere invocation of free speech does not always apply, and believe me, it's been tried and done to death.

If a doctor recommends a therapy to you as the best, while in fact he's only recommending it because he gets the nicest kickback for doing so, that's not free speech either. You can't advertise sugar as a cure for cancer. Etc.

In the case of "sponsored blog posts", the deception is similar. I'm not really interested in how legal or illegal that might be wherever you or I live. It is unethical to the max and it makes the world significantly worse for all of us. A healthy dose of hate for these guys is entirely warranted.
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wraith808
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2012, 12:10:58 PM »

In the case of "sponsored blog posts", the deception is similar. I'm not really interested in how legal or illegal that might be wherever you or I live. It is unethical to the max and it makes the world significantly worse for all of us. A healthy dose of hate for these guys is entirely warranted.

Oh... I wasn't referring to the blog posts.  I was referring to the idea that someone would actually sponsor a blog for posts with limited audience.  If you just started the blog, you don't have an audience yet... so this whole e-mail is actually a scam in all likelihood IMO.
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