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Last post Author Topic: The software awards scam  (Read 20576 times)

Josh

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2007, 04:41:08 PM »
Mouser, perhaps we should make DC awards that we can hand out to programs which are either the PICKS of our reviews or receive honorable mentions by our members. What do you think? I would love to see little "Donationcoder.com's Presents, Cody's Picks" icons floating around.

Darwin

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2007, 04:43:22 PM »
That's a great idea, Josh. The developer could then link to the review, minireview or thread. Nice.  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Josh

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2007, 04:44:09 PM »
Yes, great idea! This way we can validate our reasons for giving an award and even make a post about the award nomination in the aforementioned thread.

mouser

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2007, 04:45:52 PM »
Well we do have some older award image we give out for our big reviews: http://www.donationc....com/Reviews/Awards/

But i like the idea of a little cody image that authors can put on their website that would connect to a mini-review on the forum.. It wouldn't be a rating, but it would be a nice link.

Josh

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2007, 04:50:01 PM »
I say make it an actual award. We can have a forum for nominations and then users can vote and generate a rating (5 clucks, 4 clucks, etc) which will then be made into a custom rating icon for that site. I love this idea mousey. We should do it. Heck, I volunteer to head up management of assignment of these awards if you do decide to go for it.

Darwin

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2007, 04:58:10 PM »
I say make it an actual award. We can have a forum for nominations and then users can vote and generate a rating (5 clucks, 4 clucks, etc) which will then be made into a custom rating icon for that site. I love this idea mousey. We should do it. Heck, I volunteer to head up management of assignment of these awards if you do decide to go for it.

Or we could have Cody holding one throug five gold coins?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Josh

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2007, 05:02:07 PM »
Yes! I am loving this idea. Mousey, lets move on this!

mouser

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2007, 05:02:18 PM »
I'm wary of assigning scores to programs based on user votes -- i think it's too inviting of companies to game the system.

app103

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2007, 05:03:20 PM »
I think rather than an award with some kind of point value, just a nice Cody graphic with "Read the Review" on it.

Darwin

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2007, 05:08:38 PM »
I'm wary of assigning scores to programs based on user votes -- i think it's too inviting of companies to game the system.

Fair enough, though I was thinking about this more in terms of an award for apps featured in full-blown reviews. The mini-reviews and discussion forum awards could be dealt with as per app's suggestion (I like it!)  :Thmbsup: We could have a "Read the mini-review" and a "Read the discussion" graphic.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Grorgy

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2007, 05:17:44 PM »
I like mouser's and app's idea, I think the current debate on file managers demonstrates that what is great for one person just doesn't fit the needs of the next

Darwin

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2007, 08:35:13 PM »
Heh, heh, heh... I was so enthusiastic about my own idea for Cody holding gold coins (prompted by Josh's clucks idea) that I didn't actually pick up on the "middle bit" about having DC'er's vote on different apps. I'd have to say that I'm with mouser on that one - too much potential for unscrupulous types to vote to drive up the rating of their (or their company's) product.

My vision was and is this:

BIG, proper reviews/roundups (a la the text editor review or Zaine's Word processor review) - Cody and his coins
MiniReviews - a badge featuring Cody with the script "Read the mini-review"
Forum discussions (superboyac's notetaking thread, for example) - Cody featuring the script "Read the discussion"
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

mouser

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2007, 09:17:51 PM »
I like this idea.. it might be useful for authors who don't have their own full forums, they can point people to dc discussion of their program if they want to.

Josh

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2011, 06:43:18 PM »
They can't be all that bad! That was actually how I found donationcoder! I found a site that had a doco award, I believe it was AnalogX.com before their redesign, and that is how I found this wonderful....place ;)

Curt

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2011, 06:55:02 AM »
updated 13 December 2007:

The software awards scam (update)

23 awards.


Quote from: update
The article got a surprising amount of interest, including front page mentions on reddit, digg, slashdot and wordpress and a mention in the Guardian newspaper (they were too mean to give the URL of the article). There were also some entertaining reviews posted on download sites. The page has so far had over 150,000 hits, 263 comments and a Google page rank of 6. I hope this exposure will make a small contribution to ending this sordid little practice.

It has been quite instructive to be on the receiving end of the news, albeit in a small way. Much of the commentary was inaccurate. One ‘journalist’ from ZDNET Belgium/Holland even managed to get both my first name and last name wrong, which is quite a feat considering we had exchanged several emails. I don’t know how many other mistakes he made, because the rest of the article was in Dutch or Flemish. I wonder if the mainstream media is much better. Definitely don’t believe everything you read.

So, does anyone today think the article made "a contribution to ending this sordid little practice."?
Edited: Let me re-phrase my question:
Is the problem smaller, unchanged, or even bigger today?  :tellme:
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 07:00:22 AM by Curt »

Josh

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2011, 10:09:00 AM »
Why is this problem reminding me of the "badges" mouser awards so frequently ;-)

adi_barb

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2011, 01:27:14 AM »
as Josh said above "They can't be all that bad!"... let's just not exaggerate. I'm sure there are few software websites with serious team of editors behind, who really offer some wonderful and helpful things besides the process of giving awards. all of us know how hard is to promote an application we produce and being tested and reviewed is very useful in the marketing and promotion process. So, if someone could distinguish and create a list of serious and useful software directories for promoting our scripts and applications... that would be great. in fact I'm sure I can make this list because I got to know all of them when I submitted our "famous questions cms"

Curt

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2011, 01:59:04 AM »
Not exaggerating, but re-phrasing: "They can't all be that bad". No, they aren't. And that's what the initial article also said:

Quote
... submitting “awardmestars” to all 1033 sites on their database, ...

According to the report I received 2 weeks after submissions began “awardmestars” is now listed on 218 sites, pending on 394 sites and has been rejected by 421 sites. Approximately 7% of the sites that listed the software emailed me that it had won an award

The software awards scam (update): 23 awards.

So, what we're saying is, "at least 7% really is that bad".

Is this figure changing? For better or for worse?

Edited:
I think we all would love to read your list, adi_barb  :tellme:
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 02:02:55 AM by Curt »

adi_barb

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2011, 01:13:16 AM »
so, here's a list of software directories and my personal opinion about them :

1. Hotscripts.com

Very good and old web scripts and software repository site with a lot of paid promotional opportunities such as :

- being reviewed by one of their editors for $500 (example : http://www.hotscript...inout-search-engine/)
- promote your app in the subcategory or category listed for a price which differs from category to category (e.g php category is one of the most expensieve )
- other advertising options may be seen at : http://www.hotscript...m/pages/advertisers/
- you can get rated and gain a better exposure if you place their rating widgets on your web site or on the sites of your friends : http://www.hotscript...pages/getting-rated/


2. Download.Cnet.com

- download.com offers a variety of paid services to address your business needs. visit this url to see all of them : https://upload.cnet....2706-21_5-973-4.html
- I created a ticket to ask for a review and I didn't receive an answer from their support. I was curious about their rates. I also visited this page created on August 9 2009 : http://forums.cnet.c...2549_102-352970.html and visited that software page which asked to be reviewed and there's no review there : http://download.cnet...=forums06;msg3096241. Maybe the software didn't qualify or it was too expensive.


3. Softpedia.com

- definitely worth it being listed on this website. they review very useful software free of cost but I'm not sure how big is their queue of software to be reviewed and I also don't know how big is their team to handle them. You don't want your version 1.01 to be reviewed when you're ready to launch version 6.0 :)
- they award many software with these awards : http://www.softpedia.com/awards/ (they also used to have 100% Safe and Secure Award by Softpedia which is not listed on this page)
- developers can also advertise their product(s) : http://www.softpedia.com/advertise/


4. Brothersoft.com

They write software reviews and they also have a wide area of promotion opportunitied such as PPD - pay per download, featured listings and nice giveaway website at brothergiveaway for a better promotion of your software.


5. Soft32.com

- a very old website but it seems they write 1 or 2 reviews per month... so I bet you'd be number 1 000 000 000 in the queue (reviews page http://www.soft32.com/sl/64-1-5-0-1.html  :) )

6. Download.FamousWhy.com

- they (I mean "we" :) ) are a small team of people who try to write reviews, articles, tutorials, polls, frequently asked questions and we also take interviews to software publishers we consider as being famous (I already posted about what we do here : http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=23440.0).

examples :

- publisher profile page : http://download.famo...publisher/fineprint/
- software listing page with review : http://download.famouswhy.com/fineprint/
- article about Fineprint: http://articles.famo...anding_application_/
- polls: http://www.famouswhy...nload/fineprint.html
- questions: http://ask.famouswhy...Print_questions.html
- interviews:
http://download.famo...er/wot_services_ltd/
http://download.famo...com/publisher/iobit/

7. Filecluster.com

- this is a good website to submit your software to and they also write reviews (http://www.filecluster.com/reviews/) to the most useful software.

there are many others but I think these are more than enough for software submissions and reviews. if you know more it would be great if you could mention it(them) here to make the list bigger.

worstje

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2011, 01:21:05 AM »
3. Softpedia.com

- definitely worth it being listed on this website. they review very useful software free of cost but I'm not sure how big is their queue of software to be reviewed and I also don't know how big is their team to handle them. You don't want your version 1.01 to be reviewed when you're ready to launch version 6.0 :)
- they award many software with these awards : http://www.softpedia.com/awards/ (they also used to have 100% Safe and Secure Award by Softpedia which is not listed on this page)
- developers can also advertise their product(s) : http://www.softpedia.com/advertise/

My experience with them is limited to JottiQ, which got reviewed in less than 2 weeks after its release without me needing to prod them or anything of the sort. (Then again, JottiQ did get a lot of attention thanks to NANY.) Process Tamer also got reviewed a few days later, so I kinda have the feeling a/the person doing the reviews stuck around on DonationCoder for a while, and thus that a lot of those reviews are individually driven (reviewer-wise) as opposed to requesting from some sort of backlog.

app103

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2011, 08:22:23 PM »
3. Softpedia.com

- definitely worth it being listed on this website. they review very useful software free of cost but I'm not sure how big is their queue of software to be reviewed and I also don't know how big is their team to handle them. You don't want your version 1.01 to be reviewed when you're ready to launch version 6.0 :)
- they award many software with these awards : http://www.softpedia.com/awards/ (they also used to have 100% Safe and Secure Award by Softpedia which is not listed on this page)
- developers can also advertise their product(s) : http://www.softpedia.com/advertise/

Softpedia engages in content and bandwidth theft and will list your software with botched descriptions, without your knowledge or consent. This is especially true with applications in which the developer has not made or submitted a PAD file. I have had to contact them numerous times to have stuff of mine removed from their site (stuff I would never submit to any download site). They do remove it, but a few months later they put it right back with an equally bad description.

While they usually make their own screenshots, there are occasions where they will steal images right off the developer's site, mostly with non-gui apps they are not sure how to make screenshots of. Sometimes the images they steal are not the best representation of the application and make no sense when taken out of context. (they stole a screenshot off my site of the Windows shortcut properties box from instructions for how to set command line parameters for a shortcut and set that as my application's screenshot.)

Unless you have shareware or some way to force users to visit your site after they download an application, there is no benefit to having your freeware/donationware listed on any of the download sites.

In fact, it can backfire on you and cause trust issues with your users when they google your app's name and get hit with a million sites to download your app from, and most of them getting bad ratings from security software because they are also hosting listings of spyware and malware. Less savvy users are inclined to believe all the software on the site is bad and that your app is also bad.

They also steal your traffic, making money off your users with the ads on their site. If you have ads on your site and this is the only money you are making from your software, you won't be making the money...the download site will.  They never send visitors to your site...they hotlink your downloads instead. You work hard, you pay for the hosting and bandwidth of your site and its files, and they reap the benefits of it, not you.

I don't have PAD files for my software any more, and this is precisely the reasons why. I have also contemplated aggressively going after download sites that hotlink my files without my consent.

I don't mind bloggers writing real reviews of my software and linking to my site's pages. I mind leeches that steal from me and think I exist solely to line their pockets with cash.

Bamse

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #46 on: January 18, 2011, 03:45:21 AM »
And they will take advantage of practically hidden use of affiliate deals via Buy buttons. I am sure most sites will have a note about their share of the cake, hosting/pimping in exchange for $$$, but rarely transparent and clear to users with plastic cards ready. Sites are shady as any other site not being upfront about such arrangements. Nothing wrong about affiliate deals, sharing is caring after all ;)

I don't think Softpedia is any worse than others though. I find them all crappy but especially dislike those who pretend to do "handpicking based on real testing" and/or focusing on "safety" with icons and all. That is BS.

Sites like Bitsdujour also have loads of crap but user should know what the deal is. They are in bed with products for better and worse, whole site is focused on that. You know what you get, you are in a shop. Much less clear when racing around on Softpedia, Cnet etc.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 03:58:51 AM by Bamse »

mahesh2k

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2011, 04:22:15 AM »
Quote
Nothing wrong about affiliate deals, sharing is caring after all
With more customers opting for free software, adware and hidden affiliate deals is the only way developer can sometimes pay bandwidth bills. But atleast developers should not opt for the way softpedia is doing, they're simply stealing the software to host on their servers by giving awards.

Renegade

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2011, 07:13:30 AM »
A lot of this sounds to me like people getting all upset about heroin addicts and attributing all the problems to them, but ignoring the heroin dealers and kingpins.

This is the kinds of stuff that I mean:

Screenshot - 2011-01-18 , 11_42_07 PM.pngThe software awards scam

CNET and SourceForge are just as guilty.

There is an ad that's been apparently pulled, but it was ONLY a big download graphic exactly like a download button with NOTHING else. It was green -- maybe some people saw it. It was blatantly trying to mislead people. It had NO other purpose.

There is a massive lack of integrity/honesty on the Internet. It's pervasive, and overwhelming. And much of the problem I would directly attribute to advertising in one way or another. It is advertising that enables splogs and crap. Advertising motivates content theft and the like. Arbitrage happens ALL the time, and Google is complicit in it, e.g. Ebay, Amazon, etc. I've never liked ads on my own sites, though I do advertise.

I don't take as critical a stance as many here towards download sites. They serve me well, so I have no problems with them. I make more money because of them. Not complaining. PAD -- love it. Great stuff. But, I know what they are and what their purpose is. I've no illusions about what they are or do.

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app103

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Re: The software awards scam
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2011, 07:56:19 PM »

I don't take as critical a stance as many here towards download sites. They serve me well, so I have no problems with them. I make more money because of them. Not complaining. PAD -- love it. Great stuff. But, I know what they are and what their purpose is. I've no illusions about what they are or do.



I am sure the applications you have PAD files for that are making you money as the result of being made available through the download sites is shareware and not freeware.

My software site is such low traffic, I can't even give away advertising slots for free, yet the download sites are getting a lot more traffic for my software than I do, when you count the total number of downloads they are getting from hotlinking my files. I am sure their ad slots don't have a "advertise here for $0" like mine do.