I’ve had one of those hours that makes my normally calm demeanor disappear – in fact my blood’s close to boiling point tonight. Warning – this could get ugly….
It happened as a result of three online interactions in quick succession:
1. Pyramid Scheme Advertising – I was IM’d by a person who was pitching me to advertise on his pixel advertising site. The system was one where I was ‘guaranteed’ traffic to my site after a $75 ‘investment’ – for life. I could also make back my money! Sounds too good to be true – and in my mind it is. The system is a pyramid scheme that gives incentive to those who advertise to click on the ads in the system. The person could not see why I wouldn’t want this type of traffic at ProBlogger (ie people who were being paid to surf here). I explained that firstly I didn’t want that type of reader and that secondly the ad programs that I use (like AdSense and Chitika) don’t allowed their publishers to engage in finding traffic through paid to surf programs.
Ironically the last time I chatted with this person on IM they were complaining of being kicked out of Chitika for no reason – even though they admitted to using traffic generators on their sites.
The IM conversation lasted close to half an hour with neither of us making any ground (ie he didn’t convince me to join his pyramid scheme and I didn’t convince him that his system seemed completely dodgy – we agreed to disagree and left it at that).
2. PR Comment Spam - Next I decided to check my inbox before heading to bed. There I found two comments left on different blogs from someone asking me to consider writing on their new technology product. The two comments were identical and outlined the benefits and features of the product. On neither post were the comments relevant to the topic.
What made me angrier was that on the weekend just gone by (Saturday – a day I try to stay away from things online) I had received a phone-call from this company who had found my number on my blog. The call did not go well. For starters the line was terrible (it sounded like he was calling from a bad voip connection or something), secondly within two seconds of me answering the phone the guy launched into a product sales pitch and then asked me to blog about it. I had never heard of him, his company or his product before and couldn’t see how it related to the topic of this Blog. There was a tenuous connection but despite me saying on a number of occasions that I didn’t think it fit the focus of ProBlogger he began to argue the case further.
Today’s comment spam on two different blogs was from the same guy with the same pitch. He also sent a comment through my contact form on one of those blogs.
Being pitched ideas for stories from strangers via comment spam and ‘phone spam’ is not the way to go about building your reputation in the blogosphere.
3. Splogs - The very next item in my inbox was from a reader asking me to recommend a good script to help him get automated posts up on his blog. The reason? It would allow him to concentrate more energy on other aspects of his blog like advertising it…. I’m not going talk any more about this one – but on top of the other two contacts to be asked to recommend a script that sounded like it would be used for creating splog content didn’t leave me feeling my normal happy, calm and self.
Ok – perhaps this is just me, maybe I’m just having a bad day (although I wasn’t aware of it until an hour ago) but the last hour highlights to me that some people just don’t get it on a number of levels including ethics – basic business sense and understanding some of the basics of blogging culture.
I’m willing to give people the benefit of the doubt when they’re just starting out and do attempt to respond to people with grace and understanding when approached in all of the above ways (none are isolated incidents). But somedays it all does get to me a bit as it makes me realize that while I spend a fair bit of time here at PB attempting to write about developing new media strategies that have standards similar to my own that really in the wider community there is such a diversity of opinions, practices and ideas on standards.
I’m unsure what the ‘solution’ is – but for now MY solution is bed and hopefully to wake up in a slightly calmer state.
PS: as is normal when I get a bit worked up – just writing it helps. So hear ends the public group therapy session! :-)