Thursday, June 29, 2006

Too funny

I had to share this with S'Cool.

As with many of you, in recent months I keep getting solicitations to provide my content to this, that or the other new syndicator of content to [fill in the blank]. I ignore most of these, mainly because I can't be bothered. Besides, I don't really see much in it for me.

A few days ago some guy sent a solicitation for some kind of service that provides content to mobile phones. Maybe other people have gotten the same email. I did click on the link he provided and it said the service is set up for Xanga, LiveJournal and Blogger. Since my blog is on Typepad I just send that mail to the trash.

He kept on emailing however prodding for a response, so I replied to him thus:

Hello,

Since the wizard says it is for Xanga, LiveJournal and Blogger users and I am none of those (my blog is on Typepad) I had just assumed it was a mass solicitation.

This is what he replied:

I apologize about that. I will contact you when we support Wordpress in the coming months.


I'm not holding my breath.



This Post was written by maki from Just Hungry.

19 comments:

Pamela said...

I received the same mail from that company but I too have a Wordpress blog so my site cannot be used

Sam said...

that guy has been driving everybody crazy with his unsolicited persistance. I was with 4 blgging girlfreinds last night and we were all remarking upon it. I replied politely no thanks the first time, then he wrote back and I politely replied no again. When he wrote a third time wondering why I hadn't replied yet, even though I had, at which point I had no qualms replying to him less politely and swiftly marking him as spam.

ilva said...

I have had three of those letters so I googled a little and came up with this:
http://badgerbag.typepad.com/badgerbag
/2006/06/scam_spam_from_.html

no thanks!

Alicat said...

yeah same here! He emailed me 3 times before I replied, "NO NO NO NO NO."

Then he went away. ;)

SusanV said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I kept meaning to ask here if anyone else had received these emails but hadn't got around to it. He emailed me twice, and I told him I'd look into it. Now I can just go ahead and send his replys to the spam folder.

L said...

Same here... including the same "you didn't respond to my last email" (which I had said thanks but no thanks).

Kalyn said...

Don't jump all over me for saying this, but I think you guys might be being a little hard on him. Yes, he was persistent with the e-mails, but the idea of capturing blog content in a pod sounded kind of interesting so I pursued it for a little. (Now I know some people don't care about making money from their blog, but I am not one of those people.) He walked me through the whole process of signing up, patiently answering all my questions about content ownership, can I cancel, etc. It was only when I realized that I would have to give them my Blogger user name and pass word for them to access my blog that I decided not to do it. At every point in the conversation, including after I decided to cancel he was completely courteous and professional with me. Ilva, regarding the link you gave, I see that as one person's opinion. I actually thought it was quite a novel idea, and their major target it not cell phone users as the link implied, but people who use a personal web service and sign up for your blog posts to update automatically on their own page. For that they pay a nominal fee, usually $.99 per month.

Anyway, that's my personal take on it. I agree he may have been a bit too persistent, but I think it's overstating it to brand it as a scam.

mrs d said...

Funny that he'd even pursue Wordpress blogs if his site doesn't yet support Wordpress. I've gotten four emails from him and ignored them all. Too grating for my taste. I've encountered less aggressive sales pitches at used car lots.

nika said...

Kalyn: hmmm. I appreciate your being open to him (and I have not gotten any of these emails) but what really sets off my alarms is this whole business of him/them having access to your blogger account.

That doesnt sound like a well developed business plan because any business proposition that requires that sort of access seems slap-dash. He/they should have a way to partner with blogger or set up some other interparty handling protocols that do not require you to share them jewels (even if your blogger account is free).

If one gives access (user id and password) then you are consenting to his/their activities and you dont know if you will end up mirroring illegal activities (porn, piracy, etc).. all they need to do is put some code in your template and it could then be part of a redirect distribution network.. and any number of other schemes I can not even imagine!

What worries me is what was linked to earlier re: "updates" being pushed out that results in fees to you and others.

Kalyn said...

I should have clarified that Blogger was the only hosting system where you had to give your user name and password. I don't understand why that is, but it was the case. He assured me that no human being could see the password (it would come up as stars when you type it), but I still didn't feel comfortable with it. I suggested they figure out a way to get the content from an RSS feed, and to be honest, if they did that I would probably sign up for it.

The "updates" (that's not the real name, but I can't remember what they were actually called) that were referred to in the link were something that you could clearly sign up for or opt out of on the parts of the site that I saw. I didn't see anything about charges to content providers. I did not get the feeling that any trickery was involved.

I do agree that their e-mail marketing is a bit agressive, but from everything I experienced I think it's a legitimate company.

Jennifer Maiser said...

As a database person, I can say that even if a password shows up as stars on your browser when you enter the password, it is often passed through to the database backend unprotected. Any tech person getting on to the database on the company's end would potentially be able to see your password.

Kalyn, I think you were right to stop where you did -- as others have said, they should have a workaround to that problem if they have a legitimate model.

Andrew said...

I've had these too - from the email I could tell they hadnt even looked at my blog - if they had they would have seen it was on MT so wouldnt work. I ignored it but did wonder why they didnt just use the rss feed.

Kalyn said...

Andrew, the blogger gets 33% of the subscription fees. They show the content exactly as it looks on your site (so they told me, I didn't get quite far enough to see it.) It doesn't just look like a feed would look.

Sam said...

Kalyn - I am usually a person who gives these people the benefit of the doubt but in Mr Horton's case, he lost his three lives pretty fast. Here is why:.

I replied to him thus: "unfortunately the terms of my US visa do not allow me to earn money outside of the company who sponsors it."


he responded thus:

"SMS.ac does not report your earnings to the IRS, so that would not be something to be concerned about."

I replied...

"Unless one is a law-abiding citizen with morals, of course. I am sorry, I just can't afford to take the risk"

He replied:
"I hope everything is going well for you. I have not heard back from you in regards to my first two emails"

I replied:
***unprintable, food blog scool is family blog***

Sam said...

now i think about it some more
-he is not reporting to the IRS - and he wants your login,
who knows what this guy is up to?
It's probably a total blog-stealing password-stealing scam.
who knows that he is telling the truth, huh?
sounds shady to me.

maki said...

I don't think it's an out and out scam; I tried googling for whatever pods and there actually do seem to be people developing them. But the way they are going about trying to get to good content providers is certainly not the right way. As ilva said it smells like a bad used car salesman, and needing access to usernames and such means their system is badly set up too. And his response to me sort of shows he's not really paying attention.

Hmm so what was the point of this.. I guess it's that we have to be careful about all these people wanting our content. Content is king!

McAuliflower said...

:laughing: this is what I get for not checking up on my food blog scool...

I too was scratching my head over this guy!

I was curious why they don't use rss feeds...
ok, not really that curious, but a little bemused at all of his *helpful* suggestions to me as a WordPress user to copy my content for them to use.

Pffft. ;)

mae said...

Oh, my! I was going to post this very thing here and here it is already.

Mr Chad Horton contacted me too and emailed him back to clarify a few things with me for which he offered to call me one weekend. I don't actually know if he did call because my phone went dead and i was out - i forgot that he/colleague were going to call me that day.

I left it a few weeks and out of curiosity, i wanted to find out about his company and the 10 minute wizard as he puts it to see if there was anything dodgy and that's when i found out that he didn't even notice that i'm using pixelpost which of course, is not on the list of compatible blogs[!]. To add insult, i also found out that they wanted [should i be a blogger user] my login and password!

Well, you know what i did next, don't you..? I clicked the x button on the top right corner of the browser and never looked back! There's no way i'll be giving out my login or password to any Tom, Dick or Harry.

kitchenmage said...

Having done a bunch of writing on security, I see another possible angle here. How many of you have a blog password that is the same as your other passwords -- or close enough that it would help someone figure them out? Places with money involved like your Cafe Press shop, Amazon, etc...?

Does your credit card data show at your blog site or any of those other sites? (if so, getting your password=getting your credit card)

My bet is that a fair percentage of folks use the same/similar passwords in a lot of places, thus getting one means getting many.

Or someone could do something illegal on your blog--threaten someone official, for example--you'd have a hard time explaining how it wasn't you. Your account, your password, your credit card, your click on the terms of service. The secret service isn't good at nuance.