Scrappy Sales

I found myself reading a blog entry about survival. The guy was detailing his military training. They drove him out to the woods and told him to live off the land, then make it back to camp in 48 hours. It sounded like a believable story due to the details. The funny thing about this was the atrocious spelling and grammar of the piece.

This same author was trying to sell his ebooks. I almost went ahead and purchased one. The thing had a free preview, providing you with a PDF of 10% of the book. I downloaded the preview and printed it out to read. I love reading on paper. The first thing that surprised me was the harsh copyright notice. There were all kinds of restrictions on what you could not do with the book. Perhaps this was just for the preview.

I read through the preview. A lot of it was fluff. There were a few memorable quotes. But here in the funny thing. This prose was written in perfect English. There was not a spelling or grammatical error in all the pages. Then I figured it out. This book was not written by the scrappy blogger. He was just selling the thing. That was the end of the sale for me. I liked the gritty blogger. The misspellings and grammar errors actually made him seem more real. If he does publish something he actually wrote, I might buy a copy even if it is in electronic format.

Internet Leeches

I was at work and needed to speak with my mortgage company. Luckily I had my loan account number with me. However I did not have my mortgage company's phone number. That should be an easy problem to solve. I googled them.

The search results were interesting. The first page was a secure log in for the mortgage company. The second result turned out to be the link I needed to get the phone number. However another search result in the top 10 caught my eye. They were a company that was not my mortgage company. However the had a page that was obviously trying to profit off my mortgage company.

Here is the scam. Their first technique was to put some Google AdSense on their home page. That in and of itself is not evil. However their also tried to sell my the phone number for my mortgage company. Can you believe that? Their pitch was that they get a lot of calls from people looking for my mortgage company. And they had researched what the company phone number was. For just $9.95 they would share the number with me. What kind of low life business is this? It was almost embarrassing to read.

Too Many Hoops

I read an interesting blog post on language translation. The author had ads enabled on their page. I decided to click on one of them. First I surveyed all the ads. One in particular stood out. It was a free reading on the numerology of your name. Good stuff. I clicked through.

The landing page asked me to enter my name. That sounded appropriate. Then it wanted my email address. Normally I guard my email carefully. So I put in one of my alternate email addresses. Then it asked for the name on my birth certificate. That seemed strange. So I put in a fake name to test it out. I pressed the submit button. Then I was told to check my email.

I hurried over to my email. It took a while to get the expected email. The contents of the email were disappointing. It told me to click a link to confirm. Ok. I already gave you my name, the name on my birth certificate, my birth date, and my email address. And you are still asking me to fart around and click some links? I don't think so. Don't make it hard for me to become a consumer of your product. You are going to lose me all too soon.