This topic has been eating at me for a while now. It is one of those issues however that cannot be discussed without at least touching on several other issues. Consequently I kept putting it off. This issue should concern anybody that uses the Internet. The Internet has become increasingly polluted with unethical marketing practices and get rich schemes and scams of every flavor. It is being stuffed to the gills with meaningless content & being filled with an endless supply of empty words & quotes taken out of context. Articles that have been re-worded and often just plain plagiarized. How-to-articles that offer nothing of value. Has it reached a point where people are starting to wonder whether the good still out-weighs the bad? Yes, for me it has. The alarm finally sounded for me this weekend. I was working on a project using a blog I have set-up for testing purposes. The project came about after reading an article in a marketing forum. This particular forum is dedicated to sharing “black hat marketing techniques”. Black hat marketing techniques for those that don’t know are marketing techniques that are, shall we say less than on-the up & up. (Some of this border on hacking). Anyway the programs (utilities, plug-in’s, widgets) being used for this marketing technique where not in & of themselves inappropriate. However just like the Internet itself is often miss-used these two utilities were also being miss-used. The two utilities where wp-o-matic & twitter poster. The first line of text in the wp-o-matic description says it this way: ”Wp-o-matic enables administrators to create posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds”. Administrators is the operative word in this statement. This plug-in is an extremely neat application. It allows you to easily insert a highlight or excerpt of a post from another blog or newsletter into your blog or newsletter. This is done automatically as per a schedule you have set. Done properly and used ethically it can add useful and timely information to your blog. This helps in keeping your blog current and relevant for your readers. A task that is often difficult for a one-man operation which is most of us. When used correctly it will complement your current writings and dove tail with the rest of your operation. It adds value to your blog. The Twitter poster plug-in does exactly what it sounds like it would. It generates a twit with a tinyurl (link) automatically every time a new post is published to your blog. It of course makes no distinction between your posts or someone else’s but the way the twit is posted with a tinyurl link it is clear as to where the twit came from. These additional twits can increase your traffic considerably which in turn will increase your ranking with the search engines. Is this cheating? Or smart business? Ultimately that’s your call but I call it the later. So…. What’s the problem? Well, like everything else it can and is being used in the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. In addition to that you have many instances where it’s intended use and reasons for use are OK but the execution is terrible. Almost all of these utilities share resources with other components of your blog at some point and they all use the same data base. Consequently if they are set-up wrong they can cause havoc for you, your blog, possibly your service provider and their customers as well. “The experts in their field” type of Internet Marketer providing this information to the wanna bees are usually as clueless as their readers as to what these “latest marketing techniques” actually do or how they do it. These people are not network administrators nor are they even remotely qualified to be. These people have No Business Blogging for Money!
The above mentioned article I was reading was explaining to its readers how to set-up a blog using these two plug-ins and a Google’s AdSense plug-in. The express purpose of this blog was to be a depository for these automated posts that were populated with Google’s AdSense Ads. This allows you (the owner of the blog) to cheat Google out of AdSense Ad dollars by placing ads in posts that no one is actually reading. The article concludes by stating that if you pick high value key-words this blog will net you and easy $5.00 a day.
This is not a lot of money by itself and hardly worth complaining about. The problem becomes a problem however when viewed in this manner: 1) it’s highly unethical. 2) I’m sure it’s a direct violation of Google’s AdSense terms. (I have never read their terms) 3) It gives the government one more reason to jump in & save us by imposing additional laws and restrictions on the Internet. 4) Setting this blog up is far more complicated than the article makes it sound. 5) The target market for these sleazy “get rich quick” & “easy money fast” schemes is the very group of people least likely to have the necessary smarts to set this stuff up. 6) As the economy spirals down the size of this group of unqualified people spirals up proportionally. 7) This one small problem I’m describing is taking place thousands of time a day across the entire Internet.
Unfortunately the majority of the people attempting to make money on the Internet today are NOT business people or network administrators. They have little or no technical abilities & even less experience or training. Most of them do not know the difference between writing a software script or writing some ad copy. Consequently they should not only NOT be polluting the Internet with their junk they certainly have NO BUSINESS trying to sell their expertise to naive & unsuspecting consumers. Many of them can’t even edit a simple form letter.
Perhaps they think the Internet has magical properties. Perhaps they just don’t think. Regardless of their reasons think about the number of times you have received a form letter or Email Promotion that reads like a your teenagers text message or an incomplete form letter? More than you’d care to admit or probably even know about since most of this crap is no doubt in your JUNK MAL FOLDER. (have you looked in there lately?) These folks are attempting to sell & teach other would-be Internet Marketers how to down-load & set-up software when they haven’t even mastered their spell checker yet. This is scary thought. Prehaps anyone dumb enough to KLICK HEAR deserves what they get. Unfortunately the damage is often spread far and wide.
The Internet is of course much larger than the sum of its parts. Yes it is a fantastic source of information, it’s a powerful communication tool, it’s a huge social network, it is also the largest market place the world has ever known. Put them all together and you have an immense neighborhood where we all have equal opportunities. You have the same chance of being successful in an Internet venture as anyone else does providing you’re putting forth an equal or greater than amount of effort. The Internet opens so many doors for so many people in so many markets that it has become the great equalizer. Yet here we are again. Ready to leap forward, prepared to reap the rewards. The average hardworking Joe or Jane finally has an equal chance of catching their dreams. But once again the same small segment of the population that has for the entire history of mankind screwed things up for others is at it again. Getting ahead by exploiting anything good is what they have always done. This time though they can spread their garbage much, much faster. The Internet will now transmit their scams and schemes to millions of victims hundreds of times faster than the best methods could have ever done prior to the Internet.
That’s the scary part. The reason for concern if you’re not already concerned. Internet use grows exponentially. The more people getting on-line the faster the numbers increase. The faster the numbers increase the more people get on-line. Unfortunately the number of bad people seems to out number the good people. So that bad segment grows bigger, faster and the good segment grows smaller, faster. I don’t have an answer for this by the way. I just wanted to share my concerns with anybody that’s interested.
Let me finish with a final example that should sum up what I’ve been writing about. This is the title of an article I read just a few days ago. Automated Blog Content Generators – Boost To Blog Marketing. This article was reasonably well written and no doubt useful to many people wanting to monetize their websites. However I couldn’t help but feel the author was giving his OK to build a blog for the express purpose of collecting advertising fees. This is a short excerpt from that article.
The Benefits of Automated Content Generators: The biggest advantage of automated blog content generators is that they provide relevant blog content quickly. In a short span of time, fresh and original blog content is created and posted on the blog. This improves the profile and ranking of the blog, which gives a proportionate lift to blog marketing and revenue dollars. Similar messages to this and many that are many times more blatant appear on the Internet every day. Regardless of how they are written they all have the same basic message that goes something like this: Matthew, We are writing just like we promised to update you on our latest product. We have just released a new plan that allows you to make a LOT OF MONEY FAST by building a plan for re-selling your plan on plan selling to other potential customers looking for a way to make money from the Internet. Now in addition to building a blog for the sole purpose of selling your plan to other potential plan sellers you also get the added benefit of being able to sell advertising spots on your blog to other companies that sell to this group of marketing plan sellers. Now assuming this ad is actually successful at selling something to someone at the end of the day what of anything of value have you actually done for anyone. Not a damn thing & that’s my point. This is what “Internet marketing” has become. Selling a whole lot nothing to millions. I am old school & I know that. But as badly as I need to create an income stream I need to produce something of value even more.
Please write or post your thoughts and comments.
Have Fun, be Good & Good luck.
Tagged with: Opinion
Filed under: Transportation
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