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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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Archive: Really Annoying

Stealing Landing Pages is a Crappy Thing to Do

Ok, I took down my previous post because I was incredibly pissed off when I wrote it.  The guy who grabbed my LP is just a noob, and noobs make mistakes.  That being said, I guess I’ll get off his back about it.

You know what I found the most disappointing about that whole thing though?  It wasn’t the theft of my landing page, it was the people who leapt in to justify it.

“Everybody steals landing pages.”

It’s just 1s and 0s, right?  Victimless crime, right?  Well, what about the people who make their living off of web page design?  They’re losing business.

“It’s ok because he’s a newbie.  He doesn’t have money to spend on landing pages.”

You know what?  I’m new at this too.  The guy who stole my LP actually spent more on his campaign than I did.  Why is it that he deserves a free LP when I had to pay for mine?

“It’s just part of the business.”

That’s incredibly disheartening, and it really destroys any incentive for me to try to be original.  Why put forth any effort to be creative/unique?  Just find what works and steal it.

Oh well

That campaign is over, so I guess there’s no point in worrying about it.  It’s a shame though:  Three more leads and I would have gotten my first $1,000+ check.

BIG F’N EDIT: My affiliate manager contacted me and let me know that I had 3 uncredited leads, which were just added.  In other words, last month I made over $1,000 with Advaliant.  First $1k+ month ever.

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Would Somebody Please Just Write a Mac Virus?

I have nothing against Macs, but I can’t stand their fan club.

You know what I’m talking about. The snobbish elitism. The contemptuous glares. That smug, self righteous attitude. For some reason, Mac users seem to think that they’re part of some secret club of elite super users. What’s worse is that they don’t seem to actually know much about their favorite OS. 90% of them never use the CLI, much less realize that OSX is just BSD with a shiny wrapper. They love to boast about how their ’superior’ operating system doesn’t need virus/spyware protection, but they really don’t seem to understand why. Here, I’ll help:

Short version: Nobody cares.

Long version: Why would anybody take the time to find an exploit in the Mac OS, and then write a virus for it? Mac users comprise such a tiny percentage of the desktop market share that there’s really no point in wasting your time.

You guys know why most viruses are created, right? Server infiltration. Backdoors, botnets, etc. Windows Server OSs are such nice targets because they’re so easy to setup that very few people actually take the time to secure them properly. Speaking of servers, let me tell you a joke that we have at my workplace. It’s just two words: “Mac Server”. Don’t understand? It’s funny because nobody uses the Mac OS for web servers, or nearly any kind of server for that matter (although Apple makes decent RAID arrays). Are you starting to understand? Mac is secure because it’s just not important. *cue the fanboys*

Here, let me explain the three primary OSs, and which one is right for you.

*nix

Unix, Linux, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, Debian, Solaris, there are hundreds of distros. Linux is great for servers because it’s open source, meaning that bugs are quickly caught and corrected. The downside is that some people find it difficult to setup and manage, and the command line interface takes some getting used to.

We don’t care about servers though, right? Let’s talk about Linux as a desktop OS. Ubuntu is the most popular, due to it’s ease of installation and PR campaign. If all you need a computer for is Internet, email, and word processing, Ubuntu is the right OS for you. It’s easy to setup, and as long as you stay out of the shell, hard to break. It’s free to use, and it comes pre-loaded with pretty much everything your basic computer user needs.

What about power users though? Linux is great for programmers and developers. If you know what you’re doing, you can make Linux do nearly anything you want.

I only recommend Linux for absolute beginners and pros. If you’re somewhere in the middle, chances are you’ll break something.

Mac

Mac OSX is fine if you don’t mind paying $2,000 for a computer. I recommend it to rich people and morons. Why morons? Because it’s hard to break. As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t get infected with Windows viruses and spyware. You know what though? Those viruses and spyware are usually brought into the system by the user (moron) opening email attachments, downloading toolbars, and pretty much sucking at the Internet. If you like expensive shiny things and don’t have a shred of common sense, go with Mac.

(I will admit that Macs are great for graphic design, but that’s a very small percentage of overall users)

Windows

I bought a new computer last summer. I was torn between a Dell Inspiron desktop and an iMac. On one hand, the iMac would do practically everything I needed, but on the other hand, the Dell was half as expensive and had twice the hardware power. Looking back, I’m not sure why I had such a hard time deciding.

Windows is the middle ground between Mac and Linux. You have a lot more options in terms of hardware and software with Windows compared to Mac, at the cost of actually having to use your brain when deciding whether or not to click on a flashing banner online. Sure, IE sucks, but that’s what Firefox is for. Most importantly though, is that you can play games on Windows. Sure, Mac has a decent library, but Windows has 10x as many titles available. Hooray games.

Let me summarize that for you

Mac is for:

  • Artists
  • Rich people
  • Morons

Linux is for:

  • Coders
  • Power users
  • Poor people with old hardware

Windows is for:

  • Gamers
  • Businesses
  • Average users

Feel free to make use of the ‘hate mail’ option on my contact form.

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You Can’t Get Rich if You’re A Tone-Deaf Indie Myspace Band

About a block from where I work, there’s a coffee shop that makes the best quesadillas in town. I go down there two or three times a week to grab dinner. Unfortunately, it seems like every time I walk in, there’s some horrible local emo-pop band in there hell-bent on wrecking my eardrums. They always have overpriced Cafepress shirts, they always have flyers advertising their Myspace page, and they always suck.

Thanks digital distribution

The one that was playing last night even tried to charge me $2 to get in. I told him to piss off and that I was there for the food, not the band (tech support puts me in a bad mood). I ended up having to use a combination of sign language, writing, and pointing at the menu to communicate with the barista, since the band was so loud. After I placed my order, I had a good ten minutes to witness a terrible assault on my senses and enumerate their many issues. If you’re a part of, or have ever wanted to make your own band, pay attention:

The venue is everything

The coffee shop I was in is about the size and shape of a shoebox. Shoeboxes don’t have good acoustics (only slightly better than a two-dimensional shape). The band, of course, compensated for this by turning up the volume to glass-shatteringly high levels.

The singer is probably holding you back

I have to admit that the drummer, guitarist, and bassist were all pretty good. The vocalist, on the other hand, was too loud, off beat, and tone deaf. Ruined the whole experience.

Make sure your equipment is working before going live

Apparently there were two guitarists, but one was having technical issues. For three songs.

Don’t send mixed signals

You have depressing, emo clothes and haircuts. Your backdrop is black. Your hair has been dyed black. Your logo is a skull (on a black background). Why are you dancing around like monkeys and singing about how life is great and you’ll never give up?

Don’t quit your day job

If you’re performing in a coffee shop to 13 people, you’re probably not very good.  Fire your singer and stay in school.

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Comment Kahuna is an EXCELLENT Spamming Tool

I know the makers of Comment Kahuna probably created their tool with pure intentions, but unfortunately for them, it makes it so easy to spam your links all over the place. It also happens to be free to download and use, so if you’re partial to the darker side of SEO, you may want to give it a look.

Yes, I know it’s been around for months, but I hadn’t given it a try until today. Cry about it.

What it is

Comment Kahuna is a neat little program that goes out and finds blogs that don’t use the nofollow tag in their comments. Without the nofollow tag in place, comments you leave on blogs count as backlinks (assuming you include your URL). Anyway, you plug in a keyword, specify what platforms to search on (Wordpress, livejournal, etc), and it comes back with a nice list of blogs ranked from highest pagerank to lowest. You then select which blogs you want to leave comments on and Comment Kahuna queues them up for you to spam read.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it also lets you pre-populate the comment fields (name, URL, email address) and has a nice little area where you can copy and paste your comment. There’s no way this thing could be used for evil, right?

Giving it a try

If you can’t get backlinks honestly, go out and steal them. I’ve been trying to optimize one of my new websites, and so far the going has been slow. I’ve never tried blackhat stuff before, so I figured a few dozen PR5+ links from old, unused blogs wouldn’t hurt anybody. I fired up Comment Kahuna and went to work.

First of all, I noticed that it’s fairly useless for Livejournal. Secondly, I noticed that the free Wordpress service has close to no spam control. Several dozen high-PR backlinks later, I was pretty happy.

Then it stopped working

I don’t know what happened. The program crashes when I run it now. I’ve uninstalled/reinstalled it four times and I still get the same error. I’m a little disappointed. Maybe it’s a Vista thing.

Ruling

If you’re looking to do some small-time spamming, Comment Kahuna is your friend. Since it’s free, I can’t think of any reason you wouldn’t want to give it a try (other than ethics).

One more thing

While I’m on the subject of shady SEO, here’s another tactic I’m trying: Referrer Bombing. Nickycakes has written a couple of decent articles on the subject, and it’s pretty easy to implement so I’m giving it a try.

How to implement (short version):

  1. Download the Stumbleupon toolbar.
  2. Download Refcontrol.
  3. Download AutoIT.
  4. Write script for AutoIT to click your left mouse button once every three seconds five thousand times (it’s like five lines of code, go read their help documentation. If you have absolutely no familiarity with coding, send me a message).
  5. Use Refcontrol to set your referrer to whatever site you’re trying to promote.
  6. Run script, put mouse cursor over Stumble button.
  7. Go to bed.

Doing this will put your site’s URL in the logs of every site you visit, and some of those logs are indexed by Google. This technique is not bullet proof. If whatever site you stumble upon resizes your browser, or you run into a site with an expired certificate, the whole thing grinds to a halt (this can be corrected with a more complex script). Also, if your girlfriend happens to sit down at your computer when it’s set to click once every three seconds, she will become very confused. Still, it’s something to try.

EDIT:  Comment Kahuna is suddenly working again.  Definitely an OS issue.

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Would YOU Do Business With Clickbooth?

There’s nothing quite as emasculating as knowing that your freedom of speech comes with a price tag in this country.

Ok, so here’s what happened yesterday: I got a friendly little email from the fine folks at Clickbooth suggesting that I take down my post about them or face a possible lawsuit. On one hand, I’m flattered that they think my little site matters enough to be considered a threat, but on the other hand, I’m a poor college student who doesn’t have the money to hire a lawyer or the time to go to court. That being said, I took the post down.

I can honestly say that I haven’t been this frustrated in a long time. I know that they have absolutely no chance of winning a lawsuit against me, as all of what I wrote is protected under the first amendment, but at the same time I know that they can take advantage of the legal system to tie me up in court for months. They have the money to do that, and I don’t, so therefore they win. It’s infuriating to know that I have to back my words up with dollars in order to freely write them down.

That being said, I really liked what I had written for that post, and I feel that people need to know about Clickbooth’s (alleged) business practices, so I’m going to summarize right now why I will never do business with them:

  • They sent me a fairly threatening email, letting me know that others who have written things similar to what I wrote have been sued.
  • They’re suing Wickedfire.
  • Various members of Wickedfire have reported some (alleged) shady business practices.
  • Various members of Digital Point forums have reported some (alleged) shady business practices.
  • They seem to like threatening bloggers with lawsuits. In addition to myself, I know of at least one other blogger who has been threatened.

So there you go. I think you guys should know what kind of (alleged) activities this company takes part in, so hopefully you all can take this information and avoid a headache. Speaking of headaches, I’m going to try to avoid potentially sticky situations like this in the future by removing my personal liability from the picture. Can’t Get Rich LLC sounds pretty catchy, don’t you think?

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