The Three Habits of Extremely Entitled Marketeers

This week over at Simple Justice, Scott Greenfield had an exchange that reveals the three most prominent characteristics of modern internet marketeers: entitlement, dishonesty, and recklessness with client reputations.

Our story begins, as modern marketing stories often do, with ill-considered spam.

Someone named Hemant sent an email to Scott praising Scott's blog and proposing a guest post on behalf of Florida attorney Jeffrey Luhrsen:

We recently published an article titled “Why Does Anyone Drive Drunk? ” that fits perfectly with the rest of the content in the law niche on your blog. Any chance you’d publish it if you think it speaks to your audience?

This was a Very Bad Idea. Scott is part of a group of lawbloggers — including me, Mark Bennett, and Eric Turkewitz — who are frequent critics of sleazy legal marketing techniques. He's ridiculed guest post spamming before.

Scott responded to Hemant like . . . well, like Scott:

Why no, Hemant, I’m not interested in publishing such garbage at all, but I will enjoy publishing your email and ridiculing your client by name for being a marketing whore who has hired an asshole like you to disgrace him on the internet.

Well done.

I would have gone with something about ponies, but de gustibus etc.

This would have been a minor story, but Hemant's boss doubled down. Marketeer David Faltz responded to Scott in foolish anger. Mr. Faltz made it clear that — though his company had written Scott on the pretense that Scott has an awesome blog — Mr. Faltz actually thinks Scott's blog sucks:

I would just like to say how inappropriate I think this response is. First off, our writers and writing is [sic] some of the best on the web, and outreach is part of expanding your audience, and building relationships. The normal course of a well oiled internet marketing plan, which your firm could benefit from to be quite honest. [sic]

Have you read any of the useless fodder disguised as blogs on your site? The are defined as headline chasers and are not unique or a viable source of information for anyone. Google penalizes sites for this nonsense. You have no resource high authority sites, and the couple of links you do have are commercial terms to your own site. This strategy is 4 years ago at best, and was never a solid strategy to begin with. Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.

So before you send nasty and insulting e-mails to my team or anyone looking to build a relationship with you, you must first look in the mirror. By looking at your back-link profile full of commercial anchors and barely any branded terms, and a marginal looking and functioning site at best, it looks to me like your the asshole who is disgracing the internet. There are so many issues with your on-page and off-page work, that you are obviously paying money monthly for, that I can not even begin to list the issues.

Well done!!!!

Mr. Faltz proceeded to engage in an ill-considered internet fight on Twitter and in Scott's comments.

This episode demonstrates the three most prominent qualities of modern marketeers: entitlement, dishonesty, and recklessness with client reputations.

Entitlement

Mr. Faltz displays classic marketeer entitlement — the belief that marketeers are entitled to use other people's web sites to promote their clients, and the belief that they are entitled to respect even when their conduct is inherently disrespectful to the people they are spamming.

People like Mr. Faltz promote shitty "guest posts" — insipid drivel that adds nothing to any substantive discussion but only serves as an effort to game search engine results. This, in turn, promotes the idea that clients should choose lawyers by search engine results, which in fact is a terrible way to choose a lawyer and irresponsible to promote. Mr. Faltz and the lawyers who use his tactics are making the legal profession measurably worse.

But Mr. Faltz and marketeers like him feel entitled to pester people like Scott and me, and feel entitled to our respectful treatment, as if they had behaved in a civilized manner in the first place. Hence you get you get comments like this from Mr. Faltz:

I just think there is a common courtesy to the process. I came to the defense of my team cause you were rude, and obviously very bitter and unhappy person. I would do it again, even in light of this result. I am not dignify calling you names every time you decided to lash out and show your immaturity.

Mr. Faltz thinks it is not rude to spam Scott with a solicitation asking Scott to post garbage for the SEO benefit of Mr. Faltz' clients. Mr. Faltz actually thinks that's not insulting. But Mr. Faltz thinks it is rude to respond to a spammer with a blunt assessment of what they are asking for.  Mr. Faltz thinks his disreputable behavior is entitled to respectful treatment.

This entitlement is familiar if you've read what we write about marketeers and spammers:

In short, marketeers feel entitled to our attention and respect. They aren't.

Dishonesty

The next attribute of modern marketeers is dishonesty about what they do. Marketeers craft spam emails suggesting that someone has reviewed your site and determined it's suitable for their guest post. They haven't. That's dishonest. When called on it, marketeers tend to double down and deny they are spammers. Instead, they describe spamming as outreach:

I am glad I could have oblige, and how I am the asshole? All we did was outreach to your firm in hopes of building a relationship, and you send back an inappropriate response.

Called out on this, marketeers dishonestly evade. So when I ask this in Scott's comments:

David:

You say you seek to build relationships. Are relationships based on lying?

“Hemant” says “I found your website through Google and was impressed by what you’ve built here – I find your voice authentic and your content crisp and insightful.”

But you say Scott’s website is just awful.

Was your company lying then, or is it lying now?

Was Hemant — acting on your behalf — lying? Did Hemant — or someone affiliated with your business — actually review Scott’s web site and form those opinions of it? Or is that standard language you put in every email you send out? In other words, is it spamming puffery? If the lawbloggers responding to you ask around and locate every email your team has sent out, will we find that you say that to everyone?

Is that how you “build relationships,” David?

. . . . Mr. Faltz responds with evasions:

The outreach email could, and should have been better. I concur with that. We could do a better job of making sure it was more personal. Duly noted. The goal is to build relationships with quality writing though, even if you do not agree.

There's also the typical implicit blaming of the "team":

My answer is that I am not aware of every site my team reaches out to based on the parameters set forth.

Note how Mr. Faltz avoids addressing the core issue: that his business is spamming lawbloggers without (1) taking the time to target appropriate blogs, or (2) taking the time to craft individualized messages. Ultimately, he falsely denies that he's a spammer:

@Popehat @ScottGreenfield We are not spammers. There are no links from commercial anchors in any of our blogs. All high authority sources.

Does that dishonest and evasive response sound familiar? It should. It's how marketeers react when called out on spam. Four years ago we called out an SEO spammer who appeared in the comments to defend himself and bob and weave. After berating me for mentioning his name — which he used prominently in his spam email to me — he claimed that his spam was not spam:

We do not operate on SPAM of any sort.

But soon came the hemming and hawing and team-blaming:

Im sure i would like this website if i got the chance to review it myself. My point is this tho. We do send out an links that do not always refer to the EXACT content we are looking for.

Patrick, I understand the annoyance of SPAM, and apologize for our marketing department sending out this email to this site. It was completely off-base.

The common thread is this: marketeers, even when confronted, like to pretend that they're doing something other than spamming. That's dishonest. Marketeers are sending form emails to blogs they haven't reviewed. That's spamming, no matter what type of marketeering bullshit they use to describe it.

Recklessness With Client Reputations

The third feature of modern internet marketeers — and the one that ties the rest together — is recklessness with client reputations.

David Faltz' company used the name of his client, Jeffrey Luhrsen, in poorly drafted spam — spam that he sent to an undifferentiated audience he did not understand. Scott's post — which now appears in Luhrsen's search results — was the natural and probable result. When Scott sent an angry response, David Faltz sent an angry and entitled reply that dramatically increased the newsworthiness and drama of Scott's post, and hence the prominence of a negative reference to Faltz's client. Faced with that post, Faltz doubled down, engaging in feckless bickering on Twitter and in Scott's comments.

That did not help Jeffrey Luhrsen's internet reputation. It very predictably hurt it.

This is increasingly common. Marketeers name their clients in their spam, heedless that they are dropping their clients names in spam to bloggers who hate spam and who will name and shame their client. Marketeers, if asked by bloggers who are rather clearly fishing for information, eagerly give up their clients' names.

This is what lawbloggers mean when we say — to paraphrase Ericwhen you outsource your marketing, you outsource your reputation and your ethics. When you hire, and fail adequately to supervise, marketeers, you court train wrecks like this. You invite the marketeers to spam strangers who may go out of their way to shame you. You promote marketeer entitlement and dishonesty.

Stop hiring marketeers.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

Comments

  1. Cunning Pam says

    Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.

    Quelle horreur!

  2. Twirrim says

    I googled Jeffry Luhrsen. The first two entries are links to his website. The third, however, is an interesting news article about how he was suspended for 30 days for using advertising that was linking his personal law firm to MADD:
    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110226/ARTICLE/110229627

    There are a few links to articles around that story on the first few pages, alongside some fluff articles around him signing a book deal.

    As you dive deeper down the results rabbit hole you find other interesting articles that appear to be about him, like: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2009/06/01/story3.html?page=all

    He's really got a think about pursuing damages in Drunk Driving cases (I'm guessing that's easy money?), apparently even to the point of going to hospitals and speaking to the injured parties whist they're still recovering.

    I imagine he's contracting with these marketing firms to try to bury those articles. I know if I was doing some research on a lawyer and started finding such suspicious behaviour I'd certainly think twice about using them.

  3. says

    I am amused that Ken's two enemies are

    (a) anyone who tries to stifle freedom of speech, and
    (b) blog marketers

    It's as if Superman traveled from Krypton to Earth to
    (a) save 9 billion people from planetary destruction
    (b) fix typos in a small suburban paper in NJ

    That's not to say I don't love both; I do. I just find the juxtaposition funny.

  4. Jim Tyre says

    All high authority sources.

    Ken, I'm too stupid of a lawyer to know what that means. Please explain.

    (Some people have friends in high places. Me, I just get high in friends' places. — Bozo Rebebo)

  5. I was Anonymous says

    Poe's Law just came into effect. I have no idea if "David"'s post directly above is a spambot, clever parody of a spammer, or a legit post.

  6. Steven H. says

    "it looks to me like your the asshole who is disgracing the internet"

    No, YOUR the asshole!

    You're.

    It's kind of pathetic when a marketer (who presumably is trained in communications and stuff) can't spell "you're"/"your"/"yore" correctly…

  7. Jack says

    @Clark
    Hey, the Asbury Park Press has quite the reputation – I don't think they would appreciate your comment!

    I agree it's pretty funny reading lawblogs with pages full of first amendment violations, police misconduct, and people like Prenda and Carreon with a few sporadic ponies and marketeers mixed in.

  8. Ben says

    So, the fundamental supposition is that googling a lawyer is a harmful for the end consumer of your service, right? What manner of integration into modern information technology would you find superior? Perhaps Google would hire you to help develop it. GoogleLaw. GoogLaw. Or go witg Microsoft: BING! When you're busted.

  9. Jed Sutherland says

    When you call someone on their bullshit (as in K’s post above), it’s a predictable reaction to have the bullshit-et attack and then pseudo-apologize after pushback. It’s a common reaction when you take someone to task when they utter platitudes or are just plain lying.

    “We do our best to provide great service.”
    “Evidently you’re incompetent to do so as I’ve been holding for 20 minutes.”

    With marketing and PR types, there seems to be a nudge-wink assumption that they know they’re full of crap and you know they’re full of crap, but no one is supposed to talk about it. To do so is outrageous and unprofessional. It’s like running with the ball in your hands during a soccer game.

  10. SharonA says

    It's been amusing watching the wiki-spammers for legal services create pages over at the Prenda-Wiki.

    Posting misleading ads for a law firm – on a wiki that is featuring misbehaving attorneys – is sort of the ultimate proof these guys don't bother vetting things. It's up there with sending guest post spam to Popehat. Most of the pages are legal jumblelaya that makes no sense in English much less in legalese.

    I've been sorely tempted to forward the drivel to some of the firms advertised and ask them if they knew they were being associated with this garbage? But I figure they've probably got the marketing firm controlling their inbox, too, because they are scared of The Internet and know nothing about it. That's the only reason for picking those "marketeers".

    In quotes because IMO they don't market. They destroy reputations and create ill-will.

    nuf ranting, back to work here.

  11. TM says

    So I read Mr. Faltz's reply, and I see that the reply is composed of English words. Those words also appear to be formed into roughly correct English grammar, that is to say correct subject verb object order. That said, I'm not actually sure that most of the reply is actual English. Sure I understand the individual words, but their use in these particular combinations don't quite parse into anything readily understandable beyond a superficial meaning. This does not give me hope that their guest posts are any good. As a distributor of unsolicited advice, I recommend the popehat team not engage Mr. Faltz or his business, they might harm your reputation. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an urgent email from a long lost relative who apparently moved to Nigeria.

  12. En Passant says

    Ken wrote:

    This episode demonstrates the three most prominent qualities of modern marketeers: entitlement, dishonesty, and recklessness with client reputations.

    Which demonstrates that they follow The Rules of Spam.

  13. Christenson says

    @cunning Pam:

    Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.

    The horrible follow-on to this is that engaged readers lead to more readers and links…half of the stuff on popehat ends up on ars technica and techdirt! Umm, wasn't that what the google page rank algorithm was supposed to measure anyway?

    @Clark: The typos in small New Jersey papers are the circuses to go with the bread! (or if you like, matthew 25 — as you do unto the least of these, you do unto me, that is god)

    @Ken: Can you determine if an on-line fight between you and Paul Hansmeier's marketer would improve or detract from his reputation, as measured by search engine results? (disgustibus non disputandum est…)

  14. Carl 'SAI' Mitchell says

    @Ken
    Mr. White,
    Having reviewed the content of your website I feel I could contribute an excellent guest post. I am a small-scale maker of the finest paracord whips.* I would write a post on the proper use of whips, focusing on the techniques used to frighten ponies and other vile creatures of equine descent. My whips have many excellent features for warding off the pony menace, including a solid wood stock (perfect for beating away the equine hordes, and waterproof materials, to allow use against the evil seahorses.
    Sincerely,
    Carl 'SAI' Mitchell

    Seriously, marketeers are sub-sentient mistakes of genetics who's creators should have thrown the petri dish into the autoclave instead of releasing their putrescence upon the world.

    *For anyone wondering, I really do make whips. I am the author of what may be the most extensive free whipmaking tutorial in existence, at http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-a-Paracord-Whip/. They're very loud, and perfect for fending off herds of ponies. I don't have time to make you a whip, even if you pay me. Make your own, that's why I made the tutorial.

  15. Anglave says

    The thing that disturbs me the most is the Marketeer's underlying assumption that all communication exists for marketing purposes. Their perception of the world is that it's all a stream of bullshit, but we have this tacit agreement not to mention it.

    Thus their assumption that this site, Scott's site, every site would be interested in "building a relationship" to implement a "well oiled marketing plan". Everyone is, right? I mean, that's the purpose of words.

    The concept of a blog as a forum for the expression of opinion or discussion of ideas – any sort of genuine communication with the audience – doesn't even fit within their paradigm. No wonder they're confused when you call them out.

  16. Suedeo says

    If there's a condiment that %Powerful_Person00001 does not want on their sandwich then, by God, you had better not place it on their sandwich.

  17. jb says

    I am amused that Ken's two enemies are

    (a) anyone who tries to stifle freedom of speech, and
    (b) blog marketers

    It's as if Superman traveled from Krypton to Earth to
    (a) save 9 billion people from planetary destruction
    (b) fix typos in a small suburban paper in NJ

    That's not to say I don't love both; I do. I just find the juxtaposition funny.

    Clark,
    Your analogy is more apt than you know (unless you meant it).
    Clark Kent was a reporter, after all, and Metropolis is supposedly in Delaware, so he probably got his start as an intern in a smaller regional newspaper, possibly in a larger neighboring state…

  18. Joe Pullen says

    Have you read any of the useless fodder disguised as blogs on your site? The are defined as headline chasers and are not unique or a viable source of information for anyone. Google penalizes sites for this nonsense.

    Actually I think Google will end up penalizing him for this nonsense. Also 10+ to Mr. Faltz for going the extra mile and insulting other lawyers blogs that Scott links to as a sure fire way to "win friends and influence people" cause er marketing you know.

  19. says

    Anglave at 4:56pm: "The thing that disturbs me the most is the Marketeer's underlying assumption that all communication exists for marketing purposes."

    Precisely why –

    1. I do not have a telephone. No cell phone, no landline, nada. Too many telemarketers.

    2. I do not read email. Too much spam. My email reader auto-dumps my inbox every time I close it. People who need to contact me know where I hang out online.

    3. I do not read 90%+ of what hits my mailbox. I check the mail once a week, extract my expected utility & car insurance bills, and everything else goes directly into the trash. Unread, unlooked at.

    4. I have pop-up and pop-under blockers installed in my web browser. I do not click on ads. I blackhole sites with auto-start audio/video.

    And if I ever hear of a fire at (major firm) Telemarketing across town, I will drive over there… and cheer for the fire.

  20. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says

    Everyone else already made all the good comments, but I want to thank you, Carl 'SAI' Mitchell, for your link to the paracord whips (which I promptly reposted at dropzone.com–paracord whips are not just for ponies).

  21. Dion starfire says

    I've got to call Ken on his hyperbole. This sort of marketing actually isn't spam. It's merely junk email.

    The fact that you're able to reach the author without having to dig into email headers and do reverse-dns and whois lookups is a key indicator it's probably not spam (if it is, it's from very, very stupid spammers).

    Unlike spammers, these marketeers at least have a vague idea who you are, are asking before they use you for advertising.

    In terms of evil, they're just a port-a-potty, not the open sewer you're calling them.

    edit: oh yeah, isn't there actually a legal definition for spam? I seem to recall reading some pretty clear guidelines in the CAN-SPAM act a while back.

  22. David C says

    @Dion starfire: It's spam. They send out bulk unsolicited email, and that's all that's required. (For the common definition. No comment on the legal one.)

  23. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says

    "Spam" had a definition long before the gubmint came along and meddled with it.

    We who remember Canter and Siegel know spam when we see it. It doesn't matter that the law currently allows bottom feeders to send unsolicited junk if they comply with specific rules–it's still spam.

  24. AlphaCentauri says

    CAN-SPAM was created to define a safe harbor for marketers in the US, not to stop spammers. You're safe from prosecution under US law if you follow the rules, but most spammers don't follow any rules anyway.

  25. AlphaCentauri says

    I am amused that Ken's two enemies are

    (a) anyone who tries to stifle freedom of speech, and
    (b) blog marketers

    Actually there's a lot of connection. It's abuses by spammers and telemarketers that lead people to not read their emails, not allow anonymous blog comments, not answer their land lines, etc. It used to be possible to strike up relationships around the globe with people with similar interests just by sending them emails about their web pages. Now your email would be lost in the spam.

    And spam blocking has done more to stifle communication from PRC than the Chinese government ever could.

  26. soRob says

    I've gotta completely disagree with Dion sf on this; this guy's behavior is pretty much identical to any of a number of spammers who showed up in the anti-spam usenet groups in the old days. I'd be more inclined to suggest just calling them spammers, but it's Ken's call to name them as he likes.

  27. says

    @jb and @R: I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that since a) Clark's screen name is "Clark" and b) Clark's avatar is a picture of Christopher Reeves as Clark Kent, that Clark probably does know that Superman worked at a newspaper.

  28. Lagaya1 says

    @ Laura – I think R is asking if Superman worked on a newspaper, not if Clark Kent did… unless you're trying to suggest that Superman IS Clark Kent? That's just crazy!

  29. apauld says

    According to David Faltz's LinkedIn page he started this company in September. September 2013. I can't wait to see how much he screws up in his second quarter of being running his business.

    And his remark that 'Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.' is just awful; and paints SEO people as horrible people, though maybe they are…..

  30. Anony Mouse says

    He's really got a think about pursuing damages in Drunk Driving cases (I'm guessing that's easy money?), apparently even to the point of going to hospitals and speaking to the injured parties whist they're still recovering.

    Wait… you can use "ambulance-chaser" literally? I thought it was only figurative. Dang.

  31. NI says

    Do you ever accept guest posts? If not, maybe making a simple statement somewhere on your Web site to that effect might result in fewer emails from people trying to get you to run guest posts.

  32. TM says

    @NI
    You're presuming that they read the sites in question before spamming. This does not appear to be an assumption supported by the evidence. And that of course ignores the hubris of going up to someone unsolicited and asking if you can use their living room for your own personal gain.

  33. Dan Weber says

    I'm weird but i'm annoyed by them using "SPAM" in all-caps. SPAM in all-caps is how Hormel refers to their meat(-like?) product. Hormel, bless their hearts, have had to deal with their product name also becoming the name of a scourge of the Internet. Let them have their all caps mark.

  34. says

    Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.

    This is perhaps the most telling statement in the entire post. The aptly-named Mr. Faltz, for he has more than California, seems incapable of comprehending that people blog because they wish to write about things that matter to them ( in my case, it's usually whatever new spell or magic item crawls into my brain), not because they want a "google rank". He has nothing to say to anyone, no ideas to share, no passions, no thoughts, no actual self or identity, and so, he projects onto all others his own innate vapidity. This makes sense to me. He is in a profession that produces nothing, created nothing, does no useful labor. He is not even in the business of describing a product's virtues (even if fraudulently), so that consumers might choose to select it from other competing products. His entire means of earning a living is based on playing games with algorithms. The sleaziest Madison Avenue adman at least attempts to distinguish one basically identical product from another; the internet marketer, on the other hand, is only interested in rearranging the order in which names are returned by a query, and offers nothing to inform or entertain the consumer or add value to the product being offered by the client.

  35. JonasB says

    This is something I've been wondering for a while: what's the difference between the guest posts rejected/ridiculed for Popehat and, say, the guest posts done at Volokh by people who are promoting a new book or whatnot?

  36. ZarroTsu says

    It sounds like, if marketeers are as baffled as they seem to be about spam, they assume spam is 'repeatedly firing the same email to one individual' as opposed to 'several individuals'.

    "It isn't spam! I only sent the Viagra ad to one email account each!"

  37. WhangoTango says

    Civil society is important. That's why I'm a tremendously horrible asshole to people who have minorly inconvenienced me. I think it's important that they receive a reply that is in direct proportion to the imposition on my life of having to click the "delete" button.

  38. says

    @WangoTango:

    Civil society is important. That's why I'm a tremendously horrible asshole to people who have minorly inconvenienced me. I think it's important that they receive a reply that is in direct proportion to the imposition on my life of having to click the "delete" button.

    This argument — which I've heard before — depends upon treating each spam as if it is a one-time act by one spammer to one recipient. In fact, (1) each spammer sends spam to hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of recipients, depending on the spam, and (2) each spammer is deliberately participating in a culture that results in each recipient being flooded with spam, as part of a vermin marketeer culture that costs society maybe $20 billion per year.

    Plus, the spammer is in effect saying "I think you are a shallow jackass who will post garbage on your site for the benefit of my client." Which is a deliberate act of rudeness.

    Fuck spammers.

  39. NI says

    TM, and Ken, I draw a distinction between someone selling a commercial product, which is what I think of when I think spammers, versus someone who thinks, "I like to write, and this blog looks like the kind of place that publishes the kind of stuff I like to write, so maybe I'll drop the proprietor an email and see if he's interested." Maybe that's too fine a distinction, but in the case of the latter, there really is no way to know if the proprietor will be interested without contacting him, unless the blog contains a clear statement that guest posts won't be considered. If you really and truly aren't interested in guest posts, ever, then saying so won't guarantee that you'll never hear from writer wannabes, but it will at least cut down on some of it. And eliminate any mitigation for people who ignore it and email you anyway.

  40. says

    @NI:

    TM, and Ken, I draw a distinction between someone selling a commercial product, which is what I think of when I think spammers, versus someone who thinks, "I like to write, and this blog looks like the kind of place that publishes the kind of stuff I like to write, so maybe I'll drop the proprietor an email and see if he's interested." Maybe that's too fine a distinction, but in the case of the latter, there really is no way to know if the proprietor will be interested without contacting him, unless the blog contains a clear statement that guest posts won't be considered. If you really and truly aren't interested in guest posts, ever, then saying so won't guarantee that you'll never hear from writer wannabes, but it will at least cut down on some of it. And eliminate any mitigation for people who ignore it and email you anyway.

    We're not talking about people who want to write or like to write. We're talking about marketeers who push insipid fluff that is designed to use keywords to increase their clients' SEO position or "get their name out." The writing is not the purpose and not the product. The links are the purpose and the product. Are there very very occasionally actual writers trying to get something of theirs carried? Maybe. I've seen perhaps one in a hundred that might — might — be one of those.

  41. luagha says

    Ahem. Metropolis has moved a few times but I have best heard it explained as:

    "Metropolis is New York by day. Gotham is New York by night."

  42. Christenson says

    @JonasB:
    Those doing guest posts at Volokh Conspiracy are in the 1% with something interesting to say, the ones who actually read the web sites they want to post on….

  43. Ron Larson says

    These guys come the school of telemarketers who feel entitled to use your phone service, that you pay for, to sell you.

    Seriously. If you ever read some of the BS the telemarketing industry spouts to government every time laws to rein then in are being debated you will want to vomit. Everything from it it their god given right to call you, that customers WANT their calls, and that they are stealing good jobs from hard working Americans (who would presumably have to turn to crime).

    It drives me crazy with rage when I hear these idiots spouting this BS. But you can't help but feel that they honestly feel that people pay for communication services just so they can talk to you.

  44. soRob says

    …the imposition on my life of having to click the "delete" button.

    Ah yeah, the JHD fallacy. I’ve never seen that argument used by anyone who isn’t a spammer.

  45. zilong555 says

    The problem with doing a post like this one is that you can't tell the difference between the comments that are satirical responses and the spammer canaries that need to be deleted.

  46. Stephen Perdue says

    Hey, speaking of Mr. Pus-Crust:

    You might be asking why I'm not naming names. It's for specific legal and strategic reasons. Stay tuned.

    Did anything ever come of that?

  47. markm says

    @JonasB:The difference between the guest posts rejected/ridiculed for Popehat and, the guest posts done at Volokh by people who are promoting a new book or whatnot is that the Volokh guest posts are written by people who actually have something to say besides "this product is awesome".

    Someone promoting a book is someone who has a reasonable expectation of being paid for writing by his willing _readers_. A marketer is not paid by his audience. A spammer is a marketer who does it so badly as to need to seek an _unwilling_ audience.

  48. says

    I'm late to the party, as usual, but I can't resist responding to what appears to be a redefining of spam in some comments above.

    Unsolicited commercial email == spam

    That's it. Doesn't matter if it's sent out by the millions or singly; doesn't matter if the sender is obscured or hard to track down; if it's unsolicited and commercial, it's spam.

    First time I ordered from a start-up called Amazon, I got spam for 3 months. (They don't do that now).
    Office Depot has spammed me for years — I dared to order a printer ribbon online, back when dot matrix printers were the norm. Their autobot never forgets. Neither does my spam filter.
    I get spam from "luxury car" dealers in my area because I foolishly ordered a service manual online from mbusa.com. The junker fell apart years ago but the spam keeps coming. I see it in the trash, nestled amongst the penile enhancer products.

    Low-life spammers feel entitled to suck bandwidth and server space paid for by you. Low-life spammers very often have famous trademarks.

  49. Alan Bleiweiss says

    Ken

    Please join me in working to change the dynamic.

    It's not spam.

    It's a scam.

    Every law firm site I audit is rife with marketeer driven "guest post" links that are nothing but craptastic shill content. Of course for me, someone who audits sites in all industries, I see it everywhere.

    Somehow though, lawyers seem to be quite susceptible to the marketeer scams. And that boggles my mind. At some point, I pray one of my law firm clients decides to sue their marketeer for fraud. I'd love to testify on their behalf.

  50. AlphaCentauri says

    Every law firm site I audit is rife with marketeer driven "guest post" links that are nothing but craptastic shill content. Of course for me, someone who audits sites in all industries, I see it everywhere.

    Weird, I thought it was just a function of this blog having a lot of visitors and therefore being attractive to marketers. I didn't realize that less popular law blogs were also desirable.

    I just maintain a few sites for community groups. I've never had anyone want to post a guest blog entry, just lots of offers to "exchange links," and a couple emails from the folks at Wife Swap looking for families who want to waste their 15 minutes of fame being exploited.

  51. The Man in the Mask says

    Here are some old but choice words of wisdom on this topic:

    "All children should be aptitude-tested at an early age and, if their
    main or only aptitude is for marketing, drowned."

    — David Canzi, in news.admin.net-abuse.email, 2001-03-21

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