Posts Tagged ‘spam’

Hotmail and fotoLibra

August 7th, 2014
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

This is getting beyond a joke.

Yesterday our web editor Jacqui Norman sent out a Picture Call to all our contributors. Nearly 50,000 photographers have signed up to fotoLibra since we started ten years ago. When people leave, we remove their names from our mailing list.

Yet Jacqui’s simple request for images to be purchased by a long-established and reputable British magazine, paying fair prices, has not reached 3,850 of our contributors because Hotmail has classed it as spam.

They are preventing us from communicating with members who have voluntarily signed up to fotoLibra’s services.

How can they do that?

They just can. Some Hotmail computer in Seattle noticed a small company in Britain was sending out 3,850 emails to Hotmail subscribers once a fortnight, and arbitrarily blocked it.

Nobeody read the emails. Nobody checked the content. Nobody asked the sender (that’s us) what on earth it thought it was doing, emailing nearly 4,000 Hotmail members. It just blocked us.

That’s harming its own subscribers more than it harms us, because it’s our Hotmail members who are deprived of submitting images to the Picture Call. People who use other email suppliers get to see the Picture Call, submit their images and will no doubt make sales.

But Hotmail subscribers won’t get that chance. That’s tough on them.

And exasperating for us.

 

 

 

 

SEO

April 3rd, 2012
Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

SEO, as you will know, stands for Search Engine Optimisation. We do it in-house, and we’re reasonably good at it. Of course, we could be a lot better.

But every hour we get emails from hopefuls who have stumbled across our URL and want to help us improve our rankings. Here’s one which was cooked up earlier:

Please forgive the direct approach. My name is Alan and I work as a Consultant in your market sector. I have been looking at your website today and would like a few minutes of your time to have an informal chat with you.

I really like the site, but you may be curious as to why the site isn’t ranking, and with that in mind I wondered if you would like a free SEO audit of the site looking at keyword density and a detailed analysis of the back link profile.

That should give you an excellent insight, and hopefully allow us to develop a plan for getting the site into some top positions.

The audit is FREE and with no obligation. So do please get in touch.

Kind Regards

Alan

At least it was polite. And it came from Britain. Were I to reply to him, this is what I’d like to say:

Hi Alan

Thanks for your email.

You are not a known consultant in our market sector.

You write: “I really like the site, but you may be curious as to why the site isn’t ranking,”

Well, it is ranking. And it’s ranking exponentially better than yours. Your site’s Alexa ranking is 22,713,269.

Ours is 52,212.

It works in reverse — the lower the number, the higher the ranking. So your site is virtually invisible to the outside world.

And you want to sell us your advice?

But I can’t be bothered. I’m too busy waiting for the fotoLibra RAID 5 array to rebuild and for our very high-ranking site to be fully functional again.

 

Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

We all have to live with spam, and if a blog or a site is widely read or visited, we have to accept that among its users there will be people who hold violently different opinions to the majority. Do we allow them their comments, or not?

Well we do, even when the one tired old fotoLibra Stalker, frothing over his keyboard, posts another gratuitous assault on the company he loves to hate. It’s his point of view, warped and twisted though it may be, so up it goes. If anyone is remotely interested, I’ll post the story of how many years ago a sad man flagellated himself into this state of apoplectic rage.

On the other hand, we will delete out-and-out spam and comments which have no relevance. Someone posted something like “Way – Hey! R E E E S P E E E C T!” on the BAPLA Shock Horror blog posting the other day, so as it added nothing to the debate I deleted it. Back came a resentful “So much for Open Access.” I deleted that too. If you posted those and you really want to contribute, why not say what you want to say instead of just shouting incoherently? It will be published.

I have to scan through all the spam that’s picked up by the excellent Akismet plug-in for WordPress, because something genuine might slip through. Sometimes they make me smile with their guile, but this one brought a tear to my eye:

Copywriting…
Very interesting post. On the other hand, good copywriters are very well considerated because they achieve very good results. For exemple, a good headline can make that much more people read your post.

The person can’t write English. Yet he’s offering copywriting services. Very … very … very; good … good … good — two words repeated 6 times in 33. Bad style, I’d say.

“Considerated”. Is this George W. Bush coming back to haunt us?

“For exemple”, for example.

“make that much more people”? Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I wouldn’t dream of going to Saudi Arabia and setting up as a Hafiz. What makes this guy go to the lengths of spamming something which proves he’s incompetent?

What hope! What confidence! To set up a spamming business offering something you so clearly cannot do! It’s like the fotoLibra Stalker deluding himself he’s a photographer.