Entrepreneurs all around the globe are eagerly seeking that most elusive of
cyber-beasts: the profitable business model.
Well one local bright-spark, Karl Mottram, has implemented a website
that has some merit -- but then he's gone and totally screwed any potential
it might have by thumbing his nose at the very people he needs to make it a
success: the Internet community.
In short -- I believe we have another cowboy in our midst.
The site concerned is
hardly the cutting edge in web design or graphics (although the developer seems to
tout those skills --
along with the usual cowboy speciality:
Then there are the "sign of the cowboy" nonsensical claims such as "We are averaging over ONE
THOUSAND HITS A DAY!"
Hmm... let's see: the front page has 12 elements and we can assume that most
visitors probably click on the "Free Competitions" link (another 8 elements) then
on to the "Competitions" page (about 25 unique elements) -- that's 45 hits per
visitor or a whole 22 unique visitors per day!
Unfortunately such runaway success hasn't stopped the site from
begging for stamps
to help make ends meet.
An extremely worrying aspect of the site is the way that entering one of the
many trivial competitions running on the site opens you up to a potential
barrage of junk email -- after all, it clearly states:
"We retain and archive any emails received, and may send you follow-up
emails, including but not limited to "You Have Won" emails, notification
of new competitions and bonus prizes."
Now it has to be admitted that the idea of getting advertisers to donate prizes
as a lure to get people to come along and read their otherwise completely
ignorable ad-copy is not a bad one. The fact that you're able to build up
a list of email addresses that you can sell, trade or lease to anyone else
for any other purpose also adds significant value to the model.
However, this guy needs a boot up the backside for the way he's promoted the site.
First Mistake: -- he posted spam to local newsgroups no less
than ten times promoting the site and, therefore, the advertisers on it.
Second Mistake: -- when he was flamed -- for doing so, he chose
to incur the wrath of Alan Brown, a man not known for tolerating spammers,
idiots or buffoons.
Some of the spamming can be seen
here on Deja.com
and the spammer's response
Fortunately the site previously hosting the goon's site seem to be pretty
smart and gave him the boot -- leaving
It's a shame that what could have been a good idea has been scuttled by
the man with the six-shooters and spurs.
Send me your comments.
The health department has clamped down on the sale of the "dietary supplement"
one4b, riding the high horse of public safety as their justification.
Like most things these days, it was available in a different form
on the Web
(cunningly disguised as a CD-cleaning solution) but the TV news reports that
even this source has been shut down. (Note: there's some background info
on this substance on the Alphaware site
So let's see. It's a substance that creates a feeling of euphoria when taken
in moderation but which is capable of causing illness or even death if taken
I wish someone could explain to me exactly how it differs from alcohol -- a
substance which, as far as I can see, has exactly the same properties.
We're told that in recent weeks four people have now been admitted to hospital
suffering ill effects from this drug. I wonder how many people were admitted
to hospital suffering directly or indirectly from the effects of excessive alcohol
consumption during the same period? How many were killed on the roads by
Ah... but wait... could the only REAL difference be the lack of an excise
tax to keep the politicians' trough full?
Yes, it appears that the agencies of the government believe we're all too
stupid to be trusted with things that are dangerous -- unless (as in the case
of alcohol, tobacco, petrol, etc) we're prepared to show them that we're
actually smart enough to pay the stiff taxes associated with these products.
Lets face it -- drugs attract the young because they're both fun and risky--
but so are fishing, playing rugby or riding a motorcycle in heavy traffic --
yet these other activities are not forbidden by law are they -- even though
they put hundreds of people in hospital with severe, sometimes fatal injuries
Food for thought?
Note: my own involvement in recreational drugs is limited to a cold beer
on a hot afternoon but I hate being told I can't be trusted to make sensible
decisions by the people whose wages I pay with my taxes.
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