#3. Rant Aloud: Ranting to steal traffic legally is a great way you should go if you desperately need traffic to your blog site. Here, you go to where the sites you need are. All you need to do here is to rant…
Let’s face it – blatant link whoring is a vile practice, probably as old as spam itself (and it is, in effect, little more than spam). Many of us, at one time or another, have experienced spikes in blood pressure from repeat infringements by its more shameless abusers.
Link whoring reached web ubiquity with the advent of pay-per-page-view “citizen journalism” portals such as Examiner.com – which are a two-edged sword. Yes, they do play a crucial role in the landscape of what is loosely termed new media – they do disseminate information of high value that may not be available via conventional media, but more often than not, they also disseminate emotion driven opinion pieces, seed new urban mythology, peddle new age mumbo-jumbo, conspiracy theory and even tread into borderline hate politics.
The business model for these kinds of portals is that there is zero retainer for the writers – remuneration is based strictly on number of page views. No views, no pay. Dead simple. There is no obligation for the management to promote the work of their budding journalists – it’s sink or swim. Nor is there any management accountability for the resulting published content. Perfect little Libertarian microcosms.
And the result is what most folks are now all too familiar with, and probably sick to the gills of. Every piece of free online whitespace – discussion forums, article comment sections, ‘tardbook, Twitter etc. – is now constantly peppered with items that offer a few lines of pseudo-relevant nothingness appended with something along the lines of “I have far more to say about this here [link]”…
These are the link whores plying their trade. Using other people’s web real estate, gratis, as their own private billboards to try and syphon legitimate user traffic back to their own sites – and perhaps earn a few coppers in the process. Do often, do everywhere. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s a sordid little world, not all that far up from penis enlargement spammers on the overall internet slimebag scale.
To put it bluntly, this kind of behaviour is tantamount to theft. It is arriving uninvited into a site catering for a regular community of users and then attempting to steal the site user traffic by redirecting it elsewhere. It is akin to sitting down for a meal at your favourite restaurant and, as you are midway through your appetizers, being interrupted by waiters from the restaurant across the street offering you their menu. It’s just not on – it is raw, unsolicited boorishness1. And theft… So it should not surprise anyone that, quite often, the reaction to this kind of behaviour will result in the target site’s administrators, moderators and users irritation, if not outright hostility.
This hostility tends to be proportional to a site’s overall traffic flow and size of user base – the larger these are, the more tolerance to link whoring will approach zero. There are two factors involved –
- The larger these factors are, the greater the potential benefit (or size of the stolen loot) is to the link whore. And link whores not only steal traffic, they also drain the site’s genuine revenue streams. The attitude is that if the link whores want to advertise, then fine – so long as they damn well pay the same going rate as regular advertisers do.
- The larger these factors are, the more overworked and cranky the site moderators will be. The last thing they want to have to be dealing with are hit and run link whores (aka spammer/thieves).
This should all be a no brainer to anyone that has been interacting with or managing dynamic, user driven sites for any degree of time. It shouldn’t even need to be expressly stated – it is both pragmatic in a business sense and basic online etiquette. If you are a guest at another’s house, behave as you would expect them to at yours.
Link whoring is a damaging nuisance that falls outside the realms of any debate about censorship or speech – it is not “value add” content, quite the reverse. It is parasitic in nature. It depletes the host without replacing what is taken. And the bottom line boils down to this – high profile dynamic content websites cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the practice. If they do, they are only inviting a flood of similar opportunistic parasites to capitalise on easy-to-steal user traffic, risk diluting the value of their own content and risk alienating the user base that is critical to the site’s health and longevity. Users, once alienated, are virtually impossible to lure back.
As anyone that has observed Benson, or any of the other foot stomping and hyperventilating toddlers at freefromthoughtblogs / Skepchick, for any length of time will know only too well, simple things like rules, etiquette, ethics, acceptable behaviour and minimum standards of evidence don’t apply – all of that pesky stuff is just for the commoners who have to eat cake when there’s no bread.
The Dawkins article was on imposed audience gender segregation at a recent debate featuring Lawrence Krauss and some unnamed Muslim spokesman at University College, London. That such idiocy can now exist in a country that can lay claim to founding much of modern western civilisation (and not to mention Suffragettes) is beyond simply appalling – it also shows how far down the toilet the Euro-humanists have dragged us with their demands for “tolerance” and shrieks of islamophobia!!! at anyone that dares to criticise anything islamic. But this is not a debate I want to get into here – this is all about Ophie, because everything is always about Ophie… The Pruney One chose to jump into this article with both boots on –
You can almost feel Ophies indignation that some uppity pipsqueak moderator had the gall to do s/h/its job and suppress information from such a preeminent intellectual as herself. Information probably beyond s/h/its abilities to grasp…
Undaunted, she tries a second time. That effort is deleted without so much as a note. I guess Ophie assumed it was probably a forum error… Nevermind, she tries a third time. *Poof* it vanishes into the void again…
But, where there’s a will there’s a way… Ophie by this stage has probably fired off a furious complaint email to RDF management and then tries a fourth time –
Ophie is simply amazing. The sheer inertia of narcissistic hubris that keeps her going each new day in the face of such blatant, and obviously patriarchal, oppression. She’s a one woman army. At any other site, this kind of behaviour would have seen her cooling off for a week after the second strike – but she never wavered. Though at strike 4, she finally did get the message, but in her own unique and perverse way –
Uh, maybe for link whoring? You fucking link whore. She continues –
I took a look at the Terms & Conditions, and I can’t find anything that forbids links to blog posts.
No you didn’t you crapulent bag of onion farts. Or maybe you did, but the assholes deliberately buried it in an impossible to find place with the ridiculous name of “FAQ”… where they know no one will ever look –
10. Don’t include any form of advertising, whether it is for a commercial service or your personal blog.
What a bunch of devious cunts eh? They did it just so they could screw you over. And I bet they’re still giggling like maniacs and dancing merry jigs all at your expense. Because they are far, far too clever for stupid old Ophie. ::cough::
She continues –
I’m not surprised not to find such a thing, because that would be an incredibly stupid policy for a website to have. Blog posts can be informative, so it would be ludicrous to make a general policy against links to blogs.
So then why?
Not “blogs” Ophie. “Your personal blog”. Subtlety is a bitch. It should be banned. Benson marches on with mounting indignation –
I have no idea. The Friday post is relevant because it documents that the organizers were on the record as having agreed to Krauss’s insistence that there be no gender segregation. It documents that this was public information on Friday.
Why on earth remove that?
There are a couple of interesting points here. The first is that if this had happened to any member of the unwashed plebeian masses, they most likely would have clicked to the immediate problem and, rather than re-linking the personal blog and hoping for the best, and assuming it was important enough, they would have instead re-written their reply and copied the relevant blog text across into the body of their post. Duh. But Ophelia is FfTB nobility – this was evidently beneath her.
The second point is more interesting, and becomes obvious when you view the blog post Ophelia was attempting to link whore –
The post is an entirely stock standard Ophelia Benson production – meaning, it has bugger all actual content written by Benson and consists entirely of block text dumps of other peoples material interspersed with a few irrelevant comments from Ophie to create the illusion of substance. This one is probably not as bad as most, but still, when you remove two irrelevant updates, it’s make up is as follows –
You can see Ophie’s conundrum. If she was reduced to having to do the shameful thing most commoners would do – copying the pertinent writing across – all she would be doing is quoting herself quoting other people. The charade that she had something to contribute to the debate would vanish in a puff of vapour. As would curious incidental readers wandering over to her place.
Of course, instead of link whoring her own copy-n-paste “blog” entry, she could have directly linked the original source material, thus avoiding any moderator irritation – but that would entirely defeat the point of link whoring in the first place wouldn’t it? What a pickle.
What a pitiful place it must be for Ophie to be in. What a pathetic and abject shell of a human being. All she can do is spit and snarl while suppressing the awful realisation that she has never achieved anything of note – indeed, she only is where she is having ridden into town on the coattails of Jeremy Stangroom and the baboon king, amongst others. Most of whom have penises…
And now she’s reduced to spamming RDF in a sad attempt to clock up some blog hits – with the icing on the cake being her denialism that her posts were not being removed due to blatant link whoring / spamming, but instead, concocting a Munchausean fairytale of a “war on information” at RDF that was suppressing her crucial contributions…
I could almost feel sorry for her… Almost… And then I remember what a vicious and malignant viper she is and all the baseless attacks and slanders she has launched at me and countless others. My sympathies are finite – I’ll use them instead on the deserving.
1 – Of course, there are exceptions to the general rule. In rare cases link whoring can be justified if arguments are of a highly complex nature, or have prerequisite background knowledge to state the case. But genuine situations where a position or rebuttal can’t be stated within a normal forum setting are rare – and NIL in cases of cut-n-paste sausage machines like Benson.