Jan 042008
 
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Well, it’s been almost two months since I last wrote about Blogrush, but it seems the story is not over yet. Check out these two screenshots from Clicky (my web analytics program)-


They clearly show that despite my removing the widget, requesting removal, mocking them incessantly and, finally, being kicked out of the program, BlogRush is still listing Philaahzophy in their widget and even sending me the occasional traffic more than 3 months after the widget’s removal. The amount of negative press Blogrush has received has finally caught up to the amount of hype it received upon its launch, but people keep using it and John Reese keeps on laughing all the way to the the latest Las Vegas hotel hot spot.

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Nov 162007
 
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Well, it only took 2 months, four posts here at Philaahzophy, a couple of Blog Carnivals, BlogRush themselves syndicating one of the aforementioned posts, at least two emails from people “reporting” me, BlogRush’s crack team of hot shot in house reviewers, and those very posts being Dugg, and StumbledUpon repeatedly for BlogRush to finally realize I only had their widget on my site for less than 48 hours. When I went to check how much traffic they were “flooding” to Philaahzophy yesterday I was greeted with the following message-

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Your account is now temporarily inactive because our system indicated that the BlogRush widget is no longer being served on your blog. All BlogRush members must be actively displaying the widget in order to participate in the network.

While your account is inactive you will no longer earn credits or have your blog posts syndicated. However, your referral network activity, and any credit balance, will be fully tracked for your account during this time.

As soon as you start serving the widget again your account will become active and you will once again earn and use credits across the network.

* BlogRush accounts that remain inactive for a period of more than 45 days may be permanently removed from the network.

If you have any questions or need any help send your request to:
customersupport@blogrush.com

I’m actually pretty surprised that they didn’t send me an email, given the joy they apparently receive from flooding my email box. Oh well, I suppose I’ll have to do witout the “flood” of 10 visitors a month I was receiving from their widget. Considering the Festival of Frugality brought me more than 300 in a single day (and they’re still coming days later) I think I’ll probably survive. Of course, now I’m going to have to find another CEO to mock, but since this is the internet that shouldn’t take long at all…

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Nov 122007
 
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I submitted my latest BlogRush article (BlogRush Continues To Crack Me Up) to a few blog carnivals last week and was honored this morning to be one of only five (out of 52 submissions) selected to be included in the third edition of the Carnival of Webmasters at Your Website Profit. So it seems I’m not the only one that finds a bit of comedy in the way that BlogRush is handling its business affairs. Or perhaps others just find it refreshing for someone to call out a referral based online program with honesty and genuine examples.

A big thank you goes out to Sutocu for selecting my post!

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Nov 052007
 
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This is my fourth post on BlogRush. I introduced y’all to it on September 16th, pulled the widget on September 18th, and laughed rather loudly at their CEO’s ranting antics on September 26th. I still receive regular email updates from them, not because I’m unable to unsubscribe, but because they never cease to amuse me.

On October 21st I received yet another email from them which included the following under the headline of 10,000+ Blogs Removed from BlogRush

We’ve just completed a massive SWEEP of our entire network. We’ve
removed over *10,000* blogs (Yes, ten thousand) that did not meet our
new Quality Guidelines.

We have done a huge “quality control audit” of our network and have
reviewed all the blogs one-at-a-time. We will continue to review each
NEW blog that is ever submitted to our network.

You will notice the HUGE DIFFERENCE in the quality of blogs that now
appear in your widget. This major *sweep* of our network will also
increase the click-rates across the entire network and you will start
to receive more traffic.

Remember, I removed the widget (after less than two days) on September 18th. But here’s a snapshot of my BlogRush dashboard as of today-

There are several humorous parts of this screenshot given the manic emails I’ve received from BlogRush over the last two months-

  • Not was I not one of the 10,000+ blogs purged for “cheating” by not having the widget on my site, but they continue to both display my posts in the widget and send me traffic.
  • Speaking of sending me traffic – their slogan includes the phrase “Drive A Flood Of Targeted Readers To Your Blog”. Does that look like a “flood” to you?
  • Okay, it’s not a flood because I’m not getting that many exposures, but look at the “Buzz” indicators. Apparently 1 visitor a day is considered “Hot”, maxing out their indicator, while the only way to be freezing cold is to have zero visitors.
  • Switching over to the BlogRush Reports menu shows me that since 9/16/07 I have earned 292 credits (in the short time the widget was active on my blog), yet I have received 12,173 “syndication” views and a whopping 13 visitors. A click-thru rate of .001% Not bad for doin’ nuthin’, but not exactly a “flood” either.

It seems to me that BlogRush isn’t living up to any of its promises. It’s not cleaning out the so-called ‘cheaters’ such as myself, nor is it sending much traffic at all. (I don’t consider myself a cheater because I’ve been very open and forward about the fact that I don’t use the widget. Even their own stats show that I haven’t generated a credit or sent any visitors to any other blogs.) Still, though, people are out there talking up BlogRush, so either they’re getting a lot better click-thru rate then I am or they’re just looking to get you in as one of their referrals.

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Sep 262007
 
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Wow, there’s no need to go blog surfing to find the crazy rant of the day this morning. It was sent directly to me email box, courtesy of John Reese, CEO and Founder of BlogRush. He pummeled all of his early adopters late last night with a seven page, 2500 word rant titled “Shocking Changes at BlogRush”. Makes me all the more proud to have removed the widget from Philaahzophy last week.

Aside from the fact that both the format and the tone of the massive missive was less professional than most of the outright spam I receive on a daily basis, it shows a complete ignorance of the industry in which his site (and supporters) claim he is an expert with vast experience. According to the letter –

We also realize that we completely underestimated the number of
unethical people that would sign up and proceed to CHEAT and try to
‘game’ the BlogRush system. These cheaters ruined the click-rates of
many of our members (and burned through a lot of their credits using
automated ‘exploit’ methods) and hurt BlogRush’s ability to send
maximum traffic to our honest members’ blogs.

Can you say, DUH?!? Not only was this obvious to everyone immediately, but the vast majority of the prelaunch “reviews” written by bloggers pointed this out as well. How experienced or knowledgeable could Mr. Reese be to have not forseen the massive security holes in his system? How ostrich-like must he be to have ignored the literally hundreds of blog posts pointing these security holes out?

He eventually goes on to threaten to track down individual cheaters and sue each and every one of them for damages! But of course, he’s not doing this out of spite, he’s doing it for the children

And a quick word to any ‘cheats’ that might be reading this
letter… it’s very possible that you may come up with something
extremely creative that temporarily gets by us, but you should know
something… IT’S NOT GOING TO BE WORTH YOUR TIME. And I’m not just
talking about the tiny amount of traffic that you’ll receive before
we shut you off.

You see, we have other plans in the works…

If you attempt to cheat or abuse our network in anyway, shape, or
form, we will not hesitate to come after you. Our company is well
funded and has plenty of resources. And we WILL use them to punish
you to the fullest extent of the law (and civil court process). Oh,
you think you can just hide behind some anonymous proxy IPs? Sorry,
it’s not that easy. ANY reason you’d have to try and cheat the
BlogRush network for traffic and any attempt you make to monetize
that traffic will lead directly to your front door — whether it’s
AdSense, any affiliate program in the world, any online pharmacy,
porn site, casino… ANYTHING. We will follow the trail and it WILL
eventually lead to you.

Our hard-working company provides the income for MANY families. As
the CEO of our company, I take this very seriously. I HAVE TO.
People that attempt to abuse or cheat BlogRush are affecting the
livelihood of all my employees and their families. And I will do
everything in my power to protect them — it’s MY DUTY.

So for all you cheaters that joined BlogRush and had your fun trying
to siphon off some traffic, hopefully it was fun. And I’ll go ahead
and make this statement right now… IF you were one of the people
that has been cheating our network I’m going to give you ONE
opportunity… quit now and we’ll pretend it never happened. I
think that’s more than fair.

BUT… if you continue after this point, all bets are off. We WILL
eventually discover what you’re doing, where you’re trying to send
traffic, and we will prosecute you. I GUARANTEE IT. Sorry, but WE
HAVE NO CHOICE NOW.

I had no idea that 8 year olds were allowed to claim the title of CEO, but then, I’ve always said everything’s possible on the internet.

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