Click Farming

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Have you heard about “click farming”?

It is the latest attempt to debauch independent media, such as the joint you’re in now. The way it works is, some shyster makes a solicitation to the editor of a site – like me – offering to either “write a guest post” or pay me to write an “article” which is in fact a vehicle for delivering “clicks” directed toward whatever the product or service happens to be that they are hawking  . .  . but don’t want to be seen (or read) as hawking. They want to use the good name of a writer to purvey to you – dishonestly, because it is not done openly – whatever it is they’re selling. The writer agrees to shill for them, selling his reputation for -and this is the kicker – pizza and beer money, maybe less.

Here is one of several such “requests” I received recently:

Hi Eric

I am the representative of cvsolutions.com.au

I would like to post a new article at your site. The article should fit the site and the readers, as it possibly can. This is why I prefer you will write it.

It should not mention “advertisement”, “sponsors”, “PR”. It should have the same writing style like all other articles. It should be at least 350-400 words and with unique content (not copied from any other site).

Could you please tell me if that’s possible? What will be the price for that?

Hope to hear from you soon.

-Boris

Well, just to fuck with ol’ Boris I demanded a $1,200 fee to write his click bait “content.” Boris countered with an offer of $100 – to whore my name and reputation. To sell you out.

I am at least not a cheap date. Show some respect, Boris!

Here’s another that came to me under the header, “Fresh Content”! Oh, joy…

Mr. Peters,

I’m Kasee, an Outreach Specialist for an automotive research company called Root & Associates. We share the knowledge gained from performing exclusive research for our clients on our Insights Blog.
On NMA, I saw your article on jaywalking. I share in your frustration of those silly laws! It reminded me of my friend driving home from work at two in the morning. There was no one on the roads. She got a ticket for not making a right turn into the closest lane…
Any-who! I hope these two articles from Root & Associates will spark inspiration for new content:

1) Why Autonomous Flying Cars May Beat Fully Autonomous Cars to Market

Feel free to reach back to us with what you think! I look forward to hearing from you.

Blessings,
 

Kasee Peterson | Outreach Specialist

Root & Associates

I wrote Kasee back advising that we accept paid ads – which is really what she wants but won’t say so – and if she wants to place a paid ad to give me a holler.

I have not heard back from Miss Kasee.

I purvey all the foregoing to “hip” you to what goes on behind the scenes, if you run a successful independent media operation. These “requests” come in almost every day.

I wonder how many sell out. My bet is a bunch do. A mess ‘o pottage. No thanks.

I won’t.

I’d rather wrench, if it came to that  – which I enjoy almost as much as writing – than become a gape-assed whore for these loathsome people. Mind, I have no issue with advertising at all. If it’s above board, an ad that is clearly an ad. But this business of trying to snooker you into clicking on something by pretending it’s not an ad – purveyed to you by a writer you think is okay and not a grifter – it makes my eyes narrow and my blood pressure increase. Feed them fish heads, raw ideally.

It’s your support that makes it financially feasible (morality aside) to tell them all to bugger off.

So, thanks – again – to everyone who supports EPautos. Not only could I not do it without you, I am able to tell these creeps where to shove it because of you.

Again, thanks!

Yer pal,

-Eric

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Actually more of a solicitation from a content farm rather than a click farm, although the two go hand in hand:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_farm

    From the sound of the wiki page it seems like just an outright attempt to defraud advertisers. But I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if there were a mainstream newspaper in some small town taking the bait. People wouldn’t be doing this if it didn’t pay the electric bill to run the computers. The interesting thing is that Google and FaceBag are looking to AI to stop it. That might work for the low hanging fruit, but computers (and big corporations) still have a tough time beating innovative and motivated entrepreneurs.

    The other day I got to thinking about the Hearst castle. Then Ted Turner. Ol’ Ted’s out of the game these days (or at least the spotlight), but he still owns a big chunk of Montana. The Hearst family is still doing OK for themselves, living on great-grandad’s fortune: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/wedding/photos/g7741/lydia-hearst-chris-hardwick-wedding/

    It’s time we stop pretending the 4th estate has any integrity. Never had it, never will. Present company excepted of course. The newspaper reporter who’s exposing all the injustice of the world depends on the sensationalist headline and pictures of puppies (and topless women in the case of Murdoch) for a paycheck. Now that the tide’s gone out the mainstream are showing their bare asses to the world. But that’s OK. There was far too much concentration of information before. As fewer and fewer hands tighten their grip in the mainstream, more information slips through their fingers. As Google and FaceBag start to filter out what they deem “fake news” someone else (duck-duck go? WordPress? The Raspberry Pi foundation?) will welcome the “alternative” view and it doesn’t take much to pull people away when all you need to do is click on a link. This is how the network works. It is the new normal.

    • It is telling the highest award in journalism is named after the Yellow Journalist Pulitzer. With that said, I hope Eric earns more than the award’s namesake.

  2. One of us could write the thing for Boris. It’ll be hilarious. We can make fun of it in the comments of the other articles.

    Tell him you accept but he has to pay up front. Why I was just thinking of getting a Ute Canopy & Service Body like on his site the other day.

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