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About Maes

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    Here's an old post I made on the subject,

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  1. I'm usually not one to take personal interest in others' personal endeavours, but in the case of friend of mine that is dead-set on having her "online business", due to my professional background, I can't just turn a blind eye.

    Don't get me wrong, if someone has a good idea for a viable business or enterprise of any kind, and personally possesses (or can acquire) the know-how to put it to fruition, that's fine with me.

    However, there are exceptions to that.

    Take for example a friend of mine, who has lived a significant amount of time in the USA for studies, and became enthralled with the American Dream, sort of, or at least with the "do businesses everywhere" and "do business at all cost" mentality, at least the way she perceived it. For this reason, she wants to start her own "online business".

    As for her actual finances, let's say that she can get by without working, and so she can dedicate herself to starting an online business. Please understand that I can't be more detail-specific for anonymization reasons.

    Now, as I said before, having business spirit and initiative is all right and well, however IMHO she's going about it in the wrong way.

    I think the best way to describe the problem is that she's stuck with
    these guys as a hosting service. For those familiar with the name, you know what comes with it.

    For those that don't know, let's say that it's a cult-like, MLM-like, walled garden type of host that puports to be "not just a host, but a business", and she bought into it completely.

    IMHO that's $300 a year down the drain, for a hosting service that lock its users into a rigid, early-90s restrictive and primitive CMS, a "walled garden" marketing model aimed at milking its own members, a cult-like, almost evangelical zeal-like indoctrination only rivaled by Apple, and an insistence on meta-marketing cheap tricks that are utterly outdated, like keyword-based SEO, googlebombing, affiliate marketing etc. etc. It seems to be back in the 90s at the "good" times of the first dot-com bubble all over again!

    It's nearly impossible to talk her out of following their cult-like "marketing advice", and the problem is that she has bought so much into it, that she focuses more on keyword-based SEO, affiliate marketing bulk e-mail etc. than actually promoting herself and her works, and she won't take any criticism directed at that "infallible" (for true believers) business model, which bases much of its presence
    on shills, affiliates and googlebombing its own reviews.

    Only that it just doesn't seem to fly. In one year of buying their crap, she has ended up with an ugly 90s website full of google ads, cheap keyword tricks aimed at "getting more traffic" at whatever cost, etc. and she seldom dedicates any time at actually promoting her line of work. IMHO using that as her main website actually hurts her efforts, since it looks just like a cybersquatter's (and that host I'm talking about actually encourages this sort of "business") but I honestly can't believe this can fly.

    Anybody has had similar experiences? How could I talk her out of it? (Not that I haven't tried, but it's like talking to a religious zealot).

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. Maes


      Best of luck to your friend, I hope he gets a better headstart with the real deal, rather than getting trapped in dot-com bubble schemes that are dead and buried. The problem with my friend is that she didn't understand that a business, even if online, must be about something you can do well and that sells. Scraping the bottom of the barrel by trying to outsmart google by diverting keyword searches ain't where it's at.

    3. deathbringer


      Why am I having visions of that Simpsons where Homer decides to start an Internet Business?

      Still I suppose she does at least know what the internet is

    4. Maes


      deathbringer said:

      Why am I having visions of that Simpsons where Homer decides to start an Internet Business?

      Because that's exactly the target group of that company, and their basic "business" premise feels like a bad revival of the 90s.

      deathbringer said:

      Still I suppose she does at least know what the internet is

      Yes, but not enough to "get" how some things work, and the problem is that this company she's stuck with try their best to "protect" their members from mainstream, modern website construction and general web management techniques (and from any external criticism/doubt at their "infallibility", most importantly). Put simply, she won't actually learn anything useful about the Internet that is also valid outside that walled garden. Tell me what serious host, in this day and age, doesn't let you just yank a bunch of files from your computer and drop them in an FTP directory that "faces" the web. Even more hilarious is when she (and other scamees) tries to "compare" her host with just about any normal, run-of-the-mill host that offers all those "un-business"-like stuff like FTP, Wordpress, Joomla, phpBB etc.