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Observations on Everything

Why are Badass Programmers such Desperate Marketers?

badass_developerWe’re all used to getting spammed by fly by night businesses, all promising to solve some problem you might not even have, like getting to the top of Google.  Most of us would enjoy the opportunity to physically assault (ok, at least verbally) the perpetrators of this garbage, so it’s not often that you see a legitimate business engage in this sort of thing.

So it’s unusual to see a message like this one, from badassprogrammers.com:

Hey There!! Guess what day it is??? Happy Hump Day!!! :)

J here, “Badass In Charge” @Badass Programmers in California..

Badasses don’t send salesy emails, so I’ll be brief and say that I simply wanted to introduce myself and our Web & mobile app development team at Digital Brand Group (DBG)… Our group recently launched a special services division called “Badass Programmers.”

Check us out! http://badassprogrammers.com

Our team is made up of some of the BEST Web & mobile talent you will ever work with, and we’re currently accepting new projects ¨C free beer included! :)

If you have any Web / mobile development, UI / UX design needs, or other design / programming related projects brewing, I would LOVE to schedule a call with you to discuss further!

Are you available for a call anytime this week or next?

Please let me know and thank you so much for your time!

J

¡¡

¡¡

¡¡

¡¡

¡¡

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P.S. You received this email because I thought you would find value in our team, but if you could care less, feel free to unsubscribe here.

Now I was thinking, “hey they’re all badass programmers, so maybe they just missed the whole ‘don’t buy some cr*p list from a shady broker'” thing. The email they spammed is the reply address from one of my systems. It doesn’t send mail unless you interact with it. Looks like one of our customers got his address list harvested and here it is, on some cheap broker’s list. but wait, these guys are a “special services division” of Digital Brand Group. You’d figure a “digital brand group” would have half a clue when it comes to marketing, right? What gives?

Let’s start with DBG, who have “offices” in Newport Beach and Trivandrum, India. Their website says that “DBG architects, designs, and develops custom Web and mobile applications with an international team renowned for delivering value through forward thinking and technology innovation” this clearly explains why they needed to spin off a services group to develop mobile applications. Or not.

Then we have “J”, “Badass in Charge”. Well, the email comes form “Jamon” and the person in charge at Badass, or at least DBG, seems to be Jeremiah Jacks, so I’m thinking someone was stoned out of their tree and really this email is from “Ja mon”. Anyway, it’s so nice that the guy writing this warm, friendly introduction letter doesn’t have the balls or integrity to sign his (or her) real name.

Now clever J doesn’t want to send a “salesy” message, as he goes on to see if he can book a sales call. Duh. Pro tip J: don’t ever try copywriting as a career. Also, turn your spell checker on.

Now we have several clever lines of “¡¡” presumably so that we won’t scroll down to find out who this ass really is. There’s the deflect in the postscript: “You received this email because I thought you would find value in our team…” No. Really, I received this email because you are frigging desperate for work, you’ve clearly burned all your referral business, and you’re resorting to a rebrand and spam campaign in order to desperately try to save your sorry ass before the receiver shows up.

And then the final tell, the thing that lets you know that “J” really does know he’s desperately shotgun spamming to get business: that unsubscribe link goes to a weird port on ironchampusa.ru. Yup, his unsubscribe link is on a Russian domain. Nothing quite says “legitimate email” like that!

The way an organization deals with email marketing, says more about their ethics and/or desperation than almost anything else. Badass Programmers has made their ethical position pretty clear (they’re also @BadassDeveloper on Twitter — because brand consistency matters). Whatever they call themselves… run away.

Enough with the Omnibus Petitions

I’m getting really tired of online petitions that act like omnibus bills. The title says “Stop X” and I happen to think “Stop X” is a darn fine idea, but then you get to the actual text and it’s “Stop X, Build more Y, Change Z, and unionize everyone”.

That’s one less signature for “Stop X”, right there. We hate it when legislators pull this crap, maybe you should consider not doing the same thing in your petitions. Stick to a single issue.

Scam of the Day: searchregistry.org Domain “Search Registration”

Now that domain registrars have made another ludicrous cash grab by charging for domain privacy services, people are opting out of privacy protection.  Well, the scum of the Earth is waiting to victimize unsuspecting new registrants:

Hi there,

Domain Name: [redacted]  (Account #nnnnn)

This email is being sent out to you because search registration for [redacted] is pending.

Please register these domains to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo ASAP to avoid late fees.

Registering for search engines would help you show up in search results and increase your online presence.

You can register your domain at: [link]

We sincerely appreciate your business! If you require anything, we are at your service.

Remember… If you do not register your domain with the search engines, it may not appear in the search engine listing when people are looking for you. Failure to complete your domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may make it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web. Complete your search engine registration today at: www.searchregistry.org

Sincerely,

Search Engine Registry
1787 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 1025
Washington DC, 20006

But never fear. For acting quickly, not only will you avoid late fees (???), but you get a HUGE discount. Yes, now you can pay just $100 for nothing!

searchregistry.org scam

Crowdfunding: What The Fund Episode 17 — LoudMotor

Two things to learn from this one, the first is a pretty common theme: a lot of people who start crowdfunding projects haven’t bothered to do the slightest bit of research on their market space. The second is that picking a brand should involve more effort than just looking for a domain name that hasn’t been registered.

If you have comments, please make them on YouTube. Thanks!

Crowdfunding: What The Fund Episode 16 — Vesthelm, the Open Sourcey CMS

New visitors may not know that I’ve spent a lot of time over the past decade or so working with open source content management systems. That’s why I found this project sufficiently irritating to cover in a What The Fund episode.

If you have comments, please make them on YouTube. Thanks!

Crowdfunding: What The Fund Episode 15 — Dracula in My Car

Someone affiliated with this project sent a message to everyone they could find on Twitter, looking for advice on their crowdfunded project to make — I kid you not — Dracula themed car air fresheners.

So I gave them some advice!

If you have comments, please make them on YouTube. Thanks!

 

Catching up with “What The Fund?”

Slightly behind schedule I bring you What The Fund episodes 10 and 11. Back story on the posting delay is below, for those of you interested in a behind-the-scenes look.

Findster is a set of GPS tracking devices that let you keep tabs on your kids and pets.

Digidate is a virtual reality project intended for first dates. I have a better idea.

Here’s the back story. I was using some inexpensive video production software for episodes 1 through 10. While the software wasn’t much to write about, it was sufficient for my original purposes — basically doing some minor post production on a nearly finished product. But when it came to doing much more than that, its inexpensive roots started to show, particularly a nasty green tinge that the webcam driver corrects for but the cheap capture software doesn’t. While I know a good video has more to do with content than with white balance, the photographer in me had a real hard time paying attention to the content.

So I acquired some less inexpensive (but still cheap, as in under $100) replacements [VideoPad from NCH software]. While it’s still not as powerful as professional software, this has let me move to a two head production (two cameras), and use my professional camera to capture full HD. While that’s a major improvement, it comes with a steep learning curve that impacts the whole production process. This means it took a few extra days to get episode 11 out the door. Fortunately after I get back up to speed it looks like it won’t take a lot more work to move forward with this format, so I hope everyone likes it.