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"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

gunauction.com does not understand the internet

Yesterday, I received this email, twice, with the subject of “we want your blog – http://wallsofthecity.net”: 

Dear [Linoge],

My name is David Smith and I work for GunAuction.com. Your website, http://wallsofthecity.net has sparked our interest. Recently we have realized that we are in need of high ranking blogs about guns. Our company is working to build a blog network that will be seen by millions. With gun rights under attack, we want to create an effective network for letting the public know about current legislation, and new gun products. We’ve started some blogs from scratch, but as you know, it will be months before they develop a following. With the work you’ve already done, we would like to acquire your blog so that we can release our content quickly and effectively. In order to maintain your page rank and not alienate your reader base, our intention would be to keep the content of what you have – just use your blog as a base to release even more gun related material.

If you are willing to utilize our content or even sell us your blog, please let me know. Depending on your ranking and quality of blog we would be willing to compensate you accordingly.

David Smith
GunAuction.com
Phone: #530-831-0236
Support: #877-486-2828
[email protected]

Interestingly, this email came to my “normal” address, rather than the one typically associated with this site, and addressed me by my carbon name.  After some brief thought, I responded with: 

I cannot even begin to describe how unethical your request is, and how insulting it is.  I have filed both of the identical emails you sent me as spam, and will do so with anything further you send me.  Do not contact me again. 

This evening, I received this email, with the subject of “Clarification and Follow-Up”: 

Dear [Linoge],

Thank you for your response to our proposal. GunAuction.com respects the major contributions that the gun bloggers have and continue to make to Gun Culture 2.0, bringing important new viewpoints and an entire new generation into the broader gun community. Your efforts have allowed the gun community to step beyond “preaching to the choir”.

We support your hard work and we want to help it have even more impact. With the tools below, including our content writers and content exchange with our online gun magazine GunNews, we think we can help your blog grow and you can help our online presence grow at the same time.

We are working on offering more options to bloggers and are open to suggestions. We’ve already identified some options (below) that may work for you. Call me and let’s talk about what works for YOU. 

•           Banner Ads or Text Links
-                      We offer this option as a per click program. (I.e., a fee paid for each click-through to GunAuction.com) but are willing to discuss annual lump sums in special cases. We will provide both artwork and guidance on setting the text or art up so you will be compensated.

•           Content Sharing
-           We provide, at no cost, relevant gun content for your blog, helping both parties build ranking. You would retain editorial control – any financial agreement would need to be individually arranged. This also includes mutual content sharing as an option, where we would exchange articles with you.

•           Recruiting Partnership
-           We provide a steady income stream for recruiting new users to gunauction.com

•           Purchase of blog
-           We leave all previous content the same including URL and use our in-house content writers to build readership and online visibility. (Our content writers would post on it daily). Depending on the agreement, you would continue as a contributor.

If this interests you, give me a call. I will also be at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous with the GunAuction bowling ball mortar, leading the Frosty Beverage Initiative in the evenings. If you can’t attend GBR or we’re not able to meet in person, know that I am grateful for your efforts in helping to protect our gun rights. Please contact me through email or phone!

David Smith
GunAuction.com
Office: 530-831-0236
Support: 877-486-2828
[email protected]

My response was: 

Y’know, what with me being on hiatus and all, I was not going to post about this, but I think you just convinced me to.  I guess my readers will owe you for that. 

As promised, this email has been categorized as spam.  Eventually, Google will start catching on. 

Do not contact me again. 

Lest you think my reaction was extreme, I shared the first email with some of my fellow webloggers, whose responses ranged from laughing at it, to profanity and indignation.  To a person, no one seemed impressed with GunAuction.com or Mr. David Smith. 

As Sean Sorrentino pointed out to me after the first email, GunAuction.com is the corporation providing the online registration for Gun Blogger Rendezvous

Allow me to be perfectly clear.  I will go out of my way to not do business with GunAuction.com in the future, which should not be hard, considering I had never even heard of them before now.  This site is not for sale; I will torch all of the content and simply keep the domain name registered until the entropic death of the universe before I sell it.  “Buying” a site, leaving the existing content, and then injecting your own on top of it is unethical; if both parties agree to it, they can knock themselves out, but it is damned misleading. 

If David had lead with “Hey, can we put a banner on your site?” I probably would have bit-bucketed it and never given it a second thought.  If David had comprehended the phrase, “Do not contact me again,” I probably would not have written this post.  As it is, though, GunAuction.com can kiss my hairy white ass. 

11 comments to gunauction.com does not understand the internet

  • They contacted me as well. Out of morbid curiousity, I replied with “And your offer is..?” because honestly, if they’re offering ten thousand dollars, I can always start a new blog.

    They never replied back to me.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to them buying ad space, but I must not be enough of a big deal to warrant a response.

  • @ Erin Palette:

    Never mind, there is it, as of 3 hours ago. I missed it because Gmail said it was from “David” rather than GunAuction.com, and because I assumed they’d get back to me during regular business hours. Now I don’t know if I should take them up on their offer to buy ad space.

    Would you think poorly of me if I did, Linoge?

  • Toastrider

    @ Erin Palette:
    What was their offer? As you said, if they offer you a giant bucket of cash…

  • Another thing to consider is how reliable they’ll be on payment. (Or if they’d try to weasle out of it.)

    These guys haven’t shown themselves to be particularly comptent or ethical.
    That alone suggest that they’d be poor people to do business with.

  • I got the same two emails. I actually hadn’t noticed that they had sent it to my personal email address rather than the one associated with my blog. Very interesting. It does not give me warm fuzzies.

    Erin, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would not think less of you. Much as I could use the cash though, I’m not likely to take them up on this. Gay Cynic says that he knows them and David specifically and thinks this is above board. I just don’t like the spammy nature of it all.

  • @ Erin Palette: Shouldn’t really matter what I think either way – your site, your rules. Personally, I wouldn’t trust this company any farther than I could throw them, but that’s me.

    @ Toastrider: I, too, am curious what the offer was. Might be able to do better with more… reputable sources.

    @ The_Jack: Bingo. “Buying” gunblogs & injecting their content on top is already misleading; what else are they lying about?

    @ Jennifer: I’d imagine a large number of gunbloggers will be discussing these emails with David at GBR.

  • dave w

    I doubt Erin (or anyone else) would be allowed to make another blog if any significant amount of $ was involved, there would be a clause addressing that. They want readers and whats the point if we all go to i hate ponies dot net or whatever she calls the next one.
    Also, if the same crap showed up in 3 of the blogs i followed at the same time, i would just unfollow them.
    I am proud to say i have not gotten such an email myself

  • Instinct

    Well, the good part is that now I have one less site that I need to look at when I am looking for a new pistol.

    I’m way to low on the list to get any email like that, plus I have pretty much shut down operations for my blog anyway.

  • @ dave w: Honestly, I have my doubts that the peons working at GunAuction.com are sufficiently intelligent to plan ahead for the possibility of people selling off one weblog only to create another.

    That said, yeah, this is a genius idea for pissing off the entire community.

    @ Instinct: My mission has been fulfilled, then (regarding your first sentence).


    The worst part is the dumbass actually emailed me back a third time, apologizing for how his emails sounded “spammy” and promising never to talk about guns with me again. Apparently “Do not contact me again” is a foreign language David has never heard of…

  • You can hire the best marketing geniuses in the country but if they don’t know AND endorse the actual product line you’re selling you’re not going to have any credibility.

    If you want to promote a gun company, hire people that actually know which end of the firearm goes up front.

  • And if you are going to hire a social media coordinator, at least hire someone who understands how social media works