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