Apparently I'm an Evil Genius

Posted on 14/2/08

This morning I was featured in the technology section of The Guardian, a British newspaper with a daily circulation of around 400,000 readers. The article was about my viral marketing tactics and although slightly inaccurate, it paints a pretty fair portrait of what I do:

How to get online advertising for free

Prior to this morning's article, Charles Arthur of the Guardian had written two articles about me, both of which were unfair, highly speculative, and sensationalistic. He apparently used one of my blog widgets and then wrote two scathing blog posts about it, accusing the widget creator (me) of being a hacker and of exploiting bloggers. It's a fine example of someone with editorial power operating on fear and ignorance instead of factual data and insight.

Luckily, Charles asked Michael Pollitt to do a follow up story and dig deeper. Michael, a freelance journalist also located in the UK, did his homework and wrote a much better story. Although there's a few minor inaccuracies, for the most part he got it right. I thought this quote was pretty funny though:

Hiding link code in a widget like this is basically using the same methods as you would use to spread a virus, and while this is essentially just to aid someone's Google ranking, the fact they felt they had to hide it in such a way makes me a little annoyed.

I'd say that's a bit over the top. Deceptive? Maybe a little. A virus? I don't think so.

This marks the second time I've been called a genius. Clearly these people have never seen me try to assemble Ikea furniture, where I mysteriously end up with a pile of extra pieces and the entire dresser leans to the left.

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About Matthew

I am no longer updating this blog, but you can follow all of my latest work over at The Oatmeal


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