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.


New Comments disabled

Due to the high volume of spam and the fact that I barely update this blog anymore, new comments have been permanently disabled.

  • Rebecca Kelley writes on 14/2/08
    Clearly you're buying the "Leaningratzen" model of IKEA furniture.
  • Matthew Inman writes on 14/2/08
    I blame the lack of documentation for the furniture. I'm all about RTFM, not looking at pictures in TFM.
  • Zak Nicola writes on 14/2/08
    I love how the print press gets so worked up.
    I've always ripped the links out of the code... but then I look at what HTML I'm putting up.
  • Tamar Weinberg writes on 14/2/08
    I heart Matt
  • markus941 writes on 15/2/08
    It's cool to get in a large publication, even though they always slaughter the facts and sensationalize everything about seo's. kudos.
  • Dustin writes on 15/2/08
    I was going to agree that you were a Evil Genius, but I'm saddened at the thought of you reaching for the 'enter' key to launch your next major exploit, only to have your chair fall to pieces.
  • Terry writes on 15/2/08
    Matt, great post. Time to go own some noobs.
  • kelleen writes on 15/2/08
    Haha, I find that hilarious. I could have told them long ago that you were evil.
    Quinn says you should get a lair and a pit with sharks.
  • Matthew Inman writes on 15/2/08
    Haha, hell yes. I also need a secondary lair located on the moon or inside a volcano.
  • Lori writes on 15/2/08
    I've heard that genuises generally outsource their Ikea assembling needs; you might want to look into that.
    Did you remove the "cash advance" link and alt text from the Blog Readability Quiz? Or am I missing something?
    I miss your posts at SEOmoz, but I'm so glad to find you blogging here!
  • Matthew Inman writes on 15/2/08
    No, we haven't removed the cash advance links from the blog readability widget, simply because the website it's linking to has been banned from it's kind of a non-issue at this point.
  • Lori writes on 15/2/08
    Ah, I see. Sorry about that. Does your comment box not allow paragraphs? My previous comment looks very stream-of-consciousness. :)
  • Amar Reddy writes on 16/2/08
    Link - a virus. Very extreme reaction. Good for you ;-)
  • Gab Goldenberg writes on 16/2/08
    Matt, I'm really entertained by all this. Not sure if the publicity is good or not (since it brings more attention from Google engies to you), but I think it's awesome work you're doing. Keep it up!
  • Snel Lenen writes on 18/2/08
    This really shows how the majority of the people still don't have a clue in the way that Search Engines work :)
  • Pete W writes on 18/2/08
    People with pens and an audience have a way of making me weep...
  • geld leningen writes on 10/10/08
    What's wrong with hidinga link code? You don't force people to use your widget... I think the writers of these articles are just scared.
  • hikaye writes on 11/11/08
    thansk you
  • Autoverzekering writes on 16/11/08
    Interesting post, thanks for sharing Matt :)
  • sohbet writes on 30/11/08
    thanks you...
  • Kadir Çoşkun writes on 18/1/09
    hello , thanks you
  • Talha writes on 18/1/09
    very good, thanks you :)
  • sohbet writes on 15/2/09
    thank you...
  • hosting writes on 9/3/09
    Yes thats is a good idea. Thanks a lot
  • hikayeler writes on 24/6/09
    Hi, Thanks a lot
  • hikaye writes on 24/6/09
    thanks a lot admin.
  • club penguin writes on 25/6/09
    I've heard that genuises generally outsource their Ikea assembling needs; you might want to look into that. Did you remove the "cash advance" link and alt text from the Blog Readability Quiz? Or am I missing something?
  • car satellite writes on 19/7/09
    People with pens and an audience have a way of making me weep...
  • youtube writes on 19/8/09
    good thanks
  • video izle writes on 19/8/09
    hımm. good idea.
  • bitki derman writes on 30/8/09
    for the most part he got it right
  • cinsiyet belirleme writes on 30/8/09
    a pit with sharks.
  • Komik Videolar writes on 8/11/09
    Thanks you Admin :)
  • alexseinicolaev writes on 16/11/09
    Hello, dear colleagues. Sorry that it was not on site writing.
    Wea'can please where to get the key or breaking a toy [url=]Farm Frenzy 3[/url] & [url=]Farm Frenzy 2[/url] though-be?
    Kids games very much, but they were not complete and is now asking the keys. All Internet searched, working crack and the key to the game not found!
    'll Show where to get or buy at a reasonable price. Write please on the forum or on my mail
    Sincerely Alexey.
  • tycoon cash flow writes on 19/11/09
    media = creating fear. That's it. And that's not fair.
  • cell phone writes on 28/11/09
    In my opinion is being "unfair, highly speculative, and sensationalistic" the core business of meida nowadays.
  • nikolainikitin writes on 23/12/09
    Hello, Dear Colleagues.
    Sorry that is not quite in the topic copyright appeal,
    want to open a long blog or forum about [url=]pneumatic weapons[/url], but never with the board software and the blog can not define.
    Need engine because of the blog and forum with the normal protection against spam, and then my friend found a forum filled with spam, and its already after 2 weeks.
    And you are a software engine for use? Which script forums and blogs I choose to open a forum about air guns?
    I'll be glad to any advice, thanks in advance.
  • müzik dinle writes on 12/1/10
    thanks admin
  • leyla çabuk writes on 27/1/10
    bitki derman saç dökücü akne tedavisi tüy dökücü ürünleri
  • bitki derman writes on 27/1/10
    leyla çabuk tüy dökücü saç dökülmesi akne ve sivilce tedavisi

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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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