I’d just finished reading The Verge’s epic piece Scamworld and watching all the videos included in the story. Wow. I think it is one of the most important stories ever published about the the dark side of the internet marketing industry.
Essentially, it surfaces the Internet Marketing (with capital I and M) phenomenon and the stories of scam and con artists which are disguising themselves as legitimate successful business owners. These scammers take advantage people’s vulnerabilities, curiosity and desires while they portray themselves as “experts” and “gurus.”
The big problem with this ugly phenomenon and those sickening individuals, is the “Internet Marketing” problem is so widely spread across the web that many people tend to believe that this is all of the internet marketing out there. Therefore, innocent people buy the scammers’ useless products (at best) or invest a lot of lost money (at worst).
Why Scamworld Is a Masterpiece
Joseph Flatley, the author of “Scamworld”, is diving deep into the shark pool of Internet Marketing (again, with capital I and M) and offering an in-depth overview about the sub-culture of those who exploit the web for their malicious and self-serving goals only (you know, money).
It so heartbreaking to read the stories of those who followed the scammers and invested a lot of their money, which almost needless to say will probably never return to them, captured by the false promises for a much better financial future.
Just watching the Internet Marketing scammers’ videos afterwards made me sick. And scared. And repulsed. And furious. And eventually, sad. Sad for all those people that out of desperation and hope for a better future, lost their money to those insane sick bastards.
Anybody who’s in the marketing industry for a while probably came across these sleazy guys and their products. But while web-savvy people already know the nature of those schemes, others, less familiar with the internet and driven by sorts of distress, might find those allegedly lucrative offers as alluring.
How cruel do you have to be to steal money from a handicap father in despair? How sick do you have to be to take advantage of a 56 years old nurse who just sought a better future? Sociopaths like these should be banished from society. In Scamworld, Flatley exposed those people and uncovered their manipulative tactics.
This is why I (and SO many others) likes the piece so much.
Not Everybody Are Happy
But apparently, not everybody feels the way I do. Danny Sullivan, one of the real search engine experts, was actually pretty upset about the piece. What Danny didn’t like, is how Flatley has painted all of the internet marketing industry as a bunch of scams when in fact, the majority of professional marketers earn their living honestly and decently.
The Verge’s editor Laura June tried to clarify in a Tweet that they are in fact discussing about the specific phenomenon of Internet Marketing with a capital I and M and not about the industry as a whole.
Obviously the capital I and M aren’t enough to distinguish between particular phenomenon and an entire industry and it would have been much better if there was only one paragraph somewhere in the piece differentiating these Internet Marketers scammers from legitimate internet marketers.
However, I do believe that in the end “Scamworld” would only profit legitimate marketers. First, whoever is reading it can surely understand who are the people Flatley refers to as “21st century snake oil salesmen” and will stay away from those types.
Second, more people/businesses that actually needs marketing services will approach legitimate marketers. Let’s face it, capital letters or not, there will always be a need for marketing services.
Third, hopefully the piece will contribute (even if just by a bit) to the legal battle against those scammers. Again, eventually legitimate marketers will benefit.
So if we look at the big picture, Scamworld can turn out to be one of the most important pieces ever published about (and for) the internet marketing industry (without capital I and M).