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Archive for September, 2009

I wanted to post a bit of an update to my last post, Squidoo: Pimping Spammers and Scammers.

There have been several comments posted here, and apparently some of them are due to something posted to a Squidoo forum. Evidently someone posted a link to my previous entry on Twitter. This person said she was a lensmaster with 227 lenses and was bragging about having “made a fortune on Squidoo.”

Speculation on that forum is that the person who posted to Twitter was me or one of my friends. Nope. None of us. I hear that it was also suggested on the forum that people leave comments on my blog to share their experience so that “the good press would outweigh the bad.”

Well, Squidoo fans, please think before you comment. Those who came before you have not left me kindly predisposed towards more comments about Squidoo. If you want to call me a “liar,” tell me to “fess up,” or otherwise insult me, your comment will be deleted. Period. If you want to say something constructive, that’s great. Otherwise, just don’t.

I stand by the point in my original post. It sucks that the people at Squidoo deleted my account and that of one of my friends, plus the lenses that one friend had done. They gave me no opportunity to be heard, no second chance. Same thing with my friend who hadn’t done lenses. Her account was deleted. As for our friend who had done lenses — she asked for a review. When the response came, there wasn’t a word about our other friend or me. They just told her that they’d deleted her lenses because she’d given too many other lenses low ratings. They totally ignored the fact that those lenses were mostly affiliates selling a couple of Migraine “cures.” Never mind that their Terms of Service don’t say a word about limiting low ratings.

Squidoo says they’re doing away with such spam lenses,  but a quick search today showed plenty of them still there. So, it still seems to me that lots of spammers are making money while other people are penalized for being truthful. I miss the days when people were given the benefit of the doubt.  Affiliate spam is pretty obvious, but giving too many low ratings? Get real.

Best,
Arabella ♥

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squidooAnother friend of mine and I took a bit of a vacation last week to visit another friend. We’re all very like-minded in that we hate all of those sites that claim to have “cures” for Migraines. Whenever we get together, one of the things we do is surf the net. Another thing we’d done in the past and did again was visit Squidoo. We all have our own accounts, but since we were together, we took turns using the same computer.  One of my friends has created “lenses”  on Squidoo to share good Migraine info and tell people that there’s no cure yet. My other friend and I don’t really have the knowledge or talents to create lenses, so we sign on, read, and “rate” the lenses.

A couple of days later, all three of us received an email from Squidoo. It started out:

Yikes! We’ve noticed that you have done something that violates our Squidoo Terms of Service. http://www.squidoo.com/pages/tos.

Your entire account has been terminated and its lenses deleted.

The top 5+ reasons an account could get shut down can all be viewed here: http://www.squidoo.com/squidgone

Specifically, your account was flagged for deletion because you employed malicious means or intent to fake people out on your lenses. Our records show that your account has engaged in a significant effort to manipulate star ratings, and therein the LensRank of various lenses.  This usually means creating multiple accounts to cross rate and boost your own lenses and/or lower the rank of others.

What the hell? Then it hit me. Because we’d all used the same computer, they ASSUMED that it was one person violating their rules about multiple accounts and manipulating the ratings.

Now, two of us — the two who haven’t created lenses — wouldn’t like having our accounts deleted, but we would HATE it if our using her computer caused our other friend to lose her account. The lenses she has created (over a period of a few years) are good ones, and they need to be there.

Here’s one reason they need to be there:

For all their bitching us out and deleting our accounts, Squidoo is an absolute mecca for spammers and scammers. Lenses touting things like The Migraine Relief Guide and The Migraine Solution abound! Now, come on! People don’t create lenses about those to help or enlighten anyone. They create them to SELL those products and MAKE MONEY!

So what are they thinking at Squidoo?

I haven’t a clue what they’re really thinking or if they’re really thinking at all. They “lock” lenses and ask questions later, yet their site is overrun with spammer and scammers who are allowed to make multiple lenses about worthless products just to make money. See for yourself. Go to www.squidoo.com and search for lenses about Migraine or Migraines. The majority of the lenses that come up (And I’m not exaggerating, it really is the majority.) are selling worthless products and services.

Squidoo COULD be a good site. It could be if the people who run it would just think. Instead of doing things the easy way and locking the lenses and accounts of people who make the simple mistake of logging on from the same computer, they need to be looking at the CONTENT of the lenses THEY HOST. They make money from the ads on lenses, so really, they’re just pimping the scammers and spammers, making $$ from the crap they put on lense after lense.

Best,
Arabella

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StopSign200Thanks to a Google alert, I came across yet another blog  / site where they need to either do better research or keep their advice and opinions to themselves.

HealthyLivingRX is a site built with WordPress, the same blogging software I use for this blog. WordPress is great because it allows to you build an entire web site with their easy-to-use interface. It’s just a shame that some people have discovered this.

The specific article I found is titled Ocular Migraine Treatment: Is it Really Necessary? Yeah, here we go again with the “ocular Migraine” bit. Doctors who know what they’re doing generally use the International Headache Society’s International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II), to assign diagnoses to Migraine and other headache disorders. This makes a lot of sense because it keeps everyone on the same page. In the ICHD-II, there is no diagnosis “ocular Migraine.” Sure, we see it in many places online, and some doctors use the term. The problem is that the doctors and sites who use the term don’t use it to mean the same thing. Thus, my first problem with this article is that the information is inaccurate and not helpful to Migraineurs who really need an accurate diagnosis.

I have an even bigger problem with this statement in the article:

“Ocular migraines can be disturbing to experience, but they are generally not harmfull.”

Aside from the fact that they misspelled “harmful,” this statement COULD BE harmful. New research is showing that Migraine might be a progressive disease. It’s showing that some Migraineurs develop lesions on their brains, and we don’t know yet what problems those lesions might cause. Experts in the field advise preventing as many Migraines as possible AND stop the Migraines we do get as soon as possible. So, this statement pretty much tells people it’s ok to NOT treat these Migraines, and that might be quite unsafe.

Please remember that these people are NOT qualified to give us medical advice. In the case of this site, I can’t even say that I’d read it at all again. I simply do not trust it. It’s really a shame there’s no way to get such nonnsee removed from the Internet.

Don’t believe everything you read. Be safe!

Best,
Arabella ♥

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AboutWe NEED more good Migraine sites. So, I’ve kept hoping that the About.com site for Migraine and headaches would get better. But, it hasn’t, which is especially sad considering that it used to be THE best. Over the last couple of years, however, it has gone downhill…

  • For a rather long period of time, perhaps two years, there was no “guide” for the site. Nobody keeping it running, adding anything new, blogging, reporting news in the field, sending newsletters, etc.
  • Their forum, as the rest of the site, used to be THE best. No longer. There seems to be no moderation. Nobody is there to help members find good information. Spammers and scammers run amok. This is actually quite irresponsible. Migraineurs are often so desperate for relief that they’ll try pretty much anything. That leaves them very vulnerable to these spammers and scammers.
  • Some of their articles leave me shaking my head. For example, from their newsletter today, All About Basilar-Type Headache. Now, come on! They’re not Basilar-Type Headaches; they’re Basilar-Type MIGRAINES! When you look at the sources for this article, you see “Migraine,” not headache.  This article isn’t written by the “guide,” Dr. Foley. It appears to be some kind of licensed article. This is what it says at the bottom of the article: “LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. Betsy Lee-Frye is an independent journalist living in Kansas City, Mo. Her work has appeared in the Dallas Morning News, Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications and the St. Joseph News-Press.
  • Interestingly enough, when you click on one of the related searches, “basilar headaches,” the results that come up are articles containing conflicting information:

Rolling EyesWell, I suppose I could continue, but it seems pretty pointless.  It’s just disheartening to see what was once one of our very best resources now failing so badly.

Best,
Arabella♥

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