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Software

The Software Awards Scam 155

jamie sends us to a blog post about the worthlessness of some download sites' "5-star" awards. Andy Brice, a UK-based software developer, packaged up a little text file full of the words "This software does nothing" as an EXE and named it "awardmestars." So far his self-proclaiming useless program has garnered sixteen 5-star awards from download sites he submitted it to. Brice concludes that many of the download sites are "just electronic dung heaps, using fake awards, dubious SEO and content misappropriated from PAD files in a pathetic attempt to make a few dollars from Google Adwords."
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The Software Awards Scam

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  • by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) * on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:17PM (#20267091) Homepage Journal

    He's obviously missing the point. Among all of the software that does nothing, his is clearly the best.

    Seriously, is this any surprise? Every time I go looking for some generic piece of software (as opposed to some specific software I already know and trust), I usually have to sift through a bunch of crap links to sites that exists for no other purpose than to collect ad revenue.

    It's not just software, though. Good review sites are really hard to find. A while back, I was looking for a decent web host that would provide inexpensive VPS hosting. I ran across a lot of "review" sites where, surprise surprise, the winner of the review was owned by the same people who posted the review. The really scummy thing was that I would see three or four different review sites, and three or four hosting providers would be at the top of those reviews, and it turned out that all three or four hosting providers--and "review" sites--were all owned by one big company using a bunch of different names.

    The lesson to be learned here is that you should never believe anything you read on the Internet that you don't know to already be true or that you get from a source that has proven its trustworthiness repeatedly. Assume that everyone out there is a scum-sucking bottom-feeder who wants to rip you off. I have a short list of around 15 or 20 sites that I know are dependable to be relatively honest, and I consider pretty much everything else junk. (And I often even look at my top 15 or 20 with a skeptical eye, especially when it comes to user-submitted reviews and such.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BlueParrot ( 965239 )

      The lesson to be learned here is that you should never believe anything you read on the Internet that you don't know to already be true or that you get from a source that has proven its trustworthiness repeatedly.

      Yes, but Wikipedia is your friend...

      Seriously, I even use it to find websites these days. Need to find the web-page of the APA but don't want to google it because you will just get a bunch of stupid comercial sites with the same acronym ? Wikipedia... It is essentially a search engine with peer-rev

      • For now, Wikipedia is a pretty good source of information. Ironically, even though the information in the Wikipedia is inherently unreliable, it's also usually pretty good/accurate.

        However, I still worry that spammers will figure out ways to game Wikipedia so that every article will ask you if you want a bigger penis.

        • by 644bd346996 ( 1012333 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:17PM (#20268587)
          Wikipedia already has bots in place to automatically revert vandalized articles. Almost anything that spammers would do to a page has already been tried by regular vandals, and Wikipedia already has effective ways of dealing with them.

          The real dangers are from paid corporate shills who post "articles" that are adverts or introduce bias into existing articles. Fortunately, those modifications are hard to make in volume.
    • I have had a pretty good success ratio on the www.snapfiles.com (was called webattack earlier) freeware section.

      The ratings seem to be pretty accurate of the quality of the software, and combined with good description, screenshots and direct download links, its the first place i search for random windows software.
    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:28PM (#20267269) Homepage

      Most of what is on the internet or comes through the internet is an attempt to sell you something that you don't really want. Unfortunately, that's how the internet turned out. Using the internet is inherently an exercise in filtering, sifting through, and blocking unwanted crap advertisements.

      I think it's absurd that we can't build an informational network or communications infrastructure without having it jammed pack full of ads and scam-artists, but apparently that's the world we live in.

      • That is because... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jd ( 1658 )
        The NSF was stupid enough to hand control over to Sprint, AT&T and the like. The more commercial the Internet has become, the more commercials the Internet carries. It is interesting that spam was invented and promoted by a couple of lawyers. Interesting because it is inevitable that as the signal/noise ratio deteriorates, those attempting to generate self-promoting noise MUST amplify that noise, deteriorating the ratio further. The lawyers did not create free advertising, as they claimed, but rather ve
        • If it wasn't for the commercialization of the internet, 90% of e-mail today would go through FidoNet.

          Commercialization made the internet available to the masses. You may not like the masses mucking about in your sandbox, but it has opened a world of opportunity to many people. Looking down your nose at them doesn't make you better. It makes you arrogant.
          • by jd ( 1658 )
            FidoNet? Hell, when I first got onto the Internet, I was hooked up through direct access to a global network of computers linked by satellite, thanks to the NSF and the EU. International Packet Switch Stream was no FidoNet. We are talking self-repairing connections, true direct access to anywhere in the world, and raw power you would not believe. Dial-up was 1200/75 or 300/300, direct lines were 9600 or faster. This is back in friggin 1985!

            Graphical interfaces? Yes. CAS Online had a full sentence parser h

      • by Joe Snipe ( 224958 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:01PM (#20267759) Homepage Journal
        Most of what is on the internet or comes through the internet is an attempt to sell you something that you don't really want.

        I think it's absurd that we can't build an informational network or communications infrastructure without having it jammed pack full of ads and scam-artists, but apparently that's the world we live in.


        I hope that everyonewho reads this (and the other similar opinions that will no doubt be echoed in this thread), understands that this is a neccesary evil that we must endure in order to enjoy the greater freedoms that the internet has to offer (anonymity, freedom of speech, freedom for censorship). If enough people start complaining about ads, illegal porn and security breaches (mark my words on that last one), these freedoms will be put up on the chopping block. We all know the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller [wikipedia.org]... It works both ways. Please do what you can to help educate people that the problem isn't the internet, but rather a societal problem.

        IOW: don't say "this website is a scam", Say this company is a scam, and they have sold their credibilty. I hope I am making the distinction clearly, I am late for lunch and my blood sugar is low o.0
        • by dwater ( 72834 )
          What the company is *doing* (with the web site/whatever) is a scam, and that the company is a scam *artist*. No?
        • If enough people start complaining about ads, illegal porn and security breaches (mark my words on that last one), these freedoms will be put up on the chopping block.

          Why would people complaining about ads, illegal porn, and security breaches put freedoms on the chopping block? People have been complaining for years, but have shown no ability to do anything to fix it.

          I'm not in favor of some governmental agency attempting to regulate the internet, but I am saddened to see people acting this way. Regard

        • I hope that everyonewho reads this (and the other similar opinions that will no doubt be echoed in this thread), understands that this is a neccesary evil that we must endure in order to enjoy the greater freedoms that the internet has to offer

          Why do I have to endure it? I just go to sites that don't do this sort of crap.

      • I think it's absurd that we can't build an informational network or communications infrastructure without having it jammed pack full of ads and scam-artists, but apparently that's the world we live in.
        It's not absurd at all. It's a logical extension of the world we live in. Everything is about marketing and money offline, and people take that with them online.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by klenwell ( 960296 )
        Most of what is on the internet or comes through the internet is an attempt to sell you something that you don't really want. Unfortunately, that's how the internet turned out.

        True. It seems like most of what makes up the American (er, global) economy is an attempt to sell you something that you don't really want. Unfortunately, that's what a free market churns out.

        My grandmother was showing me the other day some of the junk she gets in the mail. She thinks its some kind of mistake that 6 different non-pr
      • I think it's absurd that we can't build an informational network or communications infrastructure without having it jammed pack full of ads and scam-artists, but apparently that's the world we live in.

        You are coming to a sad realization. Cancel or Allow?

        • by Sigma 7 ( 266129 )

          You are coming to a sad realization. Cancel or Allow?
          Cancel. I'm quite happy with the current situation as I can actually do somthing about it (in this case, I place orders on some scam artists website using randomly generated information). Being sad only slows me down in this aspect.

      • by Atario ( 673917 )

        Using the internet is inherently an exercise in filtering, sifting through, and blocking unwanted crap advertisements.
        Which is why Google rules the land. It often helps me find good software. Those of you having trouble might wish to try it.
        • google you say? the same company that gives these scam sites the first 10x pages worth of results for most search queries? how very helpful
          • google you say? the same company that gives these scam sites the first 10x pages worth of results for most search queries? how very helpful
            Example, please. Show me a legitimate Google query that returns results containing the first 10 pages all scam sites.

            Oh, I'm sorry -- You were talking out of your ass? I should have known by the smell.
        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
          Google is becoming nothing more than a search engine for finding sites with Google spam/ad words plastered all over them. SEO, easy just add google spam/ad words and your site will accelerate up the google search listings.

          Admittedly this would not be all that bad if those sites did at least have the full featured content you were looking for rather a just bare summary 'copied' from the site you would have preferred top find.

          Hitting the stumbleupon button is becoming just about as effective as hitting th

    • It is to me, "hello world" program only got 7 awards sniff sniff
    • by fm6 ( 162816 )

      The lesson to be learned here is that you should never believe anything you read on the Internet that you don't know to already be true or that you get from a source that has proven its trustworthiness repeatedly.
      why is everybody so hard on Wikipedia?
    • May I suggest the use of www.iterating.com, it's by no mean exhaustive yet but it has been growing fast. Unfortunately it looks like many reviews are still from the original submitter, but it has a lot of structure which help narrow down choices. Anyway it's a collaborative website for software description and reviews and I encourage you to check it out.
    • by russ1337 ( 938915 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:43PM (#20267525)
      >>> The lesson to be learned here is that you should never believe anything you read on the Internet that you don't know to already be true or that you get from a source that has proven its trustworthiness repeatedly.

      ..... unless it is written in Times New Roman font. If it's in Times New Roman.. it's true.
    • by Holy69 ( 938902 )
      I love how his "Software" was on PCWorld [google.com] and they already removed it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xenocide2 ( 231786 )
      Which is why software packaging groups like Debian rely on pure statistics for such things. Popcon does more than measure downloads, it measures installed user base and I believe frequency of use. It's not a perfect system for recommendations, but it's clearly better than the five star ratings this man recieved. For example, if you're looking for a PDF reader or something, popularity may be a good indicator of quality. While Debian's system is committed to keeping bad software like spyware, it's still nice
    • by afay ( 301708 )
      To be honest, I really wish google went back to what make them popular in the first place (searching the web) and fixed it. Every time someone complains how google isn't quite as useful as it used to be the typical response is like "for what searching for porn? lolol". Actually, no. I'm finding google less and less useful for what I *do* search for though. Here are some examples:

      1) Coding questions: Usually the first 10 pages I get back are these sites that are 99% ads with some post that asks a similar que
      • SEO is a cat and mouse game and the professionals are very good at it. For a few grand a year a top-notch SEO company can get you on the first page of pretty much any competitive keyword you want in a few months. Google makes it hard enough that I wouldn't do it myself, but SEO is a very integral part of an online marketing campaign, and considering that, its dirt cheap.

        And Google is constantly tweaking their algorithms. But so are the SEO guys.
    • by Vulva R. Thompson, P ( 1060828 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:52PM (#20267639)
      Good points. I take it a step further and say it's a civic duty to fellow netizens to recommend the good sites you've found. Especially to your Joe Sixpack friends so they don't get sucked in by the deceptive crap.

      Btw, if most are like me, product decisions are usually based on other user's feedback as opposed to formally published reviews. Here's my "Top 10 List" contribution of sites in that vein:

      1) Online stores: www.resellerratings.com
      2) A/V: www.avsforum.com
      3) Hosting: www.webhostingtalk.com
      4) General product reviews: www.amazon.com (yeah, really)
      5) Hardware: www.newegg.com
      5) Anything CD/DVD related: www.cdfreaks.com
      6) ATI: www.rage3d.com
      7) Nvidia: www.nvnews.net
      8) Storage (forums mainly): www.storagereview.com
      9) Just plain interesting and informative threads: www.arstechnica.com (anyone remember the endless, very informative Dell 2000FP thread?)
      10) Opinions on Microsoft: www.slashdot.org

      FWIW, YMMV.
      • by J0nne ( 924579 )
        10) Opinions on Microsoft: www.slashdot.org
        Yeah, because /. certainly is widely known to be unbiased in this regard ;-)
    • I ran across a lot of "review" sites where, surprise surprise, the winner of the review was owned by the same people who posted the review.

      I ran into the same problem. You'd think Google would be able to remove these fake review sites from the top 10 search results. In any event, I found Hostjury.com [hostjury.com] to be a good place to get reviews of different hosting service providers.

    • It is a bit surprising that a place like PC World listed it [72.14.253.104] (though they have since taken it down [pcworld.com]). I googled "awardmestars" and noticed that there was one other site that removed it in the first twelve site hits.
    • I've never had this problem with Sourceforge and the like. Sometimes you get lame buggy or insecure software, but you can usually get a fairly good idea of the l,b,i rating from the activity stats, a couple of google searches for the name of the project will generally find comments from real end-users.
    • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )

      Seriously, is this any surprise? Every time I go looking for some generic piece of software (as opposed to some specific software I already know and trust), I usually have to sift through a bunch of crap links to sites that exists for no other purpose than to collect ad revenue.
      Dunno what sites you're looking at. I just go to Freshmeat [freshmeat.net].
  • Mod me up! (Score:5, Funny)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:18PM (#20267107)
    Let's see if it works here.
  • Egads... (Score:5, Funny)

    by downix ( 84795 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:23PM (#20267187) Homepage
    Couldn't he have at least had to say "Hello World"?
  • What a suprise! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hard_Rock_2 ( 804967 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:25PM (#20267219) Homepage
    I mean seriously this is nothing new. Most of these sites just browse through the PAD directory and add your application to their directory. Usually I get them in groups of emails which leads me to believe that for the most part it's just one person creating multiple repositories. The ranking is probably random based, I don't always get fives.

    There are several sites that are more specific and don't just add apps and give them awards. These don't automatically award you and may even reject your app if they don't meet standards.

    As a user you probably care more for these.

    As a developer it doesn't really bother me that my app is getting added everywhere for next to no work. I don't get any downloads from these sites anyway which leads me to believe that users know which sites screen the applications and which ones don't. So what's the point of this article anyway?

    There are also sites that offer better ranking if you link to their site (some even threaten to revoke your app) and others that you pay for, which makes sense. The people running the site just want to make money, and why not?

    Anyway I think the author may be just trying to get some quick exposure for the last link he recommends. There is a global pad database already and most sites will grab it from there already. And for free, unlike the $70 he spent.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      WTF is a "PAD"?

      Googling didn't help, and wikipedia tells me things like "Pipe Acquisition Disorder" and "One of the transliterations of the fourth syllable in the Buddhist six syllable mantra Om mani padme hum".

      Clearly it's not really an unambiguous term. I have never heard of it.

      Also, if this "PAD directory" (whatever it might be) is so useful and known, give a link. I can't easily find it on google.
      • WTF is a "PAD"?

        If you had RTFA, you would have noticed the link to Portable Application Description [198.63.208.118].

        • What is PAD?

          PAD is an acronym for Portable Application Description. It is a system that helps authors provide product descriptions and related information to online sources in a standardized manner, and using a standard database format. This allows webmasters and program librarians to automate their submission processing and listings creation. PAD saves time for both authors and webmasters.

          http://submit-everywhere.com/faq.html [submit-everywhere.com] about 3/4 down the FAQ page.
  • by ewl1217 ( 922107 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:25PM (#20267223)
    Let's look at these software awards as movie reviews. I wouldn't trust some bum off the street to tell me if a movie is good or not; I don't know them, I don't know what biases they might have, and I don't know what tastes they have. Instead, I would go to an established movie critic, a friend, or a family member and see what they have to say about the movie.
    • I wouldn't trust some bum off the street to tell me if a movie is good or not; I don't know them, I don't know what biases they might have, and I don't know what tastes they have.

      As always, the reputation of the reviewers is important. Very seldom do we see a review of the reviewers. Often however we do find reviewers using examples and repeatable experiments. The older Tom's Hardware of AMD and Intel P4 chips with the heatsink removed is an excellent example of a useful review which lends credibility to
    • the IMDB numerical rating is what i trust the most for a quick glance to see whether the movie is good or not.

      a 5.x is nearly always horrible, and 8.x-9.x is nearly always good or great. I dont look at written reviews or anything like that, just the IMDB score to see if I should download it, and then watch to form my own opinions.

      Just odd how reliable it has been for me. MUCH MUCH more than any 'repected' critic giving thumbs up or down.
  • An exe? (Score:4, Funny)

    by ephesus ( 252335 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:27PM (#20267257) Homepage
    Maybe they were just happy to see an .exe that didn't muck everything up, and rewarded him with stars.
  • by CaffeineAddict2001 ( 518485 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:27PM (#20267259)
    Does this mean my website in 1998 may not have really been "BEST OF THE WEB"?! Now that I think about it, what about all those poetry contests I won? The other poems they published sucked. It was Almost like they accepted anybody!

    OH MY GOD. SO MANY GOLD STICKERS -- WASTED ON MEDIOCRITY!
    • Does this mean my website in 1998 may not have really been "BEST OF THE WEB"?!

      What's really silly to me is that people even bother submitting their software to these sites for approval. It's a total scam anyway, so why not just copy the 5-star award image from someone else's website?

    • by multisync ( 218450 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:01PM (#20267767) Journal

      Does this mean my website in 1998 may not have really been "BEST OF THE WEB"?!


      You think that's bad, the guy in the next office to mine has a coffee cup that reads "World's Greatest Dad!"
    • Hey, at least I'm an artist. I drew Binky the Clown and sent it in and they said so!
  • by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:29PM (#20267285)
    He must know what he's talking about, he's listed in Who's Who Among UK-Based Software Developers .
    • I hear Andy Brice got five stars from the "S0ft\/\/@r3 D3v3l0p3rz 70p 20" website last month.
    • Wish I had mod points... hillarious reference to "Who's Who" lists...
      (fwiw I was listed on a Who's Who list of some kind a long time ago... might've been something like Who's Who Among High School Students, or something along those lines)
  • But I was impressed the author took the time to point out some of the good ones rather than just vilifying the more craptastic.
  • by Zerimar ( 1124785 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:33PM (#20267349)
    Tucows hasn't failed me for 10 years now.
    • Tucows?! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Poromenos1 ( 830658 )
      Tucows still exists? Man, I'm glad we moved past the shareware age and on to the open source age. Nowadays I use almost no shareware programs, everything else (a few hundreds) are open source. I will admit, though, that it had a certain magic about it, but maybe it's just the fact that I was young and remember it fondly.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Zerimar ( 1124785 )
        Yep, still there and still loved by a few :) BTW, there are plenty of freeware apps there that are not open source - you should venture back one day! And who doesn't love the name?
  • I suppose we "know" to not pay attention to those things, but there's a difference between the 'street smarts' of the web and actually proving it. Here he literally posted something that doesn't work and is worthless, and showed that he can garner ratings. I mean, someone (newb) could really think that some crap download they just grabbed really was 5 stars. In this case we know there's no way that could have occurred.
  • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:37PM (#20267423) Journal
    So far his self-proclaiming useless program has garnered sixteen 5-star awards from download sites he submitted it to.

    I dunno -- Lotus Notes has won all sorts of valid-sounding awards and I bet most users would be happy with an upgrade to Brice's app. At least his thing probably doesn't actively destroy your email.

  • Some aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

     
  • ...a noddy badge for this brilliantly inspired and researched news story.

    Now please visit my websites:-

    http://www.deeplinking.net/ [deeplinking.net]
    http://www.googlesecrets.com/ [googlesecrets.com]
    http://www.mypopularsite.com/ [mypopularsite.com]
    http://www.googleme.com/ [googleme.com]
    http://www.adwords.com/ [adwords.com]

    Yada Yada...
  • by RyoShin ( 610051 ) <tukaro@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:54PM (#20267661) Homepage Journal
    Five star ratings aren't just abused by the sites that host the software, but often by the people who submit them, as well.

    I was recently doing some research on a potential replacement program for limited use at the company I work for. One particular program caught my eye (mainly because I couldn't find competing similar programs), so I tried to find some reviews on it. The only site I found any reviews on was C|Net. The average rating was a 4.something, but I decided to read the reviews to see if any particular bugs they reported might cause problems here.

    To my surprise, of the 15 or so reviews I found, 10 were not only positive, but actually used the "negative" boxes to espouse more praise! This in and of itself is very suspicious. I can understand one or two over-zealous users doing that, but 10 of 15 doesn't seem right. Added to this was that most of those were posted one after another, one per day, and had "generic" usernames. Then each account had only one review, the one for that piece of software, and it was made the same day they signed up.

    When it comes to reviews I trust "average joes" more than official publications because they are more likely to use it as I would. I don't discount the publications' reviews, but if they say it's bad and Joe says it's good, I'm more likely to go with Joe and give it a try. However, because of reasons like this, I have to make sure to actually read the reviews of users to see just how it fares.

    Some sites have set up things to try and combat this. A few web hosting ranking sites display partial IPs (some full) for those who post (anonymously or otherwise) so that users can use their own judgement when reading the reviews- if the same IP is posting a lot of positive reviews for a place, it's likely an inside job.

    (We didn't use the program in the end; not because of the reviews, but because their sales department was incompetent and would only set up a demo if we used GoToMyPC. Heh.)
  • by Perseid ( 660451 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:59PM (#20267731)
    ...they have Slashdot moderators handing out the stars.

  • I've read some of the user reviews of the software on some sites, and they're very funny. Worthy of /. Most award it 5 stars because of the humor, so the author might be mistaken to think there's another motive.
  • by Dekortage ( 697532 ) on Friday August 17, 2007 @05:43PM (#20268285) Homepage

    "They probably won an award."

    (from The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman [wikipedia.org])

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:05PM (#20268483)
    Posting anonymous for not ending up on everyone's Freak-list ;-)

    Two years ago I did a freeware Breakout/Arkanoid clone... for Windows *looks-to-the-ground-in-shame*. I made a small site, putted some ads on it (hey, the game itself had 100 levels, 10 music tracks, nice graphics and was absolutely free) and I submitted my .pad to around 100 sites (1-by-1, I learned about those padfile-autosubmitter programs like 5 minutes after I was done.) Anyway, I leaned back relaxed as I watched the thousand dollars of Adsense-revenue everyone was talking about to come in.

    Then I woke up. Although around 500 people already downloaded it from my site on the very first day, almost no one of them even saw an ad because most of the freeware-archiv-sites and the like were just linking directly to my installer. Ok, should have see that coming.
    I edited my .htaccess file redirecting everyone trying to download the file from outside my page to the index.html. HAH! Take that!
    Ad impressions and clickrate increased dramatically and so I leaned back again... until one day later. It stagnated. Again. Totally.
    I looked up a few of the sites I submitted it to and figured that since they couldn't get free hosting from me anymore, they were just hosting the game themselves now, next to their ads of course.

    Ok, fine. I polished the game up a bit, just enough to call it 1.1, and added a license that would forbid to host the file.
    I wasn't too surprised that they just updated their links and continued to host it on their sites but I tried to email them about it. I got some automated responses. Some guys said that it is not possible to forbid other sites to host freeware in the United States (maybe they were right, what do I know? I'm from the other side of the World.) Most of them didn't respond at all and around 5 guys basically told me fuck off - and oh yeah, I did.

    I felt used, and angry, and I knew I had to do something about this unjustice. I thought about hacking their sites and posting sodomy-scandals on wikipedia about their owners and stuff like that (but I didn't do it, it was someone else... no really)
    But then I thought, Hey, most of these guys have some amateur frontpage-site or some badly used CMS with some crappy logo of a smiling dog or something. I can do that better. Much better. In fact, I had the system of a fully automated site with a webcrawler looking for .pads, autogenerated reviews and awards so people would link back to it suddenly right on my mind. And then I did it. I wouldn't say that I invented it but I didn't know of a similar site at the time. And yes, I cloned it to various domains.

    Long story short, my network generates around 2500$ ad-revenue a month today, which is a lot of money over here, and I have a clear conscience. It is perfectly legal, I pay my taxes.
    I just figured, why should I cry about people making money on the internet that way and waste my own talent making just some small games and tools and working 9-to-5 programming databases when I could not only be "one of them" but instead do it even better? You only live once and I can now spend money on things that enrich my and my family's life that I couldn't afford before. For me it's just the making-money-method-for-nerds of our days. If you are in front of the monitor hacking stuff anyway, you might as well make some bucks with it as long it's still possible.

    Looks like I had to get that off my chest or something but I really don't look back. Now let me put my fireproof vest on while the flames strike upon me (from the people actually reading it before it gets modded down.)
  • I'm not surprised. Some of the well-known awards aren't worth anything, either. Kind of like the televised award ceremonies of the entertainment industry. 15 years ago PC Magazine would give awards to just about anyone who cared to buy enough advertising in its pages. There's a lot of hype out there and people looking to do nothing but draw attention to themselves in their quest to sell advertising space.

    Worthless no-name awards are to quality software as karaoke is to the entertainment industry.
  • by MrP- ( 45616 )
    I released a new version of one of my programs [mosasciim2.com] a couple weeks ago.. I did the usual submission to 1000 freeware sites (via robosoft) and most of the "awards" you get are sent as an auto reply!
  • I get those all the time for my company's software [mvpsoft.com] as well. In almost all cases, the HTML code provided for the "awards" contains a link back to the software download site. That's what they're looking for - a link-back to improve their Pagerank[tm]. What I do with them is I take the image, change it to greyscale so it doesn't clash with our site's design, scale it to a reasonable size, and host it locally, not linking to the site.

    Awards do have the benefit of giving a product some appearance of legitimacy,
  • ... and they'll buy it. Even if it's crap. It worked for Microsoft Office*.

    * Except Excel, Excel is pretty good, but everything else in Office is complete garbage.
  • whether some guy on teh Intarweb thought a program was really worth five stars or was a steaming sack of elephant feces. I can make that assessment for myself. The real problem is when websites start trying to draw in web hits by evaluating whether a program is free of spyware or not. Take Softpedia, for instance. Sure, they have lots of entries, and they claim to test each piece of software for spyware, but to date, I've never heard a straight and impartial answer on whether they're honest or on the ta
  • ...was picked up by Weasel over at: http://sweasel.com/archives/501#comment-4327 [sweasel.com]
    earlier today.
  • There are scores of download sites, maybe hundreds. Why assume they'll ALL trustworthy? Anybody can put up a download site.

    I try to deal only with names that have been around a while - MajorGeeks, etc.

    Did he submit to the known, recognized sites. Doesn't say so in TFA.

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