Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Information or Advertising

there is so much good information online.
there is also so much crap and subtrefuge.
you have to be careful, and discerning.

example:  on my facebook page sidebar, there was the following ad:

Driving in Washington?
Your auto insurer hates this. 
Obey this one trick to get extremely
cheap auto insurance rates.
 well, i drive in washington.  so i typed "lifestylejournal.com" in a new browser window.  I never click on such link, cause it passes information to the ad poster.  in facebook the web address is right there.  sometimes you have to roll-over the link to see the website you are being directed to in the status bar of your browser.

lifestylejournal.com appears to be a newsy, informative website with lots of helpful articles to things you might really be interested in - like saving on car insurance.  but wait...

the article has that fakey-flakey, not-written-by-a-real-person tone to it.  you read it and it just feels like it was made to sound genuine.  doesn't feel genuine, but it sounds like it.

on the lower right side of the page are some "satisfied customer" testimonials, with pictures.  an older man, a couple, a young girl in a car.    hmmm are these real people?  i screen snapped and saved the little pictures and put them in tineye.com, an image reverse search site. guess what.  3 of the four people pictures come from istockphoto.com:


so the people in the testimonials are fake.   hmmm.

then if you look at the page, they keep pointing you at insurance.comparisons.org.  the link to that site appears 15 times on the page.  the magenta highlights are the found occurances of this link in the screensnaps below:

now my B.S. detector was really going off.
this is ANOTHER advertisement.  you were drawn off facebook by a teaser about saving on car insurance - specifically for washington state, since facebook knows i'm in washingtion state, which makes it seem local and personal.  if you clicked on the link in facebook, your source information is passed to "lifestylejournal.com", facebook gets a credit for a click, and "lifestylejournal" knows where you came from.  then you see what appears to be carefully researched information that says "insurance.comparisons.org" are really good guys and they will find a way to save you a ton of money on car insurance.

but the WHOLE THING IS LEADING YOU ON. the social-network is presenting you with social-engineering to get you to believe you are just getting good information that leads up to get you to buy something.

i didn't bother to click on to "insurance.comparisons.com"  i already knew that i was being manipulated from the get go, and i don't need to carry it any further.  you can do that and tell me what you found out.

now, figured this out, because i've been online a long time, and have seen this stuff develop, and my B.S. detectors for it are pretty well tuned up.  not perfect, maybe not even expert.  i can still be fooled, but so far, i haven't been sucked in so far that i've actually spent money on any of these guys.

but there are millions of people out there who don't smell the rat in these deals, and i can only imagine how many dollars are sucked out of them.

you gotta pay attention out there.  know what i mean?  my general philosopy is that if someone has a good product, at a good price, that has real value, they will just show me pretty much up front what they got.  sure, they may concoct all sorts of glittery or clever ads that makes me want to like them or perk up my interest that will lead me to the "add to cart" page.  if there's a string of social-engineering like these guys leading up to the shopping cart, then their product is probably not good, their price is too high, and it doesn't have real value.

still, you gotta admire their cleverness.  and the fact that it must keep working, cause if it didn't, it would fade away.  they just won't get my dollars or my time.  we do live in the "free market, capitalist economy" that some republicans are always spouting out.  so along with the amazon.com's we get this stuff.  which in my opinion, is just crap for crap eaters.

have you ever "gone all the way" with a socially-engineered ad like this and bought something? (please don't tell me you sent money to Nigeria")

No comments: