How the scam used to work is this: You start a completely unknown and unremarkable website that is of no use to anyone. Then, you find a couple of more useful, more popular websites and give them an “Award” for being the “best website about [whatever the website is about]”. Send them a notice of their victory along with an image of a trophy which (and this is the important part) is to be used to link back to your worthless website. The person with the [more] popular website gets the joy of winning an award, and you get their traffic. Now, just keep giving out awards until your site is large and popular. You’ll know you’ve made it when people start giving you awards.
At least, that’s how the game worked back in the savage 90’s. Back before people knew what they were doing and understood the details behind Google pagerank. Back before people were smart and web-savvy. The game has evolved quite a bit in the last ten years, and that old trick seems sort of childish and quaint by today’s standards. Today the game works like this: It’s exactly the same, except you also use Twitter.
I went to the award site du jour and made a pick, after which it posted the following to my Twitter:
Just nominated http://www.youtube.com/user/loadingreadyrun for Funniest YouTube Channel http://mashable.com/owa #openwebawards
These auto-generated endorsements have all the genuineness of a picture of a fat girl next to a picture of a completely different, not-fat girl over a caption that reads, “I lost 100lbs in eight and a half minutes without dieting or pills!”
I voted for LoadingReadyRun mostly because of the tenuous relationship between myself and the show. Graham and Paul – two members of the legion LRR cast – also do the Unskippable series at The Escapist, which is where my webcomic runs. It’s sort of like how if you live in a crappy small town with no sports team you end up cheering for the sports team in the nearest large city, even if never go there and wouldn’t actually care if the city was nuked off the map. If they become comedy superstars, then The Escapist will become known as the launching pad for them, and I’ll be known as the guy who writes for the one site where a couple of members of Loading Ready Run used to work before they became wildly successful. And that’s just the kind of boost my career needs right now. The fact that LRR is genuinely funny and brilliant is incidental to the greater cause of promoting myself by promoting a show that’s related to a show that’s promoted on the site where I promote my blog through my webcomic.
Anyway, if you somehow missed out on the whole LRR thing, then I offer this:
Just remember the close, personal bond between myself and the people who made that video. And think of me if they ever create a category for “Best Disjointed Rambling and raging against All Things New blog”. Because I think I’ve got a shot at that one.
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