Some day I plan to run my own vast Web 2.0 empire, and the media world will tremble at the mere mention of my name.
For now, though, I operate a humble blog that, well, let’s just say it isn’t exactly burning up the ComScore charts as one of the 100 hottest Web properties. I have a small but dedicated audience composed largely of family members and their pets, as well as a few stragglers who find their way via the stories I write for Computerworld, PC World, Cranky Old Geek World, etc.
So I was a little surprised when, out of the blue, I got an email from “Sarah Bennett” at a UK-based company called Linkstar Media seeking to place a handful of text ads on my site.
Sure, I said, I’d be happy to take some of your money. But first, could you tell me a little more about Linkstar?
You’d think the answer to that question would be simple. It wasn’t. The more information I sought, the more elusive it became.
After I pressed Sarah to tell me what kinds of ads they had in mind, who their advertisers were, if they an affiliate-based ad company, and who actually owned Linkstar, her supervisor “Steve Martins” replied and said Linkstar was no longer interested in advertising on my site.
After he realized I was a journalist (which is pretty obvious if you’ve ever visited my blog), he warned me that the firm’s solicitors would vigorously pursue legal action against any one who published defamatory comments about the company.
Well, saying that to someone who does investigative journalism just for fun is like tossing raw meat to a hyena. So I started digging….
For the rest of this entry (including some truly pissy comments) see my Culture Crash blog on Computerworld.