A slow day?

For those that haven’t noticed it yet, upstartblogger.com has taken yet another turn. Remember the old tagline of the site?  If you don’t, I’ll remind you: Successful blogging made simple. As it turns out, successful blogging just isn’t simple.  There’s all these acronyms you need to know about, like HTTP — what the hell is […]

all part of my elaborate plan…

extra extra

update on the twitter fireball scam i wrote about yesterday.

apparently twitter fireball was just an elaborate april fool’s day joke.

riiiiiiight.  it’s really too bad i only took a partial screenshot of the site and didn’t get the PayPal button at the bottom of the page.  alas, it’s too late now as the copy has been hastily rewritten and the domain has had a robots.txt file added to prevent search engines from spidering the site and thus allowing people to look at old versions of the page via search engine cache.

luckily, i don’t go down that easy, and i’m still smarter and faster than ashley.  because the joke’s still on you (or, more accurately, your band): if Twitter Fireball was such a joke, why does Enormous say they are actively using it?

nice try, sir.  what will it be next time?  Twitter Galaxy?  Twitter Spaceship?  Twitter Comet?  Twitter Supernova?

april fool’s right back atcha.

f*** you, clown. f*** you

it kind of makes me belligerently angry when people try to make money at someone else’s expense.  it could be argued that this describes all commerce, but it’s a different thing when the methods used to make said money involve deception, fake product reviews and false advertising.  (you could say that microsoft is guilty of all these things, and you might be right.  but, these days at least, microsoft offers product demos and free versions of their software so you can try it before you buy it, and the thing i’m thinking of has no such “preview” version.)

this is why i blogged about the ipad scam thing and this is why i’m still pissed off about twitter fireball.

i mean, here he is 6 months after getting his twitter accounts suspended the first time which followed a review of the original product doing the exact same thing.  hoping the internet has a short memory so he can launch his “fireball” into the sky and scam some people out of their hard-earned dollars again.

obviously he’s learned nothing.  obviously he’s not changing.

the new, rebranded version of twitter rocket, and the somewhat preposterous name, just makes it feel like a dare to me.  the name in particular: fireball?  my mind flashes with comebacks like “so you’re already planning to go up in flames?” and “being burned once isn’t enough for you?”  the thing is, he knows what i have on him, he’s begged me not to expose it, he’s relying on my good graces to not just out him right now, and, thus far, i haven’t.  but really?  you’re going to try to con some more people out of their money with the same shit you pulled last year?  the same way you conned me out of my money?  seriously? it’s really testing my patience and making me feel much less graceful about things…

anyone curious about upstartblogger.com’s new “owner“, you need to look no further than twitter, apparently…

quick question for the initiates: how does someone who has a total of 4 tweets accumulate 3,000+ followers and 12 additions to twitter lists?
trick question: you don’t.  unless you employ shady bulk following methods and don’t care about the followers themselves (and the conversation you might have with 3,000+ people) as much as the number those followers create.

Caution: Beware of Fireballs

are there any regular readers out there?  anyone who might know about the whole upstart blogger and twitter/genesis rocket debacle?  a few?  well, good.  if not, check the archives for a refresher.

the short story is that over the last year i followed, became entangled with, and then uncovered all sorts of unsavory things about mister ashley morgan and his blog upstart blogger, about which i’m writing a book.  the sad thing is that i actually learned a lot about blogging in the process, but the downside is that he’s a scam artist and one of his cons is/was Twitter/Genesis Rocket, about which i wrote, then purchased, then exposed as a scam and a recipe for how to create a twitter spam account.  the good news is, i can’t imagine this new thing works anymore given twitter’s increasing crackdown on spammers, but the bad news is, no one’s told mister morgan, and he’s back at it again.

it came to my attention today when i suddenly saw two incoming links from comments i’d posted on upstart blogger from august and september 2009 on my wp-stats page.  given they weren’t there yesterday (and they weren’t, i’ve been checking since my traffic suddenly peaked with my post about the “test it and keep it” ipad scam).  i scanned the post for any link to me and saw that it was just my old comments.  but something else had changed on the posts.  he’s gone through, more than once, all the posts on upstart blogger replacing “twitter rocket” with “genesis rocket” and then “twitter rockstar” and then some other crap i can’t even remember, but this time he’s done the switcheroo again and the new name is “twitter fireball.”  (anyone following his blog will know there’s been a fire theme of late.)

let me make this as plain as possible:

Twitter Fireball is nothing more than a rebranded version of Twitter Rocket.

this is obvious when you consider that the promotional copy written about Twitter Fireball is almost identical to the copy for Twitter Rocket, then Genesis Rocket, with a few minor modifications here and there.

Twitter Rocket is a scam.  the method itself is not a scam, it works fine — it works fine, that is, if your goal is to build a zombie following of marketers and other spammers and add no value whatsoever to twitter or the blind hordes of followers you’ve raked up from the depths of twitter sludge.  no, the scam is the air of legitimacy that Twitter Rocket, and then Genesis Rocket given to it by the author and his untouchable PageRank 7.

Twitter Fireball is the latest attempt at reaching the success and level of income (at the expense of hundreds, if not thousands of marks — myself included) that he tasted briefly at the height of Twitter Rocket (before he got hit by EMI lawyers by posting about Lilly Allen and, simultaneously, have several of his own twitter accounts suspended for suspicious activity).

run far and fast.

after posting a half-hearted apology for some of what he had been caught doing the first time around, he’s trying to build up the empire again.  scrolling down to the bottom of the Twitter Fireball page, you’ll see that it’s an “upstart fireball” product.  (sound familiar?)  a google search for “upstart fireball” brought a wordpress site running the default theme on sonicfireball.com (his twitter name du jour is @morgansonic).  sonicfireball.com currently has all the content from upstartblogger.com that has to do with making money, and — as far as i can tell from a brief scan — not much else.  the tagline is “making money since 2009.”  the intent is fairly obvious.  this is going to be the hub.  he’s setting it up and he hasn’t launched it yet.

upstartfireball.com itself is being parked currently, but, having dug up all kinds of dirt on him back in december and january (that being the pretext to my book), i recognize the parking page as being a domain registrar he’s used in the past.

let me say it again: Twitter Fireball is a scam.  Do not purchase Twitter Fireball.  If you want to be a spammer, fine, whatever, by all means give ashley your $97.  twitter will deal with you eventually.  if you have any intention of using twitter for what it is — a social network and communication platform — run far, far away.

and, ashley, i know you’re reading this.  don’t think i’ve stopped working on the book.  i would just like to say thank you — this adds more fuel to the fire with which i can complete it.  fireball indeed.