Archive for Hot Links

The Super Hero In You

One of the things that I get asked during interviews is who inspires me and who are my hero’s. It’s a question a always struggle to answer, there’s honest answer – but I might aswell make up random names as very few people have heard of them.

Well Peter Diamandis is one of my hero’s. If you want to be truly inspired, study his work.

Christmas FM

So Christmas is here and for me this means one thing. Christmas FM is back on air!! Since being a teenager I was in love with the world of Radio and although I no longer and involved full time in the industry, every Christmas for the last three years I fall back in love with it.

Christmas Music

This year we are broadcasting in 5 regions in Ireland a huge increase as our first year was just in Dublin and the second in only Cork and Dublin. This year we broadcast on the following frequencies:

Dublin – 89.9 | Limerick -105.5 | Cork -106.7 | Galway -89.5 | South East -103.8

We also had the No1 downloaded I-phone App on itunes in Ireland within 2 days of launching it.

Christmas FM is a social enterprise. A business set up to run a temporary radio station for 1 month a year, with all the proceeds going to charity and run by volunteers. There are three simple aims:

1. Make as much money as possible for our chosen charity each year and help raise awareness for the work they do – This year our Charity Partner is Barnardos.
2. Spread a bit of Christmas joy to everyone who wants to tune in.
3. Have a lot of fun with all the volunteers who help make the station happen.

Last year Christmas FM won awards for “PR Excellence for a Non Profit” from the PRCA.

For me it’s a great way to leverage charitable donations, so we raise money for the stations operation costs via the Christmas FM online store and put money forward to cover the operation costs. Then the station itself builds a huge listenership who text message in to have requests and everytime they text €1 goes to the charity directly. Also by raising awareness for the charity (Barnardos’s) good work, our listeners give generously to their cause and we have street teams to raise cash in all the major cities.

People love the radio station, feel under no obligation to give to the charity if they don’t want to. And yet we often get people who find the station from all corners of the world, listen online and then want to give back to a cause that brought them a small piece of Christmas happiness.

Christmas Music

Storm Media and other Google Scams

In general i don’t like writing about scams and giving attention to evil companies tricking people out of their hard earned cash but this particular scam is really really annoying me. Storm Media and several other incarnations of the same scam (such as a company called Matchmaker) have been tricking upstarts out of money in Ireland for the last few month. This is a SCAM and absolutely no one can sell you a No1. Position on Google. It can’t be bought, it must be earned, no exceptions.

The Following companies are Scams, listed here are some of the Aliases they go under:

Top Spot Marketing
Storm Media
PolePosition Media
Match Maker
Zenith Marketing
Sphere Marketing
First Search Consultancy
Apex Media
Lime Media
Media Mountain

If something sounds too good to be true it nearly always is – €149 to be on top top of Google organic search? Get real! On the phone they claim to be “from Google”, they most definitely are not and yes I have reported this scam to Google who are dealing with it, however the companies change names so often its hard to keep up.

First off organic search cannot be switched on and off like PPC (price per click campaigns). Second if there was a trick to getting to the top of Google they would be out selling it for millions, this is preying on the week and is the lowest of the low. If you happen to coincidentally have some success during the period of your campaign you might correlate it to the scam and they will suck on you until eventually they put you out of business after all they can threaten to turnoff your success if you don’t keep paying a monthly fee.

As i have several businesses i’ve received it several times and also we receive regular calls, it’s always the same. Usually in a well spoken British voice. I can only assume the increase in the calls is due to the scam working on some people. Here’s what the email looks like:

> Hello Ronan
>>
>>
>> Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal.
>>
>> Over the last few years, the internet has grown to such an extent that
>> no
>> matter what industry you are involved in or what your demographic is, it
>> is
>> vital to have an online presence. As a company that has invested time
>> and
>> resources into creating an online presence, I am sure you are aware of
>> the
>> importance of gaining exposure for your website.
>>
>> There are many routes your potential client base could use to find a
>> product
>> or service, however it is statistically proven that the vast majority of
>> all
>> online searches and therefore all online business is directed through
>> Google
>> and more specifically the 1st page of Google.
>>
>> Most people are aware of the power Google holds although very few people
>> know how to take advantage of Google’s search volume.
>>
>> You have probably been approached with, or possibly even tried a variety
>> of
>> methods to obtain high positions, for example ‘search engine
>> optimization’
>> or ‘directory listings’. Although these methods can have some level of
>> success, there is only one way to obtain GUARANTEED Google Pole
>> positions. The
>> answer is very simple, GO TO GOOGLE ! !
>>
>> As a licensed Google retailer, we are able to offer a package that is
>> unsurpassed within the marketplace. The offer is as follows;
>>
>> ALL PACKAGES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
>>
>> -GUARANTEED 1ST PAGE GOOGLE POLE POSITIONS WITHIN 48 HOURS
>> -5 SEARCH PHRASES IE: THAT ARE THE MOST LUCRATIVE TO YOUR BUSINESS,
>> COVERING THE AREA? OR REGIONS REQUIRED.
>> -NO LONG TERM CONTRACT
>> -FULL SUPPORT FROM A DEDICATED CAMPAIGN MANAGER
>> -MONTHLY REPORTS
>> -FREE UNLIMITED SEARCH PHRASE CHANGES
>> -FREE GOOGLE MAP
>> -EXCELLENT VALUE FOR MONEY: 196,04euro
>> .IF YOUR VAT REG” 169,00euro
>>
>> -STORM MEDIA WILL BUILD YOU A TWO PAGE WEBSITE” FOR 99EURO,
>>
>> If you would like me to do a preview” its not a problem.
>> If there is any question you can contact me by phone or e-mail using
>> my contact details below.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Kind Regards
>>
>> Patricia Buckley
>> Senior Sales Advisor
>> email:ireland@stormmedia.eu
>> Tel:0034 951311935 0871 9711142

I will continue to update this post with the latest name of the business everytime they call or email, but please post if you have received similar scams under one of their business names. If you have been unfortunate enough to be caught out remember you can reverse the payment on your credit card by VISA and Mastercard.

If you are listed on any Irish directory service you can expect a call from someone trying to sell you a Number One Spot on Google. It’s a scam, tell them nicely you hope Karma sees them soon and hang up. I really do feel awful for start ups that have fallen prey at a time where every marketing Euro means so much to them.

_________Update of Alias Names____________

Thanks to Sian at Whatswhat.ie who’s directory was used (without permission) at one stage to targeted Irish companies other Alias’s of the company Storm Media are:

Top Spot Marketing
Zenith Marketing

These have been added to the list above on the page.

For more on this Scam read Here:

No1 Position in Goolge Scam

_________Update of Alias Names____________

Geraldine of Eonish Lodge brought to our attention a new name they are using which is now added to the list – First Search Consultancy

Also got an email back from the company reacting to my somewhat frank and direct reply saying “one thing I found that sceptics have in comman over the years is that they’re all broke.”

I wonder when they read this blog post if their gonna tell their mummy on me too, grow up and stop trying to earn a living from other peoples misfortune and lack of knowledge.

_________Update____________

Apex Media is another new name for this scam. They also seem to be getting much bolder judging from the comments below. Expect them to seem to know details about your business and claim the knowledge is because you confided it in Google.

This Scam has spread across Europe and the USA now, new front lines are Spain, France and Germany. WhatsWhat.ie has a blog about how a customer that was scammed is having awful problem with them – apparently they used the card details (given for a trial version) to make “4 unauthorised debit card transactions” when they tried to cancel their campaign!

_________Update____________

Should also point out if storm media were infact in any way competent at SEO or being at the top of Google organic SERPs then the current search for their own business name would have them ranked higher. After all I have done zero SEO work on this post. So its only a geo-targeted PPC ad that they are shilling as an organic listing.

Storm Media

_________Update____________

Lots of comments suggesting the name for the company doing this scam is now Lime Media

_________Update____________ 14/5/10

Media Mountain is now practicing the same scam.

Hot Links 12 Feb 09

Inspired by my love of Damien Mulleys Fluffy links section which i love to read here’s a few things that are interesting me this week.

Fas’s Jobbank had me quite inspired this week with over 120 CV’s submitted to me within a 24 hour period. It got me thinking that if a recession means that if enterprises like mine can suddenly attract the kind of talent we have applying then it will be a very good thing in the Medium / Long term. I just wish i could hire a whole bunch of them.

Niall Harbison had a great idea this week and turned it around amazingly fast. Twecipe.com went from concept to launch in less than a week. The idea is simple, tell the program what you have in the fridge and it will give you a recipe to turn it into a fancy meal. That’s dinner sorted for me from now on. Also Available on Twitter follow @Twecipe. All this in the same week he changes the Ifoods brand to Look and Taste The guys on fire.

Alan Launched PartyCentral.ie

I confirm the date for my first U-18 DJ performance, of only 4 headline U-18 gigs in 2009 playing at Teenage Kicks @ Leisureplex on March 6th for Spin1038

Peter got screwed by Budget Rent a Car and didn’t lie down and take it.

Xocia did it’s pre-launch in Ireland, i was invited along – it was like a bad time share presentation, 45min presentation took 3.5 hours. I am planning on writing a blog post on this but out of respect for the person that invited me have agreed to give them a week before i publish it. In the mean time let it be said that the Business Model is completely flawed, its not a sustainable business and there is no such thing as a business that makes you money without you needing to understand the business itself. If you partake in XOCAI YOU WILL NOT MAKE MONEY only the top few of the pyramid will – if something seems to good to be true it is. I find it terribly unfair on those without the experience to run the numbers correctly.

Saw an interesting site Costume Shop Finder

, nice idea.

And Lastly Zatori Results announced that we’ll be launching a new business, the clock is on ETA 4 weeks. Its going to be very sexy.