I got threatened by a company that paid me to blog for them

I began writing this blog in 2007 because, well, because I could.  I was putting status updates on my home page, but then decided to create a WordPress blog and use that instead.  My main goal was just to give simple updates of what was going on in my life so that friends and family could see.  I could have used MySpace back then, but I preferred using my blog instead.

I believe it was in November of 2009 when I first signed up with Blogsvertise to get paid to blog.  They would send me an offer and I would write-up a post about a website or the product and/or service available on a website and I would get paid $9-$15 after 30 days if the post was still there.

My main goal was to help me pay for my website hosting every month and my domain every year, it wasn’t meant to give me an income.

When I signed up with Blogsvertise, I also signed up with PayPerPost from IZEA.  A few months down the road I signed up with IZEA’s Social Spark.  I don’t get a lot of offers, but I get enough that I am able to pay for my hosting, domain and even help pay for my groceries when I run out of money at the end of the month since I am on disability.

So in early February 2011, I got an offer from Blogsvertise to write a post for a certain website which I cannot name, but let’s just say they have a few OFFERS available on their website if you catch my meaning.  I don’t normally do a post if it’s less than $9 or $10 because, well why should I?  I can afford to be picky because again, this isn’t an income.  They offered a measly $7.50 for the same amount of work as a $9, $10 or $50 post.  I liked their website product/service so I did it.

When I write-up a post, I don’t delete it after I get paid a month later because I don’t think it’s fair to the company to only get 1 month of advertisements, I like to continue to offer them free advertisement just because that’s how nice of a guy I am.  Ok, it’s really because I just don’t think about it, let’s call it laziness.

I got a letter in the mail yesterday from unsaid website threatening to take legal action against my web host company if I don’t remove the “Unauthorized link.”  I was gobsmacked because they have a thing on their website telling people to share their website with a “LINK.”  Why is it ok for someone to share the link, but I’m not allowed to share the link anymore?  I don’t get it.

So what I did was I immediately removed the post that I had written for them, along with every other paid blog post that I had already gotten paid for from Blogsvertise, you know, just in case.  Their letter also said that I have to write them a letter telling them that I removed their link.  In my letter I told them that not only did I remove the link/ad, but I am also no longer going to use their website and I am not going to recommend their website to friends and family anymore.  Not that I ever did, but now I definitely won’t.

In addition to my letter, I also sent them a printout from Blogsvertise and circled the amount of money I got paid for the ad so they will see it, and I sent them a copy of their original letter too.

I have PTSD from my childhood (yeah I know, I’m 42, those should be gone but their not) so I have panic attacks that I’ve had since childhood, and thanks to their letter I got a major panic attack.  I had to take two Klonopins just to calm myself down.  I think one would have sufficed, but I was walking on sunshine with the two lol.

When I got the letter, I emailed Blogsvertise and of course they never responded.  I also tweeted @Izealove asking about old posts and they haven’t responded either.  I left all the IZEA posts because they don’t have a Google Page Rank requirement like Blogsvertise does, which I think is the reason this happened, because my page rank dropped from 3 to 2.

At any rate, my Ad’s went down and it is a good possibility that I am going to quit using Blogsvertise because of this.  I will stay with IZEA primarily because they have way better opps.  IZEA has Sprint, TGIFridays, Lenovo, Kia, AM/PM among other major companies.  Plus they pay better lol.

I don’t want to speculate on why they made the decision to send me that threatening letter, but I have a feeling it’s a homophobia issue.  I mean, why is it ok for everyone else to link to their website, but not my website?  I mean I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that I’m right.

Well, that is all I have to say about that.  I am done with their company forever.  If I want to get good “offers” on coupons, I will use Gaypon from now on.  At least they like me, they are following my book on Twitter lol.

UPDATE: I finally got 2 emails from Blogsvertise today.  I sent them both the original letter sent to me by the company who wants to take legal action against my web host so they can deal with it now.  I am still going to blog for them because I really do like the opps they send me, not all of them but most of them, but it’s not fair to them to stop working for them when this one company threatens me.  So I think I overreacted a bit when I said that I was going to drop them.  What I like about them is that when the 30 day comes, they don’t make me wait until I have $50 in my account like the other websites do, they will deposit the $10 or even $7.50 right into my PayPal account which gives me that extra few dollars I need when I’m in a pinch at the end of the month.  So I will continue working with them because they really are a good company.

I am still waiting for this company to contact me though.  See, they sent me the letter on the 14th and I got it on the 18th and sent my response letter out on the 19th.  Well, they said I had 7 days from the date of their letter to respond, well, that means on the 19th, I only had 2 days to get that letter to them.  It took their letter 4 days to get to me because of the weekend, will my letter get to them in 2 days?  If not, will they take action on the 7th day despite the fact that I removed the link?  Or if they got my letter, will they read it immediately, or will it sit on someones desk for a couple of days unopened?

If you no longer see my blog, it’s because my web host took it down.  If that happens then I guess it was fun while it lasted…  If it does happen I will just move my domain over to another host.  I have my domain with a different company, so of course I will just get hosting with them.  I hope that doesn’t happen though because I will end up with a blank slate.  I will have to start all over from scratch.  UGH!  Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that though.

So… I guess the only thing left to do now is start copying my entire website using an FTP program, you know, just in case.

Google Plus

Do we have enough social networking websites or are there not enough?  It all started with MySpace, not everyone was on board with it at first but people started flocking to it when they found out how cool it was.  Then Facebook came along and proved that it was better and it literally killed MySpace which people stopped using.

Google Plus is one of the newest social networking websites and it doesn’t seem like anyone really wants to give it a chance because they don’t really want to leave Facebook.  I think they think that they can only do one social network and that’s it but that’s simply not true.  You don’t have to limit yourself to one.  Heck, I should know because I’m using Twitter and Facebook every day and now I have added Google Plus.

What I like about Google Plus is the circles feature.  You can put certain people in your circles and when have friends and family who have such different interests as I do, you need to segregate them into those groups when you post the crap that I do.

Some of my friends and family love my sick sense of humor, while others think I’m disturbed and have even threatened to block me so they don’t see the things that I post.  I also don’t want everyone to see my posts from my blog which is why I have created a Facebook fan page and only invited those whom I want to read my blog to like the fan page so the others don’t see it.  With circles you can post whatever you want and you can choose which circles get to see it and which circles can’t.  That is what I’ve been looking for.

There is another feature which I absolutely love.  You can start a hangout, which is a cool new webcam tool, and invite people to join you.  It’s not just a video conference tool for 1 on 1, it’s a group video conference so you can invite as many people as you want.  I’m sure there is a limit, I don’t know what it is though.

When you are in a hangout, it adds a post on your wall saying that you are hanging out with 1 or 2 people or whatever the number is.  There is a button that says “join this hangout” so other people can join without inviting them.  I’m pretty sure that the only people in the circle you invited when you started the hangout can see that invitation though.

What’s great about the hangout is that when someone starts talking, the video focuses on them.  When someone else starts talking, it automatically switches to that person.  If you click someones video then you can’t get out of that auto switching for some reason and you have to leave the hangout and come back to allow the auto switching to continue.  Also, sometimes someones video will freeze and the only way for that to fix is for that person to exit and come back.  Other than those 2 issues it’s perfect.

I love the hangouts because I think that will be a great way to have a family reunion with family members you haven’t seen in a long time.  Or you can have your book club join via hangout.  Or maybe you just want to chat with a bunch of people.  Whatever the reason is, it’s a very cool tool.

I think that Google Plus will eventually catch on.  It doesn’t have games like Facebook does but given time I’m sure it will eventually.  I don’t care about games as much as I care about connecting with people.  At least that’s how I use social networking websites anyway.

I personally hope that it catches on because I really like the circles and hangout feature.  I’ve been telling people about it but so far I only have a few friends.  Hopefully they will come over and allow me to segregate them in my wall posts (LOL) and hang out with me in a group video chat.

Join me in Google+  If you can’t get in, ask me for an invitation via Twitter @xanapus.

Cleaning the Back Yard

We were supposed to have family visiting us in early March but they postponed until late March.  Then they made it early April, postponed 1 week then again.  Basically, I’ve been frantically cleaning until I hear of the postponement over and over lol.

The house isn’t that bad but you know, it’s the little things here and there.  Nooks and crannys that you don’t think about but it’s the first thing that draws their attention and they bring out the white gloves type of thing lol.

So I moved on to the side patio, back patio and back yard areas.  Got the side patio and back patio cleaned out but it’s the yard that really needs to be cleaned.  I had a lot of trash in all of those places because we never use them so all of the boxes that I don’t feel like breaking down when I get packages and when we got our tv’s ended up there.  Also, some stuff got ruined in the recent rains and well, needless to say I have a lot of trash.  Our trash only gets picked up once a week so I have to wait to clean some more.

Our back yard doesn’t have any grass and the orange tree is growing out of control but what I would like to do is clean it all up, prune the branches on the tree and put grass out there then I can clean up the lounge chairs (sand, prime and repaint them and buy some garden cushions for them) so that I can sit out there.

My Nook works in the sunlight and I think that will make reading it so much easier if I’m reading it outside instead of inside.  Also, it will give our dog Flower a chance to do what she loves to do in the summer time which is sun bathe.  She loves to lay out in the sun.  I can see her laying on a lounge chair in the back yard lol.

I think that if we had a nicer looking back yard we might have BBQ’s back there where we can invite friends and family over for lunch or dinner or something.  Then we can all sit in the chairs in the sun or in the patio under the awning.

Since I have a lot of work ahead of me this is just a dream for now.  But like I said, I can’t do anything until the trash gets picked up so I can add more to the cans.  Same with the green cans.  I can’t add any of the orange tree branches to a full can so this will be a dream that will take weeks, maybe even months to fulfill.  But I want it to happen so it will… hopefully.

DJ AM Dies

DJ AM Dies – Source TMZ

Wow I just heard the news via friend update on Facebook.  DJ AM died of an alleged overdose of drugs and was found dead in his New York apartment this afternoon.  Friends haven’t heard from him in days and someone went to check on him and there was no answer at the door so the friend called the cops who gained entry and found him dead with some drugs nearby.

I remember hearing about him being in the plane accident with Travis Barker which was horrible that they went through that.  I think that was around the time or maybe after Travis Barkers reality show.  I’m so glad that they survived the crash but it’s really sad to hear that he died in this manner.

My heart goes out to DJ AM’s friends and family during this difficult time.

Actor Ron Silver Dies in NYC At Age 62 of Cancer

Obit Silver

This is indeed sad.  Ron Silver has passed away at the age of 62 from Cancer.

The shows and movies that I remember him from were “Veronica’s Closet”, “Chicago Hope”, “Mr. Saturday Night”, “Oh, God! You Devil”, “Romancing the Stone”, “Silkwood”, “Hill Street Blues” and “The Entity”.  Yes, I went through he list in IMDB which is a very long list of credits.

Ron Silver lead a very nice life and tragic that it had to end after 62 years.  To the friends and family of this very talented man, I am sorry for your loss.  The loss isn’t just yours but is also ours.  He surely will be missed.  My family and I will keep Ron and his family and friends in our prayers during this most difficult time.

Friendly Spam

Is there such thing as friendly spam?  I don’t know, all I know is I much prefer spam fried and on bread with mayo.

I get a lot of emails every day advertising something like porn, penis enlargement, weight loss, and from various companies like Pepsi and Dairy Queen and even news emails from newsmax.com.  I don’t care for them, I just immediately delete them, that is if they don’t find themselves in my spam folder.

If it wasn’t bad enough getting those spam emails, I get tons of other spam from people that I know.  Friends send me spam constantly.  I get either petitions or chain letters and they are all guilting me into sending them to 10 or more people.  The petitions say that I have to sign my name at the end of the email then forward it to 10 people and those 10 people sign it and forward it.  First of all, those petitions don’t do any good because they never get to who they are intended to go to and 2nd whoever they are sent to don’t take them seriously.

The chain ones say if you don’t send it out to 10+ people you will have bad luck.  I don’t believe they will give me good or bad luck.  No voodoo priestess enchanted an email to give you good or bad luck OK.  There is no luck with chain letters or chain emails.

The spam I hate, really really hate are religious emails that friends and family send me.  Sometimes that’s all they send me and when I email them they don’t even respond to my emails at all so I start to wonder why I even have them in my address book at all.  Why don’t I just block their emails from coming to me.  I hate religious emails.  It’s like they are shoving their god or Jesus down my throat.  I don’t send gay emails to everyone shoving homosexuality down their throats so what gives them the right to do that to me?

This one person who I met on the greyhound as I was going to visit my aunt in 2000 or something who I gave my email address to sends me nothing but religious emails and yesterday she spammed me with about 10 emails with all of her YouTube videos.  Yeah, I’ve seen them and they aren’t new, I don’t know why she feels the need to share them with me again.  One of them is a video of this guy in his 50’s or 60’s and he’s sleeping with a laptop on his lap and he’s sleeping sitting up but hunched over the computer and she’s laughing and saying MySpace addict.  I didn’t see MySpace up on the screen.  It was just the desktop with icons.  How does that make him a MySpace addict?  It just makes him a laptop addict.  That makes no sense to me so I don’t even respond to it.

Frankly, I’m sick of getting emails from anybody because that’s the only crap they send me.  I think there are 2 people who send me emails with conversation in them who I correspond with and that’s it.  All the rest feel the need to spam me on a daily basis.  I don’t mind the jokes or the puppy/kitty/baby pictures, those I love to see and the jokes and comic strips are really funny.  But don’t shove god/chain/petitions down my throat unless you are prepared to get a 20 page email about homosexuality.

Skype Video Phone

The future is now people!  It finally happened.  A company has come out with a video phone that you can use to make free video phone calls.

Here is a demo.

It looks like you can make Skype to Skype voice calls as well as video calls.  The other person doesn’t have to have this device as long as they have Skype on their computer and a webcam.  And I saw on the demo that you can also make calls to landlines and cell phones.

It either plugs into your DSL/Cable router or you can use it via your WiFi connection at home.  It comes with a battery so maybe you can take it with you when you are on vacation and your hotel has WiFi access.

It does have a hefty price tag on it.  $299.95 but I’m sure in time that price will most likely go down.  It may have a small screen, 800×480 Pixel 7” TFT-LCD, but what are you expecting?  If you are using Skype to make video calls on your computer you will know that it’s 320×240 which is way smaller than this gadget.  And it has headphone jack so you can have a more private conversation.

Just think what you could do with this.  You could connect with friends and family and not just talk to them on the phone but actually see their faces too and if you hate to travel for business it could be used for meetings.

Since it’s a free video call what would be really cool is to call someone on their video phone at Christmas time and just have it running and have the camera looking at the kids who are opening presents.  This way the people who couldn’t come can watch the kids playing.  And whenever someone wants to come say hi to the person on video phone then they can walk over to it.

You can sit it on the dining room table and be eating while the person on the other side is also eating.  This way you will be sharing a meal.  The possibilities are endless.