Scamville Juxtaposition

There is a nice piece up this morning over at The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs where Fake Steve (Dan Lyons) points out (with his usual flair) that while TechCrunch was going after Zynga’s scam ad driven virtual goods business all last week, over at the New York Times they were working on a piece that ran on Saturday about how virtual goods were now bringing in money, which included Zynga as an example of how this market was maturing.

Did the New York Times mention any of the practices that TechCrunch brought to light?


But which will influence people more?

Which article scares you more?

9 thoughts on “Scamville Juxtaposition

  1. syncaine

    The post (and some of the other linked posts) are indeed scary. The ads are little more than those ‘free’ sample ads on TV, with the only difference being that some kid can sign-up without knowing it and the billing starts right away.

    I also wonder how this reflects overall on the RMT/F2P scene. Facebook and Myspace games have long been used as the model or example of success in that area, yet if it’s fueled by scams, how successful is it really? Obviously a $10 WoW pet is not going to sign you up for a monthly DVD service, but are we seeing the first sign with the ‘charity’ angle of the panda?


  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Heartless_ “Scams on the Internet? NO FUCKING WAY!”

    Indeed! And the New York Times has spotlighted that as a bright spot for people looking to make money from the internet.

    I expect a follow up article about Nigerian entrepreneurs and their break-through plans for using email to generate revenue.


  3. We Fly Spitfires

    On a vaguely related subject, I read an article about a virus which infects jail broken iPhones and sets their wallpaper to be a picture of Rick Astley.

    Maybe you’ve not heard of him in the US but if you’re British, it’s just hilarious :)


  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I would be surprised to find somebody on the internet who didn’t know who Rick Astley was, or at least hadn’t heard or “Rick Rolling.”

    I have had to scrub the URL from a few comments because they were links to that Rick Astley video.


  5. Scott

    Funny this about all the relevations about these scam offers on Facebook and MySpace, I’ve got into heavy development of various websites about 7 years ago only stopping the last couple of years and none of this is new at all.

    These offers you were seeing were all around 7yrs ago with shady incentivized companies on their own websites or via publishers who had no morals when they could pull in hundreds and thousands of dollars a day per website. At one point I even tried them until I found out about visitors getting infected with spyware/adwareand realized how they could afford to pay out the $$$ from them. I couldn’t live with that for any amount of revenue when it wasn’t honest.

    Now what you basicly have is these same ad networks, and developers moving on to whatever new angle presents itself to be taken advantage of. Small budget online games are the next target, the only reason they aren’t more prevailent is they don’t have the demand or scale that the facebook/myspace market has currently.

    The ‘mmo’ which I use loosely called Evony is the newest entry with their big breasted scammy banner ads – but I believe they’ve been called out already. Just expect to see many more in the future…


  6. Morane

    “Did the New York Times mention any of the practices that TechCrunch brought to light?”

    Well there was this one paragraph from the NYT article:

    “Players can also earn virtual currency by signing up for subscription services or installing pop-up advertising software. But some social gaming companies have cut back on such offers after criticism that they were misleading and in some cases defrauding players.”


  7. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    And that little aside, given what TechCrunch was going on about at the time the article was being readied for press, is in my mine about as useful/helpful/informative as Heartless’_ comment at the top of the thread.

    After all, TechCrunch was following up on Zynga and pointing out that they were not, in fact, “cutting back” on these sorts of things, but were just trying to feed TechCrunch a premeditated lie to get them off their back.

    But yes, one of the authors of the Times piece pointed out that very paragraph to Fake Steve, which yielded a good chunk of sarcasm. Matthew 7:3-5 indeed.


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