“The Last Of The Red Hot…Good Samaritans?”

Written By: Roger J. Burke

Here is my latest article. It may be freely used in ezines, on websites or in e-books, as long as the Resource Box is left intact.

I would appreciate notification of where it was used, and if possible, a copy of the ezine or newsletter that it was used in. Please send notification mailto:webmaster@online-wealth.com

Occasionally…just occasionally…I see something, during my surfing and searching, that I figure a site owner would like to know about. Something that, if left unfixed, will continue to bother prospects, just as it was bothering me…

Not that I consider myself to be the definitive guide, but I’m sure you know what I mean. We all like to help a bit, now and then, right?

I was in this e-book site – a very big one, I might add – when suddenly, up pops a blue box with an alert: some sort of “run-time error at line XX – do you want to debug?”…maybe you’ve seen this sort of thing also?

(And, anyways, why on earth would I want to debug somebody else’s program bugs?)

As usual, I punch the “No” button and let it go away. This time, however, the pesky box came back…and back…and back again and again, each time I hit the “No” button.

(By the way, have you ever tried to move your pointer quickly from a pop-up box – as you close it – to the back button of the browser…ya gotta be queeeeck! Better to put your cursor on the “no” button, place the mouse pointer on the back button, then hit the “Enter” key on yer keyboard, and then very quickly click the mouse…you’ll get out OK.)

Soon it became very tiresome, not to say annoying, y’know…so I hit the “ContactUs” button and sent off a rocket (a nice, informative one…nothing abusive, OK!) to the webmaster, advising him/her of the problem and maybe they wanna do somethin’ about it…just tryin’ to help out and all, y’know.

Next time I check the incoming mail, the message I’d sent was bounced back to me, accusing me of spamming their site! Aaargh…what’s goin’ on here? To say that I was surprised and peeved is…well, hardly surprising, right?

So, I mention this to Sherry, who takes a look at the messages, her face turns a dark red (almost), elbows me outta the way and gets into that website, muttering unner her breath, “Oh, yeah, call me a spammer, huh…just you wait!” Determined now, Sherry searches around that site until she finds an email address with a real name – “Debbie@” was the particular one she finally chose.

After sending her rocket – including copies of emails – we finally get back a response. Well, you guessed it: once again, our email was bounced with the warning “We do not respond to spammers.” Obviously, the people behind this website have taken Linda Cox’s spamicidal polemic (a deliciously facetious piece designed to be treated with the humour it richly deserves – you can find that article at http://www.LindaCox.com) about spam-haters to heart … and with a vengeance!

Sherry looks at me, back at the screen, shrugs, “Well, a pox on that website and all…we ain’t gonna buy any books from that place, that’s fer sure!” She looks at me again, “And you should be more careful who you deal with…” and stalks off, muttering about “crazies on the net.”

Hey, waddid I do? ;-[

Anyways, and while we’re onna topic of pop-up boxes, if that ain’t enough to put me off bein’ a good Samaritan, the very next day, I’m in a site about internet marketing, affiliate programs, MLM…you know the stuff, right? (And, just for the record, it wasn’t this site, Online-Wealth, OK!) Niiice looking site, well laid out but nothing new for me, so I punch the back button to get the next site from the SE…and then all hell breaks loose.

I tend to dislike pop-up boxes, don’t you? Even at the best of times, right? OK, lissen carefully, this is how it went: the pop-up box is there, I hit the ‘x’ to close (there is no CLOSE button – that shoulda been a clue, huh?), the box disappears, but the main page reloads as I watch…I hit the back button, out pops the same box, I hit the ‘x’, pop-up pops off, the main page reloads…I hit the back button again, up jumps the box, I punch the ‘x’ again, box gone, main page reloads again…

What the freakin’ hey is goin here? So…desperately, viciously, finally, I hit the ‘x’ on the box and then the top-right ‘x’ to close the browser. Those guys at that website are either incredibly stupid…or they’re being stupidly incredible. And maybe very devious, to boot!

So…reluctantly putting aside my first plan of sending zillions of pop-up boxes from my secret spammers mailbox, I get back into the site – hey, I ain’t scared to go where angels won’t – and find an email address, to which I send a (very fast and big) rocket (actually, just about an ICBM!) describing to those turkeys precisely why I think they’re script code needs re-working…or maybe even deep-sixing!

What was in the pop-up box, you ask? Do you really care? Well, OK, it was another invitation to get a free site review and subscribe to an ezine. Big deal! (Hey, people, I don’t need a pop-up box to tantalize me with your stupendous(?) offering…if I wanna subscribe, I’ll subscribe…don’t try to force me, OK?) Sheesh! ;-(

And, of course, after sending the email from the site, I got stuck again in the pop-up loop before I finally got the browser closed…sheesh, some guys never learn, right?

When I related alla this to She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, she says, “Well, dear heart, let that be another lesson to you…you will insist on trying to tell dumb websites where they’re goin’ wrong. Why bother already?” She glares at me, but I detect a hint of a twinkle…

Until next time…mebbe.

About the Author

Roger Burke has been involved with computers since 1967, and has managed to break quite a few, over the years. He, and his wife Sherry, are now actively engaged in online self-publishing and promoting specific affiliate programs at http://online-wealth.com . If you have any comments or questions about this article, please send emails to mailto:webmaster@online-wealth.com .
Copyright 2001, Online-Wealth. All rights reserved.

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