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Friday, December 2nd, 2005

Way Cool – At First

Ok, I was impressed…

Here’s the comment that appeared within hours after my last post about Virtual Identity (yeah, I could put a link to it, but now it’s in your face):

Mark says:

As I was moderating the new virtual identity sign-ups (generally to remove the links left by the sex boys), I came across this page. It is true, www.digital.vi displays an error page. The development of this page doesn’t have priority with us. And as far as the business model is concerned there is not much to see, although you forgot to mention that when you sign-up (using PayPal subscriptions) you get GREG @ PERRY VI as your email address.

Some people think that is pretty cool…

Ramble on my friend

I thought it was pretty cool of Mark, whom I’m guessing is Mr. van O, that he responded to my less than laudatory post with humor and a well-placed plug. I remember the old days when the SysOp really was god, and quite a few of them would have permanently banned me from their site for a jibe like that. Like I really needed their 5-line 2400 baud Wildcat site! Well, unless I couldn’t find any place else to get my TradeWars fix…

I think it’s admirable that MD hand-screens their sign ups to keep the porn peddlers out; and don’t get me wrong – pushing the US Virgin Islands IANA country code as an abbreviation for your product is smart. I can guess why they’re not pushing “Net Avatar” as their product – the business trips wouldn’t be as relaxing.

I’ll admit to being mystified by Internet company business models. I’m not trashing them all in general because I was burned (I wasn’t) during the ’02 bubble bursting and am a “new economy – can’t go wrong” / “well, of course it’s cyclic” revisionist – I have always been mystified. And more than a little peeved, because I could so easily have been one of those dot com millionaires who retired at thirty, but I was held back from getting into it because I couldn’t imagine how this and that idea would be able to make money. I just didn’t figure that the investment bankers handing out all that cash didn’t know it wasn’t going to work, but they wanted to believe. I wouldn’t have been able to accept their money for a doomed idea anyway. The curse of knowing too much.

Hmmm. Now I’m trying to restrain myself from ranting about that particular open wound, which is wasting a lot of time. I wish you the best of luck, Mark of Mainland Digital, and with a PageRank of 0 for your www.clubvi.com page, you’ll need some. Did you know we first registered our Domain Names on exactly the same day?

As for the error page – it doesn’t look to me or my browser to be an error page. It looks like a one-line html file. I, too, have put up pages just to give the prying eyes something to find, but not what they want – check out my Nimda worm defense at gregrperry.com/sumthin. But I find the unexpected blank wall to be intriguing, if not compelling. Recognize this place? Of course you do.

St Thomas Communications

Unfortunately for me (because this is really starting to take away from my FC4 reinstall and my SuSE 10.0 upgrade), the more someone looks like he’s trying to cover his trail, the more I feel compelled to follow it. And I guess I’m not the only one, because the spam hunter Roger Rojisan took note of you in his December 20th, 2004 entry:

I present the referer-spam site of the month, scott.vi… brought to you by

Mainland Digital, Inc.
168 Crown Bay, Suite 310…

Registrant: MAINLAND DIGITAL INC.
Name: Marcus van Oxxxxxxxxx
Organization Name: MAAR Internet Business Partners
Street Address: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
City: Amsterdam
State: NH
Post Code: xxxxxx
Country: nl
Phone #: +31 20 412 xxxx
Fax #: +31 20 412 xxxx
Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

So now I’m starting to wonder whether there isn’t much to see of your business plan, or whether it’s just that you don’t want anyone to see it. I wonder what’s going on here?

NOTE: Be sure to check out the exchange of comments attached to this post before you make any negative conclusions. I’m not accusing here, merely pointing out that there is an appearance that something fishy might be going on. I could be completely wrong.

Posted by Greg in My Website

4 Comments »

This entry was posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2005 at 23:48 PST and is filed under My Website. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Way Cool – At First”

  1. Mark says:

    Greg,

    Nothing to hide, honest to G#d.
    I wonder why people have this thought?
    Maybe time to put up a page with headshots and blow some bubbles.

    In order to register VI domains, we needed a company in the Virgin Islands. And you are right the business trips are pretty relaxing. (can’t recommend it for living though)

    I thought that you were not going to post my email address. Thank you for masking my lastname, I guess?, but I would rather have my email masked. I am living in the US now so the address is outdated. My compliments on your googling, Mr. Rojisan is nuts. He is one of those sysops that blocked me and my partners from viewing his site just because he got a couple (about 4 referers from our site) He got pissed when he didn’t see a link back to his site. He wrote an email to all providers of all internet resources I use stating a claim of ‘abuse of his network’, what a waiste of brains and energy! Mr. Rojisan needs some ZEN and get his ass into the 21st century.

    The funny thing is that if me and roger “slandering” rojisan would be on speaking terms, the combination of his pagerank crank and my “keep it simple” business model would actually work. It is probably the curse of knowing to much that makes people cocoon and relay their own truth instead of keeping it real.

    There are a lot of people out there that foresaw the DOTCOM crash of ’02 and don’t understand why so much money was invested in technology that is free anyway. I symphatise with anyone that got burned.

    Keep it up, that’s what I’m doing.

  2. Greg says:

    A somewhat fair and reasoned response – what did I do to deserve so much attention? I took out the email and some location details, although it’s all out there for the getting. GoDaddy offers private registration for only US$7 a year. For the time it was up, maybe only one or two people hit my site and a few bot crawls. I’ll send you the logs tomorrow if it would make you feel better.

    I know I didn’t promise anything about posting, so you must feel that I’ve broken some netiquette, and if I have, I apologize.

    I agree that Rojisan looks like he goes over the top at times, and his specific accusations in the post I referred to are not particularly damning, but his finger-pointing seemed to be at least partially substantiated by the difficulty I had getting any details about your company. I didn’t seriously think you were actually the registrant – if I did, I would have been more circumspect.

    I would recommend putting up a front page for your company, even if only a blurb about your business, history and services. It tends to satisfy the curious, and people are (finally!) starting to get a little concerned about who they’re dealing with, especially if they’re sending them money.

    I would like to make it clear that I was not accusing you of any monkey business, I was just pointing out that we have a case here of “looks like a duck and smells like a duck…” I hope the positive things I had to say struck some balance.

  3. Mark says:

    I am not worried about this info being online.
    That would be suspicious, right?

    It is just that when I posted my first comment, the form asks for input “Mail (will not be published” That is why I commented on you publishing my email address.

    Great feedback, I’ll make an effort to communicate more about our company on http://www.digital.vi

    You have been very helpful, Thanks

  4. Greg says:

    Ah! Now I see what you meant about the email. Sorry, since I am permanently logged in at my own site via cookies on my most commonly used machines, I don’t get to see things the same way that my visitors do. When my website software receives a comment, it emails it to me, which includes the entered email address; but in this case I was hanging around online and responded directly to the postings, and my interface only reports the entered homepage. I’ll have to customize it to report emails as well.

    Not that I thought to compare the email address you provided with the comment, which I should have done. As it turns out, the first email you submitted was not the one that I included in the whois report I reproduced, but I looked at a lot of whois reports for Mainland Digital, and should have paid attention to that issue. Regardless of my choice of whether to publish or not, I should have formatted any posted email in a spambot resistant format.

    You know, the rise of the blogosphere has given a voice to a lot of people who never had one before, but it also carries some of the responsibilities that have long been considered a requirement in mainstream media, and journalists were taught about them. Thanks for the education.