The Change Direction Blog is about the joys, and practical impacts, of working from home online. It is about online businesses and techniques for internet marketing, traffic building. It is also about what it is like to work from home, working with family around, and all the practicial issues that arise on a day to day basis for someone working from home. Plus, an ex pat view of an English guy living in Palawan, a tropical paradise in the Philippines.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Online Profits - At The Double!

If you do a lot of browsing on the internet, particularly in the arenas of business opportunities and internet marketing, you cannot have failed to have noticed all the so called "Doublers" springing up every few hours. Just invest a bit of your hard earned money, and it will keep doubling for ever and ever and you will be rich in no time. Seen them?

Many of them reflect the hazards and vulnerability of the internet, to those who are unsuspecting and vulnerable to the "Get Rich Quick" lure. Yet another doubler popped up on my screen yesterday. Usually I just pass them by, but this time I just went in to do what everyone should do, looked for who was behind it, how to contact them, what experience and track record they had. The answer was as I expected. The only contact was a form in which you gave them your email address. So they had captured you as a lead. But what about them? Who were "they"?

"They" did not exist, at least as far as that particular website was concerned. No names, no address, no telephone number, no fax number, not even an email address. The website could have been set up by a crook in an open prison in England, a nursery school student in the US, a nun in the African jungle, my 12 month old daughter while I wasn't looking, or, most likely, a scam artist just about anywhere in the world.

Of course, there was a table showing you how much you would earn if you threw your innocent cash at the scam. Put in $200, and soon you'd get $400; put in $10,000 and soon you'd get $20,000. Well, they were educated enough to work out what double was, that's a big plus I suppose, in a world where substance is thin on the ground. So, how did they pay out these rewards? Well, no indication of that, or anything else important. It was a simple web, woven to tempt an innocent.

This theme of "who's behind the business" came up a couple of weeks back, when I was thinking about writing a sales letter for Empowerism, a company which has been established on the internet for 7 years and with a great reputation. I am personally a bit tired of the formatted sales letters you see today, however much they are proven to get results. So I decided to try something a bit different. I wrote a silly poem about the sort of program referred to above, with no names, no address, no telephone number etc. I wasn't too sure what the purpose of it was, but I finished it in a couple of hours, and decided I would just send it out as a letter, and see what the response was. I have no idea what the response will be, but it's always good to try something original. Well, at least something I'd not seen before.

I won't repeat the whole thing here, it's quite long. But if you really must, you can view it at: I sent a few out today, I am intrigued to know if anybody will take any notice of it. Whatever, if it provides a little bit of light entertainment, that's fine.

How things change over the years. When I was a "serious" (if 100% unsuccessful) writer and poet, back in my teens and early 20's, the very thought of writing anything for remotely commercial purposes would have filled me with abhorrence. I was a literary purist in those days. No wonder publishers did not like my work! Or was it because the work was so bad? Ok, I confess. Most of my "serious" writing was very immature, which is not surprising given my age at the time, and must have seemed awful to a seasoned publisher. Maybe I'll dig out some of my old poems and put them on the net. They were written in the days before computers, and I don't think I ever even typed them. Should be nostalgic.

Talking about nostalgic, it's 8 and a half hours until 2005, so we can soon say goodbye to 2004. That's coming to a bad finish, though. Mary Ann called to order the monthly case of red wine (good for the heart, you know) a while ago. No answer. Shut for the rest of the year. Well, that wouldn't happen back in England on New Year's Eve.

Never mind. I've had my tropical Christmas, now it's time for my tropical New Year in Palawan.

A happy New Year to you, wherever you may be. May 2005 bring you health, love, happiness and achievement.


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