Flakelet.com

I’ve been running various websites online now for, well, forever really. I think it goes back to 1998 somewhere, my memory fails me. The point is that I’m fairly web savvy and I know when a website looks suspect.

Due to running so many websites I’ve also had numerous emails over the years from affiliate networks, potential sponsors and various companies who have wanted me to sign up or advertise their products.

Many of which are genuine affiliate networks, many of which are not.

Again, I feel I’m pretty good at telling which are the genuine ones, and which are the spam emails destined for the deleted items folder. Yesterday however I had one email that I just couldn’t bring myself to delete, so blasé was it about its ‘free’ service to me.

Have a read of this:

From: Weng Lopez
Subject: Re: CSA Hell: Re: your site, www.csahell.com

Hi,

I just want you to know that your site meets our criteria and we would like to sponsor it. The membership is free but only the top-notch sites are allowed.

What’s in it for you:

– Placement in an exclusive “Best of Content-Oriented Web sites” directory.
– Free content for your site, written around your topics by our in-house writers.
– Promotion of your site across our networks of 2,000+ of blogs.
– Marketing tools developed exclusively for our members to help you drive more traffic.
– Expert advice on search engine optimization (SEO), content development, monetization, conversions, etc. to make the most of what you’ve got.
– Participation in our community support forums.
– …and more.

Note that none of these benefits are available to non-members, it is an invitation-only community for webmasters. So, if any of the above appeals to you and if you’d like an invitation, please let me know. I will send you more details.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

Weng Lopez
weng.lopez@mikino.com
www.flakelet.com

I so nearly deleted it… but instead felt a compelling urge to reply, especially after I had a quick look at their website and saw what a dodgy Facebook knockoff it was.

Here is what I wrote:

So, if I understand this correctly – you want to place content on my site, with links to your sponsors, without paying me for it and have advertised this as being a free service to me?

I can see what you get out of it – websites willing to post your content promoting your sponsors, but I don’t seem to get anything out of it all. Your website seems to be using the same design as Facebook (I’m sure that’s a coincidence) and has no PR, meaning it’s fairly new or has been penalised.

In addition, should I place your content on my website I would be penalised by Google for duplicate content AND for selling links, even though I wouldn’t actually have received any money for them.

Perhaps I’ve missed something? Do let me know if I have.

Regards
Darren

I doubt I’ll get a reply back – but seriously, if anyone gets an email from these jokers, the ‘free’ membership that allows you to promote their clients without any charge to yourself isn’t the best deal you’ll find online.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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15 thoughts on “Flakelet.com”

  1. Heh, I got an email from them and decided to google their company. (Because my site is small and I’ve never had anyone contact me about sponsoring my site.)

  2. Ah ha! Thank you for this post. You just saved me time & money. I received an e-mail from them this morning and was doing research on them when I came across your post. I will be deleting my “Special offer” from them now.

  3. I am so grateful to you for this post. You are so right about the facebook knockoff, I received an email from them this morning and that was my first thought when I clicked on the link. I bet they regret sending YOU an email:)

  4. Thanks for the comment Amy.

    I bet they do regret emailing me (wouldn’t be the first people to have that regret) especially as their website is now banned by Google and a search for their website adress brings up MrDaz.com in the #1 spot.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=enl&q=www.flakelet.com

    I’d call that pretty poor reputation management – maybe they need someone to help them with their SEO? Though with all of that duplicate content, they’d really struggle anyway!

  5. Thanks for this great article. Me as well as another blog I know received the same email today only different wording. I googled them and found you. Thanks for the info!

  6. Me too. The email that I received from them was not even as verbose as the one you received. It was a one sentence message just stating. Like your website and want to sponsor you, email for information. Yeah, um. No. Thank you for being my googled rescuer before trouble. :)

  7. You can add me to the list :)

    It did look strange – their website doesn’t provide any concrete information or a preview of their “many articles.” How ironic that you are the first Google result. It sounds like they have been busy. I’ve asked them to send me “additional information” and I’m curious to see if that means I’ll get the long email you posted (as opposed to the one-liner) :)

  8. Awww, and I thought I was special for getting this offer.

    I googled them as well, just to see what they’re up to, and no, putting their crap on my site in exchange for more hits from other spammers—who of course have no interest in a Korea-focused blog—isn’t an “opportunity” at all.

  9. Thanks for this, I decided to google too instead of clicking that link, and I am glad someone talked bout it

  10. I got an email from them today, so there are clearly still playing this little game. It does seem completely nonsensical to use their ‘service’ – I’m already listed across all of the legitimate blog directories anyway and I have plenty of content of my own, so why would I borrow rather naff articles from someone else??

  11. I just received mine today and of course did a little Google search and came across your post. It seems now they are offering to link your blog to 2,000 or so others. Hmmmm… Even if they were legit I don’t like duplicate content. It’s enough to do paid posts now you’re giving me content for free and I’m using it for free? Yea, okay.

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