IN WHICH Mojo Opines: If These Young People Are Our Future We're In A Hell of a Lot of Trouble

Gosh, Mojo hasn’t waded through her email lately. Let’s do this one quickly, shall we? Realizing, of course, that "quickly" in Mojo-speak means you should cancel all your upcoming appointments for the next hour.

I won’t give the poor person’s name, assuming it is a real name of a real person and not just some spambot name to inspire trust in other, bogus, human beings. And I debated back and forth before ultimately deciding not to publish the domain the email comes from. Rest assured I have read through the entire site, and Mojo is Not Impressed. Suffice to say a bunch of kids, perhaps high school chums, decided—after a few years doing the freelance grind—that they could conceivably make more of that fabulous munny if they cut out that pesky middleman and solicited jobs that went directly to THEM.

However, the way they’re going about it is so, so wrong. That’s what the pesky middleman is FOR, kids: to solicit business in the professional manner you so sorely lack. Granted, your site DOES have that “hey, kids, let’s put on a SHOW!” feeling, which clashes SO UTTERLY and COMPLETELY with your concurrent stab at pretending you are, like, WAY PROFESSIONAL. Pick one or the other, kids. I’d personally advise you NOT to go with the “We’re like, WAY PROFESSIONAL” line, because if you are, you suck so very, very badly at it.

Their “Our Services” page claims they will do EVERYTHING FOR YOU from ghost blogging, social media (at least they are smart enough not to use the word “guru”), website creation and maintenance, yadda yadda yadda. The whole LAUNDRY LIST of SCARY TECHNOLOGY. Perhaps this list would be MORE IMPRESSIVE if they ever bothered to UPDATE their website, which they claim came into existence in 2011. If you plug their URL into archive.org’s fantabulous Wayback Machine, you’ll quickly find their website has not changed ONE IOTA since it was first scanned. Right down to their “we’re still trying to get our foot in the door, so we don’t have any testimonials yet.” If you haven’t garnered any testimonials in THREE YEARS…. uh, what Mojo’s saying here is, if you’re so great at content creation and website maintenance and all that other stuff, maybe one of your special group of professional kids should use their valuable mad creative skillz to UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE once in a while.

I suppose I should be grateful they are honest enough to just SAY they don’t have any testimonials from happy clients, because one tactic often used by those “BUY MY OVERPRICED EBOOK SELLING YOU THE INSIDER SECRETS OF THE DECADES” niche-marketing boutique WordPress sites (though it is SOOOO against the law I’m SURE they don’t come out and say so) is the Fake Testimonials. Teetering on the brink of pure sleaze is fake “real” testimonials from close friends and fellow marketers who are LIKEWISE promoting THEIR niche-marketing sites in a slimy circlejerk.

(Here’s how THAT works: Let’s say you, like Mojo, write ad copy, and your Marketing Friend sells bananas. He’ll write a testimonial for you saying something like, “My online business was going NOWHERE until MOJO stepped in with her MAD WRITING SKILLZ and now it’s FAT STACKS EVERYWHERE I LOOK!!!” (Exclamation points are MANDATORY for fake testimonials), and YOU in turn write a testimonial for HIM: “I didn’t know WHERE to go to buy bananas, but luckily I found FRED to guide me through the complex process of selecting, purchasing and enjoying the BEST BANANAS ON THE PLANET!!!”)

But it’s not uncommon to see outright FAKE testimonials complete with stock photos of the supposed gushy fans (you can search for images on Google, ya know) singing the praises of whatever is being hawked. The FTC has very specific LAWS against such things, but they also have a gazillion sites to go through, so it might take a while to get to such a poorly-rated site as THIS one. (Yeah, they also claim to be SEO experts. Their pagerank and Alexa ratings for their website seem to imply otherwise.) So the kids are either smart enough NOT to put up faked textimonials, or too stupid thus far to come up with the scheme on their own. We might find out which way the wind blows here if they EVER UPDATE THEIR WEBSITE EVAR AGAIN.

And WHAT exactly comprises their site, anyway? I’ll tell you. SIX PAGES. I thought at first maybe they were one of those many suckers who bought some over-priced e-book from some lame “marketing guru” (internet rule 101, kiddies: stay far, far away from anyone who calls themselves a GURU) on HOW TO MAKE A GAZILLION DOLLARS SELLING YOUR SERVICES ON TEH INNERTUBES and set up a lame WordPress “boutique site” one afternoon. But these kidling perfessionals didn’t even use WordPress, which is the very Mecca for wanna-be “Website Professionals” who actually can’t code to save their mothers’ lives. Nope, these chumps are using Tumblr, which Mojo rates even a step LOWER than WordPress.

But aside from that, it’s your standard “MAKE GAZILLIONS OFF THE INTERNET IN YOUR SPARE TIME WITH YOUR OWN SPECIAL NICHE WEBSITE (NOW GIMME A THOUSAND BUCKS)” spare, ugly "boutique" site that looks like it was written, designed and put up in three minutes. Each page has a piece of clip art/stock photo, accompanied by a very short paragraph assuring you they know what the hell they’re doing. The very existence of this site most assuredly assures you they do NOT. So updating such an ENORMOUS SITE should take them a whopping extra TWO MINUTES, which I will generously tack onto the THREE MINUTES it took to put it up in the first place.

ANYWAY, I would not have found this enjoyably lame and mercifully brief website except for the following email:

Hi, Mojo!

Oh, look, they at least got my online moniker right. There might be hope.

I am doing some branding and outreach for a home improvement and decor client of mine, and I am hoping that you will be interested in working with me to have my client represented on Mojo Crap.

…aaaaaaannnnnd, there it goes bye-bye again. Goodbye, hope. I hardly knew ye.

I’ll be nice for once and ignore the low-hanging fruit-buzzwords of “branding and outreach” and instead focus on the term “home improvement and décor client of mine”. Where on EARTH did this “branding and outreach” “professional” get the idea that something called a Craptacular is JUST THE PLACE for someone who is into home improvement and décor? Mojo is just about the very ANTITHESIS of the word “décor”. And if I WERE into décor or home improvement, I REALLY DON’T THINK I would want to have the words “craptacular” or “crap” juxtaposed with my product or services. Just sayin’.

In other words, WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?

(Oh, and speaking of the word “craptacular”: is it REALLY too much to expect a fellow Web Professional to at the very LEAST get the name of my site correct? It’s not like I HIDE it and demand you SEARCH FOR IT like some magical EASTER EGG. Kids, if you REALLY want to impress cranky old people like Mojo, tell ya what: GET THE NAME OF THE SITE RIGHT BEFORE YOU CONTACT ME. And stay offa my lawn! But I digress.)

(Here Mojo assumes the Condescending Wonka pose.) But please, young professional, continue with your presentation.

Condescending Wonka

Do you think that this might be possible?

MOJO: Uh, no. Not if you truly value your home improvement and décor client. Good thing you didn’t mention them by name, or Mojo might have taken it upon herself to warn them of their poor choice of “branding and outreach” professionals. Professionals who apparently think Mojo’s Craptacular is THE PLACE to advertise classy-type décor. Again, kids, LOOK AT THE NAME. Even look at the WRONG NAME you used. There’s that word “CRAP” again. Most THINKING PEOPLE who CARE ABOUT THEIR ONLINE BUSINESS (you’ll perhaps notice that Mojo is not one of them) really would NOT want to have their product placed next to the word CRAP. Unless they’re one of those auto-generated ads, for, say, litterboxes. Or those plastic bags people use to pick up dog mess.

Refried beans, yum.Ummm, candied dates...(If I wanted to be TOTALLY CRUEL I would now list a whole bunch of products who would definitely NOT like to be associated with crap—like, say, "candied dates" or “refried beans”—and sit back and watch the auto-generated ads go nuts. But Mojo is above such nonsense, she says in a haughty tone, as befits someone as erudite and intellectual as Mojo.

(Hey, you're right, kids! This PRETENDING STUFF is FUN!)

I am, of course, able to compensate you for your time, and hope that you will be interested in learning the details of my offer.

Oooh, munny!!! Why, that’s the MAGIC WORD!!! Why didn’t you say so in the FIRST PLACE?!?!? Mojo would be PLEASED AS PUNCH to grab your client’s décor business by its clean and shiny lapels and DRAG IT into her VAST RESERVOIR of PETTY COMPLAINTS and KITTEN VIDEOS. And you say you’ll PAY me to do that to your poor client? Hot DAMN. I would have done it for FREE. I would have done it just for the PRIVILEGE of watching them CRY when they wonder EXACTLY WHERE the INCREDIBLE RESULTS and ROI they were promised (oh, look, another buzzword!) have gone. Along with all the munny they paid you.

(At least it’s not ME getting my, uh, “brand” a similarly Perfeshinnal Treatment. Assuming, of course, said "client" even exists in the first place, since I'm also guessing (from other sites complaining about similar emails from this domain) this is some sort of lame Google-juicing link-buying scheme. Mojo's too lazy to inquire further, but it wouldn't surprise her.)

I shall appreciate any response that you have to give and thank you so much for your time.

I’m guessing this person would NOT appreciate my response. But you never know. So I’ll post it here instead of privately emailing them back. Because, ya know, they're SUCH a FAN of “Mojo Crap”. Or is it Mojo Refried Beans? Mojo Candied Dates? Great, now I’m confused…. and oddly hungry.

Mojo