Tuesday 23 August 2016

The Naming and Shaming of programming tightwads

Let the Shame List begin

Just like the News of the World when they published their list of paedophiles, nonces and kiddy fiddlers I am now creating my own list of shame which will publicly list the many people who have contacted me and done any of the following:

1. Asked for a new feature to be developed for one of my Wordpress plugins that only they required. Then once I have delivered the upgrade they don't even say "Thank You".

In fact 9 out of 10 times I don't even get the smallest of donations even when I have been promised them beforehand. I have lost count of the people who email me promising to donate me money if only I do this or that but when I do it they seem to forget how to click that big yellow DONATE button in the plugin admin page.

Do these people really think I live only to serve their useless coding skills by implementing features they themselves are too unskilled to develop or too tight to pay for? Is this really what people expect from Open Source code? I don't mind if you cannot code and add the feature or fix the bug yourself but if you can't then at least have the decency to donate some money for my time. Is that too much to ask for?

2. The other group of people (and there are many) are those who email me at stupid times throughout the morning 4am sometimes - demanding that I fix their site immediately due to my plugin "not working".

In fact 99 out 100 times it is usually the case that they have either been a numpty and not followed or understood the instructions, deleted all or some of the files or haven't set the relevant permissions up correctly.

Not only do I try and make all my Wordpress plugins easy to use for the non technical to use by outputting detailed error messages that explain what they must to do to fix the problem but most plugins have a "Test Configuration" button on them that will run all the necessary tests and then list any problems as well as fixes for them.

If these people cannot even read and understand error messages such as "Filepath does not exist at this location" because they have been silly enough to delete that file or folder then why should I offer free 24 hour support for them?

Here's an idea. If I email you back with steps to fix your incompetence - donate me some money.

Believe it or not I don't help people out for fun or offer free 24 hour support for FREE products.

You get what you pay for! 

If you are too tight to offer to pay me to develop your custom feature or too tight to even donate the smallest amount when demanding (as I have had on numerous occasions) that I do X Y or Z by next Tuesday then why should I bend over to help you?

3. Then there are those companies (even some that have been big multi-nationals) that email me asking for relevant licences to be added to my downloadable scripts so that they can use them in their own projects. Probably projects that they will be making lots of money from by re-selling my code. Yet they refuse to donate even the slightest amount to the cause.

4. Finally and most important are the SEO Scammers, which you can read about more in detail here. They are advertisers who offer you money to post articles on your site yet when you do they then tell you that you will be paid in 20+ days. Why so long for so little money I have no idea. Yet on multiple occasions now I have been SEO Scammed where they fail to pay me my money but despite this, and me taking the article down. They have gained from the link juice passed along in links without rel="nofollow" on them and the site/domain authority.

It is very surprising how long PR Link Juice and authority stays around after the fact. Experiments we did showed that when setting up a pyramid system with one site at the top with zero links, and 100 or so with PR 4-6 all linking to that sites homepage. The top site zoomed up Googles rankings and even when we stopped the experiment the referrals from these sites (despite there being no links), stayed around in Google Webmaster Tools reports for months and months afterwards.

In future I am going to name and shame every person and company who carries out one of these actions on my blog.

There are many other places you can do this on the web, darkweb and even Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SEOTRICKSANDCONS/. So it is worth checking these places for names, emails and company addresses before doing any work with them.

Also feel free to add your own cons and tricks and any funny emails from spammers and SEO "marketing" companies trying to get you to post articles or part with your money etc..

A basic tech review is also advised to see where the company is based with a WHOIS and DNS search.

It might help those other developers considering open source development to realise that it's a dead end that causes more hassle than it's worth. If you think your going to get rich developing scripts that can easily be stolen, downloaded, re-used and modified then you are living in a fantasy world.

Let the shaming begin.

Just to let you know, since I started this list I have had quite a few people donate money and I have removed their names from the list. I am not heartless and I don't want people searching Google for their own name to find this page first.

Therefore you know what to do, pay me the money you owe me or make a donation.

Sebastian Long - This was an advertiser who offered a measly £60 for putting up an article (not exactly much) on my racing site for the Goodwood Sussex Stakes held in July. I posted the exact article he wanted and even added extra SEO to help him but he didn't want any of that so I took it out. Once he was happy he said I would be paid within 20 days -it would have been nice for him to tell me this before hand but I am too trustworthy, although that is slowly diminishing.. It's so far been over 20 days (and 20 working days), and I have not been paid. I have contacted him multiple times and have now taken the article down. However his name and his company ellipticalcontent.com will remain on the numerous SEO / Advertiser blacklists that I put him on due to his lack of respect in honouring a very simple contract.

Kevin Clark - who did not know how to set up a sitemap - "press the build button" and wanted help "fixing" issues that were not broken which I duly gave out. No donation received.

Raymond Peytors - who asked about the now non supported pings to ASK or Yahoo - these have not been supported for sitemaps for a long time now. No donation received.

Mike Shanley - who did not seem to know how to read the "Read Me" text that comes with Wordpress plugins. On all my plugins I add a "Test Set-up" button which runs through the setup and displays problems and solutions for the user. The Read Me guide also explains how to run the Test when installing the plugin. Donation? Not on your nelly.

Juergen Mueller - For sending me an error message related to another plugin that he thought somehow was related to my plugin. This was due to the memory limit of his server/site being reached by said plugin.

Despite that he had all the details within the error message to fix it he still decided to email me for help. Despite me explaining how to fix the problem and steps he should do in future to fix problems I did not get a donation.

Holder Heiss - who even though he had read my disclaimer that said I don't give away support for free still asked me and received free help. He tried to motivate me to solving his problem with the following sentence

 "I understand that you are cautious about giving free support for your free software. Anyway as I like using and would like to continue using the google sitemap plugin, maybe I can motivate you to have a look on this topic reported by several users:"

Even though he had not donated me any money I still checked the system, upgraded my software and looked for a problem that I could not find - probably related to another plugin. You get what you pay for and he got at least an hours worth of support for free!

Pedro Galvez Dextre - Who complained about the error message "Sitemap Build Aborted. The Server Load was 4.76 which is equal to or above your specified threshold of 0.9" and asked what was wrong????

Cindy Livengood - who couldn't be bothered to read the Readme.txt file as they "bored her" even though they contained an example post which would show if the plugin was working or not.

There have been many other people but I only have so much time to go through my inbox.

By the way if your name is on this list or appears on it in future and you would like it removed then you know what to do - a donate button is at the bottom of each plugin, on my website, on my blog and many other places.

Please remember people - I have had a serious illness and I am still in lots of pain. Therefore I have stopped supporting my Wordpress plugins for this reason PLUS the lack of donations I have received.

I work at a company where I am charged out at £700 a day therefore a donation of £10 is not going to make me work for a day or two on a plugin that is open-source and should be taken as such.

You get what you pay for and I wrote these plugins for myself not for anyone else.

I put them up on Wordpress to see if anyone else found them useful. If you do not like them then use another plugin.

If you want professional support then be prepared to pay for it. If not read on and follow these basic debugging steps and use Google. That's how I had to learn LINUX and WordPress!

As stated in my Readme.txt file of my Sitemap plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/strictly-google-sitemap/faq/

I have an error - How to debug

If you have any error messages installing the plugin then please try the following to rule out conflicts with other plugins
-Disable all other plugins and then try to re-activate the Strictly Google Sitemap plugin
- some caching plugins can cause issues.
-If that worked, re-enable the plugins one by one to find the plugin causing the problem. Decide which plugin you want to use.
-If that didn't work check you have the latest version of the plugin software (from WordPress) and the latest version of WordPress installed
-Check you have Javascript and Cookies enabled.
-If you can code turn on the DEBUG constant and debug the code to find the problem otherwise contact me and offer me some money to fix the issue :)
-Please remember that you get what you pay for so you cannot expect 24 hour support for a free product. Please bear that in mind if you decide to email me.
A donation button is on my site and in the plugin admin page. 
-If you must email me and haven't chosen to donate even the smallest amount of money please read this >> http://blog.strictly-software.com/2011/10/naming-and-shaming-of-programming.html 
-If you don't want to pay for support then ask a question on the message board and hope someone else fixes the problem.

But I need this or that and your plugin doesn't do it

Sorry but tough luck.

I wrote this plugin for my own requirements not anyone else and if you have conflicts with other plugins or require extra work then offer to pay me to do the development or do the work yourself.

This is what Open Source programming should be about.

I wrote this plugin as other Sitemap plugins didn't do what I wanted them to and you should follow the same rules.

If you don't like this plugin or require a new feature you must remember that you have already bought a good amount of my time for the princely sum of £0.

Hopefully the starting of the shaming will stop the influx of emails I constantly receive asking for help without donations.

Remember every one of my plugins has a donate button at the bottom of it and you get what you pay for!


Danny Smith said...

Couldn't agree more Rob, I hate Open Source programming for the same reasons as you.

People expect the world from FREE products you have spent hours even weeks developing and they seem to expect 24 hour support as well.

I hope you do shame every person and company who hasn't got the decency to say thanks or donate some money.

Good work by the way. I have just donated to you for your great Tweetbot plugin!

Anonymous said...

These scammers and developers just nick code and then ask. Why ask if your going to nick it?

So many of these tightwads out there at the moment. Social media companies and SEO companies asking for the world for £50.

If there email ends in @yahoo or @hotmail you can usually spot they are a fake otherwise their company would have it's own mail system and it would be blagger@sometopseocompany.com etc.

Good on you for naming and shaming

Rob Reid said...

This is a recent one.

I was given content to post on my racing site (see the banners at the top - UK Horse Racing Tipster) for the Sussex Stakes which was over a month ago now.

The person who contacted me was Sebastian Long who apparently works for a company called ellipticalcontent.com. He promised me a tiny amount of money (not much for a big SEO company) to post an article on my site for the Qatar Sussex Stakes. I did this and amended it constantly despite him not being able to clear his cache and see what the issue was (nothing).

Once I had done all this he then told me I would be paid within 20 days. Whether it was 20 working days or just 20 days both time limits are now up and he had not paid me a single dime.

I emailed him dozens of times without reply.

Therefore I would swerve him and his company if possible.

There is also a general page on FB now called https://www.facebook.com/moaningkeepstheGPaway/ Which is also full of SEO/Marketing scammers but it is also used for anyone who had been scammed X Y or Z.

Please fill the web up with these SEO scammers and prevent others getting scammed