Dear Fiona (if that IS your name)

Hi Michael,We just posted an article, “100 Unbelievably Useful Reference Sites You’ve Never Heard Of”  (No link love here – MS) I thought I’d bring it to your attention in case you think your readers would find it interesting. Either way, thanks for your time!

Fiona King


Dear Fiona – So glad I heard from you yet again, because I had saved a link to Stephen Francouer’s post “On Not Being Scammed:”

I hope Stephen doesn’t mind me shamelessly quoting his whole post – I just can’t help myself:

In the past month, I’ve received a couple of emails from “Fiona King” asking me to write about some library-related content on two different web sites that both focus on distance ed. I didn’t pay much attention to those email messages, the like of which I mostly receive from vendors hoping that I’ll mention their product on my blog (which, by the way, I never do).

I noticed that a few bloggers, though, had decided to post links to the blog posts that Fiona had suggested. Wondering who was behind the distance ed sites where those blog posts resided, I did a little investigating and discovered:

  • neither site has any sort of “about us” or “who we are” content (first red flag)
  • each site had a different person who registered it (learned this by doing a whois lookup)
  • after googling the two people who registered the sites, learned that they are in business together and hope to get “fabulously rich” through SEO efforts and viral marketing of their blog network
  • after searching the web for info on “Fiona King,” I came to the conclusion that she is the creation of the two bottomfeeders who created the distance ed sites

Although the content that “Fiona” asks us to link to is somewhat interesting, the methods that are being used to get us to link to it and the ulterior motives of the folks behind these emails is troubling at best. I have no interest in linking to their content just to help them “monetize” blogs under their control. They’ll have to find other ways to make money not involving me.

I had always felt a little weird about your emails before and now I know why. Please do not send me links again.




Thanks Stephen for the insight into this “troubling” practice.