Link Requests are really Annoying

link requestsRecently I've been getting a lot of Link Requests from various people and content marketing companies.  While I can understand why people do this and why people will ask for a link, sometimes it just gets really annoying and is a waste of my time.

Some people might be wondering “What are Link Requests?”  Essentially a Link Request is when someone asks to place a link on your website.  Most of the time people offer to guest post or blog in exchange for placing a link in the article.  In my opinion this is a perfectly fair practice and Google doesn't have a problem with it.  (As long as the article is reasonable and wasn't written by someone who isn't a native English speaker from some far off Asian country.)

However, what I have a problem with is when I get email Link Requests like this;

Dear Adam,

Hello, my name is Jimmy. I'm the webmaster and editor of
Shitty-Affiliate-Laden-Web-Hosting-Site.com. I'm writing to plug our newest article
on our blog: 101 [Shitty] Google+ Pages for Web Hosting News and Tips. I
thought that you and your site's audience might be interested in having a
look. Check it out:

“Link Goes Here”

I would appreciate if you could link to our article if you find it of
interest. And please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or suggestions
for the list.

Thanks,
Jimmy

What did this guy do wrong?

First it's clear he spent too much time writing his horrible article instead of actually reading or looking at my blog or anything I've worked on.  He doesn't point out any content that I've written that he likes nor does he give me a compelling reason to link to the shitty article.  So he really doesn't know who my audience is.  Second, why the fuck would I send visitors to look at a blog post covering 101 Google+ pages about web hosting on an affiliate laden site?  Seriously, do you people think I haven't been around the block and consequently that I am a idiot?  The site this guy runs offers little value outside of the fact that he makes money on affiliate links.  It's not even like this site posts reviews or offers good web hosting advice on the blog.  He's probably one of those people at Affiliate Summit I would have met and largely ignored.  By the way nobody has the fucking time to look through so many social media pages on a blog post.  In addition a lot of those Google+ pages didn't cover web hosting or only did on occasion.

I've changed around a few things but the email is basically intact.  I did add the URL though, which I thought was a nice touch.  🙂

My reply to this Link Request was, “Not sure why I would link to the article.”  Since the domain name for the website was 4 letters and when I checked the domain history it was clear they had bought it from someone, I casually asked how much they paid for it.  Since it's been several days and have not had a reply, I know I am not getting one.

This didn't surprise me actually as “Jimmy” probably didn't send out the email but had a Virtual Assistant (VA) do it.  Pretty common for ad laden sites and SEO (search engine optimizers) do farm out these emails.  However, if by chance you do get a reply I recommend you reply back.  Not only did they make me annoyed sending the email but they've made me pissed even more since they didn't respond.  Why would I ever work with them in the future?

Let me make this clear to my readers and anyone who is going to send Link Requests my way.  I DO NOT link to sites that are just affiliate link wastelands.   If you contact me straight up asking for a link there better be a good fucking reason or you will get an email that will make Satan happy.

Have you ever gotten annoying Link Requests?  Do you respond or not respond?  Is it good to be nice or make so that these people never want to contact you again?

Ubuntu Forums Hacked

If you are a user of Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution in the world, than you might have heard that Ubuntu Forums got Hacked.  Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, sent out an email to all users of Ubuntu Forums.  Here is the entire email in case you are a member of Ubuntu Forums and have not received it yet;

Hello,

You are receiving this message because you have an account registered with this address on ubuntuforums.org.

The Ubuntu forums software was compromised by an external attacker. As a result, the attacker has gained access to read your username, email address and an encrypted copy of your password from the forum database.

If you have used this password and email address to authenticate at any other website, you are urged to reset the password on those accounts immediately as the attacker may be able to use the compromised personal information to access these other accounts. It is important to have a distinct password for different accounts.

The ubuntuforums.org website is currently offline and we are working to restore this service. Please take the time to change your ubuntuforums.org account password when service is restored.

We apologize for any inconvenience to the Ubuntu community, thank you for your understanding.

The Canonical Sysadmins.

If you have an account with Ubuntu Forums and use the same password for the email account associated with Ubuntu Forums, like they said, I would highly recommend changing those.  If this hacker team (this is my assumption) was good enough to hack Ubuntu Forums I am fairly certain they are knowledgeable enough to solve the salted hashes.  Who knows what they plan to do with all the data anyway.

Currently UbuntuForums.org is still down and Canonical is working on getting it back up.  If you visit the domain here you will see this simple HTML page with information of what Canonical knows and a progress report of of what they are doing to get the site back up and fix the security breach.

ubuntu forums

Ubuntu Forums is down for maintenance

There has been a security breach on the Ubuntu Forums. The Canonical IS team is working hard as we speak to restore normal operations. This page will be updated with progress reports.

What we know

  • Unfortunately the attackers have gotten every user's local username, password, and email address from the Ubuntu Forums database.
  • The passwords are not stored in plain text, they are stored as salted hashes. However, if you were using the same password as your Ubuntu Forums one on another service (such as email), you are stronglyencouraged to change the password on the other service ASAP.
  • Ubuntu One, Launchpad and other Ubuntu/Canonical services are NOT affected by the breach.

No word on when Ubuntu Forums will be back up and running but hopefully it will be up again soon.  I assume for any Ubuntu users looking for help to problems this is quite an inconvenience but there are a number of tech and Linux forums you can use in the meantime while Ubuntu Forums is down.  You can also use IRC channels for to get help with Ubuntu issues.

I would imagine whatever security measures Canonical has for Ubuntu Forums they must be pretty good.  If Ubuntu Forums can get hacked I thinks that means a lot of companies forums could get hacked.