Join 3,423 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


ONE WEIRD TRICK TO GET METAFILTER FAVORITES
August 1, 2013 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Matthowie hates him! Mefite's shocking discovery of how to get 100 favorites in 10 minutes. Up your favorite ratio in 10 days with one weird trick, take your mefi performance to the next level. Click here

One slate author attempts to follow the rabbit hole of those annoying internet ads you see promising one weird trick for everything from weight loss to language learning.
posted by Carillon (104 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
I clicked through one of those ads about "the weird trick power companies hate" and ended up watching a video for 5 or 6 minutes before I just quit. HE NEVER TOLD ME ANYTHING. It was just rambling and ranting. I was desperate to be sold his weird trick but there was no there there.

So deeply odd.
posted by GuyZero at 12:11 PM on August 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


But he tells you the one weird trick 7 minutes in!
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:12 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's the secret?? Add a T to somebody's name?? I MUST KNOW TELL ME111!
posted by nevercalm at 12:12 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's one about the mistake mums make when trying to lose weight and there's two women sexily eating bananas on it and I just don't want to know what advice it gives.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:12 PM on August 1, 2013


The secret is always "kegel exercises".
posted by planetesimal at 12:13 PM on August 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


The secret is always "kegel exercises".

I dunno, taking your house off-grid with kegels... that's a lot of kegels.
posted by GuyZero at 12:15 PM on August 1, 2013 [85 favorites]


But if I don't eat bananas it keeps the mosquitos away, so life is still full of confusing choices.
posted by maryr at 12:15 PM on August 1, 2013


There's one about the mistake mums make when trying to lose weight and there's two women sexily eating bananas on it and I just don't want to know what advice it gives.

Boy howdy, do I!
posted by codswallop at 12:16 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do Kegels with bananas. I'm pretty sure that's what happens by minute 7 of that video.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:17 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have a really unpleasant mental picture now.
posted by maryr at 12:19 PM on August 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I always assumed those all linked to ZOMBO.COM.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 12:19 PM on August 1, 2013 [14 favorites]


Tea tree oil still isn't much help for for beating speeding tickets.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:19 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a really pleasant mental picture now.
posted by Teakettle at 12:19 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I though it was interesting how the point of the heinously long videos was exactly to weed out all the sane people.

By the end you've got the bottom of the barrel, the ones who are willing to shell out $40 for some piece of crap and believe it works.

Sometimes I wish I didn't have morals and could rake in the cash like this.
posted by fontophilic at 12:20 PM on August 1, 2013 [16 favorites]


I was particularly interested in the notion that the boring videos actually help serve as a screening mechanism. Anyone who's credulous to sit through one bogus video is clearly a mark worth cultivating.
posted by Carillon at 12:21 PM on August 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


fontophilic: "Sometimes I wish I didn't have morals and could rake in the cash like this."

For $50, I can send you details on getting past all of that.
posted by jquinby at 12:22 PM on August 1, 2013 [35 favorites]


I'd always wondered why the graphics were so horrid and full of JPEG artifacts. Never thought it was to give the appearance of an upstart company vs. the world.
posted by porn in the woods at 12:22 PM on August 1, 2013


Or what fontophillc said.
posted by Carillon at 12:23 PM on August 1, 2013


I never click on any weird trick links, but for some weird reason I did yours.
posted by NakedShorted at 12:23 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world not to click this link. And like that *poof* the trick was gone!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:24 PM on August 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I must say I've been curious, but for many of the reasons listed in this article, not so curious that I would actually click though, to see what the deal is with all of those "One Weird Trick" ads, so thanks for posting this.

I guess having obnoxiously long videos with the only set-up being "one weird trick to X" is probably more successful with their target demographic than, "Hey! Kiik heer stoopid!"
posted by Debaser626 at 12:24 PM on August 1, 2013


I though it was interesting how the point of the heinously long videos was exactly to weed out all the sane people.

I remember reading that the pro-level Nigerian scam artists deliberately typed poorly because people who cared about grammar and spelling weren't the sort of people who fell for Nigerian scams so they got better quality "leads", if you will, typing in that unique style.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:25 PM on August 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


This one weird trick for evolving new species through recombination of heritable traits that creation scientists don't want you to know about!
posted by logicpunk at 12:27 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


fontophilic: "Sometimes I wish I didn't have morals and could rake in the cash like this."

For $50, I can send you details on getting past all of that.
posted by jquinby at 12:22 PM on August 1 [2 favorites +] [!]


For $40, I can send you details on getting past all of that.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:32 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've never actually clicked through any of those weird trick advertisements, despite being curious (for much the same reason the author of the article mentions).

It reminds me of a similar genre, the imgur banner advertisement, promising I CAN'T BELIEVE WE NEVER NOTICED THIS ADULT HUMOR IN POKEMON, and a vaguely circled item in a bathroom selfie claiming WHEN YOU SEE IT YOU'LL SHIT BRICKS. The point there seems to link you through four or five additional pages of revenue generating ads, perhaps depositing you at a 2 paragraph "article" scraped from Wikipedia.
posted by codacorolla at 12:32 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Defy your Creator and Cheat the Reaper using this One Unholy Weird Trick!
posted by infinitewindow at 12:32 PM on August 1, 2013


Hey, Obama uses neuro-lingusitic programming when he speaks to the general public. It's no different. Just people who know how to game the 'system.'
posted by NakedShorted at 12:33 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's one about the mistake mums make when trying to lose weight and there's two women sexily eating bananas on it and I just don't want to know what advice it gives.

Nutella.
posted by yoink at 12:35 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yoink that's the link from previous about the difference between porn and real life.
posted by Carillon at 12:37 PM on August 1, 2013


nakedshorted: that comment is like chaff for my irony sensors. I have no idea if you're being clever or gullible or what.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:38 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hey, Obama uses neuro-lingusitic programming when he speaks to the general public. It's no different. Just people who know how to game the 'system.'

Are you trying to say that Obama knows one wierd trick to get people to vote for him?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:38 PM on August 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


It seems odd that the longer videos work. One would assume anyone stupid enough to buy this stuff after 30 minutes of video would also be dumb enough to buy it after 10 minutes, and you would in addition get the ones that has a threshold of somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes.

Then again, they're marketers, so I bet they've A/B tested this to hell and back.
posted by ymgve at 12:40 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


ONE WEIRD THING ABOUT THE CREATOR OF METAFILTER
there is only one "t" in his handle
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:46 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


So next can we find out who that pessimistic billionaire with multiple faces is?
posted by octothorpe at 12:48 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love the irony of clicking to read an ad-laden page about how scammers use psychological tricks to get you to watch an ad. One weird trick to get you to read Slate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:49 PM on August 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Then again, they're marketers, so I bet they've A/B tested this to hell and back.

I do not share your faith in marketers.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:52 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm gonna pretend I did that on purpose quonsar II, similarly to how the nigerian scammers misspell their emails. If you noticed you weren't the right kind of person.
posted by Carillon at 12:52 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes , but what happened to the othet t? What is Mat hiding?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:56 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Previously
posted by Jpfed at 12:57 PM on August 1, 2013


Then again, they're marketers, so I bet they've A/B tested this to hell and back.

This is what I started wondering about as I read the article! Even if "one weird trick" marketers do A/B testing--do "Nigerian prince" e-mail scammers? Maybe there's a thoroughly immoral hole in the market waiting to be exploited.
posted by a birds at 12:57 PM on August 1, 2013


"Well, your subliminal messaging idea didn't work. Now what?"
"How about the opposite?"
"You mean instead of tricking people into viewing a quick flash of advertising, we're going to actively get their attention with something strange, hope they find whatever it is we have to say appealing enough to sit through an extended presentation that they choose to watch, and only hit them with the product after they've sat through the entire presentation, effectively losing everyone who didn't bother. This is your plan."
"Worked for Scientology, didn't it?"
posted by griphus at 12:57 PM on August 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have to say that I really enjoy the mental image of a single rogue linguist being hunted across the globe by a team of "Language Professors" who are trying to silence him for discovering the single fundamental tip of their profession. The only way he can communicate is through a network of hastily constructed advertisements, the only venue that the cabal of elites, in their arrogance and disconnection from the work-a-day world, has forgotten to silence.
posted by codacorolla at 1:00 PM on August 1, 2013 [20 favorites]


Hey, Obama uses neuro-lingusitic programming when he speaks to the general public.

That is... not the most convincing thing I've ever read.
Personal Notes:
Mr. Obama,
Your attempt to gain the Presidency of the United States by hypnotizing Americans has failed.
You shall not pass! You have been stopped, because you nether deserve the Presidency, nor
does America deserve your fraud and deception. It is quite clear that, after Americans find out
who you really are, including your use of hypnosis, you will never have even a remote chance at
the Presidency again. You have been stopped because your deception has been found out. You
were a master of influence, able to influence millions. You were impervious to scrutiny that could
easily eliminate any other candidate. However, exposing your use of hypnosis is what shatters all
of your other deceptions. You have been stopped by one anonymous patriot with a pure heart
who is able to see you for who you really are. There are those more powerful than you, Obama,
looking out for truth, justice, and the American way. As the words of my favorite song go,
“Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?"
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:00 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'll give the trick away for 10x favorites. It's the use of the neurolingustic trigger phrase "insatiable dong thirst" in all of your posts on days ending in "y".
posted by dr_dank at 1:02 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


So here is what I don't get: there are companies (lets call them OEMs) that are at end of these videos who you buy stuff from. But did all of these OEMs just copy each other? Or is there a singular ad company out there providing these type of ads to these various OEMs? Or is there some multi-level marketing company who has conferences on how to advertise your garbage and the trick he teaches is to use these types of ads?

I was hoping to learn this. I kind of already guessed how they work. I was hoping to find out how they became so prevalent.
posted by dios at 1:06 PM on August 1, 2013


Tea tree oil still isn't much help for for beating speeding tickets.

for that you need a bitchin' camaro with a turbocharger.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:08 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always thought the language one was odd. I figure that most professors would love it if someone found a simple way to teach language so that the professors could devote less time to that and more time to the literature and culture of their chosen language instead.
posted by ckape at 1:10 PM on August 1, 2013


Gosh I love listening to carillion music! "Dong dong dong dong dong dong dong. Dong dong dong dong dong dong DONG!" It's so beautiful. I just can't get enough of it. I have an insatiable dong thirst.

(Sits back, waits for favorites to pile up. Man that dr_dank is a sucker! He gave the secret away without getting paid for it first!)
posted by yoink at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2013 [13 favorites]


Mars Saxman: " for that you need a bitchin' camaro with a turbocharger."

Only if driven by a punk rock girl.
posted by boo_radley at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


As I see those ads on Slate all the time, I can only assume those marketers have determined that Slate readers are idiots who are likely to hand over their cards for flatter stomachs and bigger dicks.
posted by jenlovesponies at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2013


carillion music

This is the thread with the minimum one-typo requirement, rightt? (Lousy vanishing eddit windoe).
posted by yoink at 1:19 PM on August 1, 2013


So what I do is make my product unattractive and tiresome to get to,and then I'll clean up because I've filtered out all the pesky people who were too sensible and weren't going to buy it anyway? Because you don't need to encourage any buyers, just discourage the non-buyers?

That's either nonsense or a scheme from Milo Minderbinder.
posted by Segundus at 1:26 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Everyone seems to think there is someone behind this. But imagine an ecology in which every possible shitty link bait SEO attention sparkly trick is being tried by someone, and they all compete. Some will necessarily thrive, but without anyone or thing behind them. They are economic and psychological "shit happens". They illustrate a niche, but they didn't design it.
posted by stonepharisee at 1:30 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pull back the curtain and there's not even a manipulative pseudo wizard?
posted by Carillon at 1:33 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


So what I do is make my product unattractive and tiresome to get to,and then I'll clean up because I've filtered out all the pesky people who were too sensible and weren't going to buy it anyway? Because you don't need to encourage any buyers, just discourage the non-buyers?

That's either nonsense or a scheme from Milo Minderbinder.


It's only advice that works if your product is a scam/illegal. If you're selling screwdrivers, then a lost sale or a return isn't that big a deal, but a moderately intelligent person who bought this crap and then found out it's junk could cause more hassle to the company than they're worth. It's doubly true of those Nigerian scams, where time spent baiting hooks is a major investment.
posted by Copronymus at 1:34 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I have an insatiable dong thirst.
posted by coppermoss at 1:35 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I actually saw this ad for real at a health food store.

I thought it was a parody ad for a consumer awareness group or something - nope, totally real.

Those are impressive asterisks.
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on August 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also, if Twitter is anything to go by, soon all these scams will be completely automated, using generative text and images - the ones that result in the most buys will continue, the ones that don't get cycled out of the programs rotation.

The spam is evolving, and will soon slip outside human intervention and become a digital lifeform unto itself, "feeding" off clicks and credit card numbers. The first true parasite of the attention economy.
posted by The Whelk at 1:40 PM on August 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'm never sure how they can claim to cure diseases and then turn around and say in the asterix that they're not claiming to cure diseases.
posted by Carillon at 1:41 PM on August 1, 2013


weak consumer protection laws!
posted by The Whelk at 1:42 PM on August 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Oh how I wish I could favorite that a hundred times The Whelk
posted by dabitch at 1:46 PM on August 1, 2013


the attention economy

Wtf, like it's not enough that I'm poor in the money economy?
posted by threeants at 1:48 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


But are these ads as effective as horse_ebooks?
posted by Navelgazer at 1:49 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


From Bklyn: "fontophilic: "Sometimes I wish I didn't have morals and could rake in the cash like this."

For $50, I can send you details on getting past all of that.
posted by jquinby at 12:22 PM on August 1 [2 favorites +] [!]


For $40, I can send you details on getting past all of that.
"

For $30 bucks, I can teach you that ONE weird trick MeFi Spamvertisers hate for getting past that.
posted by Samizdata at 1:53 PM on August 1, 2013


The "one weird trick" seemed to superscede the annoying ads on the side that preceded it, at first they were ads for quick mortgages with odd little animations, and then after the market tanked in 2008 it switched from mortgages to scholarships.
posted by smoothvirus at 1:57 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


What about the Pimsleur Language Programs? I've actually sat through and watched this. I've also heard through word of mouth that it works. I remain skeptical and think that this is a more elaborately made "one weird trick" type of ad.
posted by PipRuss at 1:58 PM on August 1, 2013


Now I remember! It was all the dancing people ads from lowermybills dot com. I never clicked on one but they were somewhat entertaining in that they seemed to get increasingly more bizzarre as time went by.
posted by smoothvirus at 2:01 PM on August 1, 2013


PipRuss, anything that has a URL that long is DEFINITELY part of an affiliate marketing scam.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:01 PM on August 1, 2013


Whoa, didn't realize but that is one long ass URL! Yeah, I will definitely stay away from that.
posted by PipRuss at 2:03 PM on August 1, 2013


For $50, I can send you details on getting past all of that.
posted by jquinby at 12:22 PM on August 1 [2 favorites +] [!]


For $40, I can send you details on getting past all of that."

For $30 bucks, I can teach you that ONE weird trick MeFi Spamvertisers hate for getting past that.


$20, SAIT.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:04 PM on August 1, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm grateful to you, Carillon. My curiosity has been satisfied. Thank you.
posted by b33j at 2:06 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


one anonymous patriot with a pure heart is my next sockpuppet name.
posted by theora55 at 2:08 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've often idly thought about putting together a site explaining advertising tricks, logical fallacies and the like that advertises solely with those techniques in a way that they look exactly like scammy spam or real political ads or legitimate products/services ad campaigns. Like you click through to find an easily comprehensible explanation of how it was designed to make you click through. Sneaky education.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:52 PM on August 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


In addition to sockpuppeting, it would also would make a good lead-in for any of the versions of these affiliate scams that run on right-wing news sites (you know, like the "Billionaire tells Americans to prepare for ruin" ones).

The possibilities are endless: "One anonymous patriot with a pure heart's can't-miss investment strategy OBAMA doesn't want you to know about!" "One anonymous patriot with a pure heart discovered this secret to beating diabetes that will shock you!"
posted by strangely stunted trees at 3:00 PM on August 1, 2013


One anonymous patriot with a pure heart's can't-miss investment strategy OBAMA doesn't want you to know about!

Oh man, if not for the SEC you just invented the next goldmine with that line.
posted by GuyZero at 3:02 PM on August 1, 2013


One weird trick to come play, my lord!
Sorry, wrong ads.
posted by Biblio at 3:07 PM on August 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Hey, Obama uses neuro-lingusitic programming when he speaks to the general public. It's no different. Just people who know how to game the 'system.'

That makes sense.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:32 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


OMG! I just learned that "The one weird trick..." people are giving away free iPads to the first 500 likes to this comment! But only if you share or link to this thread! I mean it may be fake, but why take the chance??
posted by Vindaloo at 3:35 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I clicked, and the list of favourities on my last MeFi posting is at least two inches longer.
posted by anothermug at 3:35 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


See it is magic.
posted by Carillon at 3:38 PM on August 1, 2013


AdBlock Plus, people. AdBlock Plus.

I don't know how anyone uses the internet without it.
posted by DU at 4:06 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know that Adblock Plus lets ads through for companies that pay it money, right?

Which is an awesome weird trick for making money.
posted by GuyZero at 4:13 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I haven't noticed any ads getting through. Examples?
posted by DU at 4:14 PM on August 1, 2013


google.com search ads? Although perhaps you un-checked the "allow acceptable ads" box that's checked by default.
posted by GuyZero at 4:16 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The individual tricks themselves are peculiar, but the larger trick—of why this bizarre and omnipresent marketing strategy works—tells us a lot about what makes us click, buy, and believe.

Speak for yourself. And I'll decide for myself whether it "works" or not.

Defy your Creator and Cheat the Reaper using this One Unholy Weird Trick!

Summon forth the Great Old Ones and usher in the apocalypse using this one weird trick! It involves 6 POW points, the Voorish Sign, and an invocation to the secret name of Nyarlathotep!
posted by JHarris at 4:22 PM on August 1, 2013


It seems odd that the longer videos work. One would assume anyone stupid enough to buy this stuff after 30 minutes of video would also be dumb enough to buy it after 10 minutes, and you would in addition get the ones that has a threshold of somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes.

What they want is so that MOST of the people that see the actual final pitch are on board. Very few of those that give up at 12 minutes are going to be hooked enough to drop the cash. And a non insignificant number of them are going to be annoyed/etc. enough to blab about the trick... which ruins the whole thing. Someone who is going to sit through that mess for thirty minutes is likely to be at least thinking, hey, maybe!

Unless they were paid to watch, like the article writer. This article is exactly what the ad designers don't want. We get the payoff without getting primed for it.

At least that's what I figure.
posted by mountmccabe at 4:22 PM on August 1, 2013


Man, I thought is was going to be "add a fruit bowl" since that is the magic on Craigslist.
posted by jadepearl at 4:35 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


For $50, I can send you details on getting past all of that.
posted by jquinby

For $40, I can send you details on getting past all of that.
posted by From Bklyn


For just $69.99, I'll send you both! You'll get the $50 details package as well as the $40 bonus pak! That's right, the package that normally costs ninety dollars, now for only $69.99!
posted by zippy at 4:57 PM on August 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


google.com search ads? Although perhaps you un-checked the "allow acceptable ads" box that's checked by default.

I never saw that checkbox, but if it's an option it's not that evil. Besides which, even with it still checked I get nothing from Google. Maybe because I'm not logged in to Google, ever.
posted by DU at 5:11 PM on August 1, 2013


For $50, I can send you details on getting past all of that.

For $40, I can send you details on getting past all of that"

For $30 bucks, I can teach you that ONE weird trick MeFi Spamvertisers hate for getting past that.

$20, SAIT.


These guys are flim-flam artists and pretenders. They're in the pocket of big Haughey.

I will show you the REAL secret to flat abs and mefi greatness for a monthly fee of $199, or a one-time fee of just $2,395.
posted by grudgebgon at 5:18 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


My task is to project such a "kill-it-from-orbit" online persona that no ads at all are targeted at me.

With relish, sir!
posted by telstar at 5:23 PM on August 1, 2013


They're in the pocket of big Haughey.

Big Haughey is a name just screaming out for Depression-era folk hero songs like Joe Magarac.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:37 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've heard that Pimsleur is an established language program that works. I also listened as a coworker spent an interminable (and fairly unsatisfied) phone call trying to undo some auto-pay scam with them. So my guess is that they've outsourced their reputation to crack whores.
posted by wotsac at 6:20 PM on August 1, 2013


Sometimes I wish I didn't have morals and could rake in the cash like this.
If you REALLY didn't have morals, you'd be raking in cash on Wall Street.

There, I did it. Now give me my 100 favorites.
posted by pravit at 6:45 PM on August 1, 2013


previously, one weird kernel trick
posted by dmd at 6:46 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


For $50, I can send you details

For $40, I can...

For $30 bucks, I can...

$20, SAIT.


I'm a real mom, I discovered a weird trick for doing it for TEN CENTS. In fact, I WILL PAY YOU. I make $4350 a day doing this and I will tell you how for free!

Just click the link. And the next one. And the next one. And watch the video. And stuff those evnvelopes for an hour. After ten hours you can apply for the form where I tell you the address for your refund of the down payment. And THEN you can lean my ten cent trick! Per day. But I'l give you the INSIDE SCOOP that the others don't know: if you combine it with this OTHER weird trick at just 99c (per day) you get double the results! And that's just the start! There are so many other secrets you'll son be a millionaire! How will you spend the money? Trussssssst me.
posted by EnterTheStory at 7:28 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


“Made by a school teacher!”
posted by rosswald at 7:33 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


> You know that Adblock Plus lets ads through for companies that pay it money, right

I don't see anything about paying them to be put on their whitelist.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:37 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did you know that if you have a stalled ssh process in a terminal window, you can type in Enter and then ~. to disconnect? In a running ssh process, Enter followed by ~[x] enables all sorts of magic for different values of [x].

One weird ssh trick that you didn't know, did you?
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:44 PM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


We need a weird tricks spoilers blog, akin to HuffPo Spoilers.
posted by RobotHero at 9:20 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


My husband bittorrented the Pimsleur French lessons a long time ago. They were pretty straightforward. "Listen to this conversation. You didn't understand anything they just said, did you? Let's go through it a bit at a time. Repeat after me -jour -jour. Bonjour. Bonjour. Bonjour. That means 'good day'. [...] Now let's try that conversation again. You say the girl's part. Bonjour! __________. Very good. Now you're speaking French." Etc.

Scammy con artists selling that and harrassing people about auto-payments is funny to me... like the idea of enforcers coming to break your knees because you're behind on your cable bill.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:49 AM on August 2, 2013


But unlike HuffPo you actually may want to click on the one weird trick ads.
posted by Carillon at 7:05 AM on August 2, 2013


Looking around at the Pimsleur thing, it looks like there is the actual Pimsleur, and then a bunch of shady resellers. For example, here is the main Pimsleur site. Note that it has things like a short, pausable, fast-forwardable video, and a link to "Products", which then lets you click on the language you wish to study, which then takes you to a page with listed, unobfuscated prices.

Compare this to the site PipRuss linked to. Amateur looking design, unpausable video, no links to products (until, presumably, the video ends). And the clincher, the fine print:
Copyright © 2000-2013 Internet Order, LLC. All rights reserved. "Stroll" and "Internet Order" are trademarks of Internet Order, LLC.
Internet Order, LLC sells Pimsleur products but is not an affiliate of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (the publisher of Pimsleur® products) or of Beverly Pimsleur (the owner of the Pimsleur® trademark, which is licensed exclusively to Simon & Schuster). Any use of the Pimsleur® name or associated marks is solely to identify the products sold by Internet Order, LLC. Internet Order is solely responsible for the contents of this website and sales from it.
So, basically, there is the actual Pimsleur (which, to be honest, doesn't seem like it would actually be that effective as a learning approach, but certainly doesn't appear to be a scam, either), and then some scamtastic resellers.
posted by Bugbread at 5:04 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I sat through the whole PimsleurApproach video, and there's One Weird Thing: The scam site's prices are actually quite a bit lower than if you buy direct from the actual Pimsleur, and a little bit lower than if you buy from Amazon. The catch, of course, is that unlike Amazon or Pimsleur, the scam site uses autorenewal, so unless you're careful they'll send you the next course (and, of course, charge you). I would have assumed that they'd overprice you (since if you're buying from them it means you aren't aware of your other purchasing options), but it looks like they lowball the prices and make up for it through autorenewal.

They also have a fairly shitty Better Business Bureau score (C+, with 548 complaints in the last 3 years, versus Amazon's A+, with 4,842 complaints in the last 3 years, despite being precisely one bizzilion times bigger than PimsleurApproach).
posted by Bugbread at 5:30 PM on August 2, 2013


« Older Typographic Insanity....  |  Into Brazilian hip-hop? Then c... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments