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Take That China!
The Continuous Descent Into Madness
You've Been Cancelled
Sort Yourself Out eBayers
The Art of Not Writing
Give Me Your Voice
Not Another Virtual Choir
Demented Reality
My Way of Losing My Mind is Quite Constructive
I'm A Cilla Black Fan On Bike

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Wednesday, August 26

SEO Spam Fun

I received a mail

Dear business owner of,

I would wish to take a couple of minutes from your schedule and enkindle your attention towards Internet marketing for

We are proud to announce that we have just opened a new office for Search Engine Optimization (SEO,SMO,SEM). We are located at INDIA.

In relation to your profession as a business owner we would like to offer our services when you need one. Ever since our business was established we always had an image of being a dependable and reliable firm. It is our commitment that you can depend on us for our services.

-Low on-line presence for several competitive keyword phrases
-Unorganized social media accounts
-Not compatible with all mobile devices
-Many unhealthy backlinks to your web site

Our services have lots of advantages to our clients with which I can explain to you if you find time to reply us. We would really appreciate if you will try our services and I assure you that we offer good and quality service. Please reply us at your most convenient time.

If my proposal sound's attention-grabbing for your business goal, be happy to email us, or can provide me with your phone number and the best time to call you.

Internet Marketer
Skype- digitalseo2
PS I: I am not spamming. I have studied your website and believe I can help with your business promotion. If you still want us to not contact you, you can ignore this email or ask to remove and I will not contact again.

PS II: I found your website exploitation Google search and when having a glance over your web site i like to recommend you to implement future technologies like HTML5 and Responsive style to create your site additional accessible in movable, tablets, desktop etc.

I thought I'd have some fun with him. This is obviously spam and if he'd looked at my website for real, he'd know I wouldn't be interested.

What is your name?

This got a response. I would have given up then.

Hello sir,
This is Rahul, from welltechseocom, search engine optimization company INDIA.

Can we have a little time to have a discussion about your website promotion?

We do all our work organic basis and we do 100% manual submission so that our client gets a permanent result.

See, the basic work we do is we promote websites in major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, and you know after Google the next famous and popular website in this global world is Facebook. we also promote in major social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn, Flickr, Myspace etc.


Nice offer to put me on MySpace there. I thought I'd play some more.

What is your star sign?

He answered by playing hardball.


Are you interested on our SEO service or not?


That IS the question. But he needs this more than I do.

I will only answer that if you tell me your star sign. Or your date of birth.

So he does as he's told. Like a performing monkey.


My star sign is Leo and 24/08/1989.


Ooooh, not good enough monkey man.

Ah. That's going to be a problem. I can't work with Leo's. Is anyone else there of a different sign? Water sign preferably.

I don't know if he's now playing along, or is exasperated.

Thank you. I am not working for you. I am a sales guy. I have a technical guy which name was started the letter S.


Notice the slightly assertive offering of the first initial of the other person. He's taking the piss back... but if you're taking the piss, why are you still doing as I ask?

I need his star sign. Can you let me have it asap along with your pricing for 5 years of organic SEO. I especially need to know how much more impact to expect on my site's specific content.

Clue - read my site and you'll see I'm tugging your chain... are you going to do as I ask?



Please let me know that how many keywords you want to optimized?


He's getting tight-lipped, so time to increase the pressure... He still isn't acting like he's looked me up - I'm on the first page of google.

hi Rahul,

Aquarius? that's brilliant. My horoscope today said that someone might be telling me what I want to hear... are you being truthful with me? Can you prove your engineer really is aquarius?

How many keywords is normal for optimising? Which ones do you recommend?


I love the idea that keywords are something someone might offer you, like a random set of words to own. I'll be pursuing this point. I'm also portraying my horoscope-obsession to make me seem eccentric.

Thank you for reply.

I don't know much knowledge about this horoscope. I just give you details with name and date of birth you check it, (Santosh - 26/05/1988)

I want to give a suggestion that you start with 5 keywords. It's better for your website. If you want, then add more keywords in future.

Please let me know your budget per month for SEO?


He's doing as he's told. Good boy! Time to play more dumb

Great great great. These five keywords. How much do they cost each and do I get to choose them?

Trying to make him feel he's got the upper hand. He's definitely doing more of the work in this email conversation.


Yes, you can choose these keywords and send me.

To know more about our cost please visit us @

Awaiting for your positive reply.

He wants me to pay $400 for him to promote me. I didn't look this up back then, because my site IS the biggest hit for me, and it is about me, and... well you get the point.

How will I know if my keywords are available. I suppose I really need Ashley Frieze to be the top hit on Google. Can you make that happen? How hard would it be?

Big clue now. I've told him that I just want to be the top hit for me. You'd think he'd google me. I also act dumb as though I don't understand keywords and searching. Again, he's doing the work. Has he worked me out? If he had googled me, he'd see that of the two demographics of people who might waste an SEO person's time - comedian and IT geek, I'm in the middle of that Venn diagram!

Yes, you know it any time. If your keyword is once came to ranking than when you search a keyword in Google search box than it shows the result page. I can make it. If your keywords, competitor is high, then it takes some time to get ranking. To get ranking need to more back links to your website and manpower for this, but it is possible.


Ok... more direct... try to get him to google me...

How far is my site from getting top ranking for Ashley Frieze?

I am, after all, the top hit for me...

First of all we need to fix all the onsite errors of your website then make it Google friendly. I visited your website and looks like very old design.

If your keywords are very high competitor than it takes minimum 4 to 6 months to get ranking.


He hasn't visited my site. He wouldn't be wasting his time if he had.

Have you tried Googling for Ashley Frieze? What hits does my site get? How much would you charge to improve them?

That's me saying "Google me you dick". Either he's not bothered, or he did, but has no awareness of life!

This keyword Ashley Frieze shows on Google because this keyword is related to your website name. If your search, another keywords than Its not coming the ranking.

I will send you the link about our pricing and plan. Please check this link -


If that's the case, then paying for SEO is pointless. In addition, he's probably wrong. Here's me again telling him to blow the game...

Search my name on Google and tell me if you want to continue this conversation.
You also search anyone's name on Google it shows on top of the result page. Name and keywords there is so much different in these two words.

So, If you really interested in our service, then let me know your decision?


Boy is he not taking a hint!? I got bored of being sold at in broken English by someone who doesn't know what he's talking about.

First rule of business: know your customer. From Google's front page, you should realise why I have been deliberately wasting your time. Any comments?

First rule of getting spam - if you can, deliberately waste their time for sport. In fairness, this guy stood his ground.

Thank you for reply.

Yes, I know what you want to say. When you ask me the price for 5 years that time I understood you.

Have a good day.


Bye then.

Good luck with your spamming.

Monday, August 24

The Necessary Bubble

One of the worst comments you can make about a comedian is to say they're deluded. I've sort of known why, and I've sort of just taken this on instinct. Those deluded fools who think they are doing well, when they're not, or who think they can do gigs that they can't... Nobody wants to be THAT guy.

Yet, the reason why this is so scathing is not that a rare few are deluded, but more that every comedian must, to some extent, deliberately fool themselves about how good they are. Stand up, on stage and off, is a confidence trick. You have to be more confident than you are, and then bluff your way into deserving it. The better you get, the less deluded you proved to be, but the higher you have to shoot.

Crystal clarity on your own limits, your real place in the comedy world, and where your ambitions ought to reach is the LAST thing you need when you're trying to muster up the bookings, material and responses to said material at said bookings.

The Fringe is a place where you can really inflate your bubble. Especially if you go out there, gig a lot and experiment a lot. It is also a place where you can see people doing things you cannot do.

In previous Fringes, I think I had a much bigger bubble, more optimism, more of a can do anything attitude. This Fringe I have been up and down. Kind of on purpose. I have done performances I can be pleased with, in context, I've done things which didn't work. Meh. I have seen shows and actually thought "I can't even imagine doing that" and seen other equally brilliant things and thought "yeah, I could do that if I bothered to".

This is dancing on the border of my necessary delusion. It's quite healthy and probably good for my prospects as a humble, but ambitious practitioner of the art and craft I so love.

Not having a show this year has changed my outlook. Gone was the venue envy and the competitive nature of the rat race that is a performer's Fringe. In its place is an admiration for what can be and how it might be achievable... Especially by people with talent!!!

Friday, August 14

Arguing with spammers

Oh, spammmo!!

Wednesday, August 5

Living with Disappointment

The life of a stand-up comedian or comedy writer... oh how I would love the life of one... yet to avoid it altogether would enable me to skip its indignities... yet to be living a life without that creative and something-or-other outlet drives me mad when I have too long between shows/events/things.

I'm resolved to do more of the things I love that make me me. The question right now is how. I'm not going to answer that question right now.

Instead, I'm going to dwell on the little indignities, the little ways that the payback for your efforts is a slap in the face with a wet fish. In so doing, I'm going to say how I feel about some events, recent and ancient. Before doing that, I need to set the context. I don't think I've been hard done by. I think the people I'm about to mention have been acting with the best of intentions and have actually been on my side. The focus of my disappointment is simply that I'm tasting what it might be like to maybe make an impression on achieving my dreams, while being left in absolutely no doubt that I'm nowhere near and not actually on the scale as far as they're concerned.

God this sounds depressing. I want to balance it out by being thankful, but let's tell the stories with me as the butt of the joke, because that's ok. It's perfectly fine to be a speck on a dot on the sphere you're trying to occupy, because so many people aren't even that. I'm just too aspirational sometimes, which leaves me disappointed by... well... reality!

Event number 1. I performed stand-up comedy at the Fringe one year, was noticed, and was given an award. How can that be bad?

On this particular year I'd thrown myself into the Fringe with my usual alacrity. I passed through many of the points of Edinburgh city simultaneously, and could be found in shows, in guest spots, and quite memorably performing on a bus. On the first gig they didn't even give me a mic stand, which made performing with a guitar on a moving vehicle a bit of a challenge.

I provided my mic stand for future shows and basically came up with a technique for playing, controlling the mic stand with my foot, leaning on a pole on the top deck of this bus, and kind of holding on with my arse on corners.

That was a year that some Fringe goers, who shall remain nameless, as they came and supported future shows, decided to hold an awards ceremony in which they decided, having seen my heroics on the bus and at other shows, to give me some sort of award for my... well... enthusiasm, tenacity, silliness and pragmatism simultaneously. I don't know wish.

I should have been, and was, flattered.

Couple of points. I wasn't invited to the awards ceremony. That's not the sort of award I win. Apparently. The award, when it arrived, was a word document. That's the sort of award I win. A word document with someone else's name on it. There you go. You're important, but not to the point of clerical effectiveness.

I found it funny at the time, but it kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Event number 2. I'm really not having a go at anyone involved. These things happen. But it's the Sitcom Trials.

I think this is a very good event, and I've always wanted to write a sitcom for them. It seemed like the sort of thing I'd enjoy doing. The story should have gone like this. I should have come up with a mediocre or hair-brained idea (tick). I should have submitted it (tick). It should have faded into obscurity and I could have said - "Well, I've no idea what I'm doing, have I?". That would have been a fun game with no sense of expectation or loss.

I am quite competitive, so nothing's ever that simple.

Moreoever, the judging for the event is done via a Facebook group, so I got to read everyone's comments and opinions on my work and wonder whether to be exasperate that they either hadn't got the script, or, worse, that they had and had seen right through my rookie skills.

In the end mine was a script that few people really loved, few people really hated and a handful of people thought might be okayish... Mediocrity. That old friend.

In the end I made two shortlists. Huh!? It turns out that two groups decided mine was less hateful to them than other options or somesuch. I was asked by one of them to do some redrafting. I also had a bunch of feedback from the reviewer comments, which I could use to improve the script.

I made a fatal error. I really started to care. I also didn't realise that one group was actually definitely going to perform my script. I found out... well, on the day almost. They ended up performing my redraft, which I can say now, was the best version of that script I'd come up with.

So what's the problem? I couldn't attend, the event was videoed, the video didn't work, there's about 75 seconds, out of context, of the show, where there are no laughs (scripted that way), and I've only got stories of how it might have actually gone on the night. Nobody else wanted to perform it, and it didn't get reviewed, nor did it win the night... so I've got virtually nothing to show for my experience.

It's life turning these little triumphs into murmuring disappointments that shows me what I haven't really achieved. It turns out that a live performer such as myself can't really relate to tales of laughs that his jokes may or may not have got. I want to know how the gags went, what the characters really were like. In short I want to be shown that I was worth being the award winner who got their name right... (the name on the video for the night had my name incorrect on the caption too).

I like all the people I've mentioned in the above stories. They were on my side. The end result, though...

I don't mind. Really I don't. I have to laugh at myself more, and these events require just that.

Disappointment is my middle name.

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