Domainating: Brands, Art & Content

artist/illustrator/designer/webmaster/copywriter/videographer/optimizer/promoter/ad-man

Why Rip-off an Artist?

I am so tired of the current state of society.  Humans no longer matter and we take a corporate attitude of greed and protect-your-own-ass because no one else will.

Actually, there are real people who will stand-up and fight together and stick-up for each other.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that it should have never gotten this bad.

I see this all the time.  I designed a website that not only exceeded the needs and specs of the client, but it does so well beyond any parameters, including my own.  As I am just a freelance artist, it’ll never win any awards (I can’t afford to enter the webbies, etc… I am not surviving on what I get paid now) and only the client’s customers will ever really see it.

Ever hear the phrase “Charge a Corporation Twice or more what you would anyone else for the same work.”?  It is so very true.  Although lulled into thinking I could work with these people, they broke the original contract.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a contract in writing.  So *I* kept every promise and delivered an extremely search engine optimized, user friendly, interactive website  based on the MODx content management system/framework.  This is the most extreme I had ever gone with CSS, Sprites, Fly-out menus, minimal graphics, reduced graphic sizes, etc…

But in the long run I screwed myself because I didn’t have a written contract.  And it would have protected me, because these people were absolute abusers.

Now, let me tell you that I did bid low to get this job because I thought I would enjoy it, but I had no idea that anyone could be so rude, condescending, back-stabbing or ruthless.  Instead of treating me like a business partner with a humongous stake in  their online success, I was belittled and chastised as if a lowly underling employee.  I had never been treated with such disdain by a client, before.  The terms of the original contract agreement was breached on several occasions and the deceit I experienced was unconscionable.  It’s a surprise that I was able to complete the project at all.  And I had no recourse because the agreement was verbal and I trusted them.

But the project was finished, despite themselves.  Not only was it finished, it was done right (despite themselves): the way I wanted it done (which was well beyond what they had asked for).

But now I know why to charge 2 or 3 or more times the price for a corporate gig.  Either you are working for a committee, or you are working as a mere employee with absolutely no rights or benefits (like a slave).

The extra money covers the extra hassle of writing the contract, and in dealing with a committee or being treated like a peon.  And the contract protects you from getting the shaft, spiteful delays for meetings, etc…  Now I know.

I told them I would not work for a committee, that I would work with just 1 person in delivering them a site beyond what they expected. I did.  But not without giving in to allowing a second person in to the mix who berated me and crucified me to “corporate”, her bosses.

These employees have “corporate” on the brain because they are so scared of losing their jobs.  The girl they added to the communication chain was apparently the company bulldog.  And she thought she was right, no matter what the facts are.  In the end she twisted everything into lies, was dismissive and disruptive just to “show me” a thing or two, and delayed the whole design & development process, incredibly.

Today I was on the phone with her to reach the other party, the guy I actually get along with, in order to make the site live.  He’s gone for the day.  As I am talking to her, she grunts her displeasure with me and dismisses me by hanging up the phone without so much as a “Goodbye.”

Previously, I had always worked with the business owner and entrepreneurs such as myself where we were smart enough to understand and communicate with each other.  If only the masses could communicate, they could educate themselves.

Then, I run into this article on “Smart Planet” how artist’s should watch their own asses because it really is OK to steal someone else’s artwork!:  How a thief defends theft: http://www.smartplanet.com/technology/blog/thinking-tech/how-to-protect-your-copyrighted-images-on-the-web/3684/

I am so angry this guy works there, at “Smart Planet”.  He’s telling us to watermark our artwork if we dare to put it online?  And all we are doing is trying to give our best work.  He says we could disable the right-mouse on a web page?  That makes our visitors angry because that right mouse button does a whole helluva lot more than save images, it is a vital tool for any web user.  He says to make a robots.txt file to steer the search engine bots away from our images… I did that once.  Not only did my images no longer show-up in Google Images, but my graphic design rank plummeted, and some search engines (such as the wayback machine) showed my web pages with all the images blocked out with a gray window over them.  Heck, I said stay away from crawling there, not to not show them on my pages!

There were plenty of lame excuses he gave, but they were all just excuses.  But it was interesting to see the criminal mind at work, how he could so effortlessly come up with any excuse and act as if it was actually a convincing argument.  Hey, fella, the reason Murdock gets away with it is because he owns Fox, not because it’s right, true or factual.

Listen, you self-centered “dogs” out there who don’t give a crap about anyone but yourself, it isn’t me or another artist that is “going to get you and bring you down”, it’s your own criminal activity and stupidity!

We artists are trying to give you are very damn best as a matter of pride in ourselves and our work.  And you treat us like we aren’t worth the same as you, that we are under you, your class, your level of achievement?  You rip us off for no good reason and excuse it as if we could do anything about it?

Where has morality gone?  What has happened to our ethics, and why do we dismiss them in order to make a point on TV or in a blog?  We used to be civil to each other.  Corporate America is NOT a good thing.  It seems to embrace ignorance.  But no one is fooled by Sarah Palin.  Being dumb is just plain dumb, no matter the excuse.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Brands, Government/Politics, Graphic Design, Internet, Media, Social Communities, The Human Condition, Web Design & Development, Website Optimization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Browser Address Bar Hijacking? -Not! Or IS it?

I love FireFox.  It works much quicker than anything else and is much more reliable.  And there are all those neat little plug-in add-ons that really increase its convenience, versatility & effectiveness.  There are many great and useful little add-ons that I have used reliably and loyally. Until now, when I just noticed that something has hijacked my browser’s address bar!

It must be one of those great little FF add-ons that has hijacked my FireFox browser’s address bar, and I find that extremely annoying and a bit troublesome.  Especially since I have now uninstalled every single add-on that I have ever installed, including things like the Norton security toolbar, except for the few web designer/developer add-ons that I have found to be trusted tools.  Still, the error persists.

Or is it MY MISTAKE?  I bet it is.  Yup, it is.  Heck, the same thing happens in IE.

What is happening is that I am entering a typo when I search and I am getting Search.com results for my typo.  What is the typo?  Any name, with an extra dot com.

For instance, let’s say that you are at your home page.  Then you decide to go somewhere else, but instead of following a link on your home page or selecting a bookmark from the menu, you know the address and so you use the address bar.  Let’s just say that your home page is a dot com (.com) tld (Top Level Domain).  So in order to save typing, you just select the sometextstring in http://www.sometextstring.com/ and with that text selected, you simply start typing in the domain’s actual name where you want to visit.  But, if you also type in the extension of .com out of habit, you wind-up with the address of  http://www.foosite.com.com/.

Although http://www.foosite.com.com/ is very obviously a typo domain, c|net was smart enough to grab the domain.  So now they get all this typo traffic,  which is significant.  So obviously this is what confused me, because then c|net uses the domain at search.com to interpret the referring URL into a search term, and it looks like some search engine has hyjacked my browser address bar via some toolbar or plug-in.  So I went and uninstalled nearly all of them.

But c|net doesn’t mention any of this on their Search.com site (that I can tell in my search, using their own engine).    Instead, they seem to blame this deliberate action on a malicious software, toolbar or add-on.  VERY DECEPTIVE, c|net.  This lack of honesty and these type of deceptive business practices is exactly what I hate about corporations.  It is not immoral to do this, it is actually smart.  But if you are hassling us by deceiving us as we land there and blaming other crap over the stunt you pulled on us, you are quite simply railroading us with lies, c|net.

One has to wonder why “com” was not a reserved word in the first place, like domain (you can not register “domain” in any tld or country code domain extension).  There are simply a few words that are reserved because of such mistakes on their authority or perceived use.  Why wasn’t “com” one of those, this all seems perfectly ridiculous to have overlooked it.

One also has to wonder why c|net, usually a pretty smart cookie, can’t treat it’s visitors and patrons with any sort of respect.  I had nothing but admiration for them before now.  Now it sticks as a craw in my butt that they cannot treat me with respect and offer me the very url I am seeking.  Instead, they offer advertiser crap that I don’t want and has nothing to do with the original intended URL.  Search engines are supposed to be helpful utilities, not deceptive ad engines.  Clearly, they are making gobs on the traffic they are getting, but they could make a great deal more by treating us respectfully and honoring our intentions, which is exactly what a real search engine does.

Where is the ethics department at c|net now, in the toilet?  Don’t they understand what is considered ill-will can be hurtful to them as well as their patrons?

I am absolutely astonished that c|net has stooped so low.  Not because they did this, but because they hid it and were not honest, open and forthright about it.  They could have been seen as saints, and instead they are seen as thieves and scum spammers.

Grow up and get real, c|net.

July 15, 2009 Posted by | Computing, Google, Internet, Search | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment