Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thesaurus Generator?

A source of mine, customer service guru Micah Solomon, alerted me to something funny last week.

A column in which I interviewed him popped up on an obscure website without any link backs or explanation as to where it came from.

That's not all too uncommon in this age of Internet ripoffs. What was notable about this web version of my column is that it read ike it went through a meatgrinder. Or, rather, a weird thesaurus.

So my words, "good friend" became "fine companion." Micah's book, "Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit," became "Incomparable Service, Incomparable Profit."

My tagline stayed in place, but instead of, "Karen E. Klein is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers entrepreneurship and small-business issues," it now read:

Karen E. Klein is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers business enterprising and little-business issues.

I kind of like it! I ran a WhoIs search on the offending site and found a Russian address. I sent a "Hey! Cut it out!" email to the address listed for the site admin, but I doubt it will do much.

Anybody else had this happen?


  1. Well, you know forever after I'll refer to you as the Little Business Writer or maybe The Little Writer That Could.

    Yes, I've had it happen. But I don't know what they hope to gain by it.

  2. I did a whole series of posts a while back, when a site was (automatically) copying my posts without linking back. I started to have fun with them by posting statements in my own copy, like "Just Pocket Camera [the offending site] is stealing my posts." That way, they were publishing the incriminating information directly. It took about a week, but they soon stopped.

    This was likely aided by an email sent to Google. If the site is using Google ads, Google has a procedure in place for taking such sites down or at least making them desist. On the site's Google ads, click "Ad choices," then scroll down to this link: "If you'd like to report a policy violation regarding the site or ads you just saw, please let us know."

  3. It was so odd to see the thesaurus-grinder version when I happened on it -- the original excellent article by Karen is here by the way -- --
    took me quite a while to figure out what was going on.

    Thank you, Karen, for all of your coverage of, uh, "little-business issues"!--Micah

    Micah Solomon
    Building Five-Star Customer Organizations--
    for bottom-line results
    "The new guru of customer service excellence is Micah Solomon."
    -- The Financial Post

  4. If they've got ads, all they want is clicks. They're just trying to make money.

    If they don't have ads, who knows?

  5. If I were 5'0" and 100 pounds, I could claim the term "Little Business-Writer," sort of like the "Little Chinese Seamstress" (great book, by the way).

    Yes, they are basically just a site to bring in google ad revenue, which I think is a joke unless you have a really perfect domain name and those are all long taken. I'll follow your advice on reporting them, Petrea.

    Thank you, Micah, my fine companion. ;-)