Or at least an offer from someone who sounded like a Chinese person. It was an email, and it could have come from anywhere of course. I'm posting about it because it's yet another instance of someone wanting to use my blog to set up a money-making scheme for their own benefit. But of course it could be your blog too. I am therefore going to spread information about a practice that I don't like. Tell me if I'm nannying.
The email was from 'Yuan Zhang' and arrived at 7.07am this morning. It was repeated at 8.45am, at which point I alerted Google to its status as spam. This what the email had said:
I have seen your wonderful blog. I love it very much. I think it very fashionable and beautiful. What’s more, I want to tell you that I would like to cooperate with you.
My e-mail: email@example.com
Details of the cooperation:
1. I give you a topic
2. Some keywords about the topic
3. A live link of the topic
Here, I want to highlight as follows,
1. You can write something about the topic with the keywords(do not overstrike the keywords)
2. Add the live link twice(it should be hyperlinks)
When you finished the writing, please give the links to me and I will check. In the end, I will pay you in paypal. (Money is related to the pr of your blog and included number)
That is the rule of the writing.
If you are interested in the writing, you can.
I am waiting for your reply as fast as possible.
Six choices you can choose from:
1. topic: Catsuits
Keywords: cheap catsuits, cat suits for women, plus size catsuits, red cat suits, black catsuits
a live link: http://www.tidebuy.com/c/Catsuits-104069/
2. topic: Lycra-Catsuits
Keywords: cheap lycra catsuits, spandex catsuit, lycra catsuits online, lycra catsuits for women
A live link: http://www.tidebuy.com/c/Lycra-Catsuits-104086/
Keywords: pvc catsuit, leather catsuit, discount metallic catsuits, metallic catsuits online
A live link: http://www.tidebuy.com/c/Metallic-Catsuits-104087/
4. topic: Zentai
keywords: zentai suit, zentai costumes, skin suit, full body suit
a live link: http://www.tidebuy.com/c/Zentai-104060/
5. topic: Morphsuit
keywords: cheap morphsuit, spiderman morphsuit, morphsuits for kids, green man suit, morph suits
a live link: http://www.tidebuy.com/c/Morphsuit-104067/
6. topic: Lolita-Dresses
keywords: lolita dress， lolita dress pattern， cheap lolita dresses，sweet lolita dress，classic lolita fashion
a live link: http://www.tidebuy.com/c/Lolita-Dresses-4461/
This was much more specific than usual as regards explaining what was required, which gave it a spurious air of seriousness.
I copied the text to Blogger via Windows Notepad, which deactivated the live links in the email. The business mentioned in the links (Tidebuy.com) is real, and appears to be a perfectly all-right online retailer of wedding and other 'special occasion' clothing, although they do also market sexy skin-tight apparel and fantasy dress. You can easily find Tidebuy for yourself on the Internet, and deal with them direct. There is no need for an intermediary.
So what is this Yuan Zhang actually up to? I think he is trying to create a network of blogs that carry links to Tidebuy.com, and therefore take potential customers to that retailer. The number of 'click-throughs' can of course be accurately measured. In return for the flow of interest generated, he gets a kickback, and (in theory) each of the bloggers gets a small share of that. Yuan Zhang can do the same with any other retailers willing to deal with him, and in this way multiply his income. So it's a viable business model.
I'm bound to say that if any blogger were minded to make a bit of cash from creating links to a retailer, there is nothing to stop them approaching that retailer direct, and cutting out the middle man. In other words, now that Yuan Zhang has brought the existence of Tidebuy.com to my attention, I could email them and set up some kind of agreement myself.
But, of course, I am not going to. I would scorn to. So it's a big 'no thanks' to Yuan Zhang and anyone else trying to use my web space for their own ends.
I may seem to have dismissed this offer with lofty despatch and contempt. But I am also niggled. The formula used to gain my willing co-operation, using the phrases 'your wonderful blog' and 'I love it very much' and 'I think it very fashionable and beautiful' is empty and insincere. I hate false flattery. I also feel cheapened that someone couldn't be bothered to delve a bit into my output. Surely nobody can really say, if for instance they take the last twenty-five posts as typical, that I am a fashionista - or, worse - that I am obsessed by fetish clothing? I feel not only cheapened but misjudged. Sigh.