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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    I came across this site:

    [URL Removed]

    They say they are associated with Vericlick. They have pay-per-impression program, but I can't seem to find any information on them. I tried searching ABW for "WebToolbars" but came up with nothing which concerns me.

    If you know anything about them, especially when it comes to payment integrity and promptness, please let me know.

    thx

    [This message was edited by Haiko on December 19, 2003 at 11:38 PM.]

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    take a look at www.Parasiteware.com get real!

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
    </font></p>

  3. #3
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    Does Alexa toolbar count as spyware? I was thinking about trying it out.

  4. #4
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    Nevermind. I thought it was just a name "WebToolbars" for a legit rotating banner. Although I don't see them on the list in www.parasiteware.com, I take it by what you're saying that they aren't just CPM payment program and that they are a TopMoxie type item?

    In that case I'm not interested.

    thx

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    My mixed review of this one:

    Checking the site, it doesn't appear to be a full parasiteware. It didn't actually "install" itself onto my computer AFAIK, rather it opened like a fancy window.

    I DO notice that the thing annoyingly:

    Appears without being asked.

    Can be made to appear after a delay so the wrong site is blamed for the annoyance. This is more like a delayed-popup-style trick, though, than a parasiteware which triggers based on what site the surfer is on.

    Appears across sites--I have ABW as the active window, yet the WebToolbar is still showing.

    Does NOT beat it when the original window is closed. Instead, I had to close it seperately. Hitting the un-obvious "X" on it caused a slider to appear with many options--with "close toolbar" being the LAST of them.

    TECHNOLOGICALLY:

    It appears to actually be some kind of specialized window, as opposed to a downloaded software. It can be closed by right-click-CLOSEing in the taskbar or by hitting the X on it. It also has a way to "bookmark" the toolbar (whoever heard of bookmarking a toolbar?!) There was no prompt to download anything, and when I did find the way to close it, it politely went away without undue protest. But just how they got these effects, I don't know.

    Things that make me go "hmmm":

    No mention of VeriClick on Google when I searched for that name. How new IS this place?

    Their thought that anyone would want to subject their viewers to this incredible annoyance *without* getting a decent CPM rate! Yet I notice many options for those without "high traffic," including some where the webmaster actually pays *them.*

    All in all it looks more like a new way to do advertising (more like a variant of "In Vue" ads) than a parasiteware, to me. Although I must say, what an annoying thing it would be, to be visiting a site and have one of these show up on the bottom of the screen--and then have to search for the way to make it go away!

    IF my assessment is correct and it's not a parasiteware, I'd say it'd still only be good for sites that are willing to show In Vue ads because it'd be just as annoying to visitors.

    Possible unsavory uses? This one's a bit grayer than most. It seems to only appear once the person has visited your site (Good). But you can stick ads on it. If the visitor doesn't close the thing after leaving your site (most probably won't figure out how), those ads will persist until they do (Bad). On the other hand, it doesn't seem to have a way to make the ads do anything special based on where the visitor goes, unlike typical parasiteware.

    As for their payment, I have no idea--I'd never heard of VeriClick (which is apparently trying to piggyback on the name "VeriSign") or WebToolbars until I read this thread.

    All this is IMO and based on a fairly quick observation of the site and the toolbars they have on it. Others, feel free to correct any inaccuracies.

    It's the most wonderful time of the year!~Old Christmas Song

  6. #6
    Just Lurking
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    All this is IMO and based on a fairly quick observation of the site and the toolbars they have on it. Others, feel free to correct any inaccuracies.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Rather difficult to judge anything without that URL.

    ------------------------------
    "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." -- Mahatma Gandhi

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
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    I'd also like to know why this has been instantly labelled as parasiteware.

    I've paid the $30 to try it out, but haven't spent much time on it yet. That $30 partly demonstrates this isn't anything revolutionary, just a front end tool to create stuff many people could do anyway.

    I'm not going to defend it - as with many things it can be twisted to various negative uses. And I'm sure it will get annoying as more places use it. Especially the free version, which runs paid and exchanged ads.

    But it doesn't "install" anything in itself - it's a thin custom shaped DTML explorer window which can contain images, text boxes, flash, html, etc. Lots of uses, many of them useful, loyalty building and experience enhancing.

    It only works on IE6+ (estimated by makers as 52%) and has many of the common popup/under controls like don't repeat show, delayed appearance etc.

    Few (if any) tools are inherently "bad" - it's the behaviour of their users we should focus on, not the tool itself.


    --------------
    Are you Crazy?

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    From Leader's description it sounds really annoying.

    I already hate the fact that many merchants only provide animated banners - they are annoying and distracting.

    I hate ads which are designed to look like a normal window, where people click on 'x' to close it and it just takes them through to another website.

    Banners which are stuck right up against scrollbars so people click on them by accident.

    Intrusive advertising is almost worse than Parasiteware in my estimation.

    I don't have a TV because I'm so sick of moronic ads screaming for my attention (that and the fact that 99% of the programs are rubbish...)

    How can we maintain any kind of moral high ground against parasites when we all use and endorse these advertising methods, which are basically designed to trick people into visiting a site they didn't intend to?

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Rather difficult to judge anything without that URL.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Since Haiko edited it out, I won't post it. But I will say that it's very easy to guess.

    It's the most wonderful time of the year!~Old Christmas Song

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    Sorry about that, that was my early-morning rant to clear the head and kick the hang-over...

  11. #11
    I like traffic lights
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    From their front page:

    "New Feature:
    Now bypass Alexa, Google, ... popup blockers."

    Hmmm. Obviously looking to provide the surfer with a real good "experience".

    Had a look at the popup code. They're running adverts for Bargain Network, ForSaleByOwner via Commission Junction. I'm pretty sure CJ doesn't allow banners to be served up on banner networks, which is pretty much what this is surely?

    (And don't call me Shirley).

    Certain portions of the javascript code has be encoded - this is obviously where we need to look to figure out if there's anything nasty going on. :^)

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    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

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  12. #12
    I like traffic lights
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    Oh, and when you see them setting up an iframe with a width and height of 1 pixel, it's time to wonder what they're up to.

    This is where that parrot needs to jump into the thread and start squarking about tricks for clicks and concealed cookie setting.

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    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

    "But Jimmy had fancy plans, and pants to match"

  13. #13
    I like traffic lights
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    OK.

    One encoded part of the javascript code is the functions DoClickTracking() and DoHitTracking() which insert 1x1 hidden pixels sourced from the vericlick domain, which insert the referring URL into vericlick's web log.

    The other loads some FURTHER hidden javascript code off their toolbar server. THis appears to be the "about toolbar" menu mentioned in a previous posting.

    The interesting point about the "close the toolbar" option is that is doesn't really CLOSE the toolbar. It hides the popup. So it's probably still doing referer tracking silently in the background.

    Doesn't look ike a very nice data-collection tool to foist onto your unsuspecting users.

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    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

    "But Jimmy had fancy plans, and pants to match"

  14. #14
    I like traffic lights
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    "Webtoolbars.com is owned and operated by VeriClick, an internet company specializing in audience measurement."

    Note the complete lack of any privacy policy on either site.

    Whoop whoop. Pull up!

    ****************************
    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

    "But Jimmy had fancy plans, and pants to match"

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I knew someone could get under the hood of that thing.

    Thanks Drewbert!
    It sounds like it's doing a lot of sneaky stuff I couldn't see.

    It's the most wonderful time of the year!~Old Christmas Song

  16. #16
    I like traffic lights
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    There's probably a whole shitload of newbie affiliate marketers falling for it unfortunately - they ran an advert in the latest issue of Associate Programs Newsletter (Allan Gardyne's mail out).

    Grrrr. I wish he'd done some checking before he let that advert run.

    ****************************
    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

    "But Jimmy had fancy plans, and pants to match"

  17. #17
    I like traffic lights
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    This isn't aimed at the sort of affiliate that makes ABW their home, but I posted the following to another forum where people were still showing interest in this abortion even after I'd highlighted what it does. You may want to use it if you meet anyone who still thinks it's a good idea.

    *******

    And those of you that still think this is a good idea, imagine what your sponsors will be thinking when they get shown a screen shot of a browser on a page of kiddie porn, with this lovely toolbar in the status bar and THEIR banners showing with YOUR affiliate code embedded in them.

    You think they'll be happy?

    You think they'll be happy with YOU?

    You think they'll still want to send you a check evey month?

    ******
    I'm about to jump on a plane and won't have time to do anymore research on this for a week of so. If any of you want to check out their code, identify the CJ merchants they're running in their banners and warn them what's going on - including the warning that their banners will still be showing in the status bar when the surfer is on porn sites.

    ****************************
    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

    "But Jimmy had fancy plans, and pants to match"

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador flamingoworld's Avatar
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    I just got a solicitation from them:

    - Focus visitors on your site "hot points".
    - Attract visitors after leaving your site
    - Clean your pages by moving links into a toolbar.
    - Build a cool web site navigator.
    - Give more exposure to your sponsors.
    - Participate in our ad exchange.
    ...

    On their site:

    Toolbars are an original web extension which allows you to:
    Focus visitors on your site "hot points"
    Attract visitors after leaving your site
    Clean your pages by moving links into a toolbar
    Build a cool web site navigator
    Give more exposure to your sponsors
    Participate in our FREE banner ad exchange
    Advertise at no charge in front your competitor site's audience
    Bypass pop-up blockers protections to show your messages and ads.

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