Friday, July 15, 2005

I'm a Linda Christas Kind of Guy

Back in March I wrote an entry about my experience and subsequent research into an online tutoring service for middle and high school students -- Linda Christas. It was just one little entry out of over 100 that I've written on my blog. But that one little entry -- plus the various follow-ups -- have put me on the map!

On many of the search engines, I hold the top ranking for various search terms which include the words "Linda Christas". In fact, there are many times in which I'm ranked higher than Linda Christas itself. I bet that really chaps their hide.

Since writing that first entry, "Looking for a Few Good Saps", I followed up with "Getting Out the Heavy Lumber", "The Continuing Linda Christas Saga" and "My "Friends" at Linda Christas". And now I'm writing about them again!

I've visited several alternative education sites and I've discovered something that appears quite odd. You'll see subject lines like "Linda Christas is a BIG Scam" or "Linda Christas is Bad for Children" and the entry does NOT match the title. These messages posted on various bulletin boards are ALWAYS singing the praises of Linda Christas.

Now, if you would take a look at your email In box, I will bet you that most of your messages have subject lines that are close to identifying the information contained in each message. Ya know, that IS the purpose of the subject header. I'm sure that, from time-to-time, the subject header and the body of the message don't match up, but these are the exceptions to the general rule.

Consequently, it appears that this must be a concerted and coordinated effort. It defies credulity to think that a bunch of parents and staff from one institution would all arbitrarily list fake subject headers for their bulletin board entries. No, the more obvious explanation is one of two things: 1) Linda Christas personnel encourage their people to do this (maybe with explicit instructions) or 2) There are a handful of Linda Christas staff who use form messages and sign fake names.

If this was such a fine institution, why would they go to all this trouble? Why not advertise in the usual manner? Why be sneaky about it?

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