Questionable Advertising @ Questia???
Questia seems to be using what some might consider questionable advertising techniques, personally I\'d call it SPAM, or worse, but make up your own mind.
Steven Bell pointed out (On COLLIB-L) some interesting posts he found on the new Google Groups (the old deja.com), so I did some searching, and found some very \"interesting\" posts from \"people\" about Questia. Interesting and people are emphasized here to highlight the important words I am questioning. They seem to be spamming, a number of academic oriented newsgroups, and Ebay under what may be considered false pretenses. The people posting the messages try to make it look like they are not affiliated with Questia (most of the time), but some evidence shows this is may not be entirely true. If they are really using this type of advertising they are guilty of fraud at worst, and being a slimy corporation at best. I have sent this story along to Questia for comment, and I really hope to hear back.
Read on to see what I found.
So I just did a search for \"Questia\" on Google Groups, and I thought I would highlight the most interesting posts.
This is the only one I do not have any problem with, it came from a real address at Questia, or at least it came from the Questia domain, good enough for me.
Name: Cheryl Osuorji
It was a post from them to soc.culture.nigeria.
Now on to the interesting ones:
From \"Chris d\'Aquin\";
I figure some of you here know about, or at least have heard about
Questia and netLibrary. While not direct competitors, we are often
compared. Now is your chance to check out what Questia will be like!
This one, in part:
I had an email forwarded to me about a new Internet research service
called Questia. They are trying to help students write better research
papers, faster and easier. I have checked out their web site, and if
they can deliver everything they promise, this will be extremely useful!
Here are the contents of the email I received:....
Questia is a brand new idea that attacks the paradigm of how research is
done for students writing research papers. While they are focusing on
college students, it sure does seem like this would apply to those who
will soon be going to college, too.
Here is the contents of an email I have received about it:
Now This is the good one, because \"Chris\" now admits to being a developer at Questia:
Posted to comp.text.xml
I am an XML developer for Questia Media, Inc. We are launching our
service, a college research library for students, in January. We are
shooting for 50,000 books and journal articles online for the launch,
and 250,000 within three years. Some call this the largest digitization
project in the world.
I think you can see how some people may have a problem with this.
Now From From \"jacygrannis\". That was wrong, it should have said from \"janetclarie\". I apologize for that!
I got an email from one of my friends regarding
Questia Media. It\'s an online research sevice
that allows users to do research from anywhere.
Right now, Questia is offering a special sneak
preview of the service and a FREE one-month
trial. Go to this site to sign up.
I\'ve been trying to find an online research website that will help me
do research from home, but I had not been able to find a site that had
Last week I heard of Questia. From what I see, they have what I\'m
looking for. Go to this website and signt up for a free trail.
Here is a rather intesting post about Questia spamming eBay auction announcements, not sure if it\'s at all true, but it seems relevant to the story:
If you got his Ebay auction announcement in your e-mail, how about
letting him know what happens to spamming jerk offs.
Now this one is interesting, someone says they did a little checking on one of the previous posts, and busted them at their game:
The previous message was posted from IP address 188.8.131.52, which
turns out to be fw1.questia.com; the author who claims to have only
heard of Questia last week would appear to be an employee. The
ringing endorsement would thus be a misleading advertisement.
This one just looks suspiscious, but it could be honest people exchanging information for all I know:
On Wed, 17 Jan 2001 03:32:58 -0900 in alt.culture.alaska, \"F
> A few nights ago, (Satrday?) I was listening to public radio in Yakutat. A
new web subscription service was highlighted on a talk or news program. The
site features a searchable database of thousands of humanites titiles.
I made a note of the name, which I promptly lost. Does anyone know the site
I\'m refering to? I think it\'s name. Please send me the name if you
well, i checked the NRP website www.npr.org, remembering that i
also heard it on \"all things considered\" and knowing they have
online archives. it\'s questia. audio clip, if you have real
audio, is http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/atc/20010112.atc.09.ram
Like I said, might just be real people, I couldn\'t find the original posts on a news server, but if anyone has access to someplace to check the IP\'s, please let me know.