Thursday, February 23, 2017

Beware of bottom-feeding web sites

A few days back my daily Google Alert on “public speaking” turned up an article on a web page dated October 6, 2016 titled The Cons of Toastmasters at a strictly commercial web site titled Public Speaking Training. The author was not listed, and the Contact Us page for the web site refers you elsewhere. The fifth paragraph began with a sentence containing a grammar error:

“That’s how I feel as I sit down to right this article.”

Who really wrote this stuff, where had it come from, and when? It actually was scraped from a web site called Ezine Articles, was written by Marcus Antuan Smith, and appeared at a web page titled The Cons of Toastmasters submitted back on August 18, 2008. Terms on that web site call for including a link showing the author’s name, which was ignored by Public Speaking Training.

I looked at the last seven articles posted at Public Speaking Training, and found they also really came uncredited from Ezine Articles. All Public Speaking Training did was to add a stock photo or two.

The February 23, 2017 article on Five Simple Ways to Become a Better Public Speaker is recent. It was submitted by Jessica Lauren Vine on December 29, 2016 – so it was fairly new.

The February 21, 2017 article on Audience Analysis for Informative and Persuasive Speaking was submitted by John M. Lawrence on January 28, 2011.

The February 20, 2017 article on A Dozen Ways to Improve Your Speaking was submitted by Rex Rogers on August 2, 2010.

The February 19, 2017 article on Importance of Ethics in Public Speaking was submitted by Jordan Michael on April 16, 2015.

Another February 19, 2017 article on The Art of Listening and the Effect on Communication was submitted by Karen Golob on July 15, 2007, almost a decade ago.

The February 18, 2017 article on Public Speaking – 5 Tips for Writing an Engaging Speech was submitted by Crystal Coleman on February 18, 2009.

The February 17, 2017 article on The History of Arachniphobia – Fear of Spider Phobia was submitted by Andrew Power back on December 19, 2009. If you want to see a better discussion on arachniphobia, just watch the TED talk by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. Spiders are discussed 8-1/2 minutes from the beginning.

The image of a man scraping came from the Library of Congress.

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