This is kinda fun. In our last post, we saw software that was being sold without even modifying an HTML template. Let’s play with that some more. Do an exact search for ["then delete this pink text"]. You can find lots of software packages where no one has bothered to update a template:
Someone is spitting out all sorts of software. Here’s one to teach you how to blog and ping:
But my favorite has to be all those testimonials. Are they real? Here’s one with testimonials “for example purposes only”:
These testimonials are for “example purposes only,” but are they real? I have no idea. But here’s a web page where the same people wax enthusiastic about a different product:
Humph. David Crow apparently thinks everything is a killer ap [sic]. He probably looks at faucets and goes “Amazing! I turn this thing, and water flows out! This is an absolute, killer ap!” Weird, wild stuff. Okay, now let’s take a completely different example. Here’s one where the testimonial is left blank except for a default of “Monterey, CA”:
Now let’s find that software package template on other sites. Hey, there’s a couple! Testimonial #1:
And now here’s testimonial #2:
Wow, what a coincidence that the empty template has a default of Monterey, CA, and both Ryan Smith and Ross Obrian also live in Monterey, CA! Did Ryan really double his money in 48 hours, and just happen to live in Monterey? Maybe, but I’m skeptical.
My point is that you should always use your critical thinking skills, whether you’re evaluating an e-book, a magazine article, an informercial, or what some random person is saying in a blog post. Librarians have been thinking about this stuff for a good long time; here’s a page with advice about evaluating web pages.