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How to lose audience by thinking you're "oh so clever" in 3...2...1...

Here's how you can simultaneously show you are incompetent, untrustworthy, show no attention to detail, and have no business speaking to or referring others on important matters... all at the same time! Ready? <Click the jump link>

If your eyesight is weak like mine... the object lesson is in the upper-right corner.

Obviously adoption is a topic of seriousness and import. My friend didn't laugh when she first saw this and waved me over to see it. Her first reaction was a gasp. Then came incredulity at how stupid this site owner was. Then, as a non-techie, she finally looked at me and realized, "that's an automatic ad of some kind put right in their website, isn't it? What a scam! What if there's a fake site or virus in here? That's some bullsh**."

She promptly closed the window in a huff. No extra site clicks. No click-through. Done.

I asked her what she'd do if she'd clicked on something that looked "legit" and been routed to an ad site instead. She said, "same thing, because I'd figure I had been sent to a fake virus site or scam site or something. I'd probably run my virus checker like on a bad email."

I think that about covers it.

If you've got ads or ad feeds on your site, indicate clearly with a banner or other identifier that they are ads. Otherwise, unless you're dealing in issues where credibility (and looking like a joke) is a non-issue, they're not going to bring you the boundless click-through riches you imagine.


  1. Misspellings are a big red flag for me, too. See above Luterhan (Lutheran). Anything that obvious I would treat as a scam site and move along.

  2. Agreed. We have a mutual associate that has a LinkedIn profile listing him as a "Manger" and it makes my eye twitch each time.

    The scenarios you list are amplified exponentially at higher-stakes tables. I recall at one company I worked previously how on more than one occasion, we dismissed the salesman because the smallest of details was overlooked in their presentation. Once we even stopped them in the middle of their deck!

    Heaven and Hell is found in the details. Teach the children.