There have been some intriguing developments behind the scenes that coincide with this breathless commenting spree. Last week, my lover Jacy and I received an email offering us $25,000 to purchase our domain name. The offer came from a “company” called Blogging Donk, Inc. that was looking to take over our URL to clean up their Google results. I’ll admit that the offer piqued Mommy and Daddy’s interest, so we decided to bite, and the offer quickly, almost too quickly, shot up to $40,000.
Blogging Donk claimed that our URL was in violation of their pending trademark and that they preferred to purchase our site name instead of seeking “legal action.” Yeah, um, OK. This site has been in existence for over five years. They bought their URL with their stupid name last week, but whatever.
We entertained the offer, in case it was legit, but it didn’t take that long (or that much effort) to decipher that it was a complete ruse.
The site in question is bloggingdonk.com. According to WHOIS, the URL was purchased the day we received the initial email. The company claims it is an enterprise blogging service, whatever that is. It also appears that they created a Facebook and Twitter page yesterday which makes it legit. The site, for a company that claims to have enterprise blogging software, is a simple WordPress site that uses a premium template. The language of the site is lifted directly from Yammer, a Microsoft product for internal social networking.
Meanwhile, a search for the company on the California Secretary of State’s website comes up empty. They claim they are a subsidiary for Bayes-Mayer, which doesn’t exist. Bayes-Mayer also comes up empty on their Google results. There are also no results for a pending trademark for Blogging Donk on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. Also, a call to the property managers for the building where they claimed their offices were located said that they have no tenants under the name Blogging Donk, Inc. or Bayes-Mayer. That building is a multi-story office building, yet the address included in the emails failed to include a suite number in their mailing address.
When I pointed this out, and how stupid their company’s name is, “Jim Hansel,” who claims to be the COO of Blogging Donk, Inc., kicked it over to Marshall Gravelle, apparently this company’s legal counsel.
He responded, not by answering our questions, but by claiming that our site is a legal minefield for the company and that they would contact Donkey to see if she was interested in seeking an injunction. Marshall Gravelle sounds legit. He even has a LinkedIn profile and everything. (NOTE: Make sure you’re logged out of LinkedIn before clicking that link if you want to remain anonymous.) And his profile pic makes him look like a super serious, experienced attorney. Too bad his profile pic is a stock photo.
Clearly this is an ill-thought-0ut scam to out Mommy and Daddy’s identity, which only a privileged few of you know. Nice try, you scammy asshats. It’s not going to work, so please stop emailing us.
Apparently your chatter about how Ali Shanti is a scam artist and Craig Filek is a disgusting, manipulative specimen of a man has angered the woo woo set. I don’t think this is Donkey, because she’s too stupid and lazy to devise a scam that tried and failed to be this intricate. Even if it was, I’m sure her father would tell her that impersonating an attorney is frowned upon. (Ali Shanti should know this, too.) This behavior is certainly not an example of living on the enlightened plane that these people blabber incoherently on about.
Any way, nice try, Ali and Craig. Your scams might work on the stupid and desperate. But Jacy and I are neither.