So, we're spammers, eh?
There's nothing like get nailed for having good intentions.
I got an e-mail the other day from a reader who was blocked from visiting OnMilwaukee.com because his corporate firewall used a product called siteadvisor.com to determine which sites are work-friendly. Apparently, siteadvisor.com, a McAfee product, has deemed OnMilwaukee.com as "somewhat spammy."
Awhile ago our "e-mail this to a friend" feature had a bug in it. This bug would randomly cause some people to get many identical e-mails over and over. It was a tough bug to fix but we eventually re-wrote the whole system to take care of it.
Unfortunately, there's no way to change that rating on siteadvisor.com. There's a link for the owner of the site to leave a comment defending his or her Web site, but that doesn't resolve the problem. It also doesn't update the rating once the problem was rectified (in our case, months ago).
Quite literally, this Web site is interfering with our business operations, since we rely on visitors to drive page views that display ads. If it's not illegal, it's certainly unethical to brand us like this. We don't serve funky cookies, we don't display third-party pop-ups or pop-unders anymore, and most importantly, we NEVER send spam.
That's not to say we don't send e-mail to our nearly 38,000 registered users. But they must double opt in for newsletters like the Weekend Preview, Daily Digest, Sports Digest, Movie Newsletter, Movie Update and Kids & Family Roundup. They opt out with a single click of "unsubscribe" at the bottom of every newsletter. This couldn't be anything farther from spam.
But apparently, it took just one surly user, "GrandpaShaggy," to make us "somewhat spammy." Gramps, apparently, has posted 46 other ratings on Web sites, from porn sites to MSN. He seems to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist, or at the very least not very Web-savvy, for if he thinks we "ettempted [sic] to place 99 cookies" on his machine, he's just plain wrong.
What can you do? Post your own comment at this disturbing Web site, letting other users know that we're not spammers -- we're just trying to tell great Milwaukee stories to our 1.2 million monthly readers.
If you like getting the Weekend Preview and our other great free offerings, please do chime in. Because if siteadvisor gets its way, you may find yourself blocked from OnMilwaukee.com in the future.
As always, thanks for your support.
I have seen sites with worse ads than yours get rated green from SiteAdvisor. I am considering getting a siteadvisor reviewer account then going to their website and rating them bad.
I still run siteadvisor in one browser but I now pay very little attention to its yellow and even red ratings. Many times I post a good rating for good website where I find siteadvisor has mis-categorized it with a yellow or red rating. That is pretty much the only reason I keep sideadvisor running at all and I certainly know better now than to buy any of that company's other web or computer security products. I just went over to the other browser and left a good comment at SideAdvisor for On Milwaukee...to ad to several others ahead of mine.
Many sites are rated incorrectly by siteadvisor. Sometimes the problem seems to be receiving emails after signing up for emails. Sometimes I see a notation that popups occured or malware was added where this is simply not the case and nothing like happens at the site or at the most there is one popup and only the cookies needed for cookie-based functions to run.
Maybe a reviewer clicked through an ad on the site in question and had a negative experience on a different site (at the other end of the ad) and blamed the first site. Or maybe the reviewer's computer was already malware infested so every site seems to serve pernicious popups. I don't know either how siteadvisor gets away with continuing to damage the reputation of so many website owners, even non-profit website owners who simply offer the chance for visitors to sign up for an email list
I spent a day following up on SiteAdvisor after I caught on to its tricks and found its ratings are wildly inconsistent. After investigating sites I came across in search results marked yellow and red I have not found one yet that is deserving of being marked down this way. And it is true that at first I always (needlessly) avoided search results showing anything other than green! Of course I am referring to an array topics where only a small percentage of websites are likely to be ill intentioned - I don't search for adults-only material or gambling or cheap this or that.
Anyway I am happy to see someone else has noticed that SiteAdvisor is part of the problem(s) - aroundcomputer and website security and safety - rather than any effective solution.
Your website used to have online ads that that opened up if you accidentally scrolled over them and pop-up and pop-under ads all a little sneaky. Things have improved recently, but you really need to make sure you dont have any ads that appear to be Windows error messages telling you your computer needs to be optimized, or that you are the one-millionth visitor and will win something.
3 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published July 29, 2015
If you've never heard of floating and sensory deprivation tanks, let us answer this question for you: it's not a form of torture. Rather, some consider it the ultimate form of relaxation, injury recovery and meditation, and it's coming to Milwaukee very soon.
Published July 28, 2015
When you've visited the same place well over 20 times, sometimes you have to look at it a different way. Whether that means taking a bird's eye view from the treetops, or a fisheye perspective from just a atop the water, Wisconsin's crowing jewel that is Door County still looks spectacular from any angle. Even if it's one you have bend a little to see just right.
Published July 15, 2015
Though Liz Lincoln, who writes under the nom de plume of Eliza Madison, just published her first erotic novella, the Milwaukee writer isn't new to penning books about romance. "I've been writing romance forever, really," says Lincoln, who debuted "Fast, Fresh & Hot" this summer on Amazon. " I wrote romance stories when I was in middle school."
Published July 12, 2015
A decade ago, I took a spin around the Milwaukee Mile in a special two-seat IndyCar. I did it again this morning, and it was even better.
Published July 8, 2015
While I only passively care about what happens on the court, I nonetheless passionately, urgently and desperately request Milwaukee and Wisconsin to get its act together and build the Bucks a new arena before it's too late. Just like I preached in the mid '90s when the Brewers were semi-genuinely eying Charlotte as their new home, I'll say it again: Build it now.
Published July 3, 2015
It's a long-standing tradition at Summerfest - and at plenty of other festivals - to use radio station DJs to introduce a headlining band. It may seem like a five-minute formality, but as usual, there's a back story to most of what the public sees while standing on the Summerfest bleachers.
Published June 29, 2015
It hasn't been a good month for the Stars and Bars. Only 150 years after it should've disappeared for good, national online and brick and mortar retailers have yanked the Confederate battle flag from their shelves and their sites. In other words, you will no longer find Confederate beach towels, belt buckles or even the General Lee (I'm bummed about that, actually) at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Etsy, eBay or many other stores around America. Fortunately, you won't find them at Summerfest, either, in the state that lost 12,216 men to the Civil War.
Published June 25, 2015
To me, the Kings Of Leon were supposed to save rock music. When I saw them for a second time at Summerfest in 2006, this time at the Miller Lite Oasis, something felt wrong. KOL seemed slow. Plaintive. Quiet? Turns out that was the direction this band would head in, and it's what made them extremely popular. But I came into tonight's show with an open mind and was rewarded with old Kings, and even lulled a little with new Leon.
Published June 22, 2015
"Summertime" is a great song - so great that it's been covered 25,000 times since George Gershwin wrote it in 1934. One of the more enchanting - and special - versions of the jazz standard has just dropped from Nineteen Thirteen, an enigma of a Milwaukee band. Featuring Victor DeLorenzo on percussion and Janet Schiff on cello as its two permanent members, you almost have to see this group to believe it.
Published June 18, 2015
Even though Summerfest gets passed over by lots of national media - at some point, let's put the onus on getting the word out better, OK? - there's no doubt that this gigantic musical festival is Milwaukee's crowning annual achievement. Here are the annual picks from OnMilwaukee.com Publisher Andy Tarnoff.