Salty Droid >> bleep bloop

Salty Droid

Speaking of Spiders

How you like me now Naomi Dunford?

It’s probably best not to do your own viral marketing campaign for my site during a run-up to a ShitStorm :: unless you have a “career” death wish {not to be construed as a death threat [allegedly]} … but maybe I just don’t know cause I’m not a problogger.

Shit Storms happen!

Above are the pageviews for the last seven days on the FakeRobot and ChubbySpider websites. Her views peaked on the 30th :: the day after her fake death threat post. But with a little {/lot} of help from MetaFilter :: she couldn’t quite surpass the number of people she was driving to MeanSite2. According to bigger-than-life-size pile of cow crap Naomi Dunford …

“We’ve received over 100,000 visitors over the last 48 hours and an outpouring of support that defies my imagination.”

Nope! Not even close …

But I’m sure everything else in her completely exploitative post about someone else’s murdered mother is totally true.

In spite of the fact that Naomi has just reappeared on the Internet after a tawdry and conspicuous six month absence :: A-teamers tweeted out her faux-feminist wolf crying …

Chris Brogan

Yes … it is very important. Thanks for linking to me by proxy Brogan … good fucking plan.

Says Sonia Simone :: after the death threats had been debunked :: but before I published the Spider Shit Storm …

Oops! Surprise :: you’re in the Shit Strom too Ms. Simone. I suppose you also did nothing to deserve it? Funny how you won’t print my comments :: but you will send everyone you know to my site for one of the most bang-bang little truth nuggets ever released here. Great job … that’s remarkable communication!

These posts started a conversation that needed to happen :: big black waves. Here’s some of the highlights :: mostly based on voting … motherfucking democracy FTW!

@Lanna …

This is about the B-team n00bs being fleeced. This is how I read it:

Naomi chats up Dave and says, ‘Hey, I’m tired of running this business that makes $100,000 to $200,000 a year. Do you want it, like, for free?’

Dave must’ve been a kick-ass PM at Lockheed, because he’s all like, ‘Specifically, what tasks would I be responsible for?’

The spider thinks he’s seen through her con (He hasn’t!) and abandons her carefully constructed lie about being tired of running it, not being a detail person, etc., etc.

(Her bio on her website says she’s a “word nerd” and “worked for ten years in marketing and corporate communication for a few Fortune 500 companies,” which is all about being a detail person. I know, I know, her bio’s probably a lie, too. Later she sleazes her way out of explaining her sketchy accounting by saying “[e]xplaining isn’t my strong suit,” when explaining is basically also what corporate communication – and fucking blogging about blogging – is all about. She’s bad at what she does when it suits her con job. The rest of the time, she’s an expert!)

@bohica …

(5) Dave Navarro ripped of Syndicate sleaze Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, niched it down to launching ebooks, and Naomi was his biggest revenue generator. Not surprising because her audience would likely lean towards a frauduct like that. She took advantage of this position and lured him into her spider web.

(6) Dave Navarro and Naomi Dunford just implicated the entire Turd Tribe in this little chat, calling them out and stating their honest opinions. While not surprising, it is definitely interesting.

Bottomline, all the BS about Dave leaving his family, Naomi & Dave’s secret love nest, Naomi’s fake death threats… None of that matters!

Salty just exposed Naomi & Dave for what they are (scammers)… and what they most definitely are not (experts).

@Carla …

Her total of $12k and some change and it building a school, again it seems pretty specific to be a lie. But going back to the Oprah thing, they spotlighted a charity, “America Assistance for Cambodia” that built schools in partnership with Cambodian organizations and the Asian Development Bank. It got a lot of attention around that time (here is a story about a school teacher that subbed to raise money to fund a school.)

For a $13,000 donation, individuals can sponsor a school. $10,000 goes straight to construction and the remainder goes into an operating fund. For each donation, an additional $20,000 is provided by the Asian Development Bank.

Based on the timing and details, I’m pretty sure she was referring to that charity. 12k alone wouldn’t build a whole school even in Cambodia.

Did she actually donate? You can look at the schools and donors page to see for yourself. The links on the school names are to pictures of the actual opening ceremonies for the schools. I don’t see anything that could be associated with Naomi or IttyBiz, and if she actually donated, I’m pretty sure she would take credit it for it based on her personality.

@Behind the Facade …

Here are two people presenting themselves as knowledgeable, experienced, successful “internet marketers.” Selling high-priced “advice.” And yet, in their own lives:

Dave Navarro: ok, I have like, a month of money in the bank

Naomi Dunford: More than I got. :)

@Barbara {to a troll} …

@Wait ::

I was reading your comments with great interest until I read this:

“Allison, the one Salty Droid has been so concerned about this whole time, the Godly one.”

Why would you call this woman names? I feel great sympathy for a woman who has been walked out on by her husband leaving her with three sons and no support. Why would you say something so obnoxious about her?

You are not some neutral party seeking information. You are here to carry water for Naomi Dunford. That was a really cheap shot at a woman who did not deserve it.

@Enlightened (Formerly Confused) …

Dave regularly spoke about how you didn’t have to “be an expert” to create a business around your expertise. He said “if you’re a 5 in web design, you can teach the 1′s and 2′s.”

This is a fucking problem. Why is someone who is a 5 in web design teaching 1′s in 2′s about web design – shouldn’t they be fucking creating websites for clients?

That’s the whole point here. I see it every day, someone who has a retail store is selling eBooks on how to create a successful retail store. Well if you were so successful, why are you on Twitter 24/7 promoting your eBook about it?

Or a raw food expert helping other raw foodists learn how to create a brand out of being a raw food expert. Shouldn’t she be sharing her raw food advice for people who want to go raw?

It’s ridiculous. And this “third tribe” / hipster syndicate has created this dream. Just today I fell into a blog by a girl who coaches creative businesses. Yet she’s never had a creative business besides selling her coaching and products. How does that work?

@Syndicate H8r …

i·ro·ny    [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-] noun, plural -nies.

  1. Bragging about not having a paper trail on paper
  2. Being a success coach who admits she sucks so bad at business that she has to sell her “how to make easy money” system

@Cosmic Connie …

To me the big issues aren’t the alleged tax evasion, or whether Naomi and/or Dave owe back taxes, or how much they owe. To me one of the main issues is the general framework of deception on which Naomi appears to have built her business, and the way that Dave got caught up in that whole web.

And the other main issue is the disgusting way that Naomi threw in the “misogyny” red herring.

Some have tried to excuse Naomi by saying that the incongruity between her “online/business persona” and her real personality is NBD. But when the reality of Naomi’s life is so much at odds with what she is teaching, I think it is a pretty big deal.

@Doctor Mario …

Would you pay big bucks for:

… a fat-ass personal trainer or fitness coach? … a decaying-toothed, foul-breathed dentist? … a schizophrenic, maladjusted psychotherapist? … a 5-times divorced marriage counselor? … a tool-less, shop-less, brainless auto mechanic? … an ugly, smelly, herpes-face prostitute? … etc etc etc etc

If you answered yes to any of the above questions … please do continue to support Naomi Donefor & her frauduct peddling scam. You are an idiot, and there are few future joys waiting for you. Your life will continue to magnify the pain, suffering, and disappointment you have felt as long as you keep grasping for illusions.

For anyone on the fence, I truly hope these super-simplified analogies have helped you understand that this transcript is NOT ABOUT TAX EVASION (tho that is “icing on the cake” as the IMers are fond of saying when recording their conspiracies … er :: “business” meetings).

The real takeaway here, unless you are a total fucking n00b … is that Naomi Donefor is selling advice on that which she is not capable of doing.

Why would anyone buy the high-flying, unicorn-riding dream lifestyle Naomi’s pitching, when she CAN’T EVEN GET DAVE TO THAT POINT! {as so appropriately noted by @Slowly Walking}

@SpideySenses …

As a former member of Third Tribe I can tell you they’re selling a dream but very few are profiting. 3Ters are paying for membership, info products and webinars but still can’t afford take a vacation, attend a conference or quit the dayjob. They keep buying and not doing, which is the point. Instead of saving their money for future independence, they’re spending hundreds and thousands of dollars in hopes of becoming rich now. I’m happy I caught on before I went totally broke. I wasn’t going to be one of the people who give up food before giving up 3T.

@Madge Crikey …

But quit being in such a damn hurry to tell other people how to fly when you haven’t gotten your pilot’s license and flown around enough yourself. I’ll see if I can find you the address of the place where I bought myself the sign in my kitchen that says, “We don’t speak bullshit here” 40 years ago. It’s a good reminder to read first thing every morning while you’re eating your pancakes.

@hrmmm …

I read all of this stuff for the first time last night. I wasn’t sure what the hell to think, so I slept on it (for a few hours, anyway) and today…I’m still not sure what to think of it.

I’m a customer of both Naomi’s and Dave’s. I run a small online business based on my credentials (degree, experience in my field, and extra accredited training) selling a service that is not marketing.

I do not make a lot of money, but I do make a small living. I attribute some of my success to the marketing basics I learned from Naomi and Dave. I’m sure that perhaps what I learned was very, very basic since I am totally new at this, don’t have a mentor to turn to, and am basically on my own. Perhaps it was even overpriced, but I feel it did help me.

However. Reading this chatlog and the ensuing comments pointing out the really big red flags here, made me feel a little sick.

Am I a complete rube?

Have I picked up unethical, not-kosher marketing attitudes and techniques from Naomi?

I really thought my moral compass was more finely tuned than perhaps it is. It makes me afraid to think what kind of influences I might’ve uncritically picked up from following their advice.

I feel like a moron.

I’ll be conducting a fine-toothed review of everything I’ve done in my business, how I’ve treated my clients, and how I’ve marketed my services, in response to this.

As bizarre and nastily-worded as saltydroid is, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the information exposed here, though it wasn’t exactly pleasant reading.

I did notice for the past couple of years how incestuous the online marketing guru kingdom seems to be – all the same people giving each other testimonials, guest blogging for one another, doing JVs together – but I also just assumed that’s the nature of the business of online marketers marketing their own online marketing businesses which sell online marketing advice to other aspiring online marketers …

But knowing that the people I relied on and in some senses modeled my business after are (alleged) tax cheats, and admit to being pretty shitty business owners to boot? That concerns me quite a lot.

I don’t want to turn out to be an asshole.

@Barbara {again!} …

Naomi on Public Relations:

“Public Relations is arguably the funnest part of marketing. (Yes, I just said “funnest”. It’s my blog. I can say what I want. Besides, people pay me good money to write stuff. I’m a professional, dammit. I don’t have to prove anything to you.)”

“Giving things to the destitute and then alerting the media is a good way to get press.”

You mean like pretending your sending seventy girls to school in Cambodia but there is absolutely NO RECORD of your ever having given a dime to a Cambodian school? That’s the “funnest” part? Maybe if you’re Satan…

And lastly :: long time friend of the site @Slowly Waking :: sharing parts of his very personal story … just a taste of the kind of hate mongering you can expect to find at The Salty Droid …

It’s also like, when you take the bait something in your gut tells you not too. But you get their well-oiled sales funnel, hemorrhaging money all the way down, and you’re too embarrassed to ask any of your loved ones for help. Either that or you get caught in a desperate loop, going from infoproduct to infoproduct hoping the next one breaks you free. (Or from launch to launch. See: Navarro, Dave.)

In my case, my wires got crossed after life’s one-two-three punch of (1)traumatic breakup of looong relationship; (2)sudden unemployment in the worst economy of my life; (3)an honest-to-God natural disaster fucking up my town and my remaining emotional stability. Thoroughly upended and desperately vulnerable, Satan led IMers to my door because I hadn’t had enough long nightmares.

I dunno. Getting out can take a while. Maybe I needed to build my self-respect back up before I got mad enough to tell scammers to go fuck Satan, or to get away from tapping on the computer hoping it came up triple-cherries. (I certainly didn’t need “a custom consulting session” or a magic niche with 100,000 searches/day and SEOC of 4.) My two big triggers were finding this site, and my brother. He has a small, successful programming/database business. He was worried about me, so he hired me to do some keyword research he didn’t really need. The paycheck was beyond generous, the triple-cherry jackpot, but with a footnote that it come from love and worry, not from earned effort. I never cashed it. I just got my shit together, deleted everything “info” on my hard drive, and unsubscribed from everything. I kind of wonder if he planned it that way.

To readers on the fence about IM being a vehicle of God or Satan: you can tell if I’m full of self-deception from the tone. Compare it to some of the people writing about why they think their six figure business is the bee’s knees. Which resonates more in your gut? Anyhoo.

Why did I keep going after Module 1? Module 1 is always a lousy Camtasia vid on GoDaddy’s hosting. Why keep going after Module 2, then?

Because by then I had made so many small compromises, waking up in a “community” of dazed scam victims didn’t freak me out. 99% of us had no chance of building a successful business offline or off. 100% were getting Kerned. But we were all there together, so we would each be the lone person who succeeded.

Every step was a baby step. My first: “Gah, I’m a wreck. I’ve got to buckle down and make more money. I’ll do some research.” A weekend at the library led me to skim that awful book by Tim Ferriss, who gets just eviscerated in the most hilarious pan here. Money quote: “Some of this junk might actually work, but you’re going to be embarrassed doing it or admitting to your friends that you’re trying it. This is a man who, after all, weighs his own feces…”

So I hoped this junk, like Ferris’ “muse” idea, would work; because it was embarrassing, I wouldn’t tell anybody until I got it up & running. My long backpacking trip through Europe let me see myself in his chapters on “geoarbitrage” and “mini-retirements.” So I could also see myself in his chapter on the “muse,” sprinkled with enough Princeton dust and Valley glitz that I knew it could be real. It’s like those aspirational magazines: Dwell, with gorgeous slick homes you’ll never live in, but wouldn’t it be nice?

After enough baby steps I wound up paying seventy bucks for Desperate Buyers Only. This seminal IM “ebook” explains how to sell to people through their deepest open wounds. (At this point, those deepest in IM are protesting, “But that’s just what marketing is!”) Somehow, Ferris guided me to Google, who took me by the hand to an article here, a link there, and I’m at her sales page. Several steps were surely fakes, flogs, whatever, but I didn’t know enough then.

It took a month, maybe three, to get there? I don’t know that I’d read another sales letter at that point. I still had some open wounds from my life collapse I shared in that earlier comment. I recall being outside cutting a fallen tree limb, chainsaw in hand, her bullet points that hit their marks stuck on loop in my head. Some of these ideas get in there, and when you’re emotionally spent they can hijack the script. When it got loud enough, I stacked the wood and ran inside and bought the damn thing. The sales letter worked.

Months later I heard Ken McCarthy, the man who gave Frank Kern the keys to the infomarketing kingdom, say about copywriting, “bullets wound.” Meaning, “Write those sales letters with hundreds of bullet points about people’s fears, frustrations, and failures because one of them will be a direct hit! Did I mention Netscape?”

I nursed a little skepticism. I never bought anything by Frank Kern, Eben Pagan, the Syndicate. I stayed away from the high-ticket stuff (which they imply is why you’re not making money yet– take massive action, with a massive pricetag). I tried to keep my integrity and not sell things I didn’t believe in. For instance, I never sold Online Business School as an affiliate; though tempted by the only blogs I saw that seemed to make money, I never set up a “make money like me” blog. I felt smarter than a lot of the IM space, like the Clickbank crowd. Clearly those were scams– I would find a better way.

Unfortunately, that skepticism made it easier to go further up & further in. “Well, this part of Juarez looks pretty bad, but I’m street smart. Let’s see what that noise was over there.” Eventually when none of the really bad stuff I feared– like credit card fraud– happened, I let down my guard more.

The Third Tribe, or people like them, were there. (I’m not sure who all’s officially in.) McCarthy and his crew clearly knew more about marketing– and I didn’t yet know most of the 3T stuff was dumbed-down versions of Kern, Jeff Walker, Yaro Starak. But the 3T were younger and not as square as the first two. They were dumpy/dorky/approachable enough. Their cross-pollination of each other’s blogs made it easier to accept as legit. Havi and Naomi, Naomi and Clay, Clay and Johnny, I didn’t yet realize that all those vapid “me too” blog comments were for SEO because someone said blog comments got you traffic.

As I learned, you can’t start a business dabbling around. I had been getting by on my freelance work, but I lost clients to the recession. So I decided to scale back and go all-in with the online business. At this point, I’d been in for probably 9 months or so. I had several web sites, including a service-based site with a few customers who complimented what I was doing. Most people are nice, I doubt they thought too hard about it.

I’d been groomed to go all-in by blog posts, ebooks, audios. Things like, “You have get in a situation where you’re forced to succeed,” “you have to get out of your comfort zone,” “you have to reprogram your subconscious so your subconscious knows success is its only option, or else it will sabotage you,” whatever that means. I never cut off my family like Jeff Walker suggests, but I sure as hell didn’t talk over my decisions with them. “They don’t understand the Internet, they wouldn’t get it.” My few attempts at getting friends to join up with me– just on techie stuff, like SEO, WordPress development, and AdSense– were met with the skepticism comfort allows. So I started working full-time on this stuff, alone with my “community.”

The community was incredibly helpful. It was a continuity program with a forum, a hundred-odd members, and a video course. I “met” people and read their posts, saw their “businesses” being cobbled together. The vast majority I could tell even then were utterly clueless about business and tech. Nobody ever said aloud what many of us were thinking, lest they get ostracized or break the spell.

The video course was not as helpful. It was a webcam/Powerpoint affair that, after a few modules on web hosting and setting up an autoresponder and WordPress (which some of my peers never did figure out), gave an overview of infomarketing online. Lots of action steps, little detail. Write ebooks, find niches no one’s found but don’t fear competition, use his “secret tricks oh my God I can’t believe I’m telling you this” like buying exact match domains. The guru, a student of Naomi Dunford named Clay Collins, did long weekly calls where he met questions with credible-sounding answers. An early video was, “Why Picking a Market Can Be a Pain in the Ass: And Why You Should Chill the ** Out :-)”. The First slide read, “For Some This Just Isn’t About Money. It’s about identity. It’s about mission. It’s about spiritual decision. And it is, by necessity, about money.” He charged $97 a month, had a pressure-sales launch with limited spots that sold out almost immediately. Relive it here: he at one point used this video (sorry, it’s an 88.4 mb FLV, and clicking will download to your hard drive. It shows him sitting in his chair talking about studying people who take businesses from $0 to $10,000 in 2-4 months. At 01:53 he says, “I’m not trying to produce a bunch of millionaires, I’m just trying to get you, you know, 5-10K a month and to help you live a life of massive freedom.” There’s more, but it’s hard to watch. I apologize that it’s not another video of Marnie Stern). He also lifted from David Deida a lot. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

His mission, as he admitted in a later sales letter, was to prepare his next product, the “Irresistable Offer,” based on the launch for Project Mojave. He spoke variously of the “freedom business” and the “mission business,” “finding your purpose.” It sounded like Rick Warren, and his delivery often reminded me of a traveling preacher. But his About page moved me: he wrote an emotionally-charged piece about his grandfather’s orange farm. An appeal to the soft eco heart: he knew his targets.

Lanna asked about what kept me going. Clay’s promises should have sent me running. Obviously I figured out once inside Project Mojave that this was bullshit– he turned out a few striving clones for testimonials, but the typical experience we already know. Back to square one, only 3 months to 5 years older.

Part’s the baby steps. You took no leap, so being somewhere strange doesn’t feel strange. Part’s the community. You feel connection to flickering pixels that stand in for strangers, and they approve of the strangeness just by keeping their doubts quiet. Best not to ruffle feathers. Part’s the blitz: once in the sales funnel, you are bombarded by a scheduled series of launches. (“Launch” is a military term because you are under attack. The tough boys behind IM love those powerful metaphors.) You’re getting blog posts, emails and videos left and right, so you respond by reflex and base instinct. If you want to understand, sign up for an launch’s email list. Part is the goal. We go into the IM scam with a goal in mind, a certain emotional outcome. IM is not the goal, just a means, but eventually abandoning IM feels like abandoning the goal. Further up and further in, you feel like you have fewer and fewer options so IM HAS to work or your hope is dead. It’s throwing good money after bad, one of our charming, sad flaws. Meanwhile, the gurus all tell you to focus on your goals. Think about those great things you’re going to end up with so you’ll get the powerful emotional drive to get them, probably so the gurus can “anchor” themselves to your goal. Whatever. That overestimates the gurus. Really it’s just that you get on this path to mend a wound. Maybe it’s my life’s sudden collapse; maybe it’s a worry, like with your kids’ future, or safety from threats to your womanhood. Naomi likes playing both those cards. Maybe it’s just that we’re getting older every day and some of the loose threads in our lives look like they’ll always stay untied. That’s life. Maybe the wound gets center stage in our minds and runs on a loop, going way past Module 1, taking us step by step to places that are beneath us.

Whatever it is, know that Naomi and Clay and Frank and Eben, Ken McCarthy and Dan Kennedy and all their buddies work manic overtime to dig deep down into your wounds and see how much money’s in the meat.

I haz smarts readerz!

Special shout out to Chris Mooney and Project DoD for keeping the site mostly alive during that craziness :: much unpaid late night code monkeying was required. Thanks Chris!

>> bleep bloop