Gray Watson Personal Thoughts 2002.08.02
My Spirit Award

So yesterday I received the following message in my mailbox:

From: John Giuffre <americacrys@...>

Dear Sir, I wish to present you with my Spirit Award for your tribute to 9-11-2001, however I need an e-mail address for you.

Please consider allowing me to award your site.

Thank you, John Giuffre

spirit award logo

So being the cynical bastard that I am, I was immediately suspicious so I responded asking what this was about. He replied:

Im happy to present you with my Spirit Award for your respectful and wonderful 9 - 11 memorial.

Please link the award to www.angelfire.com/...

Also please sign my guest book as I plan on sending all the names to President Bush and the Governer of New York on September 1st.

One last thing, please send me your URL as I wish to add it to my winners page with a link to your site.

Thank you, John Giuffre

spirit award logo

It was as I had suspected. A sickening attempt to drive traffic to this guy's pages. This pisses me off. Many people on that web have posted remembrance pages designed to help them grieve and deal with the realities of last year. My pages about 9/11 are designed to help me remember the situation and mood of the time more than anything else. But to try to drive traffic to your pages using the standard mechanisms is just wrong.

Here's my response to him.

Frankly I'm pretty disgusted with this John. It is, as I had feared, an standard attempt to get people to link to your site. I see you have links so we can vote you as a Top USA site, some promotional links to some addpro.com site, oh and a tearful memorial to your dog. Bizarre.

And make 9/11 a national holiday? Great idea. Immortalize the work of the bastards. Well done.

I did my site not to garner awards, not to be the "Top USA Site", but for me to remember. Nothing more.

Please remove any mention of my pages or my name from your site.

dog logo

Maybe John is well intentioned, but I still think the site is in very bad taste. We should not taking advantage of what should be a completely selfless moment. Setting up a linking campaign, garnering awards, and asking for "best page" votes is inappropriate.

Another "Award"

I got the following message in February of 2003. It is another attempt to get me to link to their pages. Maybe she was trying to recognize me but according to my logs she was "enjoying" my pages for 5 seconds before pasting this into my contact form. Her response to my flame seemed genuine but I still feel that this behavior crosses some line. Do people really think that these awards mean anything?

From: Lonnie ... <...>
Subject: Related Site

I was just enjoying your site ... and thought I'd drop you a line. Having a website dedicated to the tragic events of 9-11 myself (...) I know how personally satisfying it can be to try to keep the American public in the remembering frame of mind with this event. I also know how difficult it is to get acknowledgement of these efforts.

I would like to extend an invitation to you to receive an acknowledgement of your efforts. I have recently created an award for people just like ourselves who have these sites up with very little recognition. It may not be much, however, I do want to offer a personal thank you for your efforts. That said, I'd like to offer an invitation to you to apply for our 9-11-01 Recognition Award. You can find the application for this Award on my home page. I can say without hesitation that you would qualify having already seen your site.

Thank you for your time in this matter.

Oh, and by reading this far, you've officially qualified for the "GRAY WATSON, YOU CAN SURF THE WEB" award. Congratulations!! Please feel free to announce it to the media. As seen on TV. This offer is valid while quantities last. Don't be fooled by imitations. Our product is 100% guaranteed. Cash back within 24 hrs of approval.

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