Tag Archives: Publishers

100 Summoned Demons, for all Fantasy, Horror & Modern RPGs Out Now!

28 Mar

Back once again with yet another (yes, really another one!) release from Grinning Skull, with 100 Summoned Demons for all fantasy, horror & modern RPGs.

Get your copy by clicking this link now!

Or visit our publisher page link below. 

Stories of Suspension, and Suspicion of Spammers…(and the “S” word…)

5 Feb

grinningdennissemalt

Ok, I thought I’d just clear up the reasons why this blog got taken down last week. I’ve had a lot of people ask just why it happened and the story behind it, so for what it’s worth, let me tell you before I draw a line about it…
I had prepared a post called “Doing the S-E-M-A-L-T karaoke” in which I just wanted to draw attention to this dodgy company that has caused so much ire for many of us out there recently. This article was done in my usual deliberate tongue in cheek manner, asking for those out there with any gripes could pose intentionally provocative or just plain rude questions to them (with preference to the more humorous ones) and further highlight the company’s shadiness and inability to give straight answers to the normal queries that folks may have about them.
Further in the post, I also highlighted the fact that their own blog had even less than the Grinning Skull about the company, plus the fact that I had left them a few comments on there telling them how I thought the other commenters there, were actually “sock puppets” spouting positive comments in order to fool the layperson into thinking they are actually an above board company. These sarcastic comments made by myself were also taken down by them to counter any negative reaction (of which i completely understand, I would have too under the circumstances if I were them!)
Anyway, as soon as I tried to post this article, I was frozen out from the entire wordpress system and alerted with a warning message, that highlighted the fact that I had been suspended for violating the TOCs of WordPress, either for the reasons of being flagged for spamming, or running articles detailing talk of S-E-O for purposes of ranking and such. Obviously this was utter bullshit and at the time, I did start to think that i’d either been hacked by the offenders (note that i’m not going to mention their name, or talk to much in detail about the whole thing, for reasons I’ll mention in a moment) or that they had had me taken down for my abuse and ridicule of them. Call me paranoid, but with all the talk these days of international snooping and hacking of data, you really never know. Plus, since the whole thing began, i’ve heard loads of conflicting stories about them, so there’s no wonder I was thinking that way!
I don’t know how many of you bloggers use Zementa for your postings, but for those who don’t, Zementa is a useful blogging tool that helps link your posts to useful info with suggestions, explanations and info from about the net. It is a usually decent tool that adds another level of detail to sometimes boring posts, but it would seem that this time it was my undoing! Without thinking I applied the links from the text I’d written with details from my article, linking them to the various explanations of the stuff I had wrote down (something I won’t be doing without thinking n future, I can add!) as is recommended by others while using the add on.
As per usual, I added my list of tags and key words, as you do with your posts, again not thinking I was doing anything wrong. This was also not a great idea, especially when it comes to the automated system employed by the wordpress software, when it comes to spam and such.
As it turns out, those two reasons seem the most likely reasons that the blog was suspended, the anti-spam measures in place flagged me as a spammer who was trying to diddle the rankings system in order to get better placement on the big G! This was all sorted with a few messages to the good “human” staff at support, when they realised I had been taken out of context in my aims with the post, and they reinstated me without delay.
It did highlight a flaw in the wordpress support system, that if there is a genuine reason and a blogger did actually need support in similar cases like this, when one is suspended, you can’t even post on the support forums to ask for help, nor is there an active email address to contact to try and sort things out. Luckily, it was sorted and reason triumphed in this matter. No hacks, no paranoia, just a simple mistake with the wordpress software!
You might be wondering why I refrain from mentioning S-E-M-A-L-T? Well, since it seems that now the wordpress software anti-spam measures recognise the company and all talk of it, as spam, I don’t want to risk it happening again, nor do I want to highlight them by linking to them and giving them more backlinks to aid their progress. I would also advise that other bloggers on the wordpress platform refrain from doing the same and be careful what your putting in your posts and what stuff your linking to, as the software is automated and they instantly suspend you without warning. Be careful!
On another note, it seems that this company seem to think that the reply they gave in my other post (A letter from…etc) is sufficient to quell the bad press they have been getting from other net users and bloggers, and have now decided to fiddle with their blog and facebook pages with reference to that post. they seem to think that this is an endorsement to them being regarded as “a proper reputable company”. I don’t know if the fact that they are from a non english speaking country, that the english sarcasm is lost on them, or they really are that stupid. The cheeky bastards are even peddling the statement on their Facebook page, and even so the many comments there are from others either complaining or slagging them off, my acerbic later comments were deleted by them, in which I was saying that I did not endorse them what so ever!
So, I will say it here, once again: “I DO NOT ENDORSE S-E-M-A-L-T WHAT SO EVER, AND THAT I WOULD SAY THAT ANY PERSON WITH CONCERN, TO LET OTHERS KNOW TO AVOID, REPORT OR COMPLAIN PUBLICALLY ABOUT THEM IN ORDER TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THIS DISREPUTABLE COMPANY.”
Please make sure that other web users are aware of just how shady they are in their business, and if possible, let any appropriate authorities know of their antics and methods by alerting them to what they are up to. Even so they weren’t to blame for taking my site down, the web could do without them or their likes. They offer nothing that you can’t already do for yourself, and every little bit of their actions betray them as being the lying, underhand and scheming spammers they are. Lets face it, even wordpress recognise them for spamming (as is evident in their suspension of my site) and word is that the staff there are working on a solution to delete evidence of their botnet’s visits to our wordpress sites and statistics!
I won’t be following up further related posts (unless they really piss me off that is…) my site really isn’t the place to highlight the failings of this flawed company, but even so that is true, It pisses me off when stuff like this happens, it’s just another load of blaggers taking us for mugs, which is just not on. I’m not trying to become some kind of investigative reporter that uncovers plots against society, i’m just a bod trying to help others with the truth. Something that this rotten apple of a company, seems to not like.
The suspension of my blog did make me realise just how much I really enjoy blogging, and the old addage is true about “you realise how much you miss something when it’s gone”.
Happy posting my brothers and sisters of blogland!

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Arisen from the ashes….we’re back!! You can’t keep a good skull down!

28 Jan

Well, hello everyone. Finally we’re back!

Just a quick post. My apologies to all of you for the brief break, it would seem like the WordPress people have seen fit to unsuspend the blog (following all that S-E-M-A-L-T nonsense) and see things for how they actually are.

Ok, maybe all that talk really didn’t do me any favours overall, but at least the good folks here finally had a look and gave me the all clear. I won’t be speaking of them (thou who will not be named) and I’ve deleted the last post concerning them, so there’s no problem.

Thanks for all the concern (and I breathe a sigh of relief to know my blog’s work isn’t all lost!) and I look forward to writing more posts that (hopefully) you’ll enjoy!

Will

 

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The Problem with Semalt is…What f#*k is it?

3 Jan

semaltskullwarning

Over these few days, according to my stats here on wordpress, I have been receiving visits from a referrer by the name of Semalt.com.

So why the big deal? Well, not that I’m too bothered, more curious than anything really, I thought I’d click on the link just to see why the link mentions that this is something to do with competitors. That really got me thinking who the hell would be classing my meagre blog as competition. I’m not saying I’m just a small time blogger and not worth bothering about, no, but lets think about it, any blogger worth his (or her) salt would at least investigate just where their additional hits were coming from.

As I said, the link mentions competitors review ( http://semalt.com/competitors_review.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fthegrinningskull.wordpress.com) as you can see, so I decide to investigate the reason behind who or what could be checking up on this site, you hear all sorts of stuff nowadays, about how the NSA or various world governments or organisations stealing data or snooping on us. The only problem is, there’s fuck all real info about it when you search about for this “semalt”, what it is or does. The link just lead me to a landing page. Dodgy methinks. Couple this with the increase of spam comments caught by the spam filters (about 86 or so in the last couple of days) and this is looking even more shady.

This mystery even had me sign up on a 7 day trial, just so I could try and wean some explanation as to why the added hits, and why this site even considered me as competition (It is nice to think that I could ever be classed as real blog worthy competition, but realistically there were always going to be another reason!) but, alas this still didn’t help much other than discover that this was some crappy SEO bot/engine type of thing for site analysis.

As I delved more into more searching, I discovered that I was not the only one to have been visited by this crawler, this blog post over on JM Mcdonnald’s blog here http://jmmcdowell.com/2013/11/09/who-the-heck-is/ reveals that my blog is not the only one beset by this mystery, as lots of other small scale bloggers on not only wordpress, but other platforms have been crawled by this semalt too.

So, just for the record, I’d like to throw it out there and ask the blogging community who might be reading this, have you had this happening too? Or at the chance of actually getting anywhere with discovering what exactly is this nefarious(?) semalt thingy?

Please, let me know if you can help out get to the bottom of this, and any info gained, I can pass on the news and maybe put some of the more paranoid members of the blogsphere sleep a little better, knowing that they aren’t being hacked or such (Or are we all actually being set up for a hack or worse, in that case it’ll make matters worse!)

Maybe it’s just a big scheme to make everyone aware of semalt, in that sense, they might be right on the money…

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HOW TO MAKE A ZOMBIE | ellisnelson

26 Oct

HOW TO MAKE A ZOMBIE | ellisnelson.

Reblogged from over on http://www.ellisnelson.wordpress.com

 

 

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