A ‘Top 100’ Honor I Can Do Without

Today I received two separate e-mails, each purporting to congratulate me for having my blog selected as a top 100 legal blog. Each came from a company that operates a network of legal Web sites that includes Laws.com, NewLawyer.com, Attorney.org, LawSchool.org and Docket.com.

Each asked me to display a Top Legal Blog award button on my blog that would, of course, point back to one of the company’s sites. “An extraordinary amount of time and effort goes into making a feature like this possible, so all we ask in return is that you display your award banner prominently for all your readers to see,” one of the e-mails explained.

Here is the odd part: Both e-mails were signed by someone identified as “director of marketing” at a company called PhoneToPhone. Yet each e-mail came from a different person. Which, if either, is the real director of marketing? And the e-mails did not come from a corporate mail server but from generic Gmail addresses.

Even weirder is that the company’s main Web site is blank — nothing but a “coming soon” message there. A Better Business Bureau listing identifies the company’s founder and CEO as Boris Kreiman. His LinkedIn profile describes his company as one that specializes in “website traffic growth” and describes him as a communications expert and chess grandmaster who is also interested in poker and backgammon. He also operates a site called LifePsychic.

So I think I will decline the opportunity to display this badge of honor on my blog, since it appears to be little more than a ploy to drive traffic to this company’s own sites.