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,,, and

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.

  • But Bob, you provided a link back to each of these sites in this blog post. So you ended up giving them the recognition they wanted anyhow.

  • Good point. I looked at it as giving others a warning. I'll edit out the hyperlinks.

  • These guys are really making the rounds. I've now faced 8 requests for link exchanges, a handful of phone solicitations, and now they're handing out blog awards? yuck.

    See twitter search for ''.

  • I have had the same e-mails. I actually got this several times in the last few months. I responded to them that I wished to be removed from their lists. Which they agreed to.

    Except they obviously have not removed me from the lists. Its growing tiresome. I'm sure my local grievance committee would be interested in them, however.

  • Thanks, Bob. As with Steve, I have gotten three calls from three different people pushing me to post their banner. I declined, in part because my blog addresses an audience they don't (general counsel), in part because I don't know their legitimacy, and in part because I do not like the idea of manipulating blog traffic. Write good content and they will come.


  • Just this morning, I received the second of two emails like yours, only my blog is written for teachers. I was almost overcome with guilt when I realized that I had never responded to the first one and especially that I hadn't posted a link to this "list" on my blog. So glad you did the digging for all of us – thanks! (and, just to let you know, I work with your son Ben, at Inigral. Great guy and he produces excellent work!)

    • I’m also fed up with these emails and request in unknown social networks. However I’ve set up my mail service to send all these requests to spam.

  • Worse, in addition to getting the emails you describe I'm also getting stalked with social media add requests by their various personalities.

  • Got mine today, with the Subject: "Love your blog on this site -"

    email from
    Mary Miller
    Senior Marketing Executive

    Sure, I write a great legal blog, but not even my wife says she "loves" it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – helpful for my due diligence on them.

  • They tried to get us a Social Media Law Student blog.

    Sounded like those college "honor" societies that ask you to join that you've never heard of and they want 70$ to join the prestigious honor society.

    Did not pass the smell test!

    Nice work Bob!

  • Just got the second request from this same group but for counselor org and disorders org Wasn't offered a badge but to be listed as a resource. I blog about eating disorders. Almost fell for it, too, until I noticed weight loss tips being one of the categories of their link they wanted to place on my site and I respectfully declined. Their cordial tone quickly turned snide. The grammar and use of English also seemed to change in the later emails which makes me suspect more than one person involved on the other end of those. I googled the IP address and found you and several others blogging about it.
    Glad you're getting the information out there.