Forget It, Jake. It’s Pottersville.

Download bots were the “well-known secret” of the app ecosystem

Many of the biggest developers and marketing companies had been well-aware of the issue for months — if not years. I hadn’t had the time to go through and compile my notes until now, but here are some choice excerpts about the bots issue from last week.

It’s absurd to think about how long Apple must have known about and tolerated this practice.

Just when I think there’s one bit of the tech world that’s not just as filthy as the rest of the world, I’m slapped wide awake by something new.

Now I have to wonder about rankings for books at the Kindle Store.

Are bots to account for some — or all — of the meteoric rises we’ve seen bragged about?

And what will happen when ads in are those books and the amount of money a writer earns depends on the number of downloads?

We are fast approaching a world in which only the sociopathic will survive.


Filed under Amazon Kindle, Apple: The Company, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Pottersville

4 responses to “Forget It, Jake. It’s Pottersville.

  1. Kind of like The Walking Dead….

  2. Actually, I’m surprised that this surprises you. Technology doesn’t change human nature. It doesn’t turn rubes into sages, either. There’s a direct analogy with black hat SEO. If the unscrupulous were willing to use such methods to get top ranking on search, why not bots to get visibility of their apps?  
    I view this as a failure of tech journalism. It was so obvious. Over two years ago, tech blogs were reporting “studies” that showed the high percentage of downloaded apps that were never used. Well, DUH. Don’t ask me to find a reference to that, but I remember it clearly because we were discussing it in relation to using apps on TV.  

  3. Geoff

    A lot of similarities to how Hollywood movies never actually “turn a profit” even if they gross $1B. All talent agents and actors know at this point, never take points for “net”–only off the gross. And since “gross” can be manipulated too, the smartest actors will just work for a flat fee.

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