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How Much Are You Worth To an Online Lead-Gen Site?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the depends-on-how-gullible-you-are dept.

Privacy 83

jfruh writes "You may remember the tale of the blogger who found that an infographic he'd put on his site was the front end of an SEO spam job. Well, he's since followed the money to figure out just who's behind this maneuver: the for-profit college industry. He discovered that the contact info of someone who expresses interest in online degree programs can be worth up to $250 to an industry with a particularly sleazy reputation."

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And... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335167)

the contact info of someone who expresses interest in online degree programs can be worth up to $250

How much is the contact info of someone who wants to enroll in a 4-year institution worth? They charge hundreds per course...

Re:And... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335179)

"Real" universities are just as sleazy and dishonest. They are like real estate, all about looks and first impressions. Don't dig too deep!

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336901)

Not sure which university you may be talking about. I went to a great state school with no grade inflation and one of the toughest programs in the US. I agree that there are crappy universities, but not all of them. Just like anything in life, there is a range from the best to the worst, and it's up to you to do your homework and make a good choice.

Re:And... (1, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#42335627)

You are peanuts... The real money is in the suckers that want a masters or higher. Those fools get milked out of tens of thousands of dollars. I know one that went into the medical field that is $110,000 in student loan debt because she was stupid and though the "better schools" means you get more job opportunities.

They dont.

Some do not get utterly robbed, those people go to school smart. They don't do the stupid move of chasing "prestigious" names. But those are the same students that work full time and go to school full time. They are not morons and get loans and spend it on rent, food, and beer.

And yes she is one of my examples that having a phd does not make you smart. The other is my sister in law with two Masters degrees and cant balance a checkbook or keep a car on it's tires.

Re:And... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335859)

...or keep a car on *its tires.

Re:And... (3, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#42335975)

Physics is a pure science. Driving is an applied science. Schools teach one or the other; few people are good at both.

Having a doctorate degree in one field - say medicine - doesn't make you smart at another - such as math, or physics.

Re:And... (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | about 2 years ago | (#42336181)

I would really hope that someone a PhD in medicine was good at math as well.

How many milligrams should a person weighing 200 lbs take of drug abc123...

There are not charts for everything, yet.

Re:And... (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#42336479)

The pharmacy reps tell them what and how much to prescribe.

Re:And... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42338269)

If you think "good at math" means the ability to do basic multiplication and division I fear for the quality of your schooling.

Re:And... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#42338323)

We are talking american schools like the University Of Michigan and Notre Dame... Mathematics like Addition and multiplication is not important here.

Re:And... (2)

burningcpu (1234256) | about 2 years ago | (#42338423)

Sorry, that isn't math. That is number crunching. Anyone who completed a doctorate degree in a science field will be good at number crunching.

Re:And... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42338889)

Sorry, that isn't math. That is number crunching. Anyone who completed a doctorate degree in a science field will be good at number crunching.

Not even that. That is basic school stuff (rather, it's basic school stuff in Brazil, which has the crappiest math scores in the world) and anyone going for a degree in anything that requires a modicum of reasoning (anything, really) should do that easily. If you can't do that you can scarcely be considered a functioning citizen.

Maths is estimating the optimal ship size to carry oil around or checking for statistical correlations between sets of data. That is BASIC math.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42338381)

Says the Professor who cant set his alarm clock.

Having a doctorate ASSUMES you have an IQ above 100. in reality I find many do not and in fact lack the cognitive skills to not only figure out simple problems but even learn new tasks.

Thus having a PHD does not mean you are smart. It just means you had the credit and time to get one.

Re:And... (4, Interesting)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 2 years ago | (#42336503)

I got my 4 year B.S. in Information Technology degree from a reputable college for a grand total of $10,000. I graduated in 2004. That doesn't include rent, food, living expenses, or books, but I never lived with less than 3 other people (often in houses with 6-8 people), ate cheap food, didn't spend much on anything, and I hardly ever bough school books unless they really were required.

How did I spend less for a 4 year degree than most of my friends spent in 1 year at the local University? I went to a community college for my first two years, and then I went to a smaller university (Central Michigan University). Community college cost $1000 a semester, and CMU cost $2500 a semester. I did get 2 scholarships for a combined $4000, but I didn't even apply for either of them. One was given to all Michigan students from the tobacco settlement, and the other was given to me since I had a GPA above 3.5 when I transferred to CMU.

I have several friends who graduated with 40k-120k in debt. I can't even imagine having that much extra debt. It would be like having a second mortgage. It breaks my heart even more when someone gets that much debt with a degree that has a pretty low earnings potential. You'd be amazed how many young people I've talked to who never thought about looking at the job market before picking their career path, to see what kind of job possibilities/salary ranges were. There is no reason to go 50k in the hole, just so you can get a job making 30k a year.

Re:And... (1)

BVis (267028) | about 2 years ago | (#42336631)

There is no reason to go 50k in the hole, just so you can get a job making 30k a year.

Yes there is. Just not a reason that's good for the worker. It's good for the business that hires them, because that debt is an incentive to not complain when the company treats them like shit.

Re:And... (4, Insightful)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 2 years ago | (#42337187)

Well, I can't control what companies do, but I can advise people not to make dumb decisions. Too often people are directed to pick a career that is what they want to do. Sounds great on paper. I remember filling out one of those career direction tests in high school. If I had followed it's advice, I'd be sitting in a tower watching for forest fires. I don’t have any idea what that type of a job pays, but I have to believe the market is incredibly small. I have a cousin who was half way through college studying to be a photojournalist. He wanted to take pictures for National Geographic. It wasn’t until someone finally banged into his head that there are only a couple hundred people in the world who do that job. He had better odds of getting into the NFL. It seems harsh to smash someone’s dreams, but people need to have a sense of realism in their career choices.

Re:And... (1)

BVis (267028) | about 2 years ago | (#42337235)

Couldn't agree more. If there are any high school students reading, if anyone tells you to study what interests you, punch them. You should study something that will be marketable once you graduate with $50k in debt. If you don't hate it, that's a bonus.

Re:And... (1)

dbc (135354) | about 2 years ago | (#42338777)

Well.... there is such a thing as balance. I've seen an endless stream of EE and CS new hires that got the degree because they saw it as a "meal ticket". Guess what, they weren't very happy, and didn't excel at the job. "Not hating" a job doesn't contribute much to a person's sense of self-worth.

Re:And... (2)

BVis (267028) | about 2 years ago | (#42338867)

No, but self-worth doesn't pay the rent. Excelling at your job doesn't have a great return on investment these days; most of the time, whether you work your brains out or do just enough to not get fired, you get paid the same.

Re:And... (1)

burning-toast (925667) | about 2 years ago | (#42345185)

No, but self-worth doesn't pay the rent.

Wow, that's rather cynical. I happen to think that self worth is the most important thing to hold onto dearly throughout life. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you don't value yourself then you will find it very difficult to really give a shit about the work you do, the family you raise, the people you know, etc. This attitude has consequences much more far reaching than most people realize and is exactly how you get in a position of "I do a good job but nobody gives a fuck about me". Or conversely can lead you down the path of mental illness where you set yourself up for the failure you think you will get.

You can have self-worth and do your job well and get paid. Those things are not mutually exclusive, but I can tell you for a fact that if you don't have self worth it doesn't matter how good of a job you do... you will not move up and you will not get a good return on "investment" because you are only ever half present mentally at work and no body will have any incentive to socialize with or depend on you. Two of the things you will need to be successful (in general) is the willingness of your peers to socialize and depend on you (there are plenty of others too).

Advocating for an utter disconnect between your "self", your "life", and your "job" is a really, really, really stupid piece of advice. Keep priorities separate for sure, and understand thoroughly the work/life balance you and your family need (or want), but don't relegate yourself to mundane stupid jobs with mundane stupid people who don't have any self worth. That job will be like working in a pit of hell. If you are there, in that job, then GET OUT.

You can't tell me convincingly that people should just "suck it up" and work at a mind numbing job (with other people who have no self worth) simply to pay bills. It IS work, and you WILL hate it from time to time, but if that becomes a regular feature you should pay yourself the respect you deserve and move on.

I've been fired a couple of times for telling the company I work for to go stuff themselves (in only slightly kinder terms) when they made unreasonable demands (tried to wrap me around their corporate finger) that didn't respect ME as a person, ME as a father, or ME as a husband with other responsibilities that didn't revolve around their profit margins. I am PROUD of that. I ADVERTISE that. Every time I stood up for myself and the interests of myself and my family I ended up finding a better job, with better hours, more flexible schedule, and almost doubling my salary. Don't be an asshole, but don't take shit either.

I went into interviews after those couple of incidents fully expecting a question about what I did at my previous job and a question about whether they can contact previous employers. I laid it all out on the table. I told them my previous employer was unwilling to respect me or my family and I was not willing to compromise myself, my family, or my ethics just to retain employment with them for a paycheck (leaving any hint of animosity or anger at the door). Then I gave them a bunch of ex-coworker contacts to call if they wanted to evaluate my work result. I have a very long resume of coworkers and managers who very much like me and my work simply because I never stooped to lowest-common-denominator thinking and wore my mind on my sleeve (in all of its harshness). I straight-up told the interviewers point-blank that I will give infinite professional loyalty to the company only on the grounds that I get the same in return, and if they breach the contract first then they should expect nothing from me other than a resignation or a middle finger on my way out (and they will know it is coming ahead of time). I've only had to turn down offers since I changed my attitude to be more honest, insistent, and forthright. It does a body, mind, life, and pocketbook good.

Settling for less is still settling for less after all.

- Toast

Re:And... (1)

dbc (135354) | about 2 years ago | (#42338745)

Well, those forest fire towers went away a long time ago, in large part because 100% fire suppression turned out to be a bad idea.

But back to your point: Yes, spot on. There are a lot of way to steer what you like to do into something that actually pays well, or at least you need to assess how much of a factor material wealth is in your life. For my part, I was lucky, I liked math and electronics, and also music. So... let's see, electrical engineers are paid how much? Versus how much will I make teaching an endless streams of 10 year olds to play Dvorak badly? OK... so not hard to decide for me. A degree is a first step on a career path -- have a vision of your career path before shelling out large $$ for a degree. It won't happen the way you envision, but having a broken plan that you can update is far better than no plan at all.

But back to realism -- one of my good friends in high school -- verrrrry smart guy -- went the forest ranger route. He worked his butt off to get dual degrees in forestry and wildlife biology, with nearly a 4.0. That meant he actually made the cut to get into the forest service, since they accept only a small percentage of applicants. Pretty soon, he was living in the mountains, making trail maps for off-road vehicles. He was getting paid survival wages, eating ramen, and loving every minute of his life. Money had little interest for him -- he wanted a different kind of green. He was happy. He went into the job with eyes wide open from his first day of college.

My point (your point, too, I think): Be realistic. Know thyself. Have a career vision that is compatible with that. Know what it takes to get into the business. Don't take on more debt than the job will pay off.

Re:And... (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 2 years ago | (#42339637)

Well, those forest fire towers went away a long time ago, in large part because 100% fire suppression turned out to be a bad idea.

Well, there goes plan B. That's the worst thing I've heard all year. I figured I could get a job watching for fires. Of course, I'd buy a laptop with a WLAN card and play _____. I mean, what percent of your brain does it really take to watch for fires?

Re:And... (1)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 2 years ago | (#42339479)

You're absolutely right, Farmer Pete. And what is even worse is the number of young people going to college with no clue what they want to do, just because they've been told it's their next step. I just graduated at the age of 38 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. I was appalled at the number of young people at the University with no major and no direction going deep into debt. They would very likely find very rewarding carers in construction, firefighting or police work. Yet they accepted someone else's idea of what they should do and wasted a ton of cash in the meantime. How these people don't fund education to the point of keeping down costs, I will never understand.

Re:And... (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 2 years ago | (#42339933)

I have a feeling that the reason for the increasing tuition is similar to the increasing medical prices. You've got a service that most people can't afford. The people who can afford it have to subsidize the people who can't. Then the prices go up because there are more people who can't afford it, but as the price goes up, more people can't afford it. So then the price goes up again.

If you REALLY want to make yourself sick, check out the list of the largest endowment funds. http://www.statisticbrain.com/college-endowment-rankings/ [statisticbrain.com]
The highest endowment to student ratio is Princeton University with $1,857,040 per enrolled student. That means, assuming a modest 4% return on your investment, that the college is making $74,000 in interest per student from their endowment fund. Yet the average tuition is $38,650. How stuff like that can continue, I have no clue.

Re:And... (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#42340129)

It seems harsh to smash someone’s dreams, but people need to have a sense of realism in their career choices.

Seems like some HORRIBLE advice. Not everyone can make a gazillion dollars. But telling people not to follow their dreams, so they can make money in some dead end mind numbing job?
You are right, in that you shouldn't get a degree in "tower sitting" because some test told you to. But you shouldn't also do it because it pays money. Do it because you enjoy it.
Your friend would probably not get a job at National Geographic. And he definitely won't now. But he might have gotten a job in a similar field, working for a different magazine. Or doing something else he enjoyed.
Yes you need a sense of realism, but that doesn't mean just throwing your dream away.
You go to universities to learn, and debate, and meet other similar minded people. Not to get a job.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42344391)

You're missing the main point. Its not just a high income, it's ROI. It's not taking more debt on than can be sustained by the career you're going into. Follow your passion, but if you aren't considering the end employment prospects, you're often going to end up in trouble.

BS for free (1)

schlachter (862210) | about 2 years ago | (#42338395)

I got my BS degree for free. My state, GA, offers free tuition and fees/books to anyone going to a public university with a HS GPA of >=3.0 for 120 credit hours.

It wasn't financially based, so it didn't matter that my parents had money (even though I did not).

Why can't more states do this?

Re:BS for free (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 2 years ago | (#42338643)

I know this article is a little old, but it looks like GA is/was having a very hard time continuing the program.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/us/07hope.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 [nytimes.com]

There is no such thing as a free college education. Someone has to pay. We could make it cheaper by cutting expenses. Instead of fancy and ornate college campuses, we could build cinderblock boxes. Instead of trying the hire the best and brightest teachers, we could settle for whomever will work for cheap. I'm sure we could cut the costs down from 10k a year to 3-4k a year.

Re:And... (1)

mcsnee (103033) | about 2 years ago | (#42336921)

I can't speak for "the medical field," but better schools do indeed mean more job opportunities in the legal field. This is not to say that a JD from a top law school is the guaranteed job it was five or ten years ago--or that it's impossible to get a job if you didn't attend a prestigious school--but firms certainly do look at where you went to school as a primary indicator of your value and ability.

Re:And... (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#42340033)

because she was stupid and though the "better schools" means you get more job opportunities.

The "better schools" DO give you more job opportunities. Some companies ONLY recruit, or recruit more heavily at the "better schools." In some cases mentioning the "better schools" will get you an interview. It gets your foot in the door. It doesn't mean you'll get hired though.

They are not morons and get loans and spend it on rent, food, and beer.

I'm not sure if you are saying the morons get loans and spend it on rent and food. Or if the smart ones do, but what do you think student loans are for? Just to pay your tuition? Student loans are there to help pay your room and board, as well as tuition and books, while you go to school. You can learn more if you have more time to study. Yes, having a full or part time job means you owe less at the end, but it also makes it harder to learn.

College sleaze (4, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#42335173)

That there is such a market for sleazy colleges at all should be a wake up call. I hope MOOCs will kill off all these "colleges" that are more reliable producers of debt than education [guardian.co.uk] .

Re:College sleaze (4, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#42336199)

I hope MOOCs will kill off all these "colleges" that are more reliable producers of debt than education.

That describes pretty much *all* colleges/universities now.

Re:College sleaze (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336771)

Haha, nice cynical jab at higher education.

Really, though, you can't compare these places to the traditional (and somewhat more legitimate) higher ed institutions. These private for-profit "colleges" really are con outfits designed from top to bottom to extract student loans. They have extremely aggressive recruitment drives, and that's about it. Once they have your money, the rest of the experience is a substandard education and empty promises of "placement" after education. Recently I read an article about how one of these outfits had close to 1,000 recruiters, but only one part time career councilor.

In this country all you need to get a student loan is a pulse, which is nice if you're from poor/dysfunctional/migrant/whatever household and you really do have the drive to improve your life. Unfortunately, there are a lot of evil fucks that know this too. They set up these shady outfits, promise you an education and a job, and more or less use your corpse to get a student loan.

Re:College sleaze (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42337273)

Yep, I don't know which will be worse: the housing bubble or student loan bubble. With the housing bubble, evil lenders suckered people who couldn't afford houses to buy houses. With the student loans, evil colleges sucker people who can't afford college into college loans. It's still the effect, when the people can't pay, the banks go bust. I just hope and pray that the next US President has the balls to let Wall Street and all the real suckers who invested in these loans fail miserably.

Re:College sleaze (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42337271)

The reason is, you're more valuable to the masters of the economy as a debtor than an educated citizen. This economy does not run on education, it runs on debt.

Re:College sleaze (2)

garcia (6573) | about 2 years ago | (#42336267)

I worked in higher ed for most of my adult life at both non-profit and for-profit institutions and as such I like to pretend I know the good and bad of both models.

Based on the complaints of so many in the public regarding the for-profit/online model, I am blown away by the support for MOOCs outside of higher ed. I get it, free learning is great but what about actually verifying any learning was done? Are you seriously going to tell me that for-profit education should be killed off by a model which has absolutely no verifiable results? Where is the outrage about that? Solely because it's free we can rally around it? Please be serious.

As someone who is 10 weeks from graduating with a masters from a for-profit institution (it was free while I was employed there), I fully understand the challenges I will face in the workplace if I try to leverage that specialized degree. However, as a hiring manager, if someone said they were learning through MOOCs I wouldn't even give them the 1/100th of the consideration I would give to a candidate with a degree from a regionally accredited for-profit educational institution.

Let's stop with the rhetoric about how MOOCs are the savior of our failing higher education models. They're not and they never will be. A wonderful way to learn on your own but certainly not one that can be verifiable.

Re:College sleaze (4, Interesting)

ranton (36917) | about 2 years ago | (#42336591)

Based on the complaints of so many in the public regarding the for-profit/online model, I am blown away by the support for MOOCs outside of higher ed.

The complaints about for-profit/online schools are based on the value of those schools compared to their cost. A school like University of Phoenix costs over $500 per credit hour, which is far higher than the industry average. And they provide a severely less valuable education that even the worst brick and mortar schools. No rational people think that MOOCs are going to completely replace real schools, but instead treat them purely as a supplement.

I obtained by bachelors from University of Phoenix after getting my associates at a junior college. I did this because no brick and mortar schools offer late night classes for a BS degree in IT (in 2008 at least), and I needed to work full time to support a family. I know just how bad their education is. I joke around with coworkers about how lowsy the education was. I have also taken a few MOOCs on coursera, and the education there just blows UoP away. There is no verification that the student actually learned anything, but the same can be said for UoP. I never took a proctored exam, or any exam at all for that matter. If someone paid me $20k on top of tuition I could get them a BS in Software Engineering in a couple years for little effort, because they would never have to prove they know anything in person.

The only reason these online schools exist is because real colleges refuse to offer a much needed service (after work hours or online BS degrees). I only got my degree from an online school so I could immediately apply for an MS degree at a real school (DePaul).

Re:College sleaze (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336733)

You're missing the reality of higher education. When compared to private institutions, they're about the same price and operate on the same model. You cannot compare a for-profit school to the University of State School Foo because it's not subsidized by the taxpayer which limits the cost.

I took very few exams for undergrad because my program (History) was mostly research and writing focused. Same with my graduate degree. I write all papers and take no exams. While I cannot speak to the UofP and their education standards and I will admit I would have appreciated a more challenging workload in my graduate degree program, I am doing nothing different than I was in my specialized undergraduate courses (i.e. History as opposed to Calculus).

YMMV.

Re:College sleaze (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#42336639)

They don't have to be totally verifiable. They just have to be as verifiable as conventional college education, which isn't really an all that high bar.

And if it turns out people won't put any faith in the Scala course certificate I have from Coursera, I could take a proctored exam, offered at a lot less than the debt-pushing colleges. Though it'd be both cheaper and more reliable to just do some basic sanity checks (e.g. asking me to read or write some Scala code) in the interview.

Re:College sleaze (2)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#42336857)

I get it, free learning is great but what about actually verifying any learning was done?

There are many ways to look at college. One is as a time spent becoming educated, cultured, and expanding your contacts beyond you hometown school social group. This is why many sent their kids on the Grand Tour, or from America to the great schools of England. The threat of plague, it is hypothesized, and the arduous journey across the sea, impelled the residents of proto-America to build their own colleges. Over time many private and public universities were built. For the early ones, formal assessment was not as important as learning, and of course they were not for the masses Over time more people entered an institution of higher education, formal methods of assessing learning in more real time were developed to track the progress over the years, and we heard more about so-called grade inflation.

Another way to look at college is as a way to train for a job. In this way general learning is not the key, but rather promotion and validation of a skill set. This skill set will then allow to function as a person who can complete some predetermined set of tasks. As some of these tasks are quite involved and complicated, it requires skilled personel to teach the tasks, and therefore significant money has to be paid. At the high end fo these tasks are doctors and lawyers. At the low end is operating MS Office on a computer. These are valuable skills and deserve a significant payment.

So what are for profit Universities? They may be a place where students who would not succeed in becoming educated and cultured in traditional institution can succeed. In this case all the complaints about cost and default rate are unjustified. The issue we are having right now is if the instruction is rigorous, or are these diploma factories. The cost lends credence to the later, and it would be good if for profit schools focused on that.

But they are not. They more and more are presenting themselves as work training facilities. Which is fine. But in that case the verification of learning is landing and keeping a job. If one is not going to be an institution of abstract higher learning, then one is a job training, a different but valuable resource. However, the fact that people default on loans because they don't get a job then becomes a verification that learning is not going on.

As far as hiring, most jobs for which I have applied wanted authentic verification, not simply degree and grades. The degree and grades were simply a way for HR to thin out the resumes. If someone were to look at a regional or online degree, which in my experience they were not, at least for the pay grade I was looking at, they would still want to see a completed task. It would not mater where the knowledge came from, just that you could apply it.

And that is where all this is going. Authentic assessment. We need many different learning opportunities because people learn differently. But if the learning results in nothing, who cares?

Re:College sleaze (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42337097)

They're not and they never will be. A wonderful way to learn on your own but certainly not one that can be verifiable.

All that education and you've never heard of something called a "test."

Money meet toilet.

Online Lead-Gen Site? (1, Informative)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | about 2 years ago | (#42335297)

Is that as opposed to an Offline Lead-Gen Site?

Lead Gen ? (0, Troll)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#42335355)

Does somebody want my lead? I have a few old car batteries, and a UPS that no longer works. Quite a bit of Pb there.
  I would have to pay to take them to the city recycling place.

Re:Lead Gen ? (-1, Troll)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#42335429)

Lead scraps high enough to be worth pickup. Put 'em on Craigslist or bring to any auto store (if you are in the US).

Re:Lead Gen ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335727)

Fix the ups and hook it upto the car batteries. I've got enough of them hooked up to have about 100 hours of power for my desktop pc. A full game pc.

Batteries seem dead?
Dump them out. Rinse them out 3 or 4 times. Refill them with an epsom salt/warm distilled water solution. And charge them up.
They won't start a car anymore most likely. But they'll run a constant low amp load for a long long time. Beats the hell out of the wimpy little batteries you can get in anything but an industrial ups too.

I don't know what the fuck happened to lead prices lately. But car batteries are fucking expensive now. And the technology in them has not changed in a century.

Big fucking rip off.

Re:Lead Gen ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335907)

What to do with your LEAD? Make some Fishing weights? Doesn't take much, a metal pan on a gas stove is hot enough to melt the lead. Just don't hollow out your gold bars with it. Such activity is more scumbag0ry than the FRN's

That is to be spelled L-E-D (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335359)

Led
Lead is the element
Dumwads

Re:That is to be spelled L-E-D (0)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 2 years ago | (#42335383)

Lead is the element

Words can have more than one meaning. Try: Lead Generation [wikipedia.org] .

Re:That is to be spelled L-E-D (1)

Fierlo (842860) | about 2 years ago | (#42335519)

Not just meaning, but at least in English, two words, spelled the exact same way can have different meaning and pronunciation.

See: Heteronyms [wikipedia.org]

Re:That is to be spelled L-E-D (2)

Kardos (1348077) | about 2 years ago | (#42336517)

It's operator overloading, except for words!

Re:That is to be spelled L-E-D (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 2 years ago | (#42336501)

You can generate lead if you want, I prefer to generate gold.

Re:That is to be spelled L-E-D (2)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 2 years ago | (#42335945)

So you think the article is about small electronic light bulbs???

And you call *us* dumwads...

Re:That is to be spelled L-E-D (1)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#42335973)

Ok, but I do not see how light emitting diodes pertain to the discussion...

Re:That is to be spelled L-E-D (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42336755)

Oh, for fuck's sake. "Led" is the past tense of "lead" (as in "leader") and the verb "lead" is spelled the same way as the mental.

Look up "sinecure" positions (5, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42335385)

So online schools are hooking you up wih loan officers for easy-to-get loans to dump cash into their pockets and leavr you, most likely, without a degree, or if you get one, essentially worthless.

Nice.

The student loan bubble is still bubbling. Easy loans are (knowledge is power, folks) helping people get educations but also driving the cost increases the past two decades. They nickle-dime you each year because they can.

It's the same wih a car loan. No way you'd buy a $2000 car nav radio. But add $23/month to a payment? Sure!

So they add $23/monh to your college loan each year because they can.

Meanwhile politicians and administrators throw up their hands and say, "Doh! We don't know why!" If you don't, you should be fired.

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335639)

I don't know why people bother with the scam that is the US education system. There are plenty of places around the world that are not part of the bubble.

A distance-learning Master's degree, from a reputable university in England, costs between $5000 and $10,000 and can be easily completed in two years. A distance learning Bachelor's degree, from the Open University (the people who invented distance learning) can be had for as little as $24,000.

Why pay a fortune to a bullshit third tier school in the USA, when you can get a better education from a better school for a fraction of the price?

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335969)

Because it's only a "better school" if enough senior people in your desired field of employment believe it is. A degree from The Open University will probably land your resume in the same stack as the DeVry and Univ. of Phoenix grads.

(That's not to say the education is worthless, just the credential.)

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#42336481)

Maybe look for a job abroad too then. A degree from The Open University is at least as well regarded as one from a brick-and-mortar institution in the UK: the standard is similar and it indicates that you can be self-driven as well.

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336017)

A distance-learning Master's degree, from a reputable university in England, costs between $5000 and $10,000 and can be easily completed in two years. A distance learning Bachelor's degree, from the Open University (the people who invented distance learning) can be had for as little as $24,000.

Why pay a fortune to a bullshit third tier school in the USA, when you can get a better education from a better school for a fraction of the price?

Mindshare: if you do genuinely need an education, then there are things you don't know, like maybe you aren't totally aware of the wide pageant of opportunity that is our modern world, or maybe you aren't totally comfortable with foreigners.

There are some brilliant deals on the continent (Europe): courses taught in English at a very high standard with zero tuition. Yep, read that again, zero. If you think the UK is a good deal you are in for a surprise my friend.

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42344797)

I'm OK, thanks. BA from Oxbridge, MSc from another well respected university. I'm also very comfortable with "foreigners" - after all, I am one myself, most places I go.

Nevertheless, I researched your assertion and found it to be bullshit. There are no free accredited degrees to be had in Europe. It's true that many Continental schools offer courses taught in English, but they must all be paid for. Why would you make this crap up and WTF do you mean by "Mindshare"?

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (1)

BVis (267028) | about 2 years ago | (#42336681)

I don't know why people bother with the scam that is the US education system.

Because, in most cases, if you want a job that doesn't involve a name tag and/or a paper hat, you need a four-year degree. And even then, if you major in English or Communications or some other liberal-arts-well-rounded-fuzzy-squishy field, the most important phrase you'll need to know after graduation is "Would you like fries with that."

HR people are lazy. In this job market, they're flooded with resumes for even the worst jobs. An easy way to cull the herd is to shitcan any resume that doesn't have a Bachelor's degree on it, regardless of the job. You can be the best programmer/analyst/actuarial/whatever in the world, and a perfect fit for the job, but if you don't have the degree, you don't exist.

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336117)

Easy loans are (knowledge is power, folks) helping people get educations but also driving the cost increases the past two decades.

Higher education provides three things: education, accreditation, and networking. Crap schools can't provide the latter two and don't provide much of the former for the cost.

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#42336233)

It wouldn't be such a problem (in the U.S. anyway) if the government would at least restrict its loan guarantees to accredited colleges.

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (2)

BVis (267028) | about 2 years ago | (#42336615)

But but but FREE MARKET! Government BAD! Regulation EVIL! etc.

Re:Look up "sinecure" positions (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#42337357)

It wouldn't be such a problem (in the U.S. anyway) if the government would at least restrict its loan guarantees to accredited colleges.

The for-profit schools have been buying up accredited colleges in order to piggyback their programs on the purchased accreditation.
Example: Kaplan purchased its accreditation in 2000 when it bought Quest College.

What the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335415)

How much is a lead worth? Is this a serious question?

It depends entirely on the industry, and the propensity for that lead to convert.

Someone expressing interest in a mortgage for instance is worth quite a bit. Someone expressing interest in a toothbrush, less so. I don't understand why this is news or even anything of interest.

Terrific, how do I sell MY info? (3, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#42335431)

I'd sell my info and put it towards college. Since I'm already attending it would be legit!

Big business (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335491)

It's a big business, some of these degree lead gen firms employ hundreds of people and rake in millions of dollars.

But.. it might be sleazy, but in the end it's just marketing. However, some players in the market (not OnlineSchools.org) push the boundaries even further, and attract visitors to their sites with fake job offerings. When the visitor tries to apply for the job, then they get the hard sell for these for-profit universities. The job never materializes of course as the whole thing is a fraud in these instances, but consumer protection agencies aren't bothered.

Now, of course if those job offerings (or whatever bait is used) don't exist then it's fraud, because the lead gen company is getting something of value (you) by deception (a fake offer). Repeat that hundreds of thousands of times and you have a BIG fraud.. but with lots of individual victims who may not even realise that they have been scammed.

False come-ons for lead generation (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about 2 years ago | (#42335959)

Yes, there are lots of other false come-ons for lead generation. The other standard one you see near the side of cash-registers at pizza places (at Little Caesars in Kearny Mesa) or other restaurants or at the entry/exit of gyms: little entry boxes that you stuff with your contact info and email and cell phone number in the hopes of "winning a cruise!" or of getting "a free vacation!". Of course, the only thing that really comes out of this is that your contact information which you've willing released is sold on to marketers everywhere. One friend of mine XX filled out another friend's (YY) contact info on a slip just to annoy YY.

Great submission! (3, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 years ago | (#42335579)

This was a really great submission and the other links within the TFA were interesting as well. I always had a wary eye cast towards the for-profit educational sector but I honestly had no idea that taxpayers were responsible for a significant amount of their profits. At one point, I was thinking about the University of Phoenix because I suspected that they were at least legitimate. Now, I'm glad I did not!

State schools aren't much better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335739)

State schools aren't much better, on average; they just cost more.

As an alchemist, I am worth an immense amount (1)

optikos (1187213) | about 2 years ago | (#42335599)

although it is usually the other direction, turning lead into gold, rather than generating lead from other elements.

Re:As an alchemist, I am worth an immense amount (1)

Megane (129182) | about 2 years ago | (#42336505)

Right, but see, eventually you'll run out of lead, because you've turned it all into gold. So you need to get more lead!

How much is a story on /. worth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42335635)

He's clearly monetizing these stories on Slashdot.

Awesome Site! (1)

Metabolife (961249) | about 2 years ago | (#42335771)

Hey guys! Check out my awesome site to see what your lead is worth!

sleazybusinesscollectingleads.com

We're 100% accurate! Find out what your lead is worth TODAY!

and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336101)

So some for-profit company compiles research creating a graphic that you decide you want to link to, and you are concerned that the for profit company is using their work to generate profit. I don't get it. I imagine that the research that the graphic is based on is our there if you want to compile your own. How much " there may be strings attached" text is needed to make you feel like this isn't overly nefarious. Are you behind the McDonald's warning that their coffee is hot?

Accuracy Counts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336187)

the blogger who found that an infographic he'd put on his site was the front end of an SEO spam job.

Accuracy counts. The blogger linked to a spam job. The spammer didn't do any evil trickery, the blogger linked to the spam.

The bloggers supposed detective work is, well... unimpressive.

But, it's good to know that Slashdot has now done TWO stories that essentially promote this blogger and the spam that he linked to. Great job! I hope you got paid for it. Perhaps you could promote my website next.

Gragg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336781)

I worked for Gragg Advertising in Kansas City awhile back. They do pay per lead for the for profit college industry. They could source leads for as much as $600 per lead. But, in their defense, they only source leads from credible sources, because those are the leads that are actually worth something. They also hold webinars that feature topics like, "How to get around not being accredited," and similar. Working for them was a fucking nightmare.

Telemarketer Lead Generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336831)

Telemarketing companies often use deception to generate sales leads. These are then "sanitized" by lead generation companies and sold. I suspect that the value of each lead is worth more than $250.

I regularly get calls from companies saying that they are from the state Business Development Bureau or some other fictitious group asking when our company is moving so they can update their records. Last summer I said we were moving in a month and and gave them a fake name to see what would happen. We've been getting calls for the last 6 months from moving companies, telephone providers, and office supply companies asking for the fake name and looking for business.

The things that bugs me the most is that the telemarketers tell such bold lies to get the business info. Another common scheme is companies pretending to be our service company asking for our photocopier and fax machine model numbers so they can try to sell us toner.

all ads are scams one way or another (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42336943)

if someone has a need they will find a way to fill it
if they don't have a need then usurping their nervous system to plant a thought into their head that leads to money in your pocket is high villainy

much like we look at the previous generations tolerance of slavery and human sacrifice our descendents will look upon our tolerance for advertising, with a mixture of contempt and pity

it's not spam if you ask for it (2)

Khashishi (775369) | about 2 years ago | (#42337453)

If you sign up to a site about online schools, and fill out online school applications, and they call you, that's not spam. Scam, maybe, but not spam.

general lead prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42337991)

Insurance leads (Health, Auto, Home) can go from $7 to $20, Life Insurance/Annuitities can climb close to $100. Payday loans can go from $5 to $75.

These are for 'primary' leads, not counting resells, HTTP Redirects, mailing lists, etc.. etc.. on the long-tail side of things.

PPC Campaings generally run 50-60%+ conversions and can cut margins as close as 7%....

(coming from a former soal sucking leadgen arbitrage employee)

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