Category: LeapFish

Last Time About Ben Behrouzi, LeapFish or Dotnext… Promise!

The EndBen (Behnam) Behrouzi, the CEO of Dotnext Inc., and his startups (namely ePerks and LeapFish) had been often at the center of my attention in the past three years. I had good intentions to abandon the topic in the past. But there was always something in the back of my mind that prevented me from staying away from Mr. Behrouzi and his schemes. Just little over two years ago, the CEO of LeapFish and Dotnext Inc., being dissatisfied with the outcome of the lawsuit he brought against me, he purchased two domain names (vladzablotskyy.net and vladzablotskyy.org) with a clear intent to damage my reputation – a threat that Mr. Behrouzi has never carried out. As of today it appears that Mr. Behrouzi will not be renewing the above mentioned domain names. This of course leaves me with no reason to continue my coverage of Mr. Behrouzi and his “startups”. Should the above mentioned domains be renewed, I will make sure to post an update.

Happy, healthy and prosperous 2011 everyone!

LeapFish.com Pays $85,000 in settlement and flees to Los Angeles.

Against all odds, against predictions of tech industry insiders and against my own speculations, LeapFish.com, a company I have covered extensively over the last two years, is still around. This Internet startup and a self-proclaimed “fastest search engine on the planet” avoided filing for bankruptcy and, according to most recent court documents, have payed $85,000.00 in the settlement of the lawsuit between Christie Cortellessa and Dotnext Inc, the parent company of LeapFish.com. Even thought the case is not officially over yet, all things indicate that LeapFish will put this one behind them soon.

Meanwhile the company has announce both on their official blog as well as via Twitter their intention to open new office in Los Angeles:

LeapFish.com announces New Office in Los Ageles

LeapFish.com announces opening of a new office in Los Ageles on Twitter

According to a blog post at http://blog.leapfish.com/ that announces the move, the company is hiring Inside Sales Professionals, Client Services Professionals and Search Marketing (SEM) Professionals.

Am I the only one who finds it strange that an Internet company would move away from Silicon Valley? Evidently I am not the only one. Even former LeapFish.com telemarketers appear to be surprised:

Back in San Francisco area the trouble for LeapFish is far from over. There is one more ongoing lawsuit in California Northern District Court- Ellis v. DotNext Inc. Can that be a reason why LeapFish.com is moving to Los Angeles?

Of course there might be some benefits from being near Hollywood celebrities. A tweet by Ashton Kutcher or Ellen DeGeneres can send millions of visitors to LeapFish. Easier said than done? Perhaps. Some Hollywood celebrities have already been heavily criticized for promoting companies that engage in questionable practices, which may make other celebrities more cautious.

No matter how you look at it, the future (if there is any) of LeapFish.com is still clouded in question.

Disclosure, everything written above is exclusively my personal opinion.

The End Of Dotnext and LeapFish???

Shortly after publishing the previous post, an anonymous comment was submitted via contact form of the website.

Here is what it said:

just so you know, Ms. Slader is the only employee left at Dotnext. Everyone was let go yesterday

Note to new readers: Dotnext Inc is a parent company of LeapFish.

The Contra Costa Time in fact confirms that Dotnext has been “downsizing” while quoting the CEO of the company:

….”The company has downsized,” said Ben Behrouzi, a Danville resident who is founder and principal executive at DotNext….
…At its peak a few months ago, DotNext had about 100 workers. Now it has about 15, Behrouzi estimated. Numerous employees were let go this week…

Read more »

Bloggers Are Disgusting & Twisted… According to LeapFish Employee.

LeapFish has been given a cold shoulder on many occasions by the leading technology blogs. However, today the things you say on the internet tend to stick around, something LeapFish management and employees fail to understand over and over again.

Ms. Slader, who according to her several online profiles is an executive assistant of Dontnext, Inc. as well as company called LeapFish.com wrote the following Tweet:

Blggers are disgusting and twisted???

I rarely challenge people about what they say on twitter, unless their profile clearly states association with a particular company or institution.

Here is what Ms. Slader’s profile says as of the writing of this article:
Ms Slader's Twitter
Therefore my challenge to Ms. Slader was purely based on her representing a particular company, otherwise Ms. Slader would have never learned of my existence:
Vlad Zablotskyy on Twitter
Ms. Slader took my comment as a threat:
Ms. Slader's Personal Attack
While overlooking the vicious and very personal attack on my hair style (see my twitter profile picture to see what I am talking about) I would like to clarify one thing, should Ms. Slader cared enough to read this post. My tweet was not to threaten or scare anyone. What I really hoped for, in fact, was that Ms. Slader would get the hint and delete that hasty tweet, before it added more embarrassment to LeapFish’s already struggling reputation.

I also believe that Ms. Slader did not come to a conclusion that “bloggers are disgusting & twisted” on her own, but rather was influenced by her boss(es) or coworkers. Perhaps while taking notes during one of company executives meetings? Therefore it makes more difficult to explain her vicious and personal attack based on disliking my “fictional haircut”, a courtesy of YearBookYourself.com. I only wish I had such a beautiful set of hair!!!

The moral of the story??? Do you know if your secretary is active on Twitter or Facebook? Do you know what is she/he saying? Does it make your company look bad? Should you ask her/him to make their tweets private and hidden from the outside world???

In my opinion, Ms. Slader would be better off calling out, Matt Brown, Robin Wauters, Jolie O’Dell, Trace Richardson, Marshall Kirkpatrick and few others rather than making a “blanket” statements directed towards bloggers in general. Could it be that Ms. Slader is not aware of the fact that LeapFish.com awarded numbers of bloggers with Wiis, personal computers, iPads and plans to award $50,000 in cash in exchange for “good” publicity?

Disclosure: The above post is my personal opinion. No one paid or offered me any gifts to write the above posts.I believe Ms. Slader is good and hardworking individual. I believe Ms. Slader’s opinion of bloggers may have been influenced by others, perhaps even her boss(es). It is possible Ms. Slader made the above statements against her own will.

More Spam From LeapFish???

UPDATE May13, 2010: Things pertaining to LeapFish.com, their founders and management, along with related startups are no longer of interest to me, therefore no further comments are allowed on this post. There are also more reliable sources out there (such as Better Business Bureau) to help you make an informed decision about LeapFish.

***You may also want to know that the Law Firm of Daniel Bakondi, in San Francisco, CA, is investigating a possible Class Action Law Suit Against LeapFish.

UPDATE Feb. 5, 2010: It appears LeapFish is no longer showing the link in the footer of their website to their “directory” I wrote about bellow:
LeapFish snapshot Feb. 5, 2010
This change must have been implemented today as Bing.com’s cached page of LeapFish from yesterday February 4, 2010 still has the link:
Bing cahed page of LeapFish on Feb. 4, 2010
LeapFish has also implemented robots.txt file on their website disallowing web crawlers from indexing the directory:
LeapFish.com robots.txt

Few days ago I tried to to get attention of Google’s Anti-Spam Czar – Matt Cutts via his FriendFeed account. I wanted Matt to comment about LeapFish’s latest directory- but I realize, it may not be Google’s practice to comment on these sort of things publicly. That or you need to be Michael Gray, Aaron Wall or Andy Beard to get some one like Matt Cutts to listen to you.

So what is my latest beef with LeapFish? Their spammy directory located at http://www.leapfish.com/dr/ – my apologies for not providing a live link, I consider LeapFish to be an unsafe website. It also appears by my estimates that Google is indexing this new directory at the rate of about 50 pages a day- there are about 200 pages in Google’s index from this “directory” as of this writing.

So I invite those who are still with me to explore some of the pages from the above mentioned directory. One of the first pages from the directory that jump at me was “Shopping”:
LeapFish Directory
Clicking through to the page on LeapFish.com you are given opportunity to “narrow” your search- so I decide to narrow mine to “Death Care”:
LeapFish Directory - Death Care
What do you know?!!! Now you can narrow your search geographically- naturally I selected New Jersey the state I live in:
LeapFish Directory - Death Care - New Jersey
How about that?!! LeapFish knows all the counties in the state of New Jersey- naturally my next selection would be the county I live in:
LeapFish Directory - Death Care- Ocean County NJ
How about that?!!! Turns out LeapFish is so intuitive it knows about every city in my state- so just for the heck of it I decided to check and see what kind of death care shopping I can do in Jackson, NJ:
LeapFish Directory - Death Care, Jackson NJ
And the relevancy of my final destination in LeapFish directory? Google search results associated with the death of Michael Jackson?
LeapFish Directory - Death Care, Jackson NJ
What can I say? I am extremely disappointed. I am sure few results of local funeral directors or even a local WalMart with the line of their latest caskets would not be as disappointing. Since LeapFish is using some APIs from Google, they could have really impress me by showing me a few relevant products using Google Base API.

So yeah, I am desperate for the attention from Matt Cutts. Matt could you please explain to me how this sort of “directories” improve the State of The Index? In my opinion the LeapFish Directory does just the opposite- LeapFish pollute the Internet.

If you are interested to find out more about LeapFish I highly recommend LeapFish Review by Better Business Bureau.

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