Member Rara Avis
KristieSue, when you said "my computer detected Spyware," what precisely did you mean? Have you, in the past, specifically installed software on your computer to do this? Are you absolutely certain the message came from your computer?
Here's why I ask.
The NextGenStats administration has determined that spyware is a serious problem to all users of the Internet. Spyware is software that is secretly installed on your computer for the purpose of recording user behavior and/or displaying unwanted advertising. Accordingly NextGenStats may scan your web site's visitors for spyware. If spyware is detected then the user will be offered a link to remove it. Otherwise the scanning will be completely transparent to the user and will in no way interfere with the normal operation of your website.
Their program talks to your computer and if it finds an indication of Spyware, tries to tell you about it. If that's what happened to you, KristieSue, you may already be infected and it was just trying to warn you. You might want to visit a third-party site, like AdAware, to find out for sure. Anyone wanting more information about how spyware works might like to visit http://scumware.com
Mariella, you might want to consider finding another, less intrusive source for a page counter. While I commend their intent, chances are that NextGenStats is just going to scare people who don't understand an explanation that is obviously limited by the size of a popup. At the very least, there should be something on your web site with a more detailed clarification of what a visitor might have happen to them when they visit. As it is, you're leaving the fate of your visitors in the hands of someone you don't control.
As to your site and the concept behind it, I have to admit to being a little skeptical. The island is beautiful, the promise of serenity is very enticing, and the $20 a day is downright cheap. My first inclination was to check my calendar and immediately book the first free six-month span I could find. Or, at least, the winter months.
Frankly, though, I long ago learned that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Unless I understand how something works, and why it's being done, I get a little nervous. I noticed there's a $20 application fee? What's to stop someone from collecting that twenty bucks from several thousand people and then give virtually nothing in return? "Sorry, but you weren't accepted. Better luck next time."
I'm not saying that's what you're doing. I'm just saying there is nothing on the web site to convince me that's not what you're doing. There's no information about you. There's no information about anyone connected with the organization. There's no history, no explanation of how this is financially feasible, no details of legal structure. The domain name was registered only a few weeks ago, on July 27. You give a mailing address and phone number, and that's a darn good start to establishing trust. But I don't think it's enough. Twenty bucks isn't a lot of money, but no one wants to feel they were scammed regardless of the amount. No one wants to feel the fool.
I hope you don't feel I'm being too critical, Mariella, but I wanted you to understand my concerns and why I would be reluctant to recommend this to any of our Members. Writers, more than most groups, are too often targets, and your web site is too sketchy to convince me this is legitimate. To establish trust, there needs to be more openness and candor.
If you are participating in a scam, I sincerely hope I've scared you away from our writers. If you're not, I just as sincerely hope I've given you something to consider.