Dateline NBC and Quixtar
» July 12, 2003 I became aware that rumors of an impending Dateline NBC show about Quixtar were true. The "proof" was the creation of a Web site called QuixtarResponse.com which is registered to Quixtar.
Shortly after the original Dateline letter was posted, it was de-linked from the QuixtarResponse site and later removed from their servers (read about it here).
I also noticed several peculiarities with the QuixtarResponse site which I mentioned here and will briefly list below:
1. The title of the page is "Dateline Response." No idea why but this seems odd when the URL is clearly Quixtar Response. This may have been a simple mistake or done for other reasons. I can only speculate. One thing about Page titles is that search engines love them. Someone may see "Dateline Response" in a search result and assume it's the Dateline letters. But I can only guess. It's just odd to me.
2. The message is an image. This is really odd. Not only is it an image but the text is not anti-aliased. Traditionally, the reason someone would choose against anti-alias text in an image is to make it look like actual text, instead of text on an image. Why is this message an image that doesn't look like an image? Again, we don't know. However, one reason this is done is to avoid search engines. Search engines love text but can't do much with images. Google doesn't have any idea what response.gif is and only knows what links come from the image. Additionally, the image has no Alt tag which is another way to "mask" content from search engines. It's also harder to pull quotes from an image because there is no copy/paste capability. Also, updating an image is more complicated than simply typing in more text. This is another reason this whole image vs. text thing is really odd.
3. The Meta Tags. Quixtar is not mentioned once in the Meta Tags. The Meta Tags are as follows:
- Description=Official response to the Dateline NBC story
- Keywords = date, line, date-line
I don't have any idea why Quixtar didn't put it's name in the Meta Tags but I know one thing. Not once does the word Quixtar appear on the page or the source of the page. The only place the word Quixtar appears is in the URL.
» September 30, 2003, I realized that a third response letter was posted. This letter discusses how Quixtar does not focus on IBO numbers but on building a "framework" for those who wish to work the system.
» October 20, 2003, I received a copy of a memo revealing that Bo Short was interviewed for the Dateline NBC show about Quixtar.
» For those wishing to find more information about the Dateline NBC story on Quixtar I suggest you visit the Forum topic on this subject. There are some good discussions posted there.
For the record I've posted the complete letters below. You should click on the image to open up a larger version of the letter that will be easier to read.
» May 5, 2004 - Dateline NBC has confirmed on its scheduling site that the story about Quixtar will air Friday, May 7, 2004.
Dateline presents a yearlong hidden camera investigation into the company, Quixtar. The broadcast joins loyal Quixtar distributors at massive rallies and recruitment meetings and a former high-level insider tells NBC’s Chris Hansen for the first time how top leaders are really making their fortunes.
» May 7, 2004 - The Dateline NBC investigation of Quixtar aired.
» May 7, 2004 - Transcript of the Dateline NBC Show about Quixtar
» May 21, 2004 - Rebuttal to Quixtar's Response page