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Wednesday 21 January 2015

"Hartford Tech Summit" aka BizSummits: What's wrong with this picture? (hartfordsummit.com / hartfordsummit.org)

Last year I called out serial spammers BizSummits for their use of stolen photographs that they were attempting to pass off as activities at one of those summits.

A comment on one of the posts indicates that BizSummits are suffering from a degree of butthurt because of this.

Hi Conrad, we just received an autonotice about the comment from Claire Le and were again hoping you would consider archiving/mothballing it because readers see the misleading title which is why the commenter incorrectly surmised BizSummits is a fake after reading it. I think you know it is not, we are glad to immediately make you a member of one of the groups if wished so you can login and watch/listen to hundreds of past meetings (impossible if it were really a fake), and we are also glad to cover your airfare from the UK if you wish to attend any of the in-person events (next on the schedule is the HartfordSummit.com in a few weeks and then a series in Chicago in April including a CIO roundtable you might have interest in attending). Thank you for your consideration. 
 HartfordSummit.com? That's a new one on me. Let's head over to that website.

If you read my previous post on these folks, you might guess where this is going.

Now, bearing in mind the cringing embarrassment they must have felt when I pointed out that all the photos on their sites were of something else entirely, you would expect that they'd use a genuine photograph of one of their summits. I mean, everyone has a digital camera, right? It would be hard to avoid taking a photograph of one of these summits. And they have so many of them.

Let's have a closer look at that photo (http://loadurl.org/hartfordsummit/images/whatsnew.jpg)

It certainly looks like a seminar or summit. But let's see what a Google Reverse Image Search says..

It guesses that this is a picture of "business seminars" and reveals that the same photo is in use on many different sites. And in fact, you just need to do a Google image search for "Seminars" and it turns up in a prominent position.

So now we need some detective work, the original image doesn't appear to be online but I can find a slightly higher resolution one.

There's an interesting sign on the wall..

"The Ivy Review" it says. That matches pretty closely with a photo from ivycenters.com which has a very similar photograph.

This photograph was taken in the Santa Clara Convention centre. That's about 3000 miles from Hartford, but that's not really the point. The point is that this appears to be the photograph of a completely different convention from a completely different organisation. It is certainly a commonly used picture for "seminars" that people paste in when they haven't actually got a picture.

In fact, I have never seen a verifiable photo of any BizSummits event. Perhaps I am looking in the wrong place. Perhaps someone needs to buy BizSummits a digital camera. Draw your own conclusions.

As for a free trip to Connecticut to see BizSummits in action. Yeah, I think I'll pass on that offer.

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