Sorry, you can't buy our time from shifty startup Allthis

A new startup, Allthis, is advertising that you can "buy time" with some of us at Boing Boing, using its service. You can't. We haven't signed up; it's just created a sleazy opt-out system and thrown in everyone it can think of. Allthis, you guys really should knock it off, lest the internet knock you off. And if this is publicity stunt, well, screw you. (Thanks to everyone who sent this in)

Update: Many others are in the same boat. "At worst, fraud," writes Amy Hoy. Joel Housman archives some of Allthis's sterling PR work on Twitter.


  1. Screw them and the mutant reindeer they rode in on. Watch out for AllThis blowback coming your way.

    1. Huh, that’s really strange; I read somewhere that the CEO of was wanted for murder in 13 states, and that he told a friend that Justin Bieber was next on his list…

        1. I heard he was a fan of Justin Bieber’s music (that alone is a criminal offense in 9 states, plus the city of Nashville).

  2. Maybe it’s an adult service, and it staffed by Rob Beschizza impersonators.  With extra for video for the Rob Beschizza cosplayer service. 

  3. Well, this is kind of stupid.  They don’t deduplicate the “people” in their database, so there’s no single valuation.

  4. I was kind of intrigued with Allthis at first. They used to have a teaser advertising something like “a database of 600,000,000,” and I wondered how the hell I had missed hearing about it. Then I realized they were including people who hadn’t signed up. I tried to find an explanation as to how this worked for non-members, but couldn’t find any. 

    Can you share how you were contacted? Did you get an email saying “x people want to buy 10 minutes with you”? I’m curious as to how they’re trying to pull this off.I do think the idea of trading on time and advice has potential, But Allthis is so not doing it right.

    1. I still have that thing in the basement. It’s totally jamming my trip for no superfluous posessions, because I’m convinced that it may be sold for serious money to an Android aficionado in like 10 years.

  5. I had a few emails telling me about this new, obviously awful thing everyone is talking about, and did you sign up for this? So I made an account, logged in, and there we are! The whole thing appears to be a Klout-style screen scrape of social networks, with auctions thrown in for a completely deceptive, nonexistent product.

    1. There’s a brief message that says that it’s searching FB and LinkedIn when you do a search.

      1. Yeah I noticed this. Pretty f-ing sneaky. At first I was thinking that you could contact their host ( and demand them to take down your images, but if it’s pulling from a public social network pic then there’s not a lot you can do…apart from changing your facebook profile pic to one saying “eat allthis shit”.

        Or, how about setting up an automated mail page for BB users to mail direct with a message telling them to drop allthis as a customer or continue to receive inboxes full ‘o shit.

        [Edited to remove the direct links to their host]

        Edit 2: On closer inspection it seems the thumbs and images are actually hosted at Amazon’s cloudfront. I’m sure you could put pressure on Amazon to remove your image (and perhaps suspend their account?).

  6. Mention of opt-out makes me think that they’re going about this all wrong. Aren’t there people in your life who you’d pay good money not to have to talk to for ten minutes? My new startup AllThat buys you ten-minute chunks of blissful silence at competitive prices. Avoid that difficult conversation with your boss or your sweetheart. Tune out annoying co-workers. Silence the chatty person in the aisle seat. 

    But buy your credits in advance, because if you wait until you really need them, the price will go way, way up.

  7. SLAPP them a note that you already sued them and are asking a judge for an injunction and will be holding an asset sale including all domain names, hosting and data.

  8. It’s a technological update on the age old business of trying to wrangle a vig for setting people up with prominent figures you don’t represent.

    I have a family member who was a very highly in-demand speaker at conferences and meetings for many years.  She’s retired now, but if you Google her name you can find all kinds of “booking agent” websites who have her bio and photo listed and claim to be able to book her for your next meeting.   She never had a relationship with any of those organizations.

    1. Ah, like when the Realtor bangs on your door and asks to show your house despite the fact that it’s not for sale.

  9. @beschizza:disqus   “So I made an account, logged in, ”  …  Then you *HAVE* given them permission.  They’ve done it 100% with your approval.  According to the site’s T&Cs that you agreed to (without reading) you have promised that you’ll spend a 10 minute chat with whoever buys time via their site.   You can’t complain anymore – you’ve given away your time for free!

  10. Ever since linkedin got away with autogenerating profiles it’s become acceptable behavior among biz types to douche it up like this on the internet. Every dickfaced exec involved in “social networks” thinks they can devour the internet and shit money  without consequence. Indigestion is a concept they no longer understand.  

    1. LinkedIn got away with autogenerating profiles? Link?

      I ask because I used to work at LinkedIn in Analytics and I’ve never heard of such a thing. There are a lot of blank accounts (people who sign up to view someone’s info and never fill out their own) and some annoying bots that were constantly being shut down, but autogenerated ones? By LinkedIn? I think not.

      1. Unless someone went through the hassle of manually creating a LinkedIn profile for me, mine was autogenerated. I know other people who have found they already had a profile on there as well. I assumed it was a widespread thing. I was pretty pissed off, fortunately it was associated with my work email address so I reset the password and locked it down. Bastards still spam me of course. I thought I’d went through their opt-out shit when I first discovered the issue but then they started spamming me after a few months, so I signed in to my account again and again thought I’d went through their opt-out shit but yet again they started spamming after a few months. As far as I can tell LinkedIn is run by dickfaced assholes.

        1. That is odd. I can’t imagine why anyone would sign up with someone’s real email address as the signup process will send an activation email to that email address in order to verify it.

          If when you log in it doesn’t say at the top “Please confirm your email address” then you in fact did sign up since the only way to get rid of that is to click on the activation email link. A lot of people do and then forget that they did in order to look at a profile.

          You can simply close your account. Just go to settings, click account and click “close your account.

          1. Or LinkedIn can simply not create accounts for you without your knowledge or permission.

            Yes, it happened to me too.  The first time I ever heard of them was when I got an email ‘reminding’ me to fill out my profile at LinkedIn.  That sleazy trick alone guaranteed I will never use their service, and I advise everyone I talk to not to use it either since it’s evidently run by slimy fraudsters.

            Every now and then I create a new junk profile there just to search their listings and confirm they haven’t relisted me.  I suppose if I were really vindictive, I’d write some software to create massive bunches of fake accounts to help bump up their signal to noise ratio.

  11. I’ve been using Allthis for a couple of months. Had a nice conversation with someone I never met before and I’ll have another one tomorrow. To me, as a harmless free resource, it seems to be worthwhile.

      1. No, I’m not a sockpuppet and I’m not being paid. I’m a regular boingboing reader and every now and again, a commenter. Since I’ve actually been an Allthis user, I thought my opinion might count for something.

        1. This is Boingboing. It’s assumed that you’re a sockpuppet if you claim to be on the side of the thing being bashed. You should know that by now, regular BoingBoing reader.

        2. Strangely, your Disqus profile is public and shows four comments – three of them in this thread (and one two months ago).

          I’ll buy that you’re not spreading The Good Word across the web, at least using this account, because there’d be more activity than three comments. But commenting on one previous occasion – at a site that is not Boing Boing, I should add – does not make you “now and again, a commenter”.

          1. It’s like an agent, an agent who’s come to believe his own cover story.
            But who’s in there, hiding, in a larval state. Just waiting for a time to hatch out.

          2. Please don’t blame me for signing in for the first time using disqus. This is the first time I’ve had to login to boingboing without using the password I had here. It offered me the chance to use my openid so I chose to. If you want to look at my other boingboing comments search for user spaceling.

          3. He may be legit. Right now I’m commenting with my boingboing ID, but sometimes I can’t even log in with that and end up using twitter, or whatever disqus will let me log in with. Worst comment engine ever >:(

      2. I don’t think they have enough savy to organize sockpuppets, given they’re modus operandi of charging in and pissing off the internet.  But if they did, they’d pay their sockpuppets in their madeup currency that looks like it used to be the artist known as an unpronounceable symbol. 

    1. Sounds like somebody who doesn’t have a sense of humor or understand humor trying to fake it.

  12. This thread got real strange real quick.

    Aharmonium: How is this ‘service’ any different from contacting someone and asking for a Skype? I just don’t see how it can be considered a resource. Seems to me like yet another empty site that feeds on the API and brains of others.

    1. It’s not like Skype since it doesn’t have any real interface for chatting. Skype on the other hand doesn’t have profiles, conversation topics, or a scheduling mechanism. It’s more like a directory of profiles for people to locate folk they might be interested in chatting with, and a scheduling feature to help with that. I’ve been on it for two months (after a friend recommended it to me). I thought I’d experiment with its utility. So far it’s only resulted in one conversation for me — with someone who I never met but was interested in chatting about one of the topics I said I knew something about. I noticed a few people “buy my token” for a chat but never ended up contacting me for a conversation. Someone else scheduled with me for a chat later today. On the whole, it seems like somethign that would have nicely complemented ICQ or AIM in the late 1990s. Till I heard Rob’s complaint, I really thought it was a harmless social networking tool.

  13. So, after hearing about this on Mashable and in general being interested in time banking systems, I decided to give allthis a shot. 

    Initially, I signed up, and after verifying that it wouldn’t immediately spam my friends, decided to “invest” in the time of a few of my friends and acquintaces on allthis – they encourage you to do this by allowing to you to “get” their accounts for “free” instead of the wholly imaginery credits used. 

    Anyway; very soon after some tweeting, one of the team there, Gene Linetsky decided to buy my time; asking how to allievate concerns that they were creepy in the klout sense. 

    This was of course were the usability of the service fell through the floor. Purchasing someone’s time and holding it for 24 hours, then leads to a person making a request to talk to you based off a calender which is sort of autofilled in for you as available 9-5 Monday-Friday to take a 10 minute chat. 

    And then you take the chat; and it’s a wonderful chatbox ala AIM only worse with a giant clock in the bottm left corner counting down the seconds. The funny thing is; it didn’t work for me. 

    I was then asked to check my firewall and ports; listing a good lot of them; in order to get a browser based chat system to actually connect for me. Really? I mean, chat has been solved as a technical issue for people firewalled down to port 80 for ages; and why does a browser based solution need more than port 80 anyway? 

    So, for the following week after this abortion of actually using the service to chat to one of the people; infact, their messaging system ala Facebook messaging where it’ll send you an email telling you you got a message, what the message is, but require you to sign into reply, I was asked to try again and again until it finally did function. Apparently I helped fix a major bug with my assistance; Yay.

    Anyway; long comment short; the actual experience is very dehumanising; it’s a limited chat in a browser window that starts on the dot at an appointed time and counts the seconds, before unceremoniously stopping to work;

    Oh; and the transcripts are by default “public”. There are checkboxes to change that quite easily; but one wonders how you honor a difference in opinion over openness. 

    Never got around to asking that, as like one of my other early adopter friends who actually signed up, poked around and then left as the language was too creepy for him, I decided to hit the big delete button I finally found on one of the like four different profile-looking pages you can get to through the UI. 

  14. This sounds like a damned Penny Auction site, it operates almost the same way.

    ~you must provide All This and the Foundation with valid credit card information or other payment information for a credit card or payment account in your name prior to completing your registration for the Service.  

    ~What can I use my time credits for? Buy other people’s Tens to talk to them or as an investment. You can also turn your time credits into cash donations for any of over two million nonprofits represented at allthis.”

    ~The Buyer will remit payment for the Item to the Foundation. If the Buyer pays with a credit card, the entity name for the charge will be “All This Charity Auctions Foundation.

  15. Gee, Rob, that picture they used of you is much cuter than the booger-flicking one you use for your avatar.  It’s not completely implausible that the weaker-kneed among us may pay for…oh never mind.

  16. Pretty sure, that while not as accessible thru the webs, Credit Reporting Agencies, run the same kind of racket. A profile of you, that you didn’t create, want to see it? Pay up.
    And good luck getting those profiles removed, or even changed.

  17. Jokes on you Rob – I just bought 52,500,000 minutes! You are now my slave for the next century! Muhahahaha!

  18. This seems to be a bit of a trend. I won’t name and shame the company, because I think they were clueless rather than evil, but twice I’ve had my illustration work uploaded to a ‘visual directory’ by a particular company. 

    The first was in an ebook they had for download from their site (free publicity for me apparently – super!) that I asked to be removed from because it looked like I was endorsing whatever the hell it is they were trying to do. 

    The second time, I was contacted by someone else at the same company saying they’d made me a profile on their site, all uploaded, content, illustration, bio all scraped off my Twitter, website, etc. 

    It wasn’t until I pointed out that how would they feel if I’d used their email address to sign them up to a public Facebook account with all their information ready on it that it sunk in, I think.

    Another point I made to them was that an initially small committed user base to build on that are actively using the site is surely more valuable than hundreds of obviously dormant accounts (which is what you end up with by auto-signing people up).

    That, clearly, isn’t quite the same as your experience above, but I think a move towards “we’ll do what we like and then you can complain if you manage to find out about it or after the damage is done” is not a trend I’m overly keen on, to be honest.

    1. Very deep. You should send that in to the Reader’s Digest. They’ve got a page for people like you.

  19. I remember when AIM had a “talk to a random person” feature on the chat panel. I’d got many more people sending unsolicited chats when I listed my main interests as “cats” than when I had it pegged as “books”.

  20. Can I buy your time with cold, hard cash?  Or perhaps a cold, hard donation?  Let me put it another way: how much to get Xeni’s phone number? ;)

  21. There’s another site doing this in a way I find more offensive.  Anyone heard of  @kachingle?

    It’s a great scam.  “Friends” of a site create a profile for it on the site.  Then you can, from the convenience of your web browser, donate to the recipient on  kachingle.  Kachingle only takes a small cut of the donation before trying to contact the recipient to send the remainder, so it’s okay.  If the recipient never replies, after 180 days the remainder goes to a different charity.They recently tried to rebrand themselves a a micropayment site (you pay kachingle a set amount each month, and they divvy it up to sites based on a browser extension), but the basic “we collect donations for someone who hasn’t given us permissions to do so” still applies.

    I’m not sure how soliciting to collect money on behalf of site owners, typically charities, who haven’t authorized you to do so while skimming off the top isn’t getting more attention.

  22. So unfortunately, I had to give them the satisfaction of going to their site in order to figure out exactly what their business model is. I did not sign up — just read their ToS, FAQ, privacy policy, etc.

    As far as I can tell, you get a certain amount of virtual credits free when you sign up, but since you have to give your credit card info, presumably you are also supposed to buy more virtual credits with real money.

    Then you bid up the price (in virtual credits) of 10 minutes with people. They phrase it in terms of buying and selling, but I don’t get the impression that the holder of the 10 minutes can refuse to sell. If someone buys it at 10% over what you paid, they’ve got it, unless you buy it back at another 10% markup. Apparently you do get your virtual credits back when someone buys it away from you, plus a 5% “profit.” (The other 5% goes to the person with whom you’re trying to spend 10 minutes.) So it’s not quite as bad as penny auction — they don’t just outright keep the non-winning bids.

    This goes on for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the person holding the ten minutes can redeem them. It is not clear to me whether bidding can continue after 24 hours, or whether it’s cut off at that point.

    Once redeemed, the virtual credits go to the person with whom the buyer wanted to spend 10 minutes. They can then either use them to bid on 10 minutes with other people, or they can redeem them as donations to charity. Of course, All This takes a cut before the donation is made.

    Time with people who haven’t actually joined, e.g. Rob Beschizza, is priced lower to start with — but can be bought and bid up just like anything else.

    It’s that last part that makes me wonder how this isn’t fraud. IANAL, but they seem to be selling — for real money, or at least potentially real money — something that 1) is not theirs to sell and 2) they cannot deliver.

    What happens when people bid up the price of ten minutes with Rob, but the winner finds themselves with something unredeemable, because Rob hasn’t agreed to sell his ten minutes in the first place?

    And what happens to all those 5% cuts of each transaction that went to “Rob”?

  23. Okay, this actually made me laugh out loud because of the inanity of it all–look at their Dispute email address very carefully.

    1. Interestingly, while they fixed the typo, they didn’t fix the link’s mailto address. 

      If still not evil, then increasingly incompetent.

  24. Dude, I already bought your time from I now own you from 8.20 to 8.45 next Wednesday morning. Sorry, that’s the way it goes.

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