The mysterious Ibiza Hacker has struck again! After the Bomba website was directed to Pacha last month, it now seems that cheer-leading commercial website, Ibiza Spotlight, has become a victim of “malicious behaviour” with its forums down from last night. A notice appeared today on the Ibiza Spotlight forums page that read “Our forum is temporarily offline due to malicious behaviour. We’ll be cleaning everything up and restoring the forum to pristine condition over the next few days. Sorry for any inconvenience. See soon!” The website would be one of the leading online businesses on the island, earning commissions from selling hotel rooms, club tickets, car hire and advertising. It can earn 10-15% commission for each room sold and between €2-€5 for tickets sales for club related events. It regularly sells out its ticket quota for popular parties.
Ibiza Spotlight, was originally a guide brochure that was handed out to tourists in the 1990’s by its founder Norman Skinner. It was a popular resource for information and tips and built a strong reputation on the island. When Ibiza Spotlight converted to an online business model in 1999, it soon started to enjoy large profits due to the growth of social media and its monopoly of the online market in Ibiza. A director of the company, James Ledden, who first came to Ibiza in 91, was responsible for driving its online presence. With professional SEO marketing skills and content, it soon positioned itself on the first page for major search engines ranking Ibiza related keywords. Ledden is also a registered owner of Ibiza hotel domain names, such as Jetibiza.com and Victoriaibiza.com. Londoner Maralyn Poskitt, is another director at Ibiza Spotlight which employs over 20 people on a full and part-time basis. In recent years, it has astutely built up a number of affiliate business associations with smaller Ibiza related social media outlets, ensuring it remains at the top of the food chain. It also owns a company called Benidorm Spotlight, which is a lighter version of its bigger sister.
The peak season hacking of the Ibiza Spotlight forums, will come as a blow to the website, as it requires the forums to help drive daily traffic, ensuring premium advertising rates to its clients. Ibiza spotlight reviews are in the main positive and it editorial values are commercially driven. However its championing of Danny Whittle’s version of events in the now infamous Pacha bust-up, was a departure from previous editorial diplomacy. In light of recent developments, that decision now looks an ill-judged one. Any negative or individual viewpoints that upset its clients are either censured, or a positive spin put on them. Impartial advice in Ibiza is a rare commodity as the majority of websites strive to earn revenue in an increasingly competitive market. The “malicious behaviour” reported by Ibiza Spotlight is most likely to be originating from a competitor with a long term view to challenging Spotlights dominance in the market. In a season of nasty spats and negativity, this kind of underhand behaviour is sadly becoming more prevalent, as big business fight to protect interests in a rapidly changing social and economic environment.
UPDATE 29/08/13 Spotlight expect forums to be back online by midday August 30th. They now state that a “Vulnerability ” in old software was responsible for the problem.