Monday, December 18, 2006

It's Like All The Leaves are Falling Off the Trees Simultaneously

Big huge yards and big huge trees are theoretically very nice features to possess. Except, you know, when it's fall and suddenly there are many metric asstons of leaves to rake and bag up. Save me from the leaves, wee baby Jebus baby.

Sneaky plans to not be in the office until January got slightly derailed. True to form, the powers that be decided that it was better to take the petty, completely non-sensical approach and make me come into the office on my two telecommuting days this week when they realized I wouldn't be back in the office until January. Mmmkay, that's some fine management skills on display there, cranking up the disgruntled knob and only gaining the utility of having me drag myself in for two whole days, and quarter-assing it through those.

Some interesting things floating around the poker blogosphere of late. No thoughts or comments on the drama stuff but I did think Duggle's Full Tilt account getting hacked did raise some interesting issues. 'Tis probably a good wake-up call for everyone who plays online, as far as the nature of this beast that we have fondness in our hearts for. It completely sucks that peoples' accounts have been hacked but I think you have to keep in mind that we're talking about unregulated activites that the US government has been pretty vocal about deeming illegal. Drawing parallels to banks or PayPal seems a bit of a stretch, as I doubt that any of us, if we're being totally honest, truly believe that we have a God given right for funds we leave at an online poker site to be as secure and safe and protected as money in a Chase account. I've had pretty disgusting sums of money tied up in sportsbooks in the past and would have been absolutely sick and/or livid if that money went poof, but I was also aware of the potential risk I was running.

I'm also a little surprised at the ReviewMe backlash here and there, or I suppose, more accurately, the opinion voiced here and there of late that blatantly monetizing poker blogs is somehow sullying the blog and/or content. I completely and utterly respect the opinion that there's no place for ads and related clutter on blogs, and that things like paid reviews are cancerous to the world of blogging. It does change the content and the experience, almost always for the worst, if viewed from the perspective of the user. This here blog is a good example of that. I'm the first to admit that.

What intrigues me, though, is that most of the criticism focuses on the blatant nature of it, and not so much on the principle. In my eyes, there's little difference from doing paid reviews for ReviewMe and running Party banners or Full Tilt ads on your site. We all immediately gloss over that stuff anyway and all recognize it for exactly what it is, silly shilling that puts some extra bucks in our pockets. Is a paid review any different than the same Full Tilt ad everyone runs and recognizes as a paid ad? Does quietly running a banner ad in the sidebar make you less of a whore?

Or I guess the real crux of it is that as long as I've been reading poker blogs (approaching three years now), I've been seeing affiliate links and banners. Much of the criticism seems to presuppose a pristine, wonderful world before the fall, when the apple was uneaten and poker blogs were chock full o' texty goodness, with no eye towards making money or monetizing content or any crap like that. And I do agree, that'd be a cool world, but I'm just not sure it ever existed.

But then again, I can be a pretty shilly monkey, so I'm far from unbiased and not the best judge.

Cruising along in 2nd in one of Pauly's football pools and had one of those "der" moments this week, as somehow or other I picked KC to beat San Diego straight up, despite the fact that I'd pick that roughly 0.00% of the time if I was paying attention when clicking radio buttons. Trailing 1st by two points, which isn't much on the surface but it's hard to pick up points in pools where you're picking games straight up, especially when the leader isn't going out on any limbs. The end of the NFL season does sometimes get strange though once teams have clinched and have nothing to play for,

10 comments:

Dr. Pauly said...

Good luck, SD!

It's going to come down to the last week, perhaps even the last two games. Should be exciting. Thanks again for playing.

Pokerwolf said...

It completely sucks that peoples' accounts have been hacked but I think you have to keep in mind that we're talking about unregulated activites that the US government has been pretty vocal about deeming illegal. Drawing parallels to banks or PayPal seems a bit of a stretch, as I doubt that any of us, if we're being totally honest, truly believe that we have a God given right for funds we leave at an online poker site to be as secure and safe and protected as money in a Chase account.

It's interesting that you think that because it's illegal in the U.S. online poker is completely unregulated.

The reason people draw parallels to banks is due to Full Tilt's web page on security, which states:

Banking and Transaction Processing - Real Money

Full Tilt Poker conducts their banking and financial affairs in accordance with generally accepted standards of internationally recognized banking institutions. Full Tilt Poker follows and adheres to applicable laws pertaining to transaction reporting and anti-money laundering laws and regulations.


I'll agree that thinking that "money is safe" anywhere online is pretty folly, but unless someone has a magic key for Full Tilt then the money is as safe there as it is in Neteller or Paypal.

Gene said...

Rake the leaves into a thin layer covering the entire yard.

Mow the leaves. If you have a mulching mower. Mow those goddam leaves. Mulch 'em. Good for the lawn. Good for the soul.

If you still have big chunks of leaves after the first mowing, mow more.

More. More. It's easier than raking.

Raking leaves into piles and bagging them and hauling them to the curb is for the Aryan supermen my grandfathers battled against. Forget it. That's why Bill Lawnboy invented the mower.

Regarding the ReviewMe thing, I'm selling out on a case-by-case basis. If it's a product/service I think is worthwhile, I'll review it. If it ain't, I won't. I'm sleeping at night, so far.

ScurvyDog said...

Pokerwolf,

Online gambling is completely unregulated in both the US and worldwide. Regulation and countries issuing gaming licenses (such as in Antigua or Curacao or Gibralter) are two completely different issues. Here's a good recent article about assorted forward-looking EU countries that are exploring ways to step up and regulate the industry:

http://www.pokerpages.com/poker-news/news/europe-blazes-ahead-legalizing-online-poker-egaming--29360.htm

I guess maybe I'm more pessimistic or naive than the average bear, but I'd never put Full Tilt and JP Morgan Chase on equal footing, as far as how safe I felt my funds were with either. (I'd also lump PayPal and Neteller with Full Tilt.) I realize that a market cap of a quadrillion dollars doesn't necessarily equate to better security, but I see a pretty huge difference between JP Morgan Chase and those other companies, so despite claims of Full Tilt otherwise, it seems silly to me to draw parallels between FT and ginormous banks with many dollars to spend on security.

TripJax said...

Many banks and financial firms are members of SiPC or other protection companies that guarantee your money in certain situations.

You won't find that at Full Tilt or any other poker site.

I have to side with you on this one Scurvy. And the Review Me as well.

Like Gene, if I come across one that doesn't feel right, I won't do it...I sleep at night.

Anonymous said...

100+ 30 gallon bags of leaves hauled to the compost site.

First year the previous owner did 0 yard work and we ended up with over 250 bags.

But there's nothing like watching your kid jump into the piles :)

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time commenter (as a blogger). I've been reading your blog for almost two years now and you've always got great stuff here. Keep it going and don't forget about poker! How's the rat these days?

HighOnPoker said...

Scurv, I'm not trying to keep the ball rolling on this one, but I wanted to address your questions concerning why Review Me ads are different than banners. I still say live and let live, but to me there is a difference. Banners are incidental to the site and its content. Review Me ads take the form of content. To me, any ads that affect content negatively affect a blog (I have done this myself in the past). I really loathe seeing a post on my RSS reader only to find out that it is a hack ad. Now, all that said, I don't knock anyone from monetizing their blog, including via Review Me. But I do think there is a distinction to be made.

ScurvyDog said...

Jordan,

That's a good point, and I definitely hear you.

When I see a ReviewMe shill post on other blogs, I think "Cool, somebody got paid" and I immediately ignore it. For all intent and purposes, the post reads "meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow."

It takes me all of 0.2 seconds to ignore the meowing and move on. If I weigh that lost time on one hand and the fact that it's a way for bloggers to make extra cash on the other, I fall on the side of extra cash. But that's just me, and, like I said, I've been known to shill with the best of them.

All I was really getting at is that I think the ReviewMe stuff has raised some interesting questions and provoked some interesting reactions. I don't blame anyone for casting stones at ReviewMe and what it spawns as useless clutter and biased shilling, because, well, it is.

At the same time it seems a bit strange to monetize your blog in other ways if it's not about the money and all about the content. As people have pointed out, some are picking and choosing only reviews they think are helpful, so it's obviously not an all or nothing thing.

I'll prolly post more on this in the future as I'm not even getting into the whole idea of an implied contract between blogger and reader, and what the expectations are, etc.

Keyur said...

hi,
The title of blog is very toucy. very cool blog. Thanx. you had provided all of us a good and informative stuff. Thanx for all.

You can also visit my site for free web site submission.

regards,
free web site submission