Archive for August, 2009

I’m open to MOST ideas and thoughts – especially when it comes to making money. Money is that eternal thing that we all seem to be short on lately.

In the last few weeks or so my father in law was researching a way to enable his wife to work from home and make some money. He came across this website that boasted a $3 trial! Which he signed up for… and a week later gets billed for $69. Yeesh… So he made the suggestion that they give it to us to look into it. When I asked him about he told me this

My understanding of this was that they teach us to work with Google and place links on websites as a way of generating income from Google

So I read into it today.. so far.. I’m really not impressed. This is a website to teach you how to act and be an affiliate for other companies. You’d get paid by whoever company sponsored the click through, but that’s not the issue. Depending on how it was advertised it seemed to give the impression that google would have some direct impact on the money made… and it sorta of does. It does it’s job. It’s a search engine.

Here is why it bothers me.

They have a section called “Landing page” This describes what would be the initial page that someone would click a link would land on. This is the page that you’d want to entice the user at home to read, and click another link to purchase from. They tell you to HIDE the link click through so people can’t see that you’re an affiliate, because people don’t like the idea that you’re acting through an affiliate. They want the money that gets generated goes directly to the company. This is true. If I see a referral link from another domain for a product. I copy the link and go directly to the website rather than using the referral click through. This is one thing that bothers me and as I have found how is EXTREMLY common place.

But these are direct copy/paste of their website.

“Some of the landing pages that you find will be quite good and will make you want to buy their affiliate products or subscribe to their ezines, while others are clearly not as good. Bookmark the good ones to help give you ideas for your own landing pages. You can collect text from these pages, but do not copy! Put your ideas into your own words. A good landing page can double or triple your profits, so this is a very important subject to master.”

Okay..this.. not so bad. It gives you an idea of what you should do and should not do. But I was disturbed by the inclination of “oh don’t copy it.. rewrite it in your own words” At first I literally thought “copyright infringement, but if this place is creditable at all they won’t suggest you do that.” Because this is just to give you ideas of how to bally a tip to get people to click it. Okay.. fine I can accept that as creditable, I could see myself doing the same and trying to figure out how to do it.

Next page

“Do not make your reviews too long, because you do not want to test your visitors’ attention spans too much. Try to make your writing lively, and do not use a great number of big words (unless they have to do with the product or service, of course).”

Are they suggesting that people are stupid? And can’t understand big words? That seems really presumptuous. Should I be offended at this? I think most people would disagree that they are stupid – although I cannot argue that as a whole the general populace seems to be lacking in the “Thinking things through before you act.” I Guess if you were stupid, and there were big words that you didn’t understand that it could be found intimidating and it might make you want to leave the page. And as the cliché says “A fool and his money….”

“In order to write your reviews, you will need to do some research on Google, so type in the product name or your keywords and then the word “review” or “reviews.” You will find a great deal of good information this way. As you are looking at the examples from your research, notice what is most effective for you and model that.”

Again, suggesting you do research other product reviews for effectiveness. Okay that makes sense, I can get behind that.

“Take the best ideas and cut and paste them into your document. Then, while looking at what others have written, put each idea into your own words and remove the text you copied from the Web. It is especially important that you do not copy directly from others, because copyright infringement is illegal, and can even get you sued! Besides, when you put something into your own words, it reflects your personality and style, which makes it more convincing.”

Okay.. hold on a second cowboy.. do what? Okay so .. we are going to do a product review of a product you’ve never seen.. or used… not only that we’re going to “Borrow” someone else’s review.. and rewrite it to make it sound like it’s yours. let’s not fail to mention that rewriting it makes it sound like more convincing. Because you know, you’re all about being an honest person here. But this is because copyright infringement is illegal.

“The easiest way to differentiate copied text from your own is to change the color of the text you have cut and pasted to red or green — while keeping your own text in black.”

And now we’re giving TIPS on how to be underhanded… this is fascinating. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

“In creating your product reviews, start with a short explanation of the product or service describing how it is the best, worst or in-between; and you may even put in your own recommendation. Use the research you did above to help you with this. Include price and other relevant information at the beginning of the review.”

So include a recommendation based on someone else’s recommendation.

“Be sure to put the affiliate product you want most to sell at the top, and be sure to make a clear distinction between the best and worst. You are trying to influence people to buy the one you think is best. If your copy is not clear, they will become confused and leave your site. Sometimes, they might buy one of the other products you reviewed — and that is okay, because you will still make money!

See now this reads to me like “put the one that will give you the biggest kickback at the top. Regardless of how crappy the product is because this is all about making money.”

“Try to find some pictures that illustrate a product or service. There are many places to look, but my favorite is Yahoo. Look at the top of the page, and you will see a search section called pictures. Click on this and type in your keywords or something that is related to your topic or product and you will find a great number of pictures (many of which are not copyrighted) that you can use freely. Google also has a pictures section.

But only try.. because apparently it’s not vitally necessary to put in much effort to rip people off. I mean.. sell a product. Short of one detail. Most pictures of most products you will want to take will be on a website that will have some kind of agreement that says that the pictures are property of them and you may not use them freely. But hey you’ve already said to steal someone else’s review and just re type it. Why not just steal their pictures too.. or would that be too obvious… perhaps that’s in lesson 2.

In order to save a picture you find on the Web to your computer, right-click your mouse and choose “save image.” Then select a file location and give the image a name that helps you to remember what it is, so that when you go to use it you will know where to find it. Be sure that any images you use are small, and fast-loading. Slow-loading pages can lose you customers and income.

That’s right… make them small so it’s harder to see the manufactory defects.

Don’t forget to put your cloaked link to the relevant affiliate sales page in each review and make the link blue, bolded and underlined. Many studies have shown that links that look like standard links are more likely to rate clicks. You can put the usual “click here to learn more” or “click here to buy now” words in your links. The only links from your landing page will be the ones that go to your affiliate program(s).

BE SURE TO CLOAK YOUR LINKS. What cloaking does is transform your complicated-looking affiliate link to a very simple one. Theres a few websites that offer free link-cloaking like, but they may not be good for you because these free sites may go down or offline for at anytime. The BEST link cloaking is one that you setup yourself, ones that you’ll find within this membership. Many people who buy online know what affiliate links look like and if they see one, they will often not click on it. You need to run your affiliate link cloaker in order to create an ordinary-looking link that goes to your affiliate program, instead of the long link you received from them. For step-by-step instructions on how to do this, go to the link cloaker section on the Web site.”

We need to hide the fact that we are being underhanded… we don’t want to get caught for copyright infringement.

“As you may be aware, the very best reviews are those that seem unbiased and honest.”

They seem honest, as honest as the guy who you stole it from, Proof positive of that!

People who read your reviews can generally tell if you are just saying nice things about the product or service with no real knowledge. It is important to develop trust between the reader and yourself. Do not just “say good things;” put in pros and cons to make your review more believable. The ability to write these types of review is also the reason it is so important for you to do a good job researching the product or service before writing the review.

Yes we need to say good things about a product we’ve never used! Why lie when you can steal someone elses.. so much better!

A testimonial landing page contains all the information that a review does, but in a style as if you are the one who uses the product or service.

Just don’t let them know that isn’t true.. because you know the whole illegal thing there.

This style is much more effective if you actually do use the product in question. The important thing with this type of landing page is to get an emotional response from readers.

That’s right you want to invoke such a heart driven response that they form a religion around your review! Such passion!

You may be appealing to their fear, greed, vanity, pride, desire for security, or the need to be wanted. The secret of effective sales writing is understanding the motivation of your audience and appealing to that motivation.

How about money? That’s a great motivation!

“As you are writing your testimonial, consider your readers and think about what may be in their minds as they are looking for information on the Web. Think of obstacles they may have in making a decision to purchase…what makes them skeptical? On the other hand, how could using this product or service make their life better or easier?

Yes as you are writing a testimonial about a product you’ve never used… think what are others out there looking for? What would make their life easier… ooh easy more money so they don’t have to work… I’ll be the people of this website stole it from someone else… that would be SOOO Easy!

“When you are writing your page, do not forget that most of your affiliate programs will have a 100% money-back guarantee, which eliminates all potential risk to the buyer. In addition, it may be useful for you to explain the security available for the buyer’s personal information protection (secured server using Clickbank or Paypal so that information does not go to the company, but to the secure server of Clickbank or Paypal).

Right because when the end consumer returns the product or gets infuriated at it’s complete lack of functionality, it’s the manufactures’ fault! Not yours! You still get your money! Screw the companies who actually higher people who have families and are trying to support them. But if they were smart they would steal everyone elses ideas! Just like you did!

Now here’s the thing. I’m sure people are going to get on my case for “copy and pasting the contents of their paid membership”

as I researched this further It came to light that they are using googles logo. And from what it looks like, it appears to be without consent. Although google may be blind to this I don’t know but I’ve alerted them.

The fact remains is that vast majority of what they are suggesting is underhanded and dishonest. But they put in fine print that you have a week to cancel…knowing that people who are looking into this kind of thing are so busy it might take them longer than a week or two to actually sit down and look at it. Such as the case my inlaws.  Is what they are doing illegal? Not necessarily, but it doesn’t make them honest, nor does it make them good people. They claim to have “Free products to offer for you to sell” but it’s something else with googles name on it. They claim to have more, but you have to upgrade to a gold membership. so I investigated the cost of that, and that was no where to be found.

Salesmen are generally really dishonest people. they will say nearly anything to make a sale because their life revolves around money. this doesn’t ring any different too me. I Feel bad for my in laws, and anyone else who has been taken advantage of.

Apple’s Tantrum

Apples latest attempt to quell the Jailbreaking rush (of which current stats are that 8.9% of all iPhones are jailbroken. oh nose!!)
Apple is saying that they are afraid that people can spoof phone numbers which would be desirable to drug dealers.

First of all, Apple should stop putting ideas into peoples heads. secondly, this has already happened. Happened to AT&T before it was taken apart by the Government for being a monopoly. That is where the bluebox from the 1950’s came from. And they should know.. they have first hand knowledge of it Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs BUILT ONE! (and they founded Apple!)

The comment from this article was made “Wasent apple founded by hackers and a captian crunch whistle?”

Despite it’s horrible spelling made me laugh, the reason why is this link right here. read the wiki history link below.

I love listening to this case, it makes Apple look ridiculous. What I picture is Apple laying on the floor kicking and screaming because individual users are one step ahead and are taking money away from them. Apple needs to realize that creating a product does not give you the right to control the software market for it and restrict any competition for it. In addition to this, creating a monopoly or trying to control every aspect of a device that is top end in it’s current technology, is going to make people want find a way around it. It creates innovation. The Type of innovation that will bite you in the ass because your being a controlling assgoblin.

And no one likes controlling assgoblins.

Edit: I spoke of this on my facebook and one of my friends (who I actually know in real life for like 13 years said the following
“Uh, spoofing numbers isn’t what perpetuates crime, and if it did it’s an easy loophole to close. Spoofing sims, listening into other peoples conversations, and making illegal online banking transfers are the latest buzz. Last time I checked, jailbraking an iPhone won’t do that, although the Nokia 1100 phones will!”

B-team suspect confirmed.

I’m sorry that this got a little ranty, these are most of the things that bother me.

If There was any further proof needed to display the fact that Blizzard B-Team is in charge, go no further than to look at the latest content patch. And the poor, poor newbie players (Yes, even you who have “been playing since beta”). Still newbie. Some would say that this is a harsh thing for me to say. But it’s true. The fact of the matter is, people who have played several games, several mmo’s and played them at any length can see how shitty wow is.

This is simply justified by several things. First of all the crafting system insufficient for it’s needs, At the higher levels, it’s just not as noticeable. Players start off with Gear which no Armor Value, and 90% of what you can pick up is gray quality (Extremely poor, and is generally looked at as “Vendor Fodder”) Many of these items, for some reason have extremely cool art… Which is honestly better than the stuff you will wear. Seriously when my mage had level 12 green quality pants that had patches in the knees as if she had a “great weekend” , and the grays have intricate designs, it’s a little ridiculous. There are grays of nearly every level in the game. However, decent gear on a per level basis is simply not available, this is extremely noticeable through the crafting system. The crafting system if you look at it. Doesn’t give you an option to craft gear for any given level. Which in this bloggers honest opinion, it should. The vast majority of items are white quality (common item — nothing nice about it, also generally considered as vendor fodder.) until you get into level 10-12 now if you look at the beginning 20 patterns for armor you’ll notice two things right away. The materials to make most of them are really unreasonable for that level, and there are no two things for the same level. So you have to be level 4 to wear the bracer’s, and level 6 to get the chest piece and level 7 to get a new pair of gloves (and now your level 4 white quality bracers are crap compared to the level 7 grays that again are considered vendor fodder.) level 8 you can make boots. The saddest thing is, you do not have the ability to collect the materials to make that level 4 item until you are level 7-10. but it’s still an upgrade so you wear it.  You can’t get shoulders that aren’t gray until level 20, and finding a helmet BEFORE that is neigh to impossible, I do not think they made one. This is how it is for the entire crafting system, for all classes in all armor unless you can get some poor unfortunate person to run an instance for you several times to get upgraded gear that is meant for your level you’re never going to see any.

Secondarily, Getting the required materials to MAKE items for your character AT your level is also really really difficult. (as I said earlier requirements are stupid insanely high.) I have a level 23 horde mage, of the blood elf variety. I took Tailoring as a profession. The reason is so I can make my own bags, and armor. However, at level 20 I ended up going out and buying more cloth to LEVEL my Tailoring high enough to make 1 piece of gear that is equal to my level. In addition to the gear you get in questing is several levels BELOW the required level to do the quest, and a level 25 Mob, Drops a level 19 or lower item. So in order to actually attempt to make gear to keep yourself in decent gear (pre level 20) is to either farm for the materials which is really time consuming, buy it on the auction house — which is really expensive, and you’ll run yourself out of the money so that you will not be able to train new armor patterns, which again are really too expensive to begin with. Or the last option is, you get a friend or an alt who can mass farm an instance to get it for you.

Training costs:

Training expensive, for everything, wither It be skills, profession or repairs, is really expensive. Everything costs a lot; And If you wear plate or mail armor, the expense is worse. This keeps the low end of the community really poor. Thus making the above situation with the crafting, really difficult, you do have to farm for everything. One way or another you farm for it. You farm for reputation, you farm for money, you farm for armor, you farm for Achievement, you farm for materials. (Blizz should just issue everyone an epic John Deer Tractor Mount.)

Durability is a good conceptual idea. The whole point is that it’s a money sink, it’s a place where if you are questing, raiding, PVP, or just doing the cooking daily eventually you will have to repair. The problem is the extremes, The cost to repair mail vrs cloth in the first 30 levels is negligible. When you hit 30, the difference starts to sky rocket. If you are unfortunate enough to wear plate at 40 the difference sky rockets again, and you make money at the same rate of speed as the clothie. This is simply another money sink, another place to throw your cash. A required place mind you. With this, there are gems to buy, glyphs to buy, materials or components to buy for your spells/skills (required mind you.) so until you hit max level, getting any form of gold, which is hard enough in itself is ridiculous. In addition to this, blizzard has said that certain stats on armor are worthless, and are there as “filler.”

These are all pretty standard for this game, any one player of World of Warcraft who sits back and thinks about it cannot dispute with this. Now here is the part where nearly every WoW player is completely blind.

WoW is putting out crap content. This last patch we got access to a live event that will typically not happen until the following month of May. The game is Gear dependent. You spend your time farming for Armor, wither it’s through mining the materials or killing for the cloth or leather – or you run endless instances you spend your time to get gear. So you can go into a new raid instance, then you farm the raid instance for yet, more gear. The major thing for me up to this point has been story line. Blizzard had a habit of putting a storyline into their instances so they had something for everyone. Each one was unique, there was a smaller 10 man version, and a harder 25 man version. The 25 man version gave better gear, but the main point of the instances has been to get gear. With BC they gave us Tokens that you can turn in for gear, it’s not as nice, but it’s an upgrade for most people.

With this patch, that has changed. The latest set of instances they are doing take a lot less people.

There is a 5 man, 10 man, 25 man instance. Each one has a normal, and heroic version. The heroic version drops tokens, that you collect then use them as currency to buy better gear. (again Gear based.)

However the caveat to all of these is that the loot that drops in 5 man normal, and 5 man heroic, is identical. The difference is the tokens that drop. Where it takes upwards of 35-100 tokens for a semi decent piece of armor. (Look more farming!) Which is crap in comparison. But unless you spend the time to get the tokens to get the gear you can’t do the harder ones. Which again, the difference between 25 man normal, and 25 man heroic, is only the tokens. The gear that drops in loot (which at this point is far more valuable than the tokens. ) is generally overpowered. Now because it’s the SAME instance, with the same mobs, and the same tactics, and the same loot, and the 25 man normal is SIGNIFCANTLY easier. Then there is no point to do the harder raids. It’s the same small room , with the same scripts and npcs the only difference is the difficult of the mobs and the gear the same. The rest is worthless. The Rest of it are daily kill quests. Which wouldn’t take that long to do. The only thing that taxed Blizzard for this content patch is the art assests. Most of that is armor, the rest is moot. This was a filler content patch, nothing else. They temporarily enabled a world event, gave us an arena, which is nothing spectacular, and some daily quests. Players who have not played any other MMO’s cannot see that this is the true beginning of where Blizzard is throwing in the towel on WoW. It’s their self sustaining cash cow. People get addicted to farming. Because they had to have something, the interesting is, once they released their first expansion, people stopped doing the classic WoW content. So they put in an achievement system, which is for bragging rights to give people a reason to go back and do it. This again is to absorb player time, so they can prolong the decline of their player base.

I’m not saying that WoW will fail. In fact it will thrive for quite some time, most of this is because people who started MMO’s with WoW, will go play other games, and cite that they are “lame” and “rip-offs” and “copies” of WoW. When Blizzard has not done ANYTHING unique. Everything they have done, someone else did first. They are not the best, they only had an already, extremely popular IP going for them. WoW is NOT a good game. It is designed for people who do not have any responsibilities, or a family. Or people who do not care about them, everything is a time consuming task. Instances take 1-4 hours to complete.

The game won’t fail and fall on its face. But Blizzard already did, people are not able to see it for what it is.

And to think, I’ve not even start on the fact that they’ve overpowered the gear so much, that instead of nerfing gear stats, they are nerfing classes.  Making leveling far to difficult, therefore Further propagating the whole crafting/loot/leveling issue.