A Pile of Dog Bones


“In each of us two natures are at war… the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them, but one of them must conquer. In our own hands lies the power to choose. What we want most to be we are.” – Dr. Henry Jekyll

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Battle of the Blogs Controversy

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I may take a lot of flack for this… hell I may even find myself on the short end of the readership stick for touching it… but if there is a controversy we have opinions on… and bloggers suddenly become afraid to comment on it… then why bother to blog???

As most people know, I am a member of BlogExplosion. BlogExplosion is a traffic exchange where members earn credits and then are able to direct other members to their blogs to read them. BlogExplosion is very innovative in what they offer, and to date, I believe them to be the best blog specific traffic exchange out there.

One of their traffic tools is something called Battle of the Blogs. In Battle of the Blogs, bloggers wager a number of credits against another blog, 15 users vote, and the winner gets 75% of the credits, 25% is split to those who voted, and the loser… well… they got in theory 15 people to view their blog.

Here is a screen shot of the front page of the BOTB page:


As you can see, the theory behind it is explained right away. Blogs are represented by the thumbnail on file with BE. Now once a challenge is accepted, the voting begins. You can vote by clicking further down the page on a battle which then takes you to this screen:


This screen in my opinion is never read. As you can see, it says you must view both blogs before voting, it goes over the credit distribution part once again, and finally and MOST importantly it specifically says, “Battle of the Blogs is designed for BlogExplosion members to have some fun. Remember members have worked hard for their credits so decide your vote fairly based on blog design, the quality of the blog content, and overall which blog you feel is a better blog!

I participate in BOTB, and I vote on a lot of them since it is a good way to earn credits that will build up while I may not be able to surf for them (since you only get the credits upon completion of the battle). Recently I have seen a number of posts and mentions about cheaters. Now… here’s something I know has occurred in the past. Usually the more credits being wagered means the faster a battle will occur. I know there is cheating when I do a 30 credit battle that ends in two minutes while 60 credit battles continue to collect votes for over five.

Does that make me mad? Sure it does. Not only do I lose credits, and standing in the rankings but I am also cheated on the 15 views I should have gotten. Will I lose sleep over it? Oh hell no!!! Remember that second page and “…members to have some fun.” So, I just won’t battle that blog anymore. If I leave an open challenge, well it is a calculated risk to face that blog again but it is a risk I’ll take since I can make the credits up relatively quickly by voting and surfing.

So why have I not mentioned this before? Well because I never really thought it was that important. BE has a bunch of measures in place to try and prevent the cheating (including allowing only one vote per IP Address), and to their credit they continue on improving it as they further develop the site. Then I read a post on a blog called Dawn and Night during one of these battles. Now Dawn and Night has a little more significance to me than just any blog… because Dawn was a referral of mine who was actually using BE and earning me some extra credits without me lifting a finger. Her post was “exposing cheaters who only vote for each other”. She went on to describe how she was approached via e-mail to join them and listed 6 out of a reported 15 user names of bloggers that were suspected to be part of the group.

There were two things that really irked me about the post. First, she claimed to be a BE member for over a month and a half… which is an outright lie since I know she joined in early February. The other thing that irked me was the fact she turned around and listed these 6 names… with a reported other 9 secret members she hadn’t figured out yet and claimed that she was a “Christian woman” who felt the need to expose them. Really Christian to lie about how long you've been at BE.

Call it a cabal, call it a gang, call it an alliance, hell call it whatever you want… but those people aren’t cheaters. If you look at any of their blogs, they each appear in one another’s blogroll. They are all active bloggers who make mention of each other and have undoubtedly developed friendships. I know that through blogging I too have developed friendships. I know that for me personally I will in all likelihood vote for someone who I am friends with on BOTB as opposed to a complete stranger with a standard Blogger Template. The fact a few of them tried to organize does not make them cheaters… since NOWHERE in the screens above or anywhere I have looked has BE said “Thou shalt not organize into a blogging voting block with friends”. If I’m wrong, I will gladly post where it says that.

Someone will probably say, well how do you know she was really contacted by e-mail. I know because so was I. In fact, I was contacted a few times by what seems to be different groups. Have I joined them? No. My reasoning is relatively simple. I would prefer to have the ability to vote for a blog I like as opposed to committing into an alliance and having to vote for a blog at the time I may not feel is the better blog. That is my personal opinion and a choice I freely make since I see BOTB as more of an entertainment thing than an active competition.

If you can’t tell by my ranking… I lose a vast majority of the time in BOTB. If people don’t like my blog, well I really couldn’t care less. It’s like I said when I got smacked by Princess Pottymouth, I agreed with the dumbass graphic that needed to be changed but I like the black background and white text look I have going. To a large extent… I need to be happy with my blog too… not try to make everyone else happy to vote for me in a game for fun.

I would link to Dawn and Night… but apparently her blog has now disappeared entirely. Perhaps she took a hit from criticism of her abrupt and misleading post. I even searched Blog Spot for it and came up empty-handed. While I don’t agree with her post… I do feel saddened for her… because dropping out of the blogosphere ultimately will probably cost her the possibility of friendships she may have enjoyed.

This post turned out much longer than I originally intended. I guess I should have mentioned I was getting on a soapbox at the start. Sorry to those who find my opinion offensive… but I do not apologize for writing it. Afterall… I am the King of Drama… and hopefully now I can add the Prince of Controversy!!!

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Posted by New York City's Watchdog :: 2/18/2006 02:25:00 PM :: :: 28 Bones Added to the Pile

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