As anyone who actually runs their own blog will tell you we, as blog owners/Admins, have an Admin panel through which we can do a bunch of back end things like write posts and other good stuff like that. We also get to see how much traffic we are getting and where it is coming from and, one of things I really like, what keyword searches result in visits to our sites. I often look through the search engine terms that have brought traffic in and when I see something odd I’ll enter the exact same search term into Google to see how that term resulted in a hit to my site. The most curious example I can give you would be ‘shitting on a glass table’. I kid you not. That search term brought in 1 visitor to my site and to be fair it didn’t take me more than 20 seconds to figure out why but I digress so before I wander completely off topic I’ll get on with the post.
I was looking at a particular search term that was captured yesterday and eventually it led me to a post on another blog that was openly criticising this blog. As I’m a benevolent kinda guy I don’t mind linking out to the blog in question but to save hopping back and forth between here and there I’ll reprint the whole post below entitled When is a blog not a blog? lifted from Soccerdude.
“When is a blog not a blog?
Answer: when it becomes a weird losers forum for the twisted, vindictive, mindless individuals who surely have no home life, no friends, and absolutely no edge in the betting game.
What am I on about? Well, I pop onto the Betfair forum every now and then, even though it is serious decline and is seemingly about to become completely moribund. Anyway, when I did have a look recently, I saw there was the usual break-out of spats between the various childish people on there – with one long-running argument between a couple of people who seem to have nothing better to do than spend all their time on the forum. Jesus, do these people even have time for betting?
I think I signed up for the Betfair forum at the beginning of 2008, and in those five years I think I’ve made less than 200 posts. But there are posters on the BF forum who have only signed-up a few months and yet have thousands of posts, and appear to have opinions on absolutely everything.
Don’t ask me why, but I did revisit the forum again recently, and noticed that one of these individuals, a particularly sad specimen who used to trawl any running thread to see where he could make trouble, had managed to get himself banned from the forum.
Swearbox from the blog The Expat Punter, and someone who also managed to get himself banned from the Betfair forum, posted an entry on this individual (HERE) – and it duly sparked a running flame war in the comments section of that post that continues even now. There are now over 800 comments for Swearbox’s post, including multiple comments from the subject of the post, who of course has nowhere else to peddle his poisonous views.
So now that blog has seemingly turned into a mini-forum of some description – although I do warn you. Don’t spend more than three or four minutes reading the absolute shite in there as it will surely melt you brain. Talk about old women, it’s unbelievable. Backwards and forwards, going over the same ground time upon time. It’s breathtaking how much time some people are willing to dedicate to absolutely nothing.”
It’s fair to say we’re all entitled to our own opinions and I’m not shy when it comes to expressing my own so this post is my response to Soccerdude’s comments above. When I started this blog I genuinely thought that I would be doing myself a favour in that if I was going to publish some of my day to day betting endeavours for all to see it would force me to be a bit more disciplined. But I wanted this to be more than just a P&L blog…nothing is more boring than reading a couple of lines saying whether someone was up or down for the day/week/month…so I tried (and still do try) to write engaging posts that aren’t difficult to read.
As a Betfair exchange user and an active member of the Betfair forum it was inevitable that my experiences there would get written about on here, and I’m talking about BEFORE I got banned from the forum. AFTER I got banned I had plenty to say on the subject but I won’t revisit that as there’s enough been written in other posts on here for those who care to look. Following my current ban there was a lot of unfinished business to attend to. Some folk were dragging my name through the mud on the forums safe in the knowledge that I couldn’t respond to them so I took to crafting my responses on here and, leveraging the help of friends who could still access the forum, get my comments in front of the noses of my detractors. I also took advantage of the fact that I had other usernames that hadn’t been associated with my swearbox account to get some of my messages published.
Following ‘Swearbox”s ban there came the famous fuck up where Betfair altered the forum code so that anyone could change their forum username and once word got out there was a rush to get in on the action. A rush that I am proud to say I took no part in as I knew it would spell trouble. Several bans were dished out as a result of taking advantage of this name changing feature and to this day there are some posters who unfortunately now have to put up with a forum name they probably don’t want…the forumite currently known as ‘718’ will probably bear me out on this.
So we entered a time where a record number of forumites were now banned as a result of the incident above plus the inexorable increase in casualties due to grassing and reporting. Then, out of the blue, I had occasion back in May 2012 to write a post specifically aimed at Bob Vegas which was short and to the point and it was that post that appeared to fire up people’s interest in commenting. A couple of months later I wrote the post about the suspension of new forum registrations and things went ballistic…1648 comments on that post alone to date. It got around that people who no longer have a voice on the forums can say their piece on here without the threat of expulsion or being grassed up. Apart from a handful of times I’ve let posters say what they want, the exceptions being some unpleasantness aimed towards Bob Vegas that was totally stupid and uncalled for (and the posters were given plenty of heads up beforehand that if they persisted I’d have to boot them out).
So here we are today with what amounts to a ‘mini-forum’ as Soccerdude puts it. If I could I would attach a forum to this blog as using the comments for forum style communication isn’t the best way forward but alas this is a free WordPress blog and plugins aren’t allowed. I’ll agree that many of the comments posted are childish and repetitive but you take the rough with the smooth. I, and the rest of the banned guys, see it as a way of communicating with forum folk that we couldn’t otherwise talk to. Since Bob V got the boot he’s been like part of the furniture here and while he rarely gets anything nice said about him he does still get attention which is great as far as I’m concerned because it keeps this blog in the public eye. Same rules apply for the individual alluded to in Soccerdude’s post (Hejik). There is a tremendous amount of lurking going on here if my stats are anything to go by so that in and of itself tells me something draws people here so it’s either my riveting blog posts or the childish spats taking place within the comments. I’d like to think it was the former but in my heart of hearts I know why people come here daily…it’s not because I’m a prolific poster that’s for sure.
Following Soccerdude’s post the very well respected Cassini weighed in with his comments over on his blog and I echo his sentiments that the BF forum is pretty much a complete waste of time these days (and here’s me with designs on planning a return). It used to be a great place, lively, some genuinely interesting threads, but the good posters are either banned or forced into the shadows to avoid having an ‘alter ego’ banned after the mods link their accounts. I do have the ear of one of the movers and shakers at TSE and I’ve communicated to him that if things carry on the way they have been going then I can see Betfair doing a Betdaq and dumping the forum altogether but he’s convinced me that isn’t going to happen. Again I’m digressing so back to the topic.
I have posted a comment on Soccerdude’s blog following his post but as yet it’s gone unanswered but hopefully he’ll get round to addressing it sometime. I just hope that his readers won’t be put off coming here from time to time as I do actually try to be engaging and interesting. I’m sure when he says “Don’t spend more than three or four minutes reading the absolute shite in there as it will surely melt you brain” he’s referring to some of the comments as I’d be pretty miffed it that wasn’t the case. Going forward though there’s no changes going to be made, so come one come all, read, inwardly digest and comment if you like or just lurk if you prefer.