Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Who's Got 'Shares' in Your Blog?

Taking a look at my site statistics is often a journey of discovery. How many visitors, where do they come from, and what weird and wonderful searches* find me here. A week or so ago I was intrigued by a visit from a site called blogshares. My initial thought was my content was being ripped off again, but the reality turned out to be quite different. Remember my Blogsworth story and comment follow-up? Well, blogshares turns out to be a variant on that theme. I haven't researched the site in great depth as my brain started to melt a little the more I read, but it turns out there's a fantasy shares game based on blogs instead of companies.

It seems it started out as an academic exercise, which then turned into a more widely played game. Nearly eight million blogs are being tracked and registered players get a 'fund' of $5 million to invest. Blogs are categorised into Industries: thus gardening blogs can be found under Hobbies/Gardening & Horticulture - there's just 247 listed thus far, so they've got a lot of catching up to do. It looks like the only way a blog can be added is for someone playing the blogshares game to submit them - who did mine I wonder? There are rules for acceptance (e.g. it must be a real live blog - not an aggregator or one without a fresh post in the last 6 months) and once accepted the game's spider assesses the blog for its initial worth. These are based on incoming and outgoing links in some way and it looks like links to/from blogs already in the game are the only ones which count.

A blog has 5,000 shares, 1,000 of which are reserved for the blog's owner. This is where I get a bit annoyed. My blog's not up for sale and is totally owned by me. Yet in the game a certain Corporal Kickyourass holds an 80% stake in my blog. His strapline's Your ass is grass and I am the lawnmower! My annoyance turned to giggling at this point (especially when I found his profile photo) and of course I couldn't resist looking at my 'valuation'.

From what I can tell the game's got a lot more to it than just the trading of shares. They're even trying to simulate elements of the real world such as introducing a 'fiscal stimulation package'. However, I'm not going to take part - I may even request my blog to be withdrawn if I can - so there's no point in studying it that closely. I may look at it from time to time, because of course it's another great way of finding other blogs - gardening or otherwise.

Are you intrigued enough to have a look? Is your blog listed? Are you happy with your 'valuation' and blog 'owners'? ;) Be warned if you do take a look: a lot of the pages (particularly share profiles etc.) look like they're blank with just adverts down the side. There's quite a bit of scrolling down needed before you hit the information. The site's design isn't that pretty...

Update: You can remove your blog from the list - Compostwoman left the following comment which I'd like to share with you:

To have your blog removed from BlogShares, you must send the request to support@blogshares.com. You will need to prove that you are the author/owner of the blog before we remove it. This may include temporarily adding a small text to a specific part of the blog, profile page, or other area worked out between you and the administrators of BlogShares.

Retrieved from "http://blogshares.com/wikihelp/Claim_Blog

Thanks for the information Compostwoman :)


* = how about this search: I want to go to the Isle of Wight on the Monday afternoon ferry what time does it leave and how do I get there? Sadly I was no help at all as they landed on my Sandbanks ferry collage.

21 comments:

  1. Hi VP, I went there for a tour but honestly I didn't grasp what it's all about. I found my blog and yours and a lot of numbers...weird.

    Tyra

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  2. Weird. I don't really get the whole "fantasy this or that" game--whether it is football or garden blogs...

    OTOH, I have just figured out Facebook, so I'm generally pretty clueless about stuff! LOL!

    I don't think I'd like someone "trading" on my blog, though. :-/

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  3. I found this, and have emailed them...I do NOT like this kind of stuff and don't want my blog involved!

    "To have your blog removed from BlogShares, you must send the request to support@blogshares.com. You will need to prove that you are the author/owner of the blog before we remove it. This may include temporarily adding a small text to a specific part of the blog, profile page, or other area worked out between you and the administrators of BlogShares.

    Retrieved from "http://blogshares.com/wikihelp/Claim_Blog"

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  4. Well, that's just weird. I don't like the sound of it at all. I'm not even looking; I doubt I'd be there and that would raise a whole load of complex emotions - why am I not there? Is my blog not worthy? But I don't want to be there and if I was, it wouldn't be for long!! Aarghh, confusing!!!

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  5. Tyra - I've just about grasped what I've summarised here, but there's a whole lot more I didn't bother with.

    Susan - I don't either. Fantasy football (aka soccer) is very popular over here. There was even a TV programme about it at one point. I haven't figured out Facebook yet :(

    Compostwoman - thanks for that - I and I'm sure others reading this post will find that most useful. I'll update my post accordingly.

    Carrie - don't worry, this game's not about whether your blog is 'worthy' or not. It's not a measure of quality, just the number of links in your blog. New bloggers will always be at a disadvantage, simply because a) someone in the game has to notice a blog and submit it first, so the chances of that happening increase the longer you blog for and b) new blogs won't have lots of posts with links in them yet - if you do links of course. Judging by the links shown in my share profile it looks like the game's spider doesn't just take your sidebar links into account. I also believe this game will be biased towards Blogger blogs as Blogger is more link friendly than WordPress is.

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  6. Hi VP, thanks for the head's up about yet another weird thing on the internet involving our very personal and owned by us blogs. I checked it out, found out I was bought just yesterday by someone, checked them out and well, it is not worth my time. I have enough worry about those stealing my posts and photos. This seems harmless and like you found out, sort of difficult to get taken off and not worth my time. What do you think?
    Frances

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  7. Hi Frances,

    It's a game this time, thank goodness. Whether it's worth your time on removing it depends on how strongly you feel about it I guess. I reckon the risk of content/photo stealing from this source is relatively low as I suspect 'owners' aren't really getting to know their purchases like regular blogggers/blog readers do. However, the risk is still there.

    Personally I don't want my blog listed as I feel strongly that my blog is mine, not someone else's - even if it's a game. Also, the site's rather shoddy, so I don't really want to be associated with it for that reason.

    I see they also have adverts, so expect there is a revenue earning aspect for the site even though our content isn't being used. Just using links along will be enough to make this site rank high in internet searches and thus potentially earn more for the site's owners in revenue. That might be sufficient for you to want to have your blog removed, though of course removing 1 blog in 8 million isn't going to make much difference to them.

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  8. Sorry, that should say just using links alone, not along - it's about time I started proof reading my comments isn't it?

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  9. Hi VP, thanks for the long and short answers. This seems harmless to me, content stealing is what gets my ire up and these people are doing something else it seems. I have resized my photos and inserted the blog name in them all so even stolen work will show who owns them. This site also showed the old blogger blog, I think it is the same deal as what is your blog worth. There are many similarities to that site and the info they use is the same. Fantasy Football, of the American type, not futbol, or footie, HA is huge here. The whole thing is silly to me, and I don't care who owns my shares, it is all fantasy. Imagine if you were David Beckham, and the players owned you, a similar thing. HA
    Frances

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  10. Hi Frances - thanks for you level headed response to all of this. I'd noticed you'd started 'marking' your photo's re copyright - an idea I'm thinking of doing too.

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  11. As my husband would say, these people have WAY too much time on their hands.

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  12. I've not looked at Blogshares in ages but I notice that my blog Flightbuff which I moth-balled in September 2007 is still listed on there! xx

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  13. This is probably a very basic question, but - what are your site statistics, and how do you find them to check them? People keep talking about them and I haven't a clue where mine are!

    My wv today is suppery - slice of toast and a mug of hot chocolate, anyone?

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  14. Good Grief VP - You do take us to some weird and and wonderful places.
    There stats will be wondering where all these hits are from.
    (Fortunately my stats are so basic I don't have these worries)

    I did click to look at the site - but once there I just thought
    Crikey and left
    ;)
    K

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  15. What rum goings on there are in cyberspace :) I doubt if my blog has been public long enough to be part of such a bizarre game, but if it was I would be asking for it to be removed !

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  16. Bizarre, I say, and unsettling, as well.

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  17. For heaven's sake, what next? My OLD Soliloquy from way back in 2002 is listed. It's been inactive since 2004 at least. I don't even use the same URL. Someone got a bum deal. :)

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  18. That bloggles the mind! It truly does.

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  19. I get my panties in a twist over people stealing your stuff--no need to explain how much I rant about such things but I guess this seems harmless. I haven't looked yet but will because I'm nosey.

    I don't see how people are so busy. I did twitter for awhile and got so hopelessly lost that I gave up. I guess I like to post a lot on my blog and no way I can have another conversation going in elsewhere. Bravo to those that can.

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  20. I'd never heard of this. How weird! I recently was asked to have my blog on a health related website, and almost did, but when I read about them having rights over my blog, I told them I changed my mind.

    I recently discovered a place called Feedage has my blog on it. I don't have ads on my blog, but there are ads there. I keep forgetting to find out why it's there, and if I should try to remove it.

    I have noticed in my sitemeter, that there are some who have come to my blog from places the links say I don't have access to. I'm not sure where that's from, though, because I don't think many have used Feedage. What do you know about that?

    Sue

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  21. MMD - I think your hubby's right!

    Flighty & Nancy - so it looks like the spider checks that the blog has a post within the last 6 months, but fails to keep checking!

    Juliet - you have to put them on there yourself. See my visitor count in my left hand sidebar? that's what I'm using. I think I need to email you to tell you more. Toast and chocolate? MMmmm, yes please!

    Karen - the first time I went in there I thought crikey and left too! I only revisited purely for blogpost research you understand ;)

    Anna, Alice and Monica - yes it's very strange isn't it!

    Anna - I haven't 'got' what Twitter's about yet. We're all supposed to be stopping blogging and 'microblogging' (like you do on Twitter) instead. But I'd find it hard to stick to just 140 characters or whatever...

    Sue - I remember your post about that and I don't blame you for your refusal to join. Feedage sounds like one of those reposting sites that nicks your content so they can coin in advertising revenue. Avoid. Like the plague. Re your links mystery could they be from private blogs?

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