Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
 
Do not buy gold guides!

Earlier this year a fellow blogger named Markco asked me to have a look at his WoW economics blog, and whether I would allow him to do a guest post on this blog. I had a look at his blog, which looked interesting enough, and allowed his guest post, which created a lot of traffic on his blog. Once he was well established and got lots of visitors, Markco transformed his blog: It was now not only offering WoW economics advice, but was also selling Markco's gold guide. Markco then repeatedly pestered me to promote his gold guide, promising I would make a lot of money. I refused. I do consider gold guides to be the very worst deal you can make on the internet, as you are basically paying for information which you can easily get for free at many places. Buying a gold guide is actually more stupid than buying gold. I am not promoting gold guides, and I considered Markco's bait-and-switch blog to be a clever, but shady and underhand way to quickly attract lots of visitors.

Now you would never again have heard of Markco on this blog, if it wasn't for Gevlon. Markco approached Gevlon with several shady offers designed to promote Markco's gold guide. And Gevlon, while probably not considered the most upstanding citizen of the MMO blogosphere, is intelligent enough to see through scams like that. Actually being anti-social makes scam detection easier, as they are based on social engineering, which is something which simply doesn't work on Gevlon. Gevlon posted his experience with Markco here, and called me as a witness, after Markco mentioned my refusal to cooperate in a mail to Gevlon. I am happy to comply. Selling gold guides is bad enough by itself, but using various underhand ways to promote them, and promising affiliates unrealistic sums they'll never receive is downright repugnant.

Do not buy gold guides! There are dozens of WoW economics blogs which are considerably more up to date, and give better information for free than you are likely to find in any gold guide you had to pay $20 for.
Comments:
And if we look to the right we can see someone who does not know his target in the slightest.
 
Maybe I should start charging for my "Leveling a Paladin Guide" lol.

Will you be my affliate? Please!!

At least the whole little spat is entertaining.
 
/Applause
 
So you're promoting him by making another post about him? The best thing to do would be to pass this by in silence. Posting his name will probably lead to more people going to his site to see what's up, which could potentially lead to more sales.
 
"I do consider gold guides to be the very worst deal you can make on the internet, as you are basically paying for information which you can easily get for free at many places"

FAIL

You all (and I mean all the gurus on the 10-20 wow economic blogs out there) are allways talking about "opportunity cost"... have you tried thinking that you are not paying for free information BUT paying for the time you don't have to spend doing that research!?...Yes, I'm sure you have think about it. It's like saying "man, how can you buy donuts!?..when you can buy the reagents and cook them in your kitchen for a fraction of the price!!"...come on.
 
If Markco wants to sell a gold guide in whatever fashion he wants on his site, go nuts. But starting scummy and disingenuous bullying of other bloggers is simply detestable.
 
I used to do the How I WoW podcast and we had Marcko as a guest on our show. I also hung out a little with Marcko in person at Blizzcon this past year.

I'm not going to comment on any of the exchanges between Marcko and Tobolod or Gevlon, since they don't involve me. But I will say that my personal interactions with Marcko have been very pleasant. He was on our show for an hour conversation and we barely talked about his gold guide, and that was only at our prompting if I remember correctly.

After the show he gave me access to his gold guide to look at and it is a good guide that he puts a lot of work into. It is not simply recommendations of specific items to buy and sell. It covers strategies and concepts in a very readable and engaging manner.

Would I buy it? No. But I suppose some people would pay for a condensed version of tips, strategies and lessons in making gold that could be gleaned from a handful of free sources.

In addition to his blog and his guide, Marcko provides forums were some excellent discussion happens.

Maybe his personal emails to Gevlon and Tobold were questionable. I don't know. But I do know that Marcko is taking a lot of heat and I don't think all of it is deserved.
 
I had the opportunity to meet Marcko in person at Blizzcon, back when I was still working with WCradio. One of his friends or co-writer, or whatever, was picked up by the station (which, in retrospect, was another sign of the station's rather lacking policies) and he said that he'd love for me to guest write on his blog if I'd promote it on my show.




My show was a discussion of Warcraft lore with a literary bent. While I have more than a passing knowledge in economic theory, I felt his scheme was a bit slimy, though I never had a chance to take him up on the offer before I was let go from my podcast for other reasons. Just goes to show you the kind of company people like that keep.
 
We haven't had this much blogosphere drama since the outing of Ferraro, who wasn't really THE Ferraro who started the blog, and was using images of someone who never was Ferraro in any way, shape or form.

I just fear the vigilantes that are going to create hell for Markco at work. Could get VERY ugly.
 
Tobold, really, no good can come from sticking your foot into this mess. Let the greasy goblins duke it out, I thought you were above this nonsense.

If there were a ranking system, this post would get a solid t-down.
 
While I don't condone shady underhanded tactics of promotion for anything, I don't think gold guides are in and of themselves unethical. They're an informational source, pure and simple. While the information is available for free, people have to do their own research. A gold guide is a compilation. How much that convenience is worth is up to the consumer.

However, gold guides have one big problem aside from reliability of the information contained within them, and that is longevity. While the basic principles of WoW economics change, the various tricks of the trade change with every patch. A gold guide therefore has an expiration date of a month or two at best. Something to keep in mind.
 
I was going to comment thanking you for bringing light to this. It all seems to fit perfectly now but it appears Markco has deleted his blog.
 
hate, hate, hate.

Poor chap is just trying to get a his hustle on and make a few bucks.
 
"I do consider gold guides to be the very worst deal you can make on the internet, as you are basically paying for information which you can easily get for free at many places."

Gold guides don't have any more information then the various wow econ blogs. The wow econ blogs have varying quality, and following some of them blindly can hurt you. Same for the gold guides, but the gold guides don't have comment forums pointing out flaws in the info. So they are a bit worse. Gold guides might be better organized, and better laid out as a how to.

In other words, there isn't much reason to buy them if you can read blogs. I totally agree with the statement "gold guides are a poor deal, $20 for an item of no value if you read blogs, and $20 for a hope at not having to read blogs if for some reason you prefer a PDF"

(not far dissimilar to "cook books are a bad deal, here look at these 35 recipe sites!"...except...as you say, gold guides go out of date fairly quickly, a good cookie recipe is forever)

But....but...but...worst deal on the internet? Paying $20 for a item of marginal value is a much better deal then handing over your bank details in the hopes of keeping part of a smuggled fortune and really just losing all the money you have.

Paying $20 for a poorly reworded list of ideas stolen from gevlon's blog would still be a better deal then paying for fake viagra that might poison you, and could land you with a jail stay (or is that fake oxycoton? I can never remember what lands you in jail vs. the hospital).

Paying $20 for a vaguely useful guide is surely better then paying $300 for that fantastic looking sofa off of ebay and getting nothing at all (or free fleas!).

$20 for a gold guide is also better then a $20 "how to get chicks" guide too, since it will be significantly less embarrassing to fail to make gold using outdated methods then to roll up with pick up lines straight from the 1970s (see not all the "worse deals" involve fraud, or at least not what would legally count as fraud)

There are thousands of worse deals on the internet then gold guides.
 
There are thousands of worse deals on the internet then gold guides.

Yes, you are right, I exaggerated here. I was only thinking of WoW-related internet offers, and even there there are probably worse scams, which leave your character naked and your bank empty.
 
I was alright with the ads on his site, and the gold guide in general.


Imo, the emails he sent Gevlon,(and i can't verify, but if he is using the forum information for gold guide profit), is way beyond slimy.
 
"Yes, you are right, I exaggerated here."

No problem, all is forgiven. In fact if you send me your account details I'll hook you up with a cataclysm test account! :-)


"I was only thinking of WoW-related internet offers, and even there there are probably worse scams, which leave your character naked and your bank empty."

Surely you don't mean my fine upstanding offer! :-)
 
This is wrong and you know it. You're promoting the attacking of myself personally on all levels of my life.

I'm already receiving threats from misinformed people who believed everything mr greedy goblin said.

I'd be lieing if I said I wasn't terrified by this. Not just for myself but the people I love.

It's true I sell a gold guide and I enjoy doing it. I didn't ask him to lie about my guide, if you read the letter I said I wanted him to honestly and whole heartedly advertise it.

This just goes to show you how quickly people will run for their pitch forks without digesting all the information, and how dangerous a mob mentality really is.

Look at my blog, look at my forums, email me and see my detailed responses to an unlimited number of questions from people looking for help. Then you decide who to believe.
 
A lot of non-fiction is filled with information that can be found on the net if you look hard and long enough. What makes these works worth while though (besides being the result of a lot of research) are the unique or at least valuable insights of an expert, sharp wit, enjoyable writings style, and opinions that hit nails on heads. Stuff that makes you actually think. So with this in mind -combined with the fact that a lot of people are lazy by nature-, putting a wow (gold) guide on the market doesnt necessarily equate scam perse. In fact you can build a whole business on game guides (Prima).

Since i am not familiar with Markco's work, its not possible for me to judge it. What i can judge though is the wisdom of his 'marketing campaign'. Markco is probably a reasonably smart guy but approaching your and Gevlons blogs is a mistake. And responding to Gevlons first e-mail, well, that can only be described as the result of a blackout of epic proportions.
 
This is wrong and you know it. You're promoting the attacking of myself personally on all levels of my life. I'm already receiving threats from misinformed people who believed everything mr greedy goblin said. I'd be lieing if I said I wasn't terrified by this. Not just for myself but the people I love. It's true I sell a gold guide and I enjoy doing it. I didn't ask him to lie about my guide, if you read the letter I said I wanted him to honestly and whole heartedly advertise it. This just goes to show you how quickly people will run for their pitch forks without digesting all the information, and how dangerous a mob mentality really is. Look at my blog, look at my forums, email me and see my detailed responses to an unlimited number of questions from people looking for help. Then you decide who to believe.

What exactly do you think is wrong here? Are you claiming the picture Gevlon shows of your e-mail is fake, or he faked the text he typed after the picture?

Having personally received offers of, and I quote "easy $2000+ a month" from you, to me the text represented as coming from you seemed perfectly in line with your usual sales pitch. Another quote from one of your mails to me: "I can understand why a lot of webmasters feel that they will lose readership for having advertisements. The secret is that your ads are completely ignored by your regular readers since they don't buy anything anyway. It's the random new people that are just browsing through that you want to sell to.", which is exactly the same argument Gevlon says you used with him.

Apart from quoting your letters, I don't actually see a personal attack on all levels of your life in Gevlon's text (although some of the commenters are less nice). Gevlon deconstructs your marketing tricks, and states he doesn't believe he would make as much money as you said. Well, I share his disbelief. And I don't believe your statement that my regular readers would just ignore me putting up adds. What if I had accepted your offer, and after a month found out you lied about the money, and half of my regular readers left? By the time I take down the ad, my reputation would be shot, and you'd be laughing all the way to the bank.

I can understand why you'd object against Gevlon showing your real name and workplace, but maybe you shouldn't have used your workplace e-mail to promote your gold guide.
 
What's wrong is the blatant accusations that I am both lying and attempting to deceive my audience. Neither of which is true. Everything about the numbers you can make is absolutely true and is based on successful affiliates.

You're fanning flames in the hopes that I will somehow be hurt by these accusations. That's sick.

Since my blog gets more hits than you do Tobold, perhaps you should of put the guide ad up. Check your site meter if you don't believe me.
 
Gevlon can bash anyone he wants on his blog as far as Im concern , but posting personal information is way out of line. I wont ever read his blog again for that very reason.There was no rational reason or need for it. Im afraid one day Mr. Goblin may have to rely on the kindess of strangers.. hope they never read his blog.

Crystalclear
 
"Since my blog gets more hits than you do Tobold, perhaps you should of put the guide ad up. Check your site meter if you don't believe me."

lol, someone needs a hug. Don't you know WoW gold guides is serious business!
 
"Since my blog gets more hits than you do Tobold, perhaps you should of put the guide ad up. Check your site meter if you don't believe me."

It's comments exactly like this one that are designed to inflame, irritate, and cause rashes and itching. I recommend "Professor Farnsworth's itch-b-gone" for such ailments.
 
Just for the record, if bloggers do keep "score" like marco seems to be implying, he just lost one point, and you gained one.

Anyways. People scream about "you can't post my identity/email" a lot, but I'm not sure how educated that is. First off... its legal. There is nothing illegal about posting someones email/name/address/phone number/pictures/ childrens names.

Second... anyone with a URL has a whois entry. I'm in a line of work where clients want webpages that can't be tracked to them... you have to get a proxy registrant, which is legal, but not exceptionally common. Sadly, Marco's blog site has no such protection. Anyone who can type "whois.net" can figure out that Chris in Bridgeport sells leveling guides. SO? WHO CARES?

Anyways. I'll end the rant there. I posted the same thing on jmtc but for some reason is got deleted.

Gevlon got me looking at your blog. I like it. Kinda nice to have a... slightly more... upbeat? blog that is still well written.

Thanks, and GL. Just ignore the troll.
 
Markco, are you really surprised that somebody reading your offer of easy thousands of dollars chooses to not believe you? Even if your numbers were true, you can't blame me or Gevlon for being sceptical of your offer, which seems too good to be true, and too similar to various known internet scams.

If you think that I'm "fanning flames", or that I'm interested in the slightest who of us has a higher sitemeter score, that just shows that you don't know me at all. In case you haven't noticed yet, quite a lot of the commenters here and on Gevlon's site are laughing more about you handling this completely wrong than being worried that you are deceiving people. You are making the typical mistake of thinking that other people's goals in life must be the same as yours, and totally misjudged the targets of your affiliate offers.
 
@ Markco
You made the mistake of pushing things too far with strong-arm advertising tactics. You now have a few options:
1. Throw an eTantrum about being the victim of an eMob.
2. Realize that ANY publicity is good publicity and continue as you have, minus a bit of credibility (deserved or otherwise).
3. Cut your losses and move on to the next opportunity.

IF your goldguide venture has implications on your current employment status, you should have considered that before starting a side business on company time using company resources.

I enjoy Tobolds, Gevlons, and yes even your blogs. Best of luck with your eWarfare, its kept me entartained for the day! :D
 
I don't blame you for not believing me, I pity you actually for it.

If you had a scrap of intelligence you would realize that I must be telling the truth. How could I possibly build a blog on a lie? How could I convince thousands to become readers or subscribers and how could I make money if my products were lies?

Posting my name was wrong and you know it. I will never forgive either of you for that. It was just as irresponsible as me sending that email.

I know I was wrong, but two wrongs don't make a right. What's worse is the two of you seem to be enjoying this.
 
@luv

You asked me to delete your post so I did.
 
Posting my name was wrong and you know it.

Huh? I did not post your real name. Gevlon did. Are you blaming me for LINKING to a post that contains your real name?

As I already said, I completely understand that you'd object against Gevlon posting your real name. That is something I never do, unless given explicit permission.
 
@Raddik,
Are you really suggesting that purchasing a gold guide is more convenient than finding the relevant information directly?

To me this suggests two things:

1. You could be using Google a lot more effectively.

2. You're far too trusting of this type of internet commerce. Having to research the guide itself, to ensure it's a decent product without a scam artist behind it, probably swings the "opportunity cost" problem the other way.
 
The problem with your email is not really that you said Gevlon would make $1000 in the first day, and as such I don't see why you are complaining that he is lying when he says that this is a false claim.

The problem with your email is your suggestion that someone should go against their principiles in exchange for money. That is why you are getting negative comments, not because of your projected money gain
 
Tobold makes a good point when he replies to Markco that he "totally misjudged the targets of your affiliate offers". I'm sure there are lemmings who happily purchase guides and such, but many of us are here for the discourse.

I think Markco provides quite a forum/outlet for gold making and I think it's fair to say many people agree to that - replies to today's blogs are NOT disputing that - they're not saying he shouldn't sell a guide or that he's a baaaad man for doing so.

There is a sense of intent that changes when someone is part of a community and is now selling/profiting off of it. Don't be surprised if you're getting called to the mat for the methods of advertising.

For the record I would put an online guide a short step above buying a guide from a store (and would buy neither) - they're both out of date and I'd much rather do it myself.
 
Markco, why won't you just say sorry? I'll be blunt. I've never even looked at your site until today. So my opinion of you is currently based on the emails put forth by Gevlon.

I don't care if you want to sell gold guides. If you can make some money and still put forth good content, then good for you.

The personal insults were actually the nail in the coffin for me. The fact that instead of apologizing, you choose to ridicule Tobold(who really had nothing to do with your personal information being available) and Gevlon is what pushed me away.

To be honest, I would have gleaned useful information from your site despite this being what brought me there. It would have even increased your all important hit count. It's due to your poor handling of the situation that Gevlon and Tobold will continue to get visits from me daily.

Since visitors are important to you, why don't you write a blog post detailing your traffic starting today and continuing for the next week or two. Also include Tobold and Gevlons traffic in the graph if possible.

I look forward to this post, but I'll be surprised if you actually make it.
 
It's interesting that marcko's affiliates, who he claims are making the sort of money he has been talking about, have not come out in support of him and verified the amounts that can be made.
 
Markco's public relations skills have been pretty weak in how he's handled this crisis.

Fairly much made all the classic mistakes of an untrained person in their first serious PR disaster, but also a few textbook "no go" mistakes that are usually attributed to teenagers (eg. attacking Tobold or Gevlon's credibility in his blog comments).
 
As something fairly close to a non-gamer, I think this whole situation is more funny than, I dunno, "sad" I guess?

It's nice that I don't see any advertisements. I sure don't come here for gold guides or things like that. It's just fun to follow the whole quirky industry.
 
@Markco
"What's wrong is the blatant accusations that I am both lying and attempting to deceive my audience. Neither of which is true."

Not trying to lie or decieve people eh? Then what about this particular quote from an email you sent to Gevlon?

"Create a post about gold guides and how you hate them. Give examples of guides and then at the very end start talking about my gold guide and use my blog as credibility for the guide. Perhaps you can mention that this guide is the only one you will even consider tolerating. Leave a link to the 20kleveling.com site with your clickbank hoplink encrypted inside of it."

It certainly seems like your suggesting Gevlon decieve his audience right here...

At the end of the day just man up Markco. You were trying to pull a scam over both Tobold's and Gevlon's and failed, period. Stop blaiming others, and just leave both bloggers alone.

The saddest part about all this is that your probably getting way more publicity from this then you would have in any other way and idiots will indeed throw there money at you, but meh, thats Capitalism. Industry was born on the idiocy of others.
 
"...but posting personal information is way out of line."

No, using your company's email system to promote a sketchy World of Warcraft deal is way out of line. And it's Lockheed Martin no less, a very, very large US defense contractor. WTF.
 
"How could I possibly build a blog on a lie? How could I convince thousands to become readers or subscribers and how could I make money if my products were lies?"

Seriously? What kind of an argument is this? You're supposed to be well-versed in economics and you aren't even familiar with one of the oldest tricks in the books that happens to be built on lies? Here's some advice that I won't charge you $20 for:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

Maybe you should stick to fake-world economics since you don't seem very well versed in real-world ones.
 
Used to read JustMy2Copper on occasion. I have immediately removed it from my RSS reader and will never my clicks/page views to Markco again.

What is the central problem here? Being disingenuous. If you have a valuable product then represent it accurately and it will essentially sell itself. Markco has lost all credibility in my eyes and I hope in those of others. Sad that one of the few, and usually great episodes of How I Wow was wasted on this arrogant scam artist.
 
I don't understand why Marcko is being so childish, that's what really gets me. I don't care if he is selling a gold guide. I certainly don't hate pepsi for trying to sell Aquafina to people who can get water for free. That's their right, and people who spend money on things available for free certainly deserve what they get.

But jesus, every single one of his emails that have been posted, as well as every comment in both this blog and gevlons just exudes this insufferable immaturity. Veiled threats, insults to intelligence, provocation that fails completely to understand who he is talking to, and just all around being a baby.

He probably could have turned this around and made Gevlon the bad guy, lord knows THAT isn't a difficult task, but it appears he is trying his hardest to get EVERYONE to hate him, even those that had no opinion of him.
 
I kept his link up on my blog because I felt that he had valuable advice on auctioneering. Despite the gold guide selling bizz, which frankly I didn't think was all that shady. That was until I read your post and Gevlon's. Removed his link on the spot.

Thanks for pointing all this out to us Tobold.
 
"Are you really suggesting that purchasing a gold guide is more convenient than finding the relevant information directly?"

Are you really suggesting that purchasing a newspaper is more convenient than finding the relevant news directly?

Comparisons are fun, unfortunately even I can make them.
 
@Zernam,
I think Tobold was referring to the people behind the blogs more than the audience of the blogs. Neither Tobold nor Gevlon can (realistically) be bought, and Gevlon just loves to make examples of people...
 
When I was actively playing WoW I made a good amount of gold 10k+ by following the tips from JMTC. If I remember correctly I did come across JMTC from one of Tobold's posts. I've been a subscriber ever since. Its been a wonderful asset that's enhanced my time in WoW.

I'm surprised by what's transpiring now. Specifically the way Markco is responding. What is making Markco respond with anything beyond "While I was trying to convince you to advertise my guide, I didn't want you to deceive anyone. My apologies if my messages came across as such.", I will never understand.

Markco, you already established that your REAL identity is now linked to your VIRTUAL identity. You also know that it is highly likely that this issue will be brought to the attention of your employer and that your employer will investigate since you used a company resource to promote a personal business, which I am 100% certain is against your company's policy. In addition, since two of the things being discussed are your integrity and ethics, that investigation could lead to a number of issues for you (I hope to goodness you don't have a clearance).

While GG should have had more respect than to divulge your personal information, you should have had more sense than you exercised during this whole issue.

I suggest you issue apologies for the way you've handled this whole thing, discuss the improper use of company resources with your human resources department, and pray you emerge from this incident with wisdom you didn't enter it with. I really don't want to see you suffer more from this.
 
Markco wrote:
"How could I possibly build a blog on a lie? How could I convince thousands to become readers or subscribers and how could I make money if my products were lies?"

Markco sounds like someone running a pyramid scheme. Operators of such schemes can make off with quite a lot of money, because they are good social engineers (and there are many of us that are easily duped). To quote the Rock Man from Harry Nilsson's The Point: "we hear what we want to hear, and we see what we want to see."
 
@Markco
You fell into a trap of your own making, stop trying to wriggle out of it, just move on, unless you think that whining is getting you more publicity.

Gevlon has always posted names in his Morons of the week, did you think he would be any different in real life? You have just become Gevlons first real life Moron of the Week.
If you didn't want your name revealed then you should not have used your work email, but oops, he would not have taken you seriously then.
 
Markco sounds like someone running a pyramid scheme. Operators of such schemes can make off with quite a lot of money, because they are good social engineers (and there are many of us that are easily duped). To quote the Rock Man from Harry Nilsson's The Point: "we hear what we want to hear, and we see what we want to see."

Tobold, wow is business that even Blizzard is taking advantage of - do pet sales ring a bell.

People provide services and believe it or not other people are willing to pay for those services. That is called business. Sure I can go on the internet and learn how to change my oil for free or I can go and pay for the services. Yes this service requires me to take steps that I would rather not take such as driving to the service station, waiting in a little room with a bunch of strangers watching a Tv show that I would never watch, and waiting for the better part of an hour to have this service completed. I could pay more and receive valet service, maybe more comforts at the dealership like a room to myself with a hostess to serve refreshments. The later is Markco's Gold Guide.

Markco for all intent and purposes has never hidden his desire to make dollars for his services and he does use advertisements heavily on his site, if that is a turn off for you that is fine because everyone has a choice on what service they wish to pay for. One thing that should not cloud your judgment is his ability to write and the ingenuity of his sites (more than a couple) one of which is his forums. http://20kleveling.com/JMTCforum/index.php this is one of the richest resources for making wow gold on the internet and I highly recommend the site.

You can change your own oil or buy the service that is your right you have a choice; to say that one is better than the other is a state of mind.
 
"Posting my name was wrong and you know it. I will never forgive either of you for that. It was just as irresponsible as me sending that email."

Actually, as you are running an online business and charging people money for access to your service, you will of cousre I have to assume, be doing the correct and legal thing of declaring your income and be registered with your countries tax service.

In which case, your legally obliged in most countries to disclose full contact details on your business website in a public accessible area, have complete terms and conditions of sale etc.

So in what way is publishing the real name of someone who wants to do business with their visitors wrong?
 
Hehe, we all know that Tobold and Gevlon are the same blogger. He anounced ithere:

http://tobolds.blogspot.com/search?q=My+secret+evil+twin+identity+

This is a very mighty weapon to take down other blogs. You blame one on Gevlons blog and then use the trustworthy Tobold blog to confirm Gevlons claim.

Just kidding... i guess. :-)
 
Gosh what a storm in a teacup.

@Marcko I think one thing you should take away here is that the line is crossed at different stages for different people.

You sent Gevlon an email which he ignored, ok fine. You then spammed him and spun your deal a different way.

Now that didn't cross your line, in fact no doubt you see it as perfectly reasonable behaviour.

But it did cross Gevlon's line.

So then he published your email and your personal details which crossed your line.

I've seen a lot of people seriously anger other internet users/gamers simply because they push at a behaviour that they know other people don't like but they would accept if it were done for them.

The classic example is the guild drama queen. "Better out than in", "I'm just being honest" "you can't expect me to lie about my feelings" etc etc.

So take this away, just because you may admire and respect pushiness does not mean you should act pushy towards other people.

I'm going to leave a link to your blog on my blogroll. Your site is an excellent source of information and I strongly suspect that intelligent analysis of your site and forums will produce for free at least as much gold as your guide.

Oh and one other thing.

Stop doing game stuff at work.

I used to read forums in my lunch hour, then my lunch hours started getting longer, then I started having game sites up on alt tab while doing business calls...

It's a slippery slope.

The games are just as fun if you don't touch them until you get home. And work gets very stressy when you have to hide from your boss what's on your screen.
 
I think the only fair solution to this situation is for someone to dig deep and post Gevlon's real name and address.

Then everyone can be on equal footing again.

Off you go. There's your assignment.
 
I think the only fair solution to this situation is for someone to dig deep and post Gevlon's real name and address.

Note that I rejected a comment on this blog where an anonymous commenter posted Markco's real name, home address, and the name of his parents.

Anyway, I don't think that revealing Gevlon's real name would have the same impact. Apart from having radical views, Gevlon hasn't done anything wrong, so people knowing his real name wouldn't really hurt him. Markco's problem is not that people on the internet now know his real name, but that his real name is now connected to a number of infractions, like running a private business from work, and most probably tax evasion. If by any chance Markco's boss or his tax inspector play WoW and read WoW blogs, there might well be quite serious real world consequences from this.

As I said, my policy is to not reveal real names unless given explicit permission. But I must say that quite a lot of the reader mail I get is from various company mail accounts. One especially hilarious case was somebody writing me from work about something game related, and his company's e-mail system attaching an automatic footer with the e-mail address of his boss, saying that if I objected to that mail, I should complain to the boss. I didn't make use of that option, but it demonstrates the danger of mixing work and hobby.
 
I guess we of the internet generation have the 'everything should be free' mentality. Well, now that I've grown up I dont think that should be the case. Take the newspapers that are all dying because they can't profit on the internet. Then take Markco trying to earn money on the hundreds of hours he spends on the WoW community. I just dont see how that is wrong. Its up to date, probably accurate (i dont have it), etc. He's doing the community a huge service with his forums and constant posts of WoW farming/gold making tips. All of which is completely free. If you ever look at his blog, besides the 'buy the gold guide' banner, there is barely a mention of it any where else. People should have the right to try and earn an income through their hard work, its capitalism at its finest. I'm tired of the vilifying; without capitalism the world as we know it would suck pretty hard.
 
"So you're promoting him by making another post about him?"

I honestly do not understand this idea that any publicity is good publicity. That may seem like a truism, but it's not. The "free" publicity that Markco is getting (from this blog and Gevlon's) is going to convince a lot of people that he is underhanded or a scammer, and it's not easy to undo that kind of damage to a reputation.

I think that those types of comments are implying that it would have been better not to publicize what this person has been doing. Do you feel that it's better to hide evidence of wrongdoing because you do not want to 'promote' someone's blog?
 
If anyone's ever checked out Markco's blog, they'd know that he gives away tons of advice and ideas for free. Personally I don't see the issue in buying a comprehensive compilation of that information with extra insight by the person who provided most of it for free already. Personally I wouldn't do it, but I don't see what's wrong with it. As for his behavior, you people act like this is some sort of new trickery in the business world. Wake up.

And let's not put Gevlon up on a pedestal here. He's not "anti-social." That is a term used to describe sociopaths who are people who suffer from Anti-Social Personality Disorder. Gevlon is NOT a sociopath. He's just a regular a-hole. Nothing more.
 
I'd like to address your unwarranted tax evasion comment, Tobold. I'm a personal friend of Markco's and I know for a FACT that he is both an intensely moral person and certainly a tax-paying citizen. He is very insistent on doing things right.

I will say that I told Markco that I thought you were giving him a fair journalistic shake in this issue, but I'm a bit surprised at claiming he's probably guilty of tax evasion.

I admire your taking the high road on the personal attacks in general and encourage you to do the same in not speculating that someone is committing crimes simply because you disagree with them.
 
"How could I possibly build a blog on a lie? How could I convince thousands to become readers or subscribers"

one word.

Ferraro
 
I think Markco has the right to have a blog and sell his gold guide - let the buyer beware, after all - but his conduct in his comments on this blog and in the emails with Gevlon are utterly despicable.

Markco you have just convinced many good players and people that you have no shame, no dignity, and attacking Tobold is simply foolish.

Anyone who reads Tobolod regularly knows that if anything he is a thoguhtful man of integrity and intellect and making personal attacks on him based on his intelligence or blog readership being less then yours is both laughable and pathetic.
 
@Markco

Your email to Gevlon claimed that he could make make "$500-$1000 the first day it was posted" from your advert.

Now a quick look at Gevlon's feedburner shows that he has 3504 subscribers. A good internet campaign has around a 4% click-through rate and about 2.5% conversion, so you might get 3 purchases from the scheme. Since you are charging $20 per guide, that's a total of $60 revenue. How, precisely, were you planning to pay the "$500-$1000"?

Of course, these are only rough figures, so feel free to correct them if you think they're wrong. I would appreciate an explanation for any changes you make, though.
 
Absolutely! Just go read Gevlon's blog if you want some tips.
 
@ Anonymous

As far as I can tell, the tax evasion comment wasn't unwarranted. Have you read the other comments? As another anonymous poster put it:

"Actually, as you are running an online business and charging people money for access to your service, you will of course I have to assume, be doing the correct and legal thing of declaring your income and be registered with your countries tax service.

In which case, your legally obliged in most countries to disclose full contact details on your business website in a public accessible area, have complete terms and conditions of sale etc."
 
@Wyrmbreaker - Good point - I read that a little wrong - but I still agree that he misjudged who he was trying to recruit.
 
While I think this whole controversy between Gevlon and Markco is great blogature, I don't get the "never buy Gold Guides" mantra.

Just because you CAN get the information at no charge from blog A4, D6, Chi005, and other obscure sites/blogs, doesn't make it FREE!

Gevlon often talks About opportunity costs. The time spent looking for and evaluating/testing (farming) "free" information could certainly make an easy-to-read, logically organized and annotated review of various AH strategies a good investment.

I'm not advocating anyone's guide. But I'd certainly consider paying $20 for a good one that rescued me from the hundreds of notes and printed blog posts currently cluttering my computer desk.
 
I wouldn't have minded this all too much. There's nothing wrong with selling a gold guide imo nor with asking someone to put a banner on their site.

"If you had a scrap of intelligence you would realize that I must be telling the truth." however? Doubting someones intelligence is really hitting below the belt.
 
This post and comment thread is definitely +1.

Personally, I enjoyed Markco's initial posts for quite some time. They were informative and nice to read. They offered specific actions to try to carve out a little bit of economic benefit in the Wow-world.

However, once the whole gold-guide thing started, and every post was either entirely devoted to the guide, or had a tag-line to promote the guide, that's when I stopped reading. It went from good snippets of advise to tedious reading.

And to anyone that's surprised how far this went... :-)

First clue - all the initial gold guide posts on Markco's site and the testimonials really smelled of something fishy marketing-wise (can't comment on content! Obviously I haven't read it!)

Second clue - Markco's name. "MARK" "CO". Co is the abbreviation for Company. Clearly the intent was to make money on the internet.

If I were to use an analogy from a chess game, I would say that Markco's Opening play was flawless. His middlegame was tactically correct, but positionally unsound. As for the Endgame, Markco fatally blundered. Checkmate.
 
Marko has posted a new scheme to "defeat" goblins on his server. A pity the plan was so fail he had to lock comments on his blog once opinion started to mount against his ideas.

http://bit.ly/810e6F

Here's my post which was so offensive he had to delete it.

@markco

Firstly, to "defeat" a goblin you are actually becoming a goblin yourself. Additionally "defeat" is more like stalemate or draw.

You don't explain why 3.5 gold is the magic UWIN number. You already state that the "goblins" start selling at 40g. They are obviously happy to sell above 3.5g. E

These herb prices are very unrealistic. Most commenters that mention herb prices state this.

Can you rewrite your plan without your GF farming herbs for a ridiculous loss (opportunity cost anyone??).

Shifting the loss to a second party who is complicit in the deal is just underhanded. You need to be honest and add the losses made by your GF to the total of the system cost. I'm pretty sure anyone can "defeat" anyone with a farmer willing to bear the cost of losing gold so you can profit.

Ink of the sea, and vellums sell very slowly. So either you will have a massive glut of unprocessed herbs or inks or vellums. You cannot move the volume needed to "defeat" a goblin.

Supply and demand. If you force herb prices so low (god knows how this is possible in a market where you are most certainly not the only buyer) then the goblins will only need to offer slightly more than you to get herbs even cheaper than they did before. If you can, they can....oh I forgot this plan requires a GF.

Again if the farmers get paid ridiculous prices they will either farm less or sell to higher bidders. Unless of course you have enlisted retarded farmers to your cause, who farm for vendetta rather than profit.

Finally, screenshots, book keeping and some real numbers are needed. At the moment this is a "master plan" for fail.

TLDR: Becoming a "goblin" is not defeating one, Plan has unrealistic price requirements, Plan has unrealistic sales expectations, Plan requires a GF, Plan requires a second party willing to make a loss so you can profit, Plan defies economic laws, Plan needs real world proof.

Thanks Markco...I now have my very own blog.

http://justmy2lol.blogspot.com/
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool