watching hoops

As some of you know, I am a basketball fanatic. I think this is just about the best basketball video I've ever seen.


Brainjams in Berkeley

Brainjams is a grassroots tech conference that RateItAll has been involved with for a while now that focuses on the evolution of the social media and other Web 2.0 related topics. The next Brainjams is tomorrow in Berkeley.

It's more like an un-conference - the focus is not on speakers and presentations, but discussion and exploration among the conference's particpants.

Brainjams is open to people from all industries, and if you're in town and interested in this sort of stuff, I highly recommend it.


Friday Beers

If anyone is in the San Francisco area and wants to meet up, Minkeydude and I are grabbing some cheap happy hour beers at the Elbo Room tomorrow night, a fine watering hole in the Mission District.

We'll be there at 5:30'ish.


New Site Rule

This one applies primarily to the RateItAll Local side.

Discussion of current, past, or pending law suits against local businesses and merchants is now officially off limits.

These sorts of things are beyond the scope of RateItAll to verify, and can be very damaging to a business' reputation.

Here are is the full list of site rules.

Site Performance Issues

The site is VERY sluggish at the moment... we're aware of the issue and are working on it.

Helpful Vote Shake Up

You may have noticed a shake-up in the most helpful reviewer rankings. This is because we rebuilt these stats following the departure of GoneAway and PBeavr - all of the helpful votes that they had given over the years were removed from the database.


RateItAll Economy

I'm really happy that so many of the RIA regulars are taking advantage of the RateItAll Economy program to get paid for their content contributions.

As far as I know, RateItAll is one of the ONLY sites on the Web to allow members of its community to earn real cash for their contributions.

To those that aren't yet participating - especially those in the top 100 or so reviewers - I say, what are you waiting for? Why leave cash on the table? If you need help getting set up, message me here.

For the full details on the program, click here.

Race Based Weblists

I'm not a fan.

Historically, we've deleted them as, without exception, they have ALWAYS deteriorated into non-constructive hate speak.

We've allowed GTH's list to last longer than most, as it was built on the premise of "contributions to society," but even so it is treading on thin ice.

I'm going to let this particular list stand as I almost always believe it is better to discuss something that let it fester unsaid, but I'm not going to allow a outpouring of race based weblists.

Fortunately, there are lots of places on the Web where those with the desire to do so can rant about race.


Tetris Wars

A little not so friendly tetris competition has broken out on the RIA blog.

Andrew Scott currently holds the lead, but PlanetaryGear and Kamylienne are threatening.

I've played several hours of Tetris over the last few weeks, but am not able to crack the top ten.

Heroes of Turin

We've set up a list of the heroes of the Turin Olympic games. Let me know if I've missed anyone.

On my recent flight home from Chicago, I watched about thirty minutes of riveting curling action. It's better than just sitting there, I guess. Here's the entire list of winter games events.


Site will be down for about 15 minutes

Doing some scheduled maintenance... sorry for the hassle.



Long time RateItAll reviewer PBeavr has requested complete removal of his account. We honored this request last night, and all of his comments, helpful votes, ratings, etc, have been deleted from our database. You should see the top 100 list of most helpful reviewers reflect this change in the next couple of days.

I'm sorry to see PB go, but my sense is that he needed to move on. Per his request, his Weblists are now housed under a "PBeavrsGhost" account.

I wish PB well!


Brilliant Post....

from Randyman on what it means to be Chicano.


Going to Chicago Next Week

I'm going to be in Glenview on Monday night and am looking for a fun place to watch the Villanova / UCONN game.

Anyone know Glenview?

Another Screenshot...

This is what a Weblist Index is going to look like... as you can see, the Weblist Rating is going to be MUCH more visible.

Tetris Break

I found this cool service called bunchball that lets you embed old video games in your blog or personal Web site.

Here's Tetris.


Another Sneak Peek

... the redesign is coming along nicely. We will hopefully begin implementation this week or next. Here's a quick peek at what a Weblist will look like (click on it for a larger view):

Help Zuchinibut Name his Son

Long time RateItAll reviewer zuchinibut is soon to be a dad. He's looking for some guidance on names.

Can you help him out?

Some More Vision Stuff

Here is my vision for RateItAll:

A place where you can find, share, or solicit opinions on any topic.

A place where you can meet and interact with people that share your passions.

A place where you can share in the advertising revenue associated with your content contributions.

A place where you own and control your own content completely - you can edit, add, delete, and otherwise manage all of your content

A place from where you can distribute your opinions to destinations all over the Web. In other words, a place from which you can take your content with you as you leave your imprint on the Web.

A place where reputation is transparent - where you can click through to any site member's profile page and view a complete record of their site activities.

A place where you can leave any time you want - including the complete removal of your account.

We're not there yet on all of these points, but we're making progress. RateItAll's lawyer is working on a revised Terms of Service as we speak. We are adding in tools for account removal, and deletion of Weblists. And we will be reinstituting the delete comments tool for Weblist owners.

Until we get these tools up on the site, if anyone needs help with account removal, deletion of Weblists, etc - please let me know.

Some background on who is who

RateItAll was founded in 1999 by four friends from grad school - Lawrence (me) (aka Magellan), Rob (aka Wiggum), Craig (aka Shafty), and Brad (aka Ruby). We had all been roomates at business school at Emory University in Atlanta. I am the only one of the original founder who is currently on board full time.

My guess is that most of those who read this blog already knew, or at least suspected, that I was Magellan. So now it's official.

So let me give you a little background on how and why things are set up the way they are.

I currently have four RIA handles - Magellan, RIA Administrator, Lawrence, and Weblister. The RIA Administrator account was set up to speak for the site and to enforce site rules, the Lawrence account was set up as a link for new members into the RateItAll trusted network system, and the Weblister account houses orphaned Weblists.

I've been feeling increasingly uncomfortable with this arrangement, primarily because it is a violation of site rules to operate more than one account (as pointed out in this pleasant comment.)

But because I have two distinct roles on the site - as a site member (Magellan), and as an enforcer of the site rules (RIA Administrator), I do think it's necessary to maintain two distinct identities. In other words, Magellan's views do not reflect the views of RateItAll the business, and vice versa.

I think the other two accounts should go away. RIA Administrator and Lawrence will be merged, and the Weblister account will be shut down. More on this to follow.


Do you want to make your RIA posts into a book?

A new company called Blurb can help you - worth a look for those of us who have been on the site a long time.


Asteroids Break

Don't forget to plug your Adsense account ID into your Profile Page!

It seems like a recurring problem with the RateItAll Economy / Google Adsense program is people forgetting to plug in their Adsense ID number to their RateItAll user page.

Once you get accepted to Adsense, there's one more step before you'll start earning. Here are the instructions:

"Once you have been approved for an Adsense account (usually within 24-48 hours), log into your Adsense account HERE, and then click the tab at the top that says "Adsense for Content."

Scroll down to the section that says "Your Adsense Code." The second line of this code will say "Google-Ad_Client = 'pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'

This number is your Google Adsense ID number - carefully write it down.

Now go to your User Profile page and click on the link that says "View and Change Your Registration Information."

You will see a field that says "Google Adsense ID." Fill in your Google Adsense ID number that you wrote down earlier (just the number, not the "pub" or the quotation marks)."


Super Bowl Commercials

The 2006 Super Bowl Commercial list is being put together in real time...


Technical Difficulties

We're experiencing some technical issues - some pages are currently not accessible.

We're working on it...


Local Newscasters

We just added a new section for local newscasters.

The RateItAll section on national TV newscasters is one of the highest traffic sections on the site.

For those of you who would like to submit your favorite local news personalities, now would be a good time. If you do submit suggestions, make sure to include the city in parentheses following the name of the newscaster, like this - John Doe (Chicago).