How to Shorten URLs

Some of you may have noticed that adding very, very long URLs (or any text string without spaces) to a RateItAll post can break a page.

Stark's recent post on UFOs was a good example of this.

Fortunately, there exists a very helpful tool to shorten long urls - its called Tiny URL.

It's really easy to use, all you need to do is to plug in the long URL, and it spits out a short one.

Here's an example, I can reduce this link:




This is a good way to avoid breaking a RateItAll page (and risk getting your post removed).


The Return of Dirk

RIA Veterans will remember a reviewer called DickDirk from back in the day. He was prolific, he was talented, and he was feisty.

A while back DickDirk decided to leave RIA to do other stuff, and took his writings with him.

I'm happy to say that Dirk has returned. If you haven't checked out his stuff, please do so. This guy can write.


Building a Good Weblist is a Team Effort

When Magellan started the Eighties Music Weblist a while back, I think it started with 40 or 50 songs. I thought it was fairly comprehensive, and a pretty good list.

Now the list is up to 174 songs - primarily due to tons of great suggestions from Virile Vagabond and Jamie McBain.

I have to think that this list is one of the best, and most comprehensive, selections of 1980's music on the Web. When you combine it with the ratings and reviews, it really is a nice resource.

The way that the Web works, I would imagine that folks are going to start stumbling onto this list and referencing it. Maybe they'll put a snapshot up on their own blog or MySpace profile using the RateItAll Widget feature. Maybe they'll just link to it. Maybe they'll invite their friends to rate it.

However they get here, my guess is that this list, by virtue of its comprehensiveness through teamwork, will get traffic.

And through the RIA Economy program, Jamie Mcbain, VV, and Magellan will all share in ad revenue as this happens.

I know I'm sort of a geek about RIA stuff, but when all the pieces come together, and people are sharing their knowledge to create quality lists, I think it's pretty cool.

Profanity Filter Game

I just posted in the RateItAll Bug List how the RIA profanity filter is messed up at the moment. Currently, if your post triggers the profanity filter, you can't get the post up. It's supposed to always post on the second submission.

Last night, I wrote a very long and time consuming review of Orson Scott Card's book Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus.

But somehow, it triggered the profanity filter, and I could not, for the life of me, figure out why.

After going through the long, long post numerous times, I finally figured out that the problem lay right in the title of the book itself. Pas twat ch.

Annoying, I really need to get this fixed. Reminiscent of the time that the profanity filter kept nixing my spicy chicken post.

RateItAll Bugs

I've set up a Weblist to keep track of known RateItAll Bugs. Please feel free to add any that I may have missed.


Thanks Vudija

Vudija spent some time in the wee hours of the morning adding a ton of actresses that should have been on RIA's main list but weren't.

If Vudija were participating in the RIA Economy program, her Google Ads would be in 50/50 rotation on the listings she contributed indefinitely.


Interesting Exchange About RIA Economy

I just had an interesting exchange with an RIA member about the RateItAll Economy program.

Here's the gist - realizing that he can make money by referring new members to RateItAll via the invite friends tool, this member asked me if there was a link available that he could put on his blog inviting his readers to join his trusted network on RateItAll.

In other words, he didn't want to send email to his friends, he wanted readers of his blog to be able to join RIA at their discretion via a link on his blog.

Of course, if any of his readers clicked through on the invitation link and became contributing members of the RIA community, he would earn a 10% ad rotation share going forward on the pages that they contribute.

Here's what we discovered: when you click the "Invite Friends to Join RateItAll," link on your profile page, and click "Send Invitation," the tool generates a personalized link in the email that goes to your friend that tracks back to your account.

This personalized link does two things:

1) it tells the RateItAll system that anybody clicking through that link and registering for RateItAll should immediately be added to your trusted network (and you should immediately be added to theirs)

2) it tells the RateItAll system that you should earn 10% ad rotations on all qualifying contributions of the new member, for the purposes of the RIA Economy program.

So, if you're looking for a link to add to your blog or MySpace profile that invites your readers to join your RIA network, here's what you should do:

1) Send yourself an invitation to join your own RateItAll Trusted Network
2) Copy and paste the link in the invitation email that you receive (from yourself) into your blog or MySpace profile.

Btw, if anybody reading this does not yet have a RateItAll account and wants to join my RIA trusted network, they can do so here!


RateItAll Wishlist 2006

So what features would you all like to see on RateItAll? How can we RIA more fun / better / easier to use?

To start a discussion on this, I've put together a list where people can add suggestions of new features that they'd like to see on RateItAll.

Please feel free to comment on the ones that are already there, or to add other suggestions for new features that you would like to see.


I think we've figured out...

... what's been causing the site issues today. Cross your fingers.

When it rains it pours

More site issues - we're working on the problems. We should be back up shortly.


Back in Business

It looks like our host got their act together.

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More Host Problems

I am told things will be fixed very soon. Apparently there's an electrical issue with RateItAll's hosting company that has knocked down a whole bunch of sites.

They're waiting on a part to get things back up.


We are Back Up

We seem to be back up. For these sorts of situations, it's a good idea to bookmark the blog.... as we've deliberately hosted it in a different place from the site.

At least you'll be able to get status reports that way.

Our Host is Down

RateItAll's host is having problems.


Did You Know: Adding New Listings To RateItAll

Ok, in the latest of my series of what I hope are helpful tips towards maximizing your pleasure from RateItAll, I'm going to discuss adding new listings.

When I talk about adding a new listing to RateItAll, specifically what I'm talking about is clicking the link that says "Add a New Item to this Topic:"

One important thing to realize about adding a new item is that, if you are logged in when you do it, you will get credit for any new listing that is approved (RateItAll, Weblist, Local). What does credit mean in this context? A couple of things:

- It means that you will earn 50% of the Google Adsense advertising on this page for the foreseeable future as part of the RateItAll Economy Program.

- It also means that you will be acknowleged on RateItAll for this contribution in a couple of places: on the RateItAll Contributors Page, specifically, in the column that is called "New Items."

Here is the snapshot of the current top 10 new listing submitters, led by ma duron, who is submitted a somewhat demonic total of 666 new listings.

- You also will get credit on the "Total Contributions Section" of your profile page (although the counter is all screwed up at the moment):

We do our very best to approve new listings within 24 hours - sometimes it's within minutes, and sometimes it can take a little while. One idea we are toying with is potentially letting folks with more than 100 reviews on the site add new listings in real time.

So what does this all mean? One thing it means is that RateItAll is almost entirely dependent on the new listing submissions of RIA members to stay current. We don't do any data licensing on a regular basis here - every new listing is added the old fashioned way - one at a time. This can be a pretty daunting task, especially when you consider that our area of focus is.... everything.

In fact, we are so dependent on these submissions, that we are willing to pay for them through the RIA Economy program. Think of it this way - let's say you beat us to the punch and suggest a mega hit new product like the Apple iPod before we get around to adding it - the payout could be substantial for a page like that in terms of advertising income.

Something to think about.

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Hi, My Name is Lawrence and I have a RateItAll Addiction

The good news is that I'm not alone.

According to my stats package, there was more than 100 of us yesterday who visited RateItAll more than 200 different times during the course of the day.


Are you ready for some (fantasy) football?

For those fantasy sports afficianados, Tracy0021 has put together a nice list of potential fantasy QB and WR picks:

Best fantasy football QB and Wr picks - View All
Chad Johnson
Marvin Harrison
Daunte Culpepper
Anquan Boldin
Jake Delhomme
Larry Fitzgerald
Jake Plummer
Ben Roethlisberger
Carson Palmer
Tom Brady
David Givens
Deion Branch
Drew Bledsoe
Brett Favre
Byron Leftwich
Michael Vick
Aaron Brooks
Andre Johnson
Antonio Bryant
Brandon Lloyd
RateItAll.com - A network for opinionated individuals.


The Multi Faceted Joy of Inviting Friends to Join RateItAll

In the latest of my series of "Did You Know?" posts, I'd like to take a shot at explaining all of the different things that happen when you invite a friend to join RateItAll.

In order to trigger the wonderful outcomes associated with inviting friends to RateItAll, you need to use the link on your profile page that says "Invite Friends."

Here's what happens if your friend accepts your invitation by clicking through on the invite link:

1) Your friend is automatically added to your trusted network, and you are automatically added to theirs. For those keeping track of the number that is tagged to your RateItAll nickname around the site, this is a surefire way to move the dial a bit.

2) Your friend's wisdom, recommendations, and opinions will immediately start showing up on your profile page:

3) If you have chosen to participate in the RateItAll Economy program you will immediately start earning advertising revenue on pages that THEY contribute. It's a 50/40/10 advertising split between Your Friend / RateItAll / You. Who knows, if you end up referring someone prolific, this could be significant.

4) The site gets better. With RateItAll, it's pretty simple - the more people that use the site, the better the site gets. Empty sections get filled in, new perspectives emerge, and the conversation gets more interesting.

Eventually, I think we are going to start tracking the number of referrals, as it's critical for the site. As most of you know, RateItAll does not do any advertising - we rely entirely on word of mouth and search engines for new members.

So, if you like the site, please feel free to spread the word.

RateItAll Economy - Easy Sign Up

Remember the RateItAll Economy Program? The program that lets you make money for things like publishing Weblists, adding new listing to existing lists, creating a profile page with a picture, and referring friends?

Well we just made it a lot easier for existing RateItAll members to sign up for this program.

Here's what you do to get started:

1) Go to your profile page

2) Click on the "Edit / Delete My Account" link

3) Check the box that says "Sign Me Up For Google Adsense So I Can Earn Cash"

4) Click "Save Your Account Information"

That's it. You're ready to start earning cash.

Google will send you an email to confirm your Google Adsense account - you should be able to start tracking your earnings within a few days.

Let me know if you have questions.


Firewall Reboot

Hi All, we're going to be down for a few minutes while we reboot our firewall.

It should not be more than 5 minutes.