3 Awesome Examples of Affiliate Marketing Websites

Passive Income

Community of individuals who want to build their own passive income streams.
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Flight Deals: For Frugal Traveling

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CryptoAustralia

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF CRYPTOCURRENCY! Crypto Australia is a subreddit for Australians and New Zealanders to talk about anything related to crypto.
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How to start earning passive income as a broke college student

Hello, I am a 19yr old college student who would like to start earning money passively. I have tried a few different ways to earn a passive income, with no luck. I have tried making a few different types of affiliate sites, KDP publishing, and investing in stocks(using stash). I was hoping some of you could provide some tips and/or advice on how to get started earning passively. I have no specific goal in mind of how to earn or how much to earn, I would be grateful to earn any amount at this point. I am able to work with maybe $100 a month and have a decent amount of time to work as well. If you have any ideas I would greatly appreciate them. Thank you!
submitted by sybersy11 to passive_income [link] [comments]

Face Masks - A List of Face Coverings for MFA

Aight -- I've been low-key kinda hyped for wearing masks during the whole epidemic and have started collecting them to accessorize with. To that point, I did my best to spin up a list (AKA spreadsheet) of brands that I've found that have some cool designs going on, as well as to list any causes (AFAIK) that they might be donating to/supporting.
 
 
All of this is still a work in progress, so I'm just slowly adding stuff as I go.
DISCLAIMER -- I am NOT affiliated with any of the businesses, companies, or brands listed. They're just selling some masks I thought were cool that I wanted to share. I am not, and have no intention of, profiting from this in any way.
Additionally -- not all of these masks are up to CDC standards/specs or classified as N95. Some are and/or have filter pockets though, and I might try to specifically flag those ones if I get the chance.
TL;DR - I tried my best to create a list of masks from a lot of "mainstream" fashion labels. Link.
Please let me know if y'all have any comments or suggestions!
P.S.: I really hope this is in line with community guidelines mods plz be merciful.
 
Edit: Dang y'all -- it's so dope to see all the cordial discussions going on in the comments. Thanks for recommending masks and informing each other on other options and suggestions!! Coupla updates:
Please keep the discussions ongoing y'all -- it's so dope to see all the support and care in the sub going on!!
 
Edit II: Thanks for the continued input and suggestions y'all -- as of this edit, I think we've got about 150+ masks on the list. Several "quality of life" updates to the list:
 
Edit III: List is still going strong and we've got about 150+ brands at the moment, with about 100+ on the way. I'm still fleshing everything else out, but since this has gained a lot more traction and people have been asking about health concerns and CDC/WHO standards, I'm slowly also trying to detail and make more information readily consolidated/available. I also might try to start doing/posting reviews on masks based on availability and (personal funds).
 
Edit IV: I've had some brands and users reaching out to me to show support, so I'm working to start up a blog and post information, updates, etc. regarding masks (and hopefully even COVID19 info) because people have been asking for recommendations and this has been useful in not only (hopefully) raising awareness for others, but in educating myself and learning more and more about masks, COVID, and current medical standards.
 
I'm still not a healthcare/medical professional, nor am I claiming to be, and this is in no way being done for profit or marketing -- it's just something that progressively spiraled out of a hobby of mine into a legitimate avenue for discussions and education, and I have no formal affiliations or stakes in any of the brands that I've listed/detailed. Starting off with an Instagram for now while still putting together a blog/website (both currently under construction), but it should just serve to act as a more formal medium for what I'm doing here and on the spreadsheet but with more write-ups, details, and even fit pics for different masks.
 
Please keep in mind: I'm a "one man shop" and this list may or may not have been made on a whim because I wanted to keep a running list of brands that I liked. So please keep the suggestions coming and I'll do my best to update/course correct accordingly. If you or someone you know personally owns/runs a brand, please PM me and I'll try to include it (once again: I am not including Etsy/eBay/FB/etc. shops because that's a slippery slope and harder to "track").
 
This is still an ongoing WIP, so thanks for the continued support and feedback! Please also make sure to checkout/show some love to some of the other lists that are out there:
 
Please reference the following links for information/details regarding health and safety standards with respect to buying, wearing, and even making masks:
 
My original list can still be found here.
 
Instagram (WIP) can be found here. -- UNDER CONSTRUCTION
 
Please feel free to DM me with any questions/inquiries -- thanks y'all!
submitted by do_i_even_lift to malefashionadvice [link] [comments]

Arbitrary list of popular lights - Summer Solstice 2020 edition

Happy Solstice!
In honor of Summer Solstice for the northern hemisphere, I've made an updated list of popular lights. Today is a couple days after (sorry!) the day you're least likely to need a flashlight north of the equator, but it increases every day after so it's a good time to buy a flashlight.
Because a definitive buyer's guide is too hard, I've made an arbitrary list of popular lights you should consider if you're shopping for a light. There is no best flashlight, so this is not the last word in what's good, but a list of lights that are often bought or recommended here with a touch of my own opinion thrown in. Exclusion from this list doesn't mean a light isn't good. To search more lights by their attributes, try http://flashlights.parametrek.com/index.html
Where possible, official manufacturer URLs are linked here. Sometimes the manufacturer offers good deals through direct orders, sometimes vendors have the best prices. There are coupon codes available that apply to many of the lights listed. I'm hosting a version of this list on my own site with affiliate links because a few people have asked for a way to give me a kickback.
Shipping/availability may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, items shipped from China are often taking 2 months to arrive. Supply chains and warehouse stock also appear to be disrupted as well, so you may have to be more patient than usual if you want certain flashlights, chargers, and batteries.

For those in a hurry

If you don't want to learn much, just get one of these.

All of the lights in this section come with a rechargeable battery and have a charger built in to the light. The battery will be a standard size you can buy online from third parties, and the charger will use USB as its power source, though some options do use a special cable. Aside from the Catapult, all have very good color quality compared to the average LED flashlight, improving your ability to see details.
These are at the top of the list not because they're the best in some objective sense, but because they're easy to own and use, and easy to buy. They score well on most measure flashlight nerds care about while also being suitable for non-enthusiasts.

About specs and considerations

Moved to the wiki due to character limit

Mainstream lights

Everyday Carry Lights

These are selected for pocketability first and performance second, but most of the larger options are perfectly adequate for house/cacamping/etc... uses. This section excludes right-angle designs that double as headlamps, but many people do use those for pocket carry, so see that section as well.

Keychain

AAA battery

AA battery

CR123A/16340 battery

18350 battery

18650 battery

This category is so popular it gets subcategories. If you're looking for a lot of power and runtime that's still possible to carry in most pants pockets, this is your battery.

Dual-switch lights

A tailswitch controls power, a sideswitch changes brightness. The ease of explaning the UI makes these perfect to hand out to others.

E-switch lights

Electronic switches enable shortcuts from off to useful modes - usually lowest, highest, and last-used.

Other by use case

Right-angle lights and headlamps

If I could have only one portable light, it would be a right-angle light that functions as both an everyday carry light and a headlamp. Some lights in this form factor also offer a magnetic tailcap, allowing them to act as mountable area lights.

Small

Medium

All of these use one 18650 battery.

Large

Duty lights

These are suitable for first responders and possibly members of the military in combat roles. The focus is on simple operation, reliability and a good way to make sure the light starts on high.

High-performance lights

Most lights on the list are easy to carry, with performance constrained by size and thermal mass as a result. After all, the best light is the one you have. Here are lights to bring when you know you'll be using them.

Flooders

Turn night into day, but not necessarily very far away

Throwers

What's that over there? WAY over there? The hotspots of these lights tend to be too focused for comfortable use up close, though using a diffuser is an option. These tend to be most useful for search and rescue, boating, and the like.
FL1 throw is the distance at which large objects can be detected in clear air. At half that distance, there's usually enough illumination to see clearly, though with more extreme throwers, the distances may be so great as to require binoculars to see clearly even during the day. Throwers have visible backscatter from the atmosphere even in clear air, which may obstruct the user's view of the target. Warmer color temperatures tend to have less.

Hybrids

Some throw, some flood... probably a lot

Other lights

Stuff that doesn't fit somewhere else goes here.

Enthusiast lights

Enthusiast lights can be subject to a bit of a flavor of the month phenomenon, and this section isn't necessarily going to try to include them all. What you'll find here are enthusiast lights with some staying power. There will probably be an Emisar D4 of some description this time next year, but not necessarily the latest new FW variant or whatever's currently trendy from Nightwatch.

Everyday carry

Jacket pocket, maybe

Big

* BLF GT90 - the GT with a Luminus SBT-90.2 for over 7000 lumens and 2700m throw claimed, but that's going to be limited by heat and power. For sustainable performance, the original may have the advantage. For short bursts, this will be most impressive. 360, but look for discounts

Edit 20200624: added Tool AA, NU25, KR4, KR1
submitted by Zak to flashlight [link] [comments]

Everything WRONG with C9 Tournament

Everything WRONG with C9 Tournament
TLDR: The Cloud 9 tournament is very unorganized despite Cloud9 being a premiere esports org in North America. The organizer for the tournament is out of touch with TFT and some of the tournament Invites are suspect. The format and timing of the tournament doesn’t promote a competitive environment. The TFT community deserves better if we want to have a growing competitive scene. I highly suggest reading the whole post or watching the video before making any judgements on this TLDR
This write up is not meant to flame players. Just tournament organizers. At the same time, we have to be logical and realize that 1400LP is a bigger amount than 200LP. Also I wish i didn't have to be so harsh, but when Warcraft 3 tournaments in 2005 are more fluid than tournaments run by Riot and Cloud 9 in 2020, we have an issue.
Video: https://youtu.be/wQG9S40l3BM
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Let’s talk about this C9 Tournament. I am pretty disappointed so far on so many fronts. We will go over the format, the timing, the transparency, and the invites. We will go over what C9 has done and what Riot has done.
I HIGHLY suggest you watch the video because I go in depth and the pictures and websites are much easier to follow along. Play it in the background or second monitor as you play TFT because I may have left some details out in this text post. I’ve turned off monetization/ads so I literally don’t gain any money from you watching the video. I just hope a tournament organizer sees this and hopefully doesn’t make these egregious mistakes again. I also hope this promotes the entire competitive TFT landscape and maybe people will start taking the scene more seriously because I enjoy this game and I hope it is here to stay. Here is the link to the video if you want an easier time to follow along: https://youtu.be/wQG9S40l3BM
However, I know reddit likes write-ups, so here it is. Also, I know not everyone is in NA, but honestly NA appears to have the most organizations around TFT, so the tournaments/Worlds Qualifications in other regions might be EVEN WORSE THAN THIS, so I highly suggest other regions take notes.
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There are almost no TFT tournaments from Riot. For the TFT tournaments that have happened, they have been so unorganized it is crazy. Keep in mind, we are talking about Team Liquid and Cloud 9, the two premiere Esport organizations in North America. Starting with the Team Liquid tournament that didn’t have enough signup slots for the best players to the terrible seeding they had which plotted every challenger player in the same lobby in the first round. Now we are at the C9 tournament where the organizers show that they are out of touch with the game. This tournament is 1 of 2 tournaments that feed into the NA Regional qualifier for the World Championships. And then they make this tournament an INVITATIONAL? This is the tournament where the best of the best are supposed to play and give high level TFT action for all of us to watch. Listen, I’m all for promoting the game by inviting popular players or players who draw different types of audiences, but when I look at the invite list, I’m not convinced that C9 took that angle seriously either. I do not see any consistency in the criteria for their invites. Let’s take a look at the list.
Invited GG Becca Esportslaw Emilyy TL Saintvicious Agon NaturesBF C9 Khroen Thi3n Inay JinxedJK ThatsPrimal kci
Let me preface this by saying I am not making this post because I think I should be invited. I do not deserve an invite, I am not in Challenger anymore and don’t play the game that much. I will also say that it is extremely odd that a Weekend Player (me) is higher rank than some of the invites. I do however, want the TFT scene to grow and I enjoy watching high level play. When people watch any competition, they usually enjoy watching the best players or their favorite. I will also say that this is C9’s tournament, so I guess they can invite whoever they want IF this wasn’t one of the ONLY big tournaments with qualifications into the World Championships. I also do not blame the players I am about to call out for accepting the invite because everyone in their position would do the same. I am blaming the tournament organizer for being so out of touch and giving random players a free dice roll for qualifying for worlds.
------
On another note, I have competed in different games in the past, and there is very little someone who is actually more deserving of an invite can do. If one of these players speaks out or complains, they are seen as salty and probably ruin their chances of being invited to future tournaments if they speak ill of tournament organizers. I am here to speak up for these players—I will mention a few later in this post, and many of them are
  1. Better players on Set 3.5 than the invited list. Let’s invite the best players
  2. Better players historically (previous sets). TFT is a game of consistency.
  3. Have a bigger following. Let’s invite popular players for more sponsorship + viewership.
I would love to hear people’s thoughts on this and am ready to take the heat. If someone is both better historically, currently, and have a bigger following, what could they have done differently to try to get an invite?
When looking at this list, some names are ‘deserving’ of the invite, some I cannot see any justification at all. I am fine with inviting big personalities because this will improve viewership, get more sponsors for the tournament, and hopefully bring different audiences to the game. But looking at the list, I checked the https://twitchtracker.com which is a stat tracking site for Twitch for all of these players and see that only a few of them pull more than 500 concurrent viewers. Many pull less than 100, some less than 50. Are streamers who only pull 50 viewers really deserving of a spot through clout? Let’s assume everyone over 500 concurrent viewers get an invite. This means I believe that inviting Becca, Saintvicious, Emily is fair game. I will also make an exception for Esportslaw since he has a large (21k) Twitter following and reaches a different audience than a typical TFT streamer. The rest of the invites should at least be top players, right?
Here is the standings for NA TFT ladder points: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQzdzlNtoFmTBe6MctHy52wFTzqZ009HzbZuieX85nq_dkWygObHLNtfqq7u3HDiSaYtBQMZBWqts6X/pubhtml?gid=231054574&single=true
This document is maintained by Riot and is used to track who the best players are over the months of the NA Regional Qualifiers. If the tournament organizer has no idea who to invite, he can easily take a look at this spreadsheet and find someone in the top 50 who also streams/makes content and invite them. Whatever the case, let’s take a look at the players left
Agon
Current Rank: Challenger (~800LP ~275 games played)
Previous Sets: Challenger, Challenger, Challenger
NA Ladder Points: 245
Avg Concurrent Viewership: 176
Notes: Finished set 1 at rank 3
Should he be invited?: Yes because he is currently challenger, previously been challenger, very high ladder points, decent size stream.
Naturesbf
Current Rank: Diamond 2 (12 games played)
Previous Sets: Challenger, Challenger, GM
NA Ladder Points: 65
Avg Concurrent Viewership: N/A
Notes: I think he took a break since he hasn’t played much recently. However, he finished Set 1 rank 6, set 2 rank 8 so he’s obviously a very strong player.
Should he be invited?: Maybe/Yes? I think this invite is justified because he was a very strong contender in early sets and maybe he had other things going on in his life once the Ladder Snapshot points started.
C9 Khroen
Current Rank: Challenger (~800LP ~100 games played)
Previous Sets: Challenger, GM, Master
NA Ladder Points: 140
Avg Concurrent Viewership: 51
Notes: Has strong tournament results in previous tournaments
Should he be invited?: Yes, he’s a strong player. Does well in other tournaments. Has decent ladder points. Is part of C9.
Thi3n
Current Rank: Master (~550LP ~275 games played)
Previous Sets: GM, GM, Challenger
NA Ladder Points: 55
Avg Concurrent Viewership: 22
Notes: 31st in set 3
Should he be invited?: No. Low viewership, he’s currently Masters. Only challenger once. While 31st is good, it’s not top 10, and it was only for one set.
Inay
Current Rank: Challenger (~800LP ~80 games played)
Previous Sets: Challenger, Challenger, Challenger, Challenger
NA Ladder Points: 180
Avg Concurrent Viewership: 72
Notes: Nothing much, he is high challenger every set
Should he be invited?: Yes. Challenger every set, decent ladder points.
JinxedJK
Current Rank: Masters (~250LP ~150 games played)
Previous Sets: Challenger, D1, Challenger, Masters
NA Ladder Points: 65
Avg Concurrent Viewership: 86
Notes: Rank 3 in Set 3
Should he be invited?: Maybe? Not the strongest resume, not the weakest.
kci
Current Rank: Challenger (~800LP ~400 games played)
Previous Sets: P4, N/A, Challenger
NA Ladder Points: 115
Avg Concurrent Viewership: N/A I have looked everywhere, cannot find his stream or any social media presence. If someone has this, let me know in the comments.
Notes: No one I’ve asked knows who he is. Apologies if you have a large following, but I honestly couldn't find you.
Should he be invited?: No. He’s not a bad player, but there are plenty of better players (both currently and historically) based on ladder points and current rank. For example, he’s never been top 10 on any ladder snapshot, so if there’s an invitee who has absolutely 0 social media presence, you’d expect them to be a top end player.
thatsPRIMAL
Current Rank: Master (~350LP ~250 games played)
Previous Sets: GM, Challenger, Master
NA Ladder Points: 15
Avg Concurrent Viewership: 35
Notes: 15 Ladder points
Should he be invited?: No, he has 15 ladder points and doesn’t have a big social media following. I even checked twitter, Youtube, and Instagram just in case I was missing something, and he only has 1,000 followers on those platforms
---
Let’s look at some players that could have been invited instead. Again, I'm not affiliated with any of these players, it's just some names I've noticed in the Rankings that stood out.
Nhan Tam has two accounts, one with 280 ladder points, one with 140. His smurf is higher than these other invites. Also I have no idea how he didn’t qualify via points because he has been top 25-50 every week. Maybe he was 21st place?
Treebeard has 215 Ladder points and has 218 average concurrent viewers on Twitch. He also has 17k followers on twitch. He is literally better + more popular than some of these invites (even kci who has no social media presence at all)
RayditzFN has 125 Ladder points. 270 average viewers on twitch. Again, both more popular + better player than some of these invites.
There are many more examples than I have listed, but I’d love to hear from the tournament organizer to see what the criteria was for the invites. There is no logic behind some of these invites. I really think you have to be delusional to think that on paper these players are deserving of an invite and it brings up the question of foul play. I certainly hope there is none of that, but when invites are sent like this, it brings up that question.
Now lets talk about the format. Check out MismatchedSocks’s post. A tournament with this importance shouldn’t be a “you had a bad day, too bad, you are out.” It’s easy to criticize, let me propose a format Cloud 9 could have used instead.
July 8: Group A 2 games, Group B 2 games
July 9: Group C 2 games, Group D 2 games
July 15: Group A 2 games, Group B 2 games
July 16: Group C 2 games, Group D 2 games.
Was that hard? I wish TFT had a higher sample size than 4 games, but I understand that time is a factor, so I proposed a solution that has the same amount of games played as the current tournament.
Let’s not even mention that the release date for each TFT patch is public knowledge https://support-leagueoflegends.riotgames.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018987893-Patch-Schedule-League-of-Legends
Why did they make the tournament the day of a patch + a hotfix? Literally 2 patches in a day and they decide to hold the tournament on this day.
Now let’s talk about Riot and their spreadsheet. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQzdzlNtoFmTBe6MctHy52wFTzqZ009HzbZuieX85nq_dkWygObHLNtfqq7u3HDiSaYtBQMZBWqts6X/pubhtml?gid=231054574&single=true
This spreadsheet was not updated all of June. It’s updated once a month, and the C9 tournament uses Cycle 4-8 according to their website. WHERE IS THE 8TH CYCLE IN THIS SPREADSHEET? At the time of writing, this is blank. Is it that difficult to update this sheet for transparency so that those who barely missed the cut can actually see that they missed out? I looked up some of the qualified players, and they are MUCH lower on the point total than some of the people who missed out (less than 125 points, vs the 200+ of some people who weren’t invited).
Here is a comparison of all the players' points:
Note that C9 only cares about points in Cycle 4-8, but Cycle 8, which ends on June 30 isn't publicly posted at time of writing on July 10th. THG SPENCER HAS 205 POINTS
Were the qualified players even qualified? We have 0 clue because Riot doesn’t put in the effort to update their spreadsheet more than once a month. Note that I couldn't find THGSpencerZ's account in the spreadsheet, so let me know if you know who that is.
That’s it, sorry for the long post. Check the video if you want more details and clarity since it is MUCH easier to follow along to the video. I’m not here to flame other players. I just want to hold Competitive TFT to a higher standard and promote a more competitive environment. And yes, I realize that thatsPRIMAL just qualified to the next stage of the tournament. But honestly, anyone can high roll on any day, and many other players were more deserving of this free dice roll to try to get into the NA Regional Finals. For example, I’ve faced top challenger players on ladder myself and manage to do decently or even win in some games. You would be a fool to think that a Master player will outplay Top 20 players in a bigger sample size. Again, I’m a weekend player, and my weekend account (https://lolchess.gg/profile/na/lunarprincessd) is a higher rank than some of these players, and I strongly believe that there is an enormous skill gap between a random GM and a top 20 player. It’d be like a GM playing in low Diamond or Plat. But hey, in 4 games, anything can happen because the sample size is so small.
Again, none of the other players who probably should have been invited should speak out because they will be seen negatively in the community and hurt their invite chances in the future. Since I don’t care about invites, I hope I can speak up for those players who should probably remain silent. I’d also like to reiterate that the players who got invited aren’t at fault—it’s the tournament organizers whose actions make it look like they are out of touch with the TFT scene.
I’d love to hear more from the C9 Tournament Organizer about the format, invites, and timing.
Edit: updated chart to include Spencer's points
Some people say "they are trying! give them a break!"
Here's an article from C9 that implies they would do weekly updates for the Ladder Point standings on June 5: https://cloud9.gg/latest/cloud9-tft-nebula-na-qualifiers-kick-off/ It appears they couldn't afford to pay an intern to write one article per week to update the standings. We don't even need a write up, we just need the points updated (as of 7/10 Cycle 8 is still not visible)
I’d also like to reiterate that this isn’t some random tournament. This is one that affects world championship opportunities for players
submitted by BunnyMuffins to CompetitiveTFT [link] [comments]

I would like to build understanding with the angry about why some of us fans, and the critics, loved the Last of Us II

So the biggest game release recently is TLOUII, it has been the fastest-selling Sony PS4 title of all-time and near universal acclaim from critics. Nevertheless, a vocal number of fans are not happy about it and I'm sure people are aware of the Metacritic user score on it. I've noticed it's actually going up over the last few days as more people complete the game, since clearly a number of the negative reviews were from people that didn't complete let alone play it, but I would be in denial if I said there were not a vocal number of players who did play and complete it who did not like it.
I would like to use this post not to convince anyone who did not like the game that they are "wrong" - taste is subjective. I'm also not here to convince anyone to play the game, I have no affiliation with Sony/ND beyond being someone who enjoyed the game.
However, I have seen posts from people who seem to think its absurd that the 10/10 scores could be real, were paid off etc., or that anyone who did love it is in denial.
I think the easiest way to do that is to address some of the major criticisms, long post incoming -
'Forced SJW content' - Some players are mad that you play a lesbian (Ellie). She's been established to be attracted to women as far back as the DLC for the first game, so it's nothing new, but this game certainly continues to explore that with a lesbian relationship. There is also a trans character in the game, and no it's not Abby. In my view the LGBT aspects of this game are all very organic and don't predominate the story, and they fit in well with it. On the other hand, in a sense yes they are 'forced' in that the developer chose to put them into the game. It's a choice that they made because these people exist in the real world today and they were interested in putting those types of characters in the game and exploring those themes. If this is barrier to you enjoying the game I'm not sure what I can say to convince you otherwise, other than for you to understand that many of us either don't mind or outright enjoy this type of content, even if we have no particular stake in LGBT issues.
Killing Joel - This game kills Joel very early on in the game. There are two major criticisms of this, one about 'logic' and the other from a narrative perspective. People are saying it's a plot hole, that Joel would never let his guard down and is a hardline survivalist etc., However, the point is it's been several years since the first game and Joel has achieved a life of relative normalcy in Jackson, presumably they bring lots of other survivors into the neighbourhood this way before.
In terms of the choice to do it, keep in mind the first game killed a young girl you played as and the main character's daughter in the opening minutes of the game. It was a bold choice as well, the difference here is it's harder in a sequel when you've built up a longer relationship (and years of nostalgia) over a character, but for many of us we can appreciate why it was the right one as an inciting event.
The game does not 'disrespect Joel' -- the game is still very much about the relationship Ellie has with Joel, and their cutscenes and flashbacks together are some of the most poignant in the game. You're meant to be mad he's killed, as it fuels Ellie's desire for revenge which is what the game is about.
Abby - So many at this point know that you play as Abby, Joel's killer for much of the second half of the game. This might be enough to make players' blood boil.
I initially hated Abby too and had no idea how they could make her likeable, but I ultimately found her more likeable than Ellie in this game. The leaks completely misrepresented what Abby's sections of the game are -- she isn't actually on a revenge journey with Ellie for the vast majority of it. Her gameplay sections and story are actually more varied and far less one-note than Ellie's with more varied environments, character's and themes rather than just overgrown Seattle and revenge.
A lot of her story is about letting people in (particularly Lev and Yara). I've loved many of Naughty Dog's characters but the Uncharted heroes and Ellie, while having moments of warmth, fundamentally engage with the world with snark -- while Joel was detached and not willing to let players in. Abby is really earnest and compassionate, and is actually far more merciful than Ellie (she only wanted to kill one person for revenge, not hundreds).
There is a lot of stuff online about how she's absurdly jacked, well, she's essentially been training for revenge and to be a soldier for much of her life, has a dorm literally across from the gym, is someone who believes in order and stability (so it makes sense she would conform her body to these standards). More importantly, there's a thematic reason for this -- in the final confrontation part of why Ellie doesn't kill Abby is she's withered away and is a shell of her former self. It's a physical representation of how she's changed, the Abby that killed Joel simply doesn't exist any more.
Pointless sex scene - Yeah the second I saw this scene I knew it would be memed and some of the memes are pretty funny. However I don't think the scene is actually awful in context, Owen and Abby have a history together, they're emotionally heightened which leads to increased intimacy which they then consummate it. Obviously ND are intentionally pushing the boundaries here but it's not totally context-free or pointless even if it's going to be memed forever. And yeah Abby is not a conventionally attractive female and it differs from a lot of games in that respect and that the sex is not a result of reward/saving the day/picking the right game choices ala Mass Effect but that doesn't really make it bad
The characters are boring, especially in the second half - This is simply going to be a matter of taste but what I will say is objectively clear is that the characters in the first game are far more iconic/archetypical/representational about what they represent in the story, so I actually agree they are less 'interchangeable' in that sense than the characters in this story.
However, I think this part of the point, the fact that the characters in this story are in many ways painfully normal and a lot alike underscores the themes in the game that despite having so much in common, when groups form and are driven by anger and hate it doesn't require huge differences for them to see each other as enemies.
The Seraphites are pointless and are just so Abby has someone to fight - Okay, so more than anything I think my points here are what I am going to get the most flak for and called pretentious for bringing up OR even if you agree with me and accept that I'm right, you will say Druckmann/Naughty Dog are pretentious for this being an influence on the game.
But I'll just go right ahead and say it -- I think this section of the game (and broader aspects of the game) are heavily inspired by the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the cycle of war in the Middle East and foreign policy.
I am not just saying this because Druckmann is Israeli and there is a Jewish character in the game. Before you call me crazy, listen to the Official PS Last of Us Podcast with Ep 1 where Druckmann outright says he follows Israeli politics intently and he's talking about Hamas and it's influences in the game.
I am not saying you need to be aware of this conflict to get anything out of the themes of the game, but I think particularly if you think the Seraphites have no meaning it can help to think about them through the less of conflicts over homeland, the idea that "one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist", that "for each terrorist you kill you create ten more" (their friends and family etc.,), the idea that you can be drawn into violent conflicts simply as a result of where you are born, religious fanaticism etc.,
Some of these are themes that are more directly related to Abby's story but parallel in Ellie's as well, and there is dialogue that is particularly on the nose about it in Day 1 of Abby's story between the soldiers in WLF (*cough*IDF*cough*).
The gameplay is not that good and has not meaningfully evolved from the first - I really, really enjoyed the gameplay of this game. If you haven't liked the gameplay of previous ND games (I.e. Uncharted and the Last of Us) I don't think this will change your mind, but I really think they have refined (while admittedly yes, not drastically changing) the gameplay of the 1st.
The increased mobility e.g going prone lead to some sequences which feel like a more streamlined MGS, there are survival horror sections that rival that of RE (the Abby rat king boss fight!) and I also think people who don't like the gameplay should consider playing on Hard. Taking out a few dudes guerilla tactics style, getting spotted, hiding, going again... I loved it.
It is misery porn and there is no levity - There is plenty of moments of levity and warmth between the characters, both in the present day and the flashbacks. It is absolutely a very violent and confronting game that is very bleak in a lot of aspects, but I don't think it can be said that it is relentless. The theme of the game is 'look for the light in the darkness' and that comes through.
This game does not deserve a 10/10 from critics Part 1 (other aspects of the game) - Scores are just scores. They don't capture every point a critic might have about a game. They might feel a game has minor flaws but still give it 10/10 (check out the review policy of a lot of sites - many are of the view there is no such thing as a 'perfect' game and define 10s by other metrics i.e. landmark game, must play, moves the medium forward etc., Alanah Pearce has a good video about this which I'd encourage you to look up.
Whatever you think about the story, these critics are taking into account a lot of things. Most enjoyed the gameplay, and I think even someone who disliked the story and gameplay of this game would be hard-pressed to deny that the graphics are incredible. Sound design, music, performances from the actors.... there's stuff here which is at the top of their craft.
The game does not deserve a 10/10 from critics Part 2 (the story) - So the major point people make is this is a story based game, they think the story is bad, how can a critic give it 10/10. Well the long and short of it is people like different things and that critic genuinely liked the story.
However, I do think there are some things which explain why there is a gap in critic and user opinions on this.
Critics play games and write about them for a living. They play a shitload of games and have to write about a lot of generic games. When a game comes along like TLOU2 and takes some big swings that TLOU2 does, it's exciting for a critic since it's different to the other games they're playing and writing about day in and day out since there's a lot more to say about the story than normal. Critics are also often more likely to have English/journalism degrees and enjoy things that play with formal structure and yes, I will say it, 'subvert expectations' The Last Jedi style because those types of things are valued in those circles more than to the general public.
Whereas a lot of the general public will see games that attempt these sorts of things as trying to be too clever, pretentious etc., etc., and just want to play something that is a blast without those elements.
Neither side on that point is right, it's just people appreciating different things. All I will say is, ND did four (well, technically five) Uncharted games in that style for people who want a more straightforward, rollicking good time adventure. TLOU has been their series to push the boundaries a bit more and for me, I'm so glad they did.
I hope someone reading this can understand why some of us loved it but for those who don't I'd love to have a conversation about it.
submitted by timmytimed to truegaming [link] [comments]

Selling a Website Series: Part 1- Valuing Your Site

Hello all,I've seen a lot of posts here recently about selling a website and have chatted with a few people from the subreddit about my experiences and recommendations, so I figured I'd type it all out here so people can publicly comment on what they've seen the same or different and maybe even learn something.
I originally intended this to be one post but it got too long so I'll break it up into maybe 4 parts.
My BackgroundI've sold affiliate sites from $8k up to mid-high 6 figures on many different platforms. I'm going to give you my guide to selling a website based on my experiences. Much of this is going to be opinion-based. I'm going to tell you the truth as I see it. If you have a different experience please share it.
How Valuation is Done
Valuing a website is typically done by looking at the average profit (it's also possible to use revenue but less likely) from the last 12 months and multiplying it by a number or "multiple". I should note here that I'm going to be speaking about strictly websites that monetize with affiliate or advertising, I've never worked with SaaS, membership sites, etc.
For example - A site making $10k/mo for the last 12 months at a 30x multiple would be worth $300k. The same site at a 40x multiple would be worth $400k.
Valuing an affiliate/advertising website has a general rule of thumb - last 12 months profit at a 30-36x multiple. Emphasis on "rule of thumb". There are many variables that go into landing on valuation. I would guess 80% of deals or more land in 28-36x though.
The last two 6 figure sites I've sold, both in the past 2-3 years, have gone for exactly 33x.
Some brokers have "website valuation tools" that will ask you for a variety of metrics like monthly page views, niche, monetization methods, profit, etc. Note that some brokers won't send you their estimated valuations until you give them your email address. Also, note that brokers are incentivized to give you a higher valuation than it will really sell for. This is because they want you to sign an exclusive contract with them more than anything, that's where their incentives lay.
Getting the Monthly Average Profit
As I stated, the "gold standard" of choosing the base number for your valuation your average profit over the past 12 months. This isn't always used, though. Let's say months 1-6, the site was averaging $1k/mo, but months 6-12 the site started ranking high in Google and averaged 10k/mo. Your 12-month average profit is ~$5.5k/mo, but that doesn't reflect how you would expect the site to perform going forward.
In this situation, you can ask for a valuation based on the last 6 months (or 9 months, or 3 months but probably not shorter than 3). Buyers will recognize that your site has hit a new earnings plateau and you expect to be compensated based on that.
This may mean you take a lower multiple, but that's OK. In most cases, it works out in your favor. For the above example - $5.5k/mo at 35x is 192k, but $10k/mo at 25x is $250k. Note: I wouldn't expect this site to actually sell for 25x, that's much too low. It's just illustrating how the multiple isn't the most important number in most cases.
Factors that Affect the Multiple
The main factors that go into the multiple you get are -
There are other important factors of a website, but IMO most of those actually go into how willing/eager someone is to buy the site rather than the multiple that gets attached to it. This can feed back into the valuation if you have multiple buyers in a bidding war but we'll talk about other factors in another post.
Closing Thoughts
In my opinion, 30-35x is a fair multiple for the last 12 months' average revenue. I would aim for maybe 35-38x asking price so there's room to negotiate.
Smaller sites that are rapidly growing may go for 40x+ because it's clear the older months aren't an accurate representation of the next 12 months (momentum of revenue).
The number you can control the most is the monthly profit, so focus on that. Don't get hung up on the multiple. If you only have one interested buyer, your multiple is likely to get negotiated down regardless but the monthly profit is the anchor of your valuation that ultimately determines what it's worth.
Part 2 (if interested) will be an overview of the different ways (auction, broker, private buyer) to sell a site.
submitted by MJR_Major to juststart [link] [comments]

New and Improved Rules! Updates and Clarifications, for Your Viewing Pleasure

Hi all!
Your moderator team has been hard at work behind the scenes preparing updated and clarified rules for use on the sub. Our goal with this update is to be as clear as possible for users as well as for ourselves in our moderation activities. This update is necessary due to our continued growth as well as gaps in the rules that we've noticed over the past several months.
We'll be taking input through Friday, discussing any additional changes based on your feedback over the weekend, and the rules will be updated in the various places they live on the sub early next week. While it is highly unlikely we will be making changes to the spirit of these rules, we're open to changes that increase clarity and ease of use. No moderator actions will be based on the new rules until they have gone live in the sidebawiki/etc.
Thank you all for being awesome.
Quick guide/explainer - we have essentially done a long and short version of the rules, short version will live in the sidebar and include a link to the full version that will live in the wiki. Where you see "further clarification here" will always be the link to the full wiki version, which is what follow it in each section. Please read "Kickstarter" as meaning any crowdfunding site.

Be Kind

SIDEBAR: Every interaction on the subreddit must be kind, respectful, and welcoming. Do not engage in hate speech, racism, sexism, targeted harassment, dog whistles, devil’s advocate, arguing in bad faith, sealioning, or general pot stirring. This is an LGBTQ+ friendly space. Acting in bad faith in this community can and likely will have consequences.
Further clarification here.
Our vision is to build a reputation for inclusive, welcoming dialogue where creators and fans of all types of speculative fiction mingle. The community always comes first.
Hate speech, racism, sexism, targeted harassment, dog whistles, devil’s advocate, arguing in bad faith, sealioning, and general pot stirring are not permitted. No person should ever feel threatened, harassed, or unwelcome. Any of the above couched in “polite” or joking language will not be tolerated. We are committed to protecting and supporting our marginalized or vulnerable community members.
Marginalized or vulnerable groups include, but are not limited to, groups based on their actual and perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or disability. These include victims of a major violent event and their families.
Please see Reddit’s site-wide content policy for further information on the standards we set for our community members.

Hide All Spoilers

SIDEBAR: Hide All Spoilers, no matter how old. Spoiler tags look like this: text goes here Please make sure that there are no spaces between ! and the text.
Further clarification here.
Hide all spoilers, regardless of the age of the media.
If an entire post will be spoiler discussion, indicate so in the title, eg. “Spoiler Discussion for The Empire Strikes Back” and toggle spoiler mode on. If a comment in a thread without spoilers will disclose a spoiler, tag it appropriately.
Spoiler tags that work for both versions of Reddit and on mobile look like this: /text goes here/ will look like Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker.
**Please make sure that there are no spaces between ! and the text** or it may not show up correctly on all devices: >! text goes here!<, text goes here or >! text goes here !< do not work on all devices.

No Pirated Content

SIDEBAR: Absolutely no pirated content or references to pirated content. Breaking this rule will result in an immediate ban.
Further clarification here.
Do not post links to, reference how to access, or request creative work that has not been authorized by the rights holder. Do not encourage piracy in any way, shape, or form. Piracy includes, but is not limited to, YouTube videos of audiobooks/movies, PDFs of books, blogs whose content is books, etc. The content will be removed and you may face an immediate ban.
Any external link to original content must either be on the creator’s own site or properly attributed.
Fair use of copyrighted material is allowed. If you have questions about whether something you would like to submit is allowed under fair use, please contact the mods.

Art and Image Posts

SIDEBAR: Only regular and consistent community members can post art. The artist MUST be credited in the title. If you are the artist, our Self-Promotion Policy also applies. Please read the full rules, linked below, prior to posting art.
Do not post direct image links or memes.
Further clarification here.
Memes
Memes and meme-like content are never allowed.
Images
Image posts are typically not allowed. This includes static images, gifs, etc. If you are posting fantasy-related art, please see our rules surrounding art posts below.
Images may be used within text posts to supplement a discussion topic.
Interesting or unusual photos are permitted at moderator discretion; if you believe your photo falls into this category, you must reach out via modmail for prior approval. Author signatures, author photos, and pets do not qualify.
Cover reveals are allowed. You may post this as an image. If you are the author of the book, or friends with the author of the book, then our self-promotion rules apply. Only one post per cover reveal is allowed, and all others will be redirected - including those by the author if they were not the first to post.
Shelfies, hauls, etc may be posted in the monthly “Show and Tell” thread. See our recurring posts calendar for more information.
Art Posts
"Art" includes, but is not limited to, paintings, cosplay, jewelry, metalwork, and woodworking.
If you are the artist, our Self-Promotion Policy also applies.
Only regular community members can post art. By this we mean community members who consistently participate in the sub. Stopping by only to make a few comments or posts before posting your art does not make you a regular community member. We are primarily a discussion-based subreddit rather than an art sharing platform. If it is clear you are primarily here to share art rather than to participate in discussion, then this conduct fails to fulfill the Fantasy mission.
Art may be posted as a direct image link.
The artist MUST be credited in the title even if the artist is you. Usernames are okay.
All links or discussions surrounding art commissions or purchases belong in the bi-weekly self promotion thread. See our recurring posts calendar for more information.
Spoiler warnings and NSFW tags must be applied to art if necessary. Do not post any art that is primarily erotic or otherwise highly disturbing in nature.
All art must have a clear speculative fiction related element. Off topic art will be removed.
Do not repost art that has been shared previously in Fantasy.
If you would like to post art in a format or other manner that is not specifically mentioned in our rules, please contact us via modmail for discussion and prior approval.

Discussion Posts, Recommendation Requests, & Simple Questions

SIDEBAR: Detailed, specific recommendation request posts are highly encouraged! However, if you are unsure what you are looking for and are having trouble describing it clearly, we ask that you please use our Daily Simple Questions & Recommendations thread instead.
Discussion posts are welcome, but if your question or topic is limited in scope and does not generate opportunity for meaningful discussion it will also be redirected. All discussion posts should encourage a high level of community engagement.
Crossposts, other than AMAs, are not allowed.
Further clarification here.
Discussion Posts
All posts should encourage a high level of community engagement. Opportunity for community engagement is the key aspect we use to determine whether a post is allowed on the subreddit.
All off topic posts will be removed or redirected to a more appropriate thread. Off topic posts include posts that do not reference specific works of published speculative fiction, posts that do not discuss speculative fiction at all, or which otherwise fail to fulfill the Fantasy mission. For example, a post asking about whether elves would be more fond of salsa dancing or if they’d prefer the two-step would be considered off topic.
Crossposts
Crossposts are not allowed **except** in the case of AMAs. Do not crosspost recommendation requests. Instead, make a new thread with the same content on Fantasy.
Recommendation requests
Recommendation requests that do not provide opportunity for the community to engage beyond picking from a list, which are too vague for personalized recommendations, or which are limited to a yes/no answer will be redirected to the Daily Simple Questions & Recommendations thread. It’s most important to be specific about what you are looking for; the length of a request is less important than the content.
Simple Questions
Simple Questions that are limited in scope and do not generate opportunity for meaningful discussion will be redirected to the Daily Simple Questions & Recommendations thread.
Some examples of threads that will be redirected:

Self-Promotion & Karma Farming

SIDEBAR: Self-Promotion includes any content you have a vested interest in. This includes content created by your friends or family. Whether you have a financial stake in the content is not relevant to this policy; promoting free, non-monetized content you have created falls under this policy just the same as monetized content.
The vast majority of your interactions on the subreddit should not be referencing you, your work, or have any promotional element whatsoever. This includes indirect references.
Please read our full rules prior to engaging in any form of self promotion.
Karma farming is the practice of repeatedly linking or spamming content in the subreddit without meaningfully engaging with the community. This is never allowed.
Further clarification here.
Self Promotion
Self-Promotion includes any content you have a vested interest in. This includes content created by your friends or family. Whether you have a financial stake in the content is not relevant to this policy; promoting free, non-monetized content you have created falls under this policy just the same as monetized content.
We firmly believe here at Fantasy that the community should always come first. As such, only regular community members may engage in self promotion. By this we mean community members who consistently participate in the sub. The vast majority of your interactions on the subreddit should not be referencing you, your work, or have any promotional element whatsoever. This includes indirect references. Stopping by only to make a few comments or posts before posting promotional content does not make you a regular community member. If it is clear you are primarily here to use Fantasy as an advertising platform rather than to participate in discussion, then this conduct fails to fulfill the Fantasy mission.
If you are not a regular community member, you can still post in our bi-weekly self-promotion thread. See our recurring posts calendar for more information.
Release day announcements are typically not allowed without an additional community engagement element. This usually involves a sale or giveaway. If you would like to do a release day announcement, please contact us via modmail first.
Cover reveals are allowed so long as they follow all other self promotion guidelines. You may post this as an image. Only one post per cover reveal is allowed, and all others will be redirected - including those by the author if they were not the first to post.
AMAs are reserved for authors who have either built up a large following or who are traditionally published. See our AMA Guide for further info. All other authors can sign up for our Writer of the Day series here.
If you would like to advertise a Giveaway, Kickstarter, sale, or post a referral link, please see our specific policies outlining these actions.
If you would like to make a post that is not specifically mentioned in our rules, please contact us via modmail for discussion and prior approval.
Karma Farming
Karma farming is the practice of repeatedly linking or spamming content in the subreddit without meaningfully engaging with the community. It is a form of self promotion in the same way that seeking higher blog stats is despite a lack of monetary gain. This is never allowed.
This is true even of content that is fantasy-related and generally relevant to the community. If we see a pattern of consistently linking articles, videos, or other content while never engaging with the community, this falls under karma farming. The vast majority of your interactions on the subreddit should consist of good faith participation in discussion.
If it is clear you are primarily here to use Fantasy as an opportunity to karma farm rather than to participate in discussion, then this conduct fails to fulfill the Fantasy mission.

Videos, Music, and Other Content

SIDEBAR: Trailers for professional films, book trailers, and author interviews are typically allowed. Fan-made projects and amateur films will be removed or redirected to a more appropriate thread. Please see the Articles, Blogs, and Reviews section for information on how to post a video review. Music posts are not allowed.
Please read our full rules prior to posting any videos, music, or other media content.
Video Posts
Trailers for professional films, tv shows, video games, etc are okay. Duplicate posts by multiple users will be removed.
Book trailers posted by the author will be subject to self promo rules.
Author interviews or panels may be posted directly. If you are the creator of the video, self promotion rules apply.
Video reviews are subject to the Articles, Blogs, and Reviews policy. Do not post video reviews as a direct, top level post. See the Articles, Blogs, and Reviews section for more info.
Fan-made projects and amateur films will be removed or redirected to a more appropriate thread.
Please contact the mod team via modmail prior to posting any other videos that are not directly covered in our video post rules.
Music Posts
Music posts are not allowed. Do not link to songs that remind you of fantasy books. Do not link playlists. If you believe your content is different and deserving of an exception, please contact us via modmail prior to posting.
Other Content
If you would like to make a post that is not specifically mentioned in our rules, please contact us via modmail for discussion and prior approval.

Articles, Blogs, and Reviews

SIDEBAR: If you are in any way affiliated with a blog, we ask that you refrain from directly linking it. Instead, please reformat any discussion posts or reviews here as a text post. You must include the full text of your article or review. You may include a link to your blog within the post.
Direct links to trade publication reviews and articles are allowed.
Video reviews may be linked within a text post that clearly explains the full content of the video in question. Community members should not need to watch the video in order to get a full understanding of your opinions and thoughts on the book.
Please read our full rules prior to posting any reviews from your blog or youtube channel.
Further clarification here.
Trade Publications
Direct links to trade publication reviews are allowed. (eg. Publisher’s Weekly, Tor.com, Kirkus Reviews, etc).
Personal Blogs
Do not directly link your own blogs, your friends’ blogs, or any other blogs whose success you have a vested interest in. However, if you are the owner or an author affiliated with the blog, you are welcome to reformat the post for Reddit and create a text post instead of linking directly. The text post must contain the full content of your post; users should not need to click through to read the full article or review.
If reformatting for reddit is not possible without the article losing meaning, please contact us via modmail to request an exception. Usually, this includes posts that rely heavily on graphics, contain interactive elements, or which have other special attributes that are unable to be recreated on reddit.
Text Reviews
Text-based reviews are always welcome! If posted from a blog, please follow the rules surrounding personal blogs.
Video Reviews
Do not directly post a link to video reviews.
Video reviews may be linked within a text post that clearly explains the full content of the video in question. Community members should not need to watch the video in order to get a full understanding of the opinions and thoughts expressed in the video. Example of a well-formatted video review post approved by the mod team. All video review threads should have at least this much detail.
Video reviews may also be posted in the Review Tuesday thread.
If you would like to make a type of article or blog post that is not specifically mentioned in our rules, please contact us via modmail for discussion and prior approval.

Writing and Publishing Discussion

SIDEBAR: All writing advice belongs in our weekly Writing Wednesday thread. Outside of this thread, no requests for critiques/help with your writing, plot, maps, etc. are allowed.
If you would like to discuss your own experience as an author outside of an AMA, such as the path to traditional publication or the challenges you face with self publication, please sign up for our Writer of the Day series here.
Further clarification here.
All writing advice belongs in our weekly Writing Wednesday thread. Outside of this thread, no requests for critiques/help with your writing, plot, maps, etc. are allowed. Posts relating to hypothetical worldbuilding or other creative pursuits will also be redirected to the Writing Wednesday thread.
If you prefer to post in a subreddit dedicated to writing, try fantasywriters or worldbuilding. Please be aware that we are not affiliated with either of these subreddits and ensure to carefully read their rules prior to posting.
If you would like to discuss your own experience as an author outside of an AMA, such as the path to traditional publication or the challenges you face with self publication, please sign up for our Writer of the Day series here.
If you would like to make a post that is not specifically mentioned in our rules, please contact us via modmail for discussion and prior approval.

Surveys, Polls, Homework, and Academia

SIDEBAR: Do not ask Fantasy for help with your school project or homework.
Surveys and polls MUST be approved via modmail before being posted to the sub. Surveys may only be posted as a link within a text/self post. Do not post surveys as a direct link.
If you have a question about making a post that is academia-related but not a survey or homework help request, please contact us via modmail for discussion and prior approval.
Please read our full rules prior to posting any surveys, polls, or other academic content.
Homework
Do not ask Fantasy for help with your school project or homework.
Recommendation requests related to homework assignments must be approved via modmail prior to posting.
Academic surveys are only permitted if they follow all requirements listed below.
Surveys and Polls
Surveys and polls MUST be approved via modmail before being posted to the sub. Surveys may only be posted as a link within a text/self post. Do not post surveys as a direct link.
While we the mods aren't completely opposed to the sub being used as a place to gather data, we DO want the data you gather to be useful, credible, and responsible. There are multiple post-graduate educated mods on the sub, and we're serious about research.
When requesting permission to post a survey via modmail, please answer the following questions:
  1. Please provide a link to the survey itself.
  2. What is the intended use of the survey results?
  3. Was this survey reviewed and approved by your Institutional Review Board (or equivalent)? This is to ensure that your research questions protect the rights of the human subjects (the /fantasy members). IRB approved projects will require a statement of such upfront, usually the opening page of a survey, including an informed consent statement. If you don't know what this all means and are in an educational setting, please talk to your teacheprofessoTA, and be prepared to at least include an informed consent statement, even if your project for some reason doesn't rise to the level of IRB review.
  4. If you are asking any demographic questions, please verify that these following the requirements on/samplesize. This includes using race and ethnicity questions properly, and supplying at least an "other" option for gendesex. Please take Fantasy’s international userbase into account. It's also a good idea to think critically about what you want to do with demographic questions and whether how you've broken the demographic response options down will allow you to draw those conclusions (often, age brackets are something this is an issue with).
If these requirements seem onerous to you, remember that we do an annual census of the subreddit, and that data is available to everyone - past surveys are archived here.
Remember that any survey here only represents the users of this subreddit, and that your data is likely to be skewed as a result. It's useful to post in many places for the best representation (unless your research is specifically about reddit). Posting in /samplesize is a useful tool, as is other social media, particularly twitter.
It's a best practice to share your findings with folks who participate in your survey/study. If you have results to share, please do so, again as a self post.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. We want this to be a useful tool for folks, but we also don't want our users to feel taken advantage of.
All Other Academia
If you have a question about making a post that is academia-related but not a survey or homework help request, please contact us via modmail for discussion and prior approval.

Events, Giveaways, Sales, Referral Links, and Kickstarters

SIDEBAR: All events, both fan-driven and professional, must be coordinated with the moderation team via modmail.
Only authors may use referral links. They may only use them for their own books.
All giveaways must be hosted on the fantasy sub itself and not via a 3rd party site (including mailing lists, FB, Twitter, etc.).
Only one post per sale. Sales must be linked to directly (ie, not an image post with the link in a comment). Duplicate posts will be removed.
Only one post per Kickstarter is allowed even if new stretch goals are added
Please read our full rules prior to posting any events, giveaways, sales, or Kickstarters.
While events, giveaways, sales, and Kickstarters are not directly subject to our self-promotion policy, please understand that they are not a loophole to be exploited in order to “get around” our self promotion rules. The community comes first.
Events
Fan Events
If an event that is driven and organized by fans is large enough, we request that the event-runners contact us via modmail to create a plan for posting each milestone phase of the event on the subreddit.
If the event-runners do not contact the moderation team, we will discuss internally and present a plan to whomever we believe to be in charge of the event. In the absence of discussion, we will move forward with said plan. Generally speaking, we prefer to utilize megathreads to keep discussion centralized and cohesive.
Professional Events
Professionally run events, such the virtual author events Orbit ran during quarantine, will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Please contact us via modmail to discuss.
Referral Links
Only authors may use referral links. They may only use them for their own books.
Giveaways
All giveaways must be hosted on the fantasy sub itself and not via a 3rd party site (including mailing lists, FB, Twitter, etc.).It’s okay to have multiple ways to enter so long as at least one of them does not require leaving reddit. For example, a giveaway could allow you to enter by retweeting on Twitter in addition to commenting on the reddit thread.
Giveaways must be posted as a text post. Direct image links are not allowed.
Sales
Only one post per sale. Sales must be linked to directly (ie, not an image post with the link in a comment). Duplicate posts will be removed.
Only a temporary reduction in price counts as sale, perma-free things (such as books in the Kindle Unlimited library), do not and will be removed.
No personal sales of books between users are allowed. Fantasy is not a marketplace. Please only link to discounted books being offered by retailers.
Kickstarters
Only one post per Kickstarter is allowed even if new stretch goals are added. Please think carefully on when you would like to post - whether to post at the start of fundraising, in the middle, or to announce successful funding.
In addition to this, you are welcome to post in the bi-weekly self promotion thread. See our recurring posts calendar for more information.
Other Posts
If you would like to make a post that is not specifically mentioned in our rules, or have any questions, please contact us via modmail.

Edit:
This is a list of tweaks we're working on based on feedback so far: (updated 8 am EDT Friday, this list in non-exhaustive and in progress)
submitted by rfantasygolem to Fantasy [link] [comments]

Growing A Blog Network To >$25,000 A Month! - June 2020 - $4744/$25,000.

So this is my second monthly update post for Reddit and it is essentially a text-based version of my monthly update video that I post too. Income is down this month but I think that it is due to having so many returns for the Amazon Affiliate Program but thankfully, returns have normalized towards the middle/end of June so I am hoping that July won't have this issue. My theory is that people started using their stimulus cheques to purchase the professional level gear in one of the niches that I have an affiliate blog in and then ended up returning the items as they realized they only needed the amateur level gear or something.
My income screenshots for the month of June are below but the site level income screenshots later in the article are for Amazon.com only as it makes up around 75% of my income and going into the other Amazon storefronts to get screenshots for their trackers is a pain.
Previous Updates
May 2020
Just a few points to quickly cover from FAQs from last month's update. I don't give out any of the actual URLs for my affiliate blogs as it is too easy to use a tool like AHRefs to scan them and duplicate the more profitable keywords with your own articles on your own sites. I had a number of people reaching out last month as they wanted to see what my affiliate blogs look like but I go over examples of how I format my affiliate and display ad articles in this video and little to nothing has changed in the layout of my articles since publishing that.
I also had a few people reaching out and asking what my daily workflow looks like as an affiliate blogger and this a day in the life video pretty much covers it. I am still in the scaling phase for my blogs so doing a large amount of the work myself while outsourcing various tasks where possible too. I also had a bunch of people reaching out and asking how they could get started with affiliate blogging and I published this Quora answer to a similar question over the weekend that's almost 4000 words that may be helpful.
Generation One Domains
My generation one domains use a keyword research method that is not as efficient as it once was due to the 4th May 2020 Google update to their algorithm. Additionally, many of these first-generation domains were tests to transition from old school automated black hat SEO to a more Google-friendly method of off-page SEO.
Domain 1 - $164
- Analytics
- Income
- Wordcount
Nothing has changed for this domain since the May 2020 update due to it having been hit by the Google Media algorithm update as well as being in a niche where the April 2020 Amazon Affiliate commission cuts reduced its income by around 60%. I don't plan to work on this domain anymore due to this and I haven't added a new article to it since early 2018 if I remember correctly. I am happy with it ticking over bringing in $164 a month from now on as the domain has been profitable for a while now. It's just a shame that just as its traffic starts to pick up, Amazon decide to cut their commission rates for its niche else I think this domain would be >$500 per month now.
Domain 2 - $1179
- Analytics
- Income
- Wordcount
- Dedicated Site Report Video
Similar to domain 1 covered above, nothing has changed for this domain since the May 2020 update and I haven't published a new article to the domain since September 2019. It has also been hit negatively by two Google updates but thankfully the Google update in November 2019 recovered it from the negative updates and it's now doing better than ever. I put a video up on what to expect for your first six months of blogging featuring this domain as I feel that it is likley the best example that I have from my current portfolio for anyone wanting to get started with affiliate blogging.
Domain 3 - $1952
- Analytics
- Income
- Wordcount
- Dedicated Site Report Video
Although I have not actually published any new content on this domain in the month of June, I have been researching some new products that have been confirmed for the niche. The regular teaser videos are on YouTube with photos on the brands social media accounts but there is no real information on the specs, price, or release date for the items. Out of the three, I think two will be really good and popular within the niche so once I have more info I will be putting out more content for them but the third item seems to be a more expensive version of one of their current items so not sure how that one will do.
The community based around this particular niche has been putting out a bunch of speculation regarding price, specs, and release date but I can't find anything solid from the actual brand. As we are already a week into July I doubt they will be released this month now but time will tell. Even if the brand releasing these products would just confirm the specs and price I can start knocking out the bare bones of some articles with the correct information but until then I will just focus on growing my newer domains.
I have noticed a compeating domain in this niche that seems to have used a tool like AHRefs to scan my domain and pull the keywords that it is ranking in Google for. The new compeating domain is only publishing articles targeting keywords that my domain is already ranking in the top three of Google for but their on-page SEO is not as good as mine and from what I can tell, they are not doing any off-page SEO either.
Right now I am not taking this compeating domain as a threat but if they do start to build backlinks to their content and fix the on-page SEO issues they are having I may have to spend some cash on this domain to get it stronger backlinks so it can keep ranking for the terms it is pulling traffic for.
Domain 4 - $284
- Analytics
- Income
- Wordcount
This domain is the one I started in January 2020 and it surprisingly saw some really solid growth in both traffic and income considering the problems it is having. Essentially, there is an issue with the Google indexing system right now that they have confirmed they are aware of but seem to be struggling to fix. They tweeted out at the start of June that they had fixed the issue but the comments on the twitter post and my own experience contradict this with some people on twitter saying that the "fix" actually made it worse for their domain.
This is a screenshot of this domains coverage tab from my Google Search Console and as you can see from the verticle bars, there was a dip in the pages that were excluded from the Google Index when I used the force index option in Search Console but Google kicked the pages backout of their index a few days later again. It's a shame because I have a bunch of keywords ready to go for this domain but I don't want to put the time and effort into publishing them only for them to not get indexed in Google and not be able to pull traffic and make money so I will be waiting until Google fix the issue.
I have had a bunch of people reaching out about this issue and how to fix it but it does just seem to be a gamble right now. Force indexing in Google Search Console fixed this issue for this domain for around a week before Google kicked the articles out of their index, for Domain 5 I used the exact same force indexing system and it fixed the issue for the domain. I'm just hoping that Google can work out what's actually wrong and fix it asap.
Domain 5 - $1.87
- Analytics - Google Traffic
- Analytics - Pinterest Traffic
- Income
- Wordcount
This is the domain that I launched on 1st May 2020 only for Google to release their 4th May 2020 update and make the keywords that I was targeting on the domain much higher competition. For this niche the Google update seems to have given sites like YouTube, Reddit, Quora, and Amazon much more weight in the SERPs and pushed them really high on page one. Although Domain 3 was also hit by this update dropping by around 20% in traffic (starting to see some recovery now), that niche was not hit anywhere near as badly as this one and I can definitely see how some people were reporting >80% traffic drops back in May for their blogs after taking a more in-depth look of how the update affected this niche.
All of the keyword research for this domain that was done in April is pretty much useless now due to the update. That said though, I have spend some time using my post 4th May update keyword research method to try and find keywords to grow this domain in the future once I am done with Domain 6. Although I have been able to find around 50, it is much harder to do in this niche now due to the way the May 4th update hit it.
I keep flip-flopping between trying to find more keywords to get it up to 10,000 monthly sessions so I can get it on Ezoic or Monumetric for the higher display ad income or just scrapping it and letting it die and going with a new niche for my display ad project. I am kind of using keyword research for this project as a way to break up the monotony for churning out the articles for Domain 6 though. I basically smash out an article for Domain 6 and then take a little break doing keyword research for this domain so I will see how many actionable keywords I have by the time Domain 6 is finished and I need something new to focus on content-wise.
One of my friends who is more experienced with informational intent keywords for display ad sites has a theory that this may just be an extension to the Google Sandbox effect for some niches/keyword combos. He is having the same issue with his latest domain and has sunk much more cash into his project than I have for mine. I'm not sure if this will pan out but there's not really anything else to do with the keywords already published on the domain than wait and see if it does pick up at the >6 months of age mark or not.
Generation Two Domains
My second generation domains are build using a keyword research method that I am developing after the 4th May 2020 Google update that affected the way I did keyword research for my first-generation affiliate domains above. These domains are also based around being smaller niche sites rather than large multi-niche sites so if a competitor does scan my domains with a tool such as AHRefs, they only get a small portion of the keywords for my full money site network.
Domain 6
- Wordcount
This domain has been my main focus for July and it was launched around the 1st June with the Wordcount count above. I have freelance writers helping me with the content for this domain and they are focusing on the longer buyer guide type posts for higher search volume/higher competition keywords while I am focusing on trying to knock out 50 articles using the zero search volume strategy that I have been playing with over the years.
The keywords that my freelance writers are working on are essentially a proof of concept for a theory I have for keyword research after the Google 4th May update and if it works then I will move forward with that method for my affiliate sites. The articles that I am focusing on are based around the latest version of the zero search volume strategy on the theory that as keyword tools usually say the keyword gets zero searches, most people ignore it and they tend to be lower competition and much easier to rank for.
From the test batches of these keywords that I have been putting on my older domains, these keywords do tend to get traffic, usually, around >50 hits per month but they don't require backlinking to actually rank in Google. Although 50 hits per month is not much, the last round of this strategy that I tried on domain 3 are running at around $100 per 1000 hits to the domain so with the right item price point, 20 of these articles can potentially bring in $100 a month and they are usually 1000-1500 words rather than 2000-4000 words too. Although its slightly different, Phil who runs this case study has confirmed that he uses a similar keyword research method and has managed to have his second >$500 month on a domain that is only six months old.
If this test batch of the zero search volume keywords works then I am actually considering making domain 7 based around nothing but these keywords with zero backlinks to it too as it can be another way to scale. As the method can be used for both affiliate and display ad keywords, I might try to use the method to try find keywords for Domain 5 too but as its a display ad site, the RPM might be too low to make it worth it.
submitted by shaun-m to Blogging [link] [comments]

How you can buy & sell profitable digital assets

"The rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.”
This quote has stuck with me for years since I've read the Rich Dad book.
By 2020, it’s estimated that a staggering 27 million Americans will leave the traditional workplace in favor of full-time self-employment.
A large percentage of these new entrepreneurs will start an online business.
So, is there still room for you online?
The answer is a big “YES”.
Unlike real estate investment, digital assets can be built even if you have no money to invest. If you have the right skills and are ready to invest your time, you can still build a high-value portfolio of online assets.
The faster path, however, is the one in which you invest both money and time in acquiring promising online businesses, improving them, and selling them for a higher price (just like flipping real estate)
For example, one investor acquired an online business for $7,500 from Flippa, worked on it for a year and sold it for $550K. (1)
This is why flipping websites, and other forms of digital assets, is one of the fastest and most lucrative ways to grow your wealth.
And many smart investors, including Robert Kiyosaki, are already doing it.
In this detailed guide, we’ll tell you exactly how the business of buying and selling websites works, why investing in digital assets is a smart move, the risks involved in this business model, and how you can get started as a website investor.
Types of digital assets
Every online business can be called a digital asset if it’s making money and has the potential to grow. Below are some of the common types of digital assets that people invest in:
  1. Websites Affiliate sites, eCommerce stores, blogs, magazines, etc. are all different forms of websites that are frequently traded on the internet. There are dozens of examples of high profile website acquisitions that turned common people into multi-millionaires For example, Viral Nova, a viral news blog run by just one person, was acquired for $100 million in 2015.
  2. Domain names Domain names (website URLs) become more valuable as they age which is why they’re considered a popular digital asset that people frequently invest in. For example, CarInsurance.com, bought for $49.7 million, is the most expensive publicly sold domain name ever. Business.com was sold for $7.5 million. The original owner bought them for a fraction of that price but held on long enough to profit.
  3. Mobile apps Mobile applications are harder to create as compared to a website which is why you don’t hear as many common people making a fortune by investing in them. Example, Summly, an app that served customized news content, was acquired by Yahoo for $30 million.
  4. Digital products People also invest in acquiring digital and info products like video courses, training programs, and membership programs that have the potential to grow by making small improvements. Acquiring digital products is slightly trickier as compared to other digital assets since they are mostly sold because of the original owner’s credibility and brand image. Unlike real estate, the value of a digital asset does not depend on its location (or the location of its owner) which is a huge advantage as compared to physical property. For example, 10Beasts is a simple product review site, started from scratch, by a marketer in his 20s a few years ago. Within a year of its inception, the site started making nearly $80K/month from Amazon commissions and sponsored content. The owner eventually sold it for $600K+ after profiting from it for over 2 years. Overall, he made more than $2 million from the whole project. You need to be careful though with some marketplaces charge high brokerage fees. There are some that have no buyer fees, do the due diligence for you and provide the legal docs. (2)
1 https://blog.flippa.com/blush-and-bar-sold/
2 https://investors.club/
submitted by kensav to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

State of the subreddit, 400k subscribers edition

A little over a year ago we hit 300,000 subscribers in /magictcg, and we did a series of "state of the subreddit" posts to talk about some things that were going on and that we wanted to do in the future. Here's the last of that series for context.
This week we hit 400,000 subscribers, and there's a lot of stuff going on, so here we are again.

What's new

We rolled out the updated subreddit rules last year. Aside from rule 8, and some of the people who've been on the wrong end of rule 1, people seem to be OK with the rules. Most of the drama last time around was the content-creator guidelines, and once we got that settled after a few rounds of feedback and changes, people have seemed pretty happy with that too. The one-per-week self-link policy has mostly held up well, and we haven't had to do much enforcement of it.
When we think someone is violating the one-per-week limit for promoting their content, we've been following a process of:
  1. Remove excess posts.
  2. Message the user to let them know we think they're over the limit.
  3. If they continue to go over the limit after that, try a temporary ban, and escalate that if they still don't change their behavior.
In about a year of enforcing the new content-creator guidelines, we've issued one permanent ban that I'm aware of for repeat violations.
We set up post flair, and at first we relied on a combination of AutoModerator guessing flairs from post titles and sending automatic reminders to people asking them to flair their post when it couldn't be sure what the right flair would be. More recently, reddit's been rolling out the ability to require flair selection at the time the post is submitted. We have this turned on, but it doesn't work on every version of reddit. I know it does work on new-design desktop, for example, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't work on old-design desktop. Since it's not universally enforced by reddit, we still have AutoModerator doing what it's been doing.
We've had several people ask why there's no "Discussion" or "Help" flairs. The answer is we've been trying to avoid super-generic categories like those, because just about any post could arguably use them. "I want help with a rules question, so I'll tag Help", for example, or "I want people to discuss this deck, so I'll tag Discussion". So we don't currently have plans to add those kinds of flairs. We are looking at adding some for expanding categories like people sharing Magic-related apps they've built, or posting links to forums/subreddits/Discords for specific formats, deck archetypes, communities, and so on.
We've also tried to clean up the subreddit sidebar, make it more useful than it was before, and keep its content consistent across all of reddit's various designs and platforms. We know some people miss the old magic-expanding list of Magic-related subreddits, but the expand/collapse effect only worked on the old desktop reddit design, and that version of the sidebar has a 10,000-character limit on what text we can put in it. So we moved that out to a wiki page, and now the sidebar links to that page. The new desktop reddit design has support for a calendar widget, and we've experimented a bit with that as a way to have upcoming events/products automatically show up at the right times, but unfortunately it doesn't work on old desktop reddit, and doesn't support much in the way of rich content. So the sidebar is manually updated for now.
Something that's gotten a more mixed response is a change to how we use AutoModerator. There are several triggers in our automod setup that try to give stock responses to some common and repetitive types of posts. For example, if you make a post that seems like it's asking for help identifying a foreign-language card, or what set a card is from, AutoModerator will trigger and post advice and links on how to do that.
There are also some triggers that remove certain types of posts our subreddit rules don't allow. An example there is people posting to share or ask for Arena codes; AutoModerator will remove those posts and leave a comment explaining that transacting Arena codes isn't allowed here, and suggests where to go to do that. Especially during prerelease weekends when people spam tons of excess codes, and /MagicArena usually has a consolidated thread for them, this saves a lot of time and effort (the reason they're not allowed, incidentally, is that posts of codes "expire" almost instantly because someone browsing /new will use the codes, and then turn into long threads of frustrated "those are already used, anyone got more" comments).
For several other common types of posts that violate the subreddit rules, we have similar triggers in place that remove the post and leave a comment telling the user what rule AutoModerator thinks was broken, and to message us for manual review if AutoModerator got it wrong. The majority of false positives are for the tired/repetitive posts rule, and specifically for posts that look like "what's your favorite guild" or "what's your favorite deck" (or planeswalker, or flavor text, or art...), which we used to get a lot of before we started removing them. Tuning AutoModerator to catch these without also removing other things has been difficult, and we may just give up on that one and do something more manual.
The rotating weekly threads like Tutor Tuesday and the weekly buy/sell/trade thread took a hiatus during the first wave of the COVID pandemic. We were getting ready to bring those back this week, but we've ended up wanting to use the sticky slots (we only get two at a time) for other things. They will come back again in the near future. We'd love to just be able to set AutoModerator to post them and move on, but its scheduled-post functionality seems to be awfully flaky, and mod-support forums are full of people who've been unable to get it to work, so for now they'll be happening under a non-automod account instead.

What's still ongoing

There's a recurring question we've never been able to get or give a clear answer to: "What is this subreddit about?"
In theory we're a large general Magic forum. But that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In earlier eras, we (the mods) mostly let people push specific types of content out of /magictcg and into more narrowly-focused subreddits by saying "don't post that here, post it in (other subreddit)". Which is great for those subreddits, and many of them have turned into thriving communities in their own right. But it leaves the question of what still goes here. Those of you who complain that it's all either spoilers, drama, or alters and arts and crafts will be familiar with this. It's not quite true that that's all the content we see here, but it does describe a significant amount of the content that gets posted here.
This also manifests itself in the experience people have posting here. The other day on Twitter someone compared /magictcg to a subreddit for a different hobby, saying that in the other subreddit they could post a question and get lots of "I don't know but I'm upvoting so other people will see it and answer", while here they would get a bunch of immediate and probably correct answers, and also be downvoted to oblivion. Which is a weird phenomenon, but does line up with what we've seen happen.
In previous posts like this, we've put up some ideas for how we could recruit and promote a wider variety of Magic content here and asked for people to tell us what they think, but we've gotten very little engagement on that. We're still very much open to ideas and feedback, and this is something we can't just solve on our own. For exmaple, something I've proposed a few times is trying to have regular spotlights/"best of" roundups from other Magic-related subreddits posted here, which both provides quality content here and helps get attention on those subreddits, but that requires people with strong knowledge of specific communities and the enthusiasm to put in the effort of doing the roundups on a regular and ongoing basis. In other words, it's not something we can just wave a magic mod-wand and do; we need the community to step up and tell us what kind of content they want to see here, and help to produce and promote that content.
Another ongoing debate is how we should handle crowdfunding campaigns; the rules currently state that they require pre-approval and get one post (to stop the flood of daily and sometimes hourly updates some Kickstarters tried to do here). But for a while now we've been enforcing a moratorium on those, largely because of the high volume coming from/affiliated with one specific entity. We stopped approving any crowdfunding campaigns temporarily as a way to be fair and not show favoritism or single anyone out, and we're not sure how to proceed from there, so ideas are welcome.

Our relationship with Wizards of the Coast

I shouldn't have to say anything about this, but it's a meme that won't go away and that people seem to trot out when they want to generate outrage directed at us. As the sidebar says, this subreddit is not produced, endorsed, supported by, or affiliated with Wizards of the Coast. Nor are any of the moderators employees of or compensated by Wizards of the Coast for what we do. We not only allow but often promote content that's critical of WotC, and of the state and direction of the game, and Wizards of the Coast has no say in how we moderate here.
WotC has some accounts that they use to post things here. We don't interfere with them doing that. Sometimes we've stickied their posts for things like Pro Tours (or whatever they're called now), but mostly that's laziness -- it saved us the trouble of making the threads ourselves, because in the days when in-person Magic was a thing we used to have a sticky thread most weekends for discussing whatever big tournaments were going on. Some WotC employees also have had individual reddit accounts here. We've tried our best to flair those accounts so you know when you're interacting with them, the same as we've flaired SCG and CFB staff, and some notable pro players, artists, and other Magic figures who've popped up here.
They do send us a preview card most sets. Only one member of our mod team sees those, and also handles posting them on the appointed day. We do not give WotC any preferential treatment in exchange.
Speaking for myself: during my judge career, I was under temporary contract to WotC a few times as staff for Pro Tour events. My last PT was Battle for Zendikar. I chose to let my L3 certification expire, and ceased to be a judge of any level, in 2017. Outside of that, my relationship with Wizards of the Coast has ranged from neutral to occasionally outright adversarial. As, for example, when I took down the judge community and event-staffing site (which I hosted and ran out of my own pocket) to protest actions they'd taken toward some of my fellow judges. My post and comment history is public, and a quick browse of it -- especially highly-voted/gilded stuff -- should dispel any notion that I give or would give special favorable treatment to WotC.
I don't expect any of this to stop people who say we're paid WotC shills who remove anything that criticizes the company, but I hope it does inspire you not to listen to such people, and maybe also to question what they stand to gain (often, traffic to their sites/articles/videos) from making such claims.

The thing you came here to talk about

In theory this subreddit has ten human moderators, plus the AutoModerator bot and the "magictcgmods" account, which is a shared account that has mod privileges so it can do stuff like sticky posts. It was created with the idea that it could do the recurring daily topic threads since those were supposed to be coming back this week, and although I could have used it for this post, I've always done the state-of-the-subreddit posts and don't mind having them associated with my personal account.
In practice, not all of those moderators are active, and the ones who are, aren't active all the time. I'm not going to quote specific numbers or call people out, because it's not relevant here. And of the mods whose activity is low or declining, it's mostly been gradual enough that we don't feel it most of the time, because this is a pretty low-maintenance subreddit from the mod perspective.
That's probably a statement some people will find surprising and that they'll instantly disagree with, so I'll explain a bit: especially in relation to the size of this subreddit, it's kind of shocking how little human intervention is needed most of the time. We have some pretty dedicated trolls, for example, but they almost never come up with new material and so a few battle-tested AutoModerator rules take care of most of the trouble they try to cause. Most days, all we really need is a couple people who'll check the mod queue and modmail box occasionally to confirm the stuff AutoModerator caught, fish out any false positives, and deal with user-initiated reports and questions. The busiest "normal" time is preview season, when we need to chase down and remove all the duplicate posts of each card.
The problem has always been the occasional surges when there are big stories, scandals, or other things that really get people riled up. During those times we have to be a lot more vigiliant about rule 1 and rule 8, the mod queue fills up a lot more with reports and with the kinds of slurs that normally only the trolls throw around, and it needs both more attention and more frequent attention.
Which is what's happened over the past week, and in the worst possible way. We've had multiple things that more or less exploded the instant they were posted, filled up the initial theads with people flaming each other, produced self-sustaining storms of additional posts, and it happened during a preview season and at a lull in mod activity. For various reasons, two of our mods who are usually pretty reliably active weren't, and some who are more intermittently active also weren't around much. This isn't their fault, but it did put us in a bit of a bind. And as has been said in some of the other stickies recently, even at the best of times we're mostly set up to handle the kind of moderation a card-game subreddit needs, which is different from the kind of moderation that's been needed this past week.
Speaking for myself, I think that as much as people would have hated it, we should have gone to a consolidated thread for the card bannings faster than we did, so that there would be some thread for people to vent their initial outrage a bit, and expose the trolls and assholes more quickly, so that real discussion could happen later. At the same time, the public statements from this mod team about how we got literally blown away, especially on Wednesday, by the volume of things in our queue, and taxed for more than normal moderating the sticky theads, are pure unvarnished truth, and we just had to find a way to turn off the firehose for a bit.
But again, speaking for myself, I'm also glad that we were able to have the sticky threads we had this week. We've been able to put attention on things that needed attention, and I don't begrudge the fact that it pushed us as a mod team beyond what we're used to.
I've seen this subreddit go through a few cycles where things seem to be OK for a while, then something flares up and all the nasty folks pop out of the woodwork with new accounts spewing the same old crap. When that happens, we ban a bunch of people (for those of you who've been insisting "just ban the trolls and racists", you should know we do -- we're well into triple-digit numbers of bans per day right now, and we know we're still not catching all of them, so if you see somthing, report it). Then things settle down until the cycle repeats.
And to be clear: this subreddit is explicitly not a safe place for racist assholes, sexist assholes, homophobic assholes, transphobic assholes, xenophobic assholes, or other types of bigoted assholes. That's a policy we've had and been pretty open about for as long as I've been a mod here, and our reputation in the nastier parts of reddit is pretty solid proof of that.
That said, we are going to add more moderators, and we're having discussions as a team about how to do that and what goals we have for expanding the team. We're not aiming just for quantity -- we're aiming for quality, and for commitment, because when we hit our limitations right now it's not because of too few total mods, it's because of too few currently-active mods.
Some of that will necessarily depend on what kinds of initiatives people come up with. We also need to figure out how our approach to the subreddit is going to change as we continue to grow, because it's clear that the low-maintenance days are coming to an end and that the way we've been handling things isn't going to work. We're open to suggestions on that, though those of you who'd prefer a completely or almost completely unmoderated subreddit are probably always going to be disappointed. The same for people who demand that every mod action be published and put up for debate and review.
Our main goal is that we want this to be as friendly and welcoming a place for general Magic content as a subreddit our size can be, and that means sometimes we're just going to take action to kick people out, and some things just aren't going to be allowed here. We know there's a dedicated faction of people who think that makes us horrible censoring fascists, and who will roll their eyes at what they see as us doubling down on it, but that's not an aspect of this subreddit that I see changing.

What's next

That depends, in large part, on you. Last time around our main focus was on the subreddit rules update and flair, and we got good feedback and made use of it. This time around, the main things are:
Ideally here we're looking for specific actionable feedback. This is the internet, we've heard insults and personal attacks plenty of times and they don't have any effect at this point. Similarly, we've heard plenty of "just do this", where the person suggesting it often either doesn't realize we already do that, or doesn't realize how much they're glossing over with the word "just". We try to pay attention to what people do and don't like and also to the way the subreddit as a whole reacts to things -- for example, the stickied posts this week for Zaiem Beg's thread, and the "Black Designers Matter" post, seemed to be generally well-received, the "open thread" for discussing the card bannings less so -- but we very rarely get useful specific feedback, other than the "mods all suck, resign and kill yourselves" stuff that comes with the territory. So if you have that kind of feedback, please let us know about it.
submitted by ubernostrum to magicTCG [link] [comments]

READ THIS FIRST: Official Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Important Up to Date Information You Need To Know about EIDL

\*LAST UPDATED 7/14**)

OFFICIAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR EIDL


PURPOSE:
This post will be a master thread with everything we have collectively learned on EIDL about the loan and the application process. It will be updated on an ongoing basis and will always contain the most current information. Things change frequently at the SBA with policy and you should check back on this thread on a regular basis.
Please post any questions not covered and I will respond and add them here.

INDEX OF QUESTIONS:

  1. How do I get in touch with customer service phone support?
  2. What are my chances of being approved for this loan? Can I know in advance?
  3. I received a decline letter for “Business activity not eligible”. What can I do?
  4. How is the loan amount calculated? How can I request a specific amount?
  5. What is the maximum loan amount?
  6. When will I get my portal invite?
  7. I finally got a portal invite and accepted and submitted an amount. My application says it is "processing", now what?
  8. I understand that processing really means "underwriting", but how long will it actually take? What is the normal amount of time?
  9. Does contacting my congressmen or senator actually work?
  10. I accidentally entered the wrong revenue or COGS on my application and my offer amount was lower than I expected, is it possible to change this?
  11. I need to change my Rev or COGS and I already accepted an amount in the portal, Tier 2 told me to do it! Is it too late?
  12. Who are you, cue378? Can you help me?
  13. My loan as obligated or already funded, I made a mistake with my COGS or revenue and I am not happy with the amount. Can I change it?
  14. How do I show support for the volunteers and moderators for EIDL
  15. I received my portal link, but when I go to create an account it just takes me to the login page. What can be done?
  16. I was declined for "unsatisfactory credit". What are my options?
  17. What documents are required? Will a loan officer contact me?
  18. What is the status of the Advance/Grant program? Can I still get a grant?
  19. What are the eligible uses of EIDL funds?
  20. I received a denial letter for the reason "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED". What does this mean and what can I do?
  21. What is CAWEB and how can it help me track my loan disbursement and other status?
  22. I received my portal invite link, however when I go to create an account I just get the message: "The user account has not been confirmed yet. Please confirm using the link in the e-mail". What can I do?



1. QUESTION: How do I get in touch with customer service phone support?
ANSWER: The highest level of official customer service is known as "tier 2" and can be reached by calling 1-800-659-2955 and asking for Tier 2. (NOTE: As of 5/29 the previous direct number is currently out of service) They are unfortunately, a very limited means of support. They are able to check your application status and see the current "stage" and leave notes in your file, but unable to directly make any changes or escalate anything in a meaningful way.
Most are very nice and well meaning people but are usually poorly informed and often provided contradictory information between calls. The important thing to understand is that notes left by T2 do not actually notify a loan officer or anyone, they are simply waiting to be read if someone happens to open your file and takes the time to review the case notes. So if a T2 says they requested a change do not assume it was or will be made.


2. QUESTION: What are my chances of being approved for this loan? Can I know in advance?
ANSWER: The loan is relatively easy to get approval for by loan standards. The exact underwriting criteria the SBA is using was leaked by some helpful people (hat tip to u/Sbaleaky) and thus you can have a good understanding what your chances are.
Underwriters look for the following:
-Minimum Credit Score of 570. They will pull from experian. Close to Vantage 3 model found on nav DOT com or TransUnion numbers on credit karma. They do NOT use FICO. Credit score is largest factor for approval for this loan and no exceptions are made for under 570.
-If economic injury was sustained based on formula described in QUESTION 4. If this is a negative number you will be auto declined. (SEE QUESTION 5) The SBA does not consider potential revenue lost or general expenses in the loan amount.
-Tax liens or tax issues are NOT a disqualifying factor or taken into consideration for COVID19 disaster.
-Business start date must be prior to 1/31/20
-open bankruptcies = Declined. Closed OK.
-Arrest for felony < 5 years = Declined
-Arrest for misdemeanor < 5 years = Declined
-Sole proprietors with delinquent child support > 60 days = Declined
-Any business principals with 50% or more ownership with delinquent child support > 60 days = Declined
-Your business must pass verification in some way that it is a valid operation. If they can find it on google it will suffice. Otherwise you may have to provide documents to prove it's a legit business.
-Your business type must not be on the list for ineligible business activity. See list on FAQ.
-All owners on application must be either US citizens or Permanent Residents. E-2 Investor visa is NOT eligible and any attempts to appeal or add a co-borrower who is a citizen or LPR will be unsuccessful. Corporations, Partnerships, and Limited Liability Entities (LLE): Alien-owned corporations, partnerships, and LLEs properly registered and licensed in the state where the disaster occurred are eligible. If any member, partner, or shareholder, owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business is in the USA they must be a qualified alien. If the alien resides outside the USA an exception may be made.


3. QUESTION: I received a decline letter for “Business activity not eligible”. What can I do?
ANSWER: EIDL has a list of restricted business categories, if your type is NOT on this list and you still received this letter you may have been improperly classified.

The following applicants are not eligible for EIDL assistance.



4. QUESTION: How is the loan amount calculated? How can I request a specific amount?
ANSWER: There is no way to request a specific amount, the eligible amount is calculated automatically by formula based on your inputs. There are three known formulas:
  1. Standard Small Business: Revenue minus COGS divided by 2 minus advance, subject to maximum of 150K
  2. Not for Profit: 6 months operating expenses year prior to 1/31/20
  3. Business that collects rental property income, your offer is calculated by lost rents due to the disaster, not the standard formula. If your offer is lower than expected you may have been wrongly classified into this formula.
  4. Agricultural businesses: 6 months operating expenses year prior to 1/31/20
If the formula results in a negative number or less than your advance you will be declined for "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED"

5. QUESTION: What is the maximum loan amount?
ANSWER: As of last update it is currently 150K cap. This will not change anytime soon and there will be no way to request more at present. The only way to avoid the cap is if your loan was already being obligated prior to the change by the SBA from 500K. If I hear anything new on this it will be updated here.

6. QUESTION: When will I get my portal invite?
ANSWER: Portal invites are a fully automated process and not strictly sequential but follow general group patterns. If you see someone that has a higher number than you get a portal invite it does NOT mean you were "passed over".

7. QUESTION: I finally got a portal invite and accepted and submitted an amount. My application says it is "processing", now what?
ANSWER: This is when the actual loan process starts and underwriting begins. Your application will be assigned a loan officer for review using the criteria listed in question 2. The exact process is as follows (hat tip u/sbaleaky and u/LOL_Face_69) with the actual stages from start to finish. Keep in mind that once you accept in the portal a number of things are going on behind the scenes, which is why "processing" can take a great deal of time. Once you see a loan amount in your portal, this is NOT an approved offer. It is simply a potential amount you are eligible for based on the stated formula if you pass underwriting.

[The following takes place behind the scenes and will not reflect in your portal, but will still say "processing"]
Note: The exception to this process is that some applications which are considered easy (based on unknown factors) to approve are subject to full automation and may go straight to approval bypassing the above steps. This only happens in rare cases.
You may also see a status that says, "On-Hold" Amount $0: This status typically is when your loan was temporarily declined and is still in the reconsideration department pending possible reconsideration approval.


8. QUESTION: I now understand that processing really means "underwriting", but how long will it actually take? What is the normal amount of time?
ANSWER: The amount of time it is normal for your portal to say "processing" is highly variable as a hundred different factors are involved behind the scenes. As of 6/10 we are seeing extended delays in processing time and obligating stage specifically. The average we are seeing is around 14-16 days total in processing. If your application has been in underwriting for greater than 14 days it may merit investigate, but not necessarily indicate a problem with your chances of approval. Do NOT panic if it seems "stuck" with no communication from anyone. This is normal.


9. QUESTION: Does contacting my congressmen or senator actually work?
ANSWER: Yes, the SBA treats congressional inquiry very carefully and will flag and sometimes white glove your application. Often they will assign a special case worker during the process. The important thing is when your local congressional office reaches out they do NOT contact the local district SBA but this email: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). This email is NOT for use by applicants but only official government purposes.


10. QUESTION: Help! I accidentally entered the wrong revenue or COGS on my application and my offer amount was lower than I expected, is it possible to change this?
ANSWER: Yes, but two factors are important:
  1. You should NOT have already accepted an amount and submitted for processing in the portal. *If you already did see note below.
  2. You have documentation to backup the changes such as Federal Tax Returns 2018 or 2019 or P&L Statements. Tax returns are strongly preferred if available.
****The important thing here is DO NOT accept the offer in the portal if you need to revise your numbers.****
*IF YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCEPTED THE OFFER: Call tier 2 support as soon as you possibly can and ask them to make the following note in your file: Loan Officer, DO NOT approve this file without calling me, the applicant, because my (revenue or COGS) figures are wrong. I have supporting docs to make the changes. Please contact me ASAP.
If you meet the above two criteria contact me via email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with your Reddit username in the subject and put COGS REVISION REQUESTED in the subject line. I will respond and give you private advice on the matter.


11. QUESTION: I need to change my Rev or COGS and I already accepted an amount in the portal, Tier 2 told me to do it! Is it too late?
Answer: Unfortunately tier 2 is currently giving absolutely terrible advice in this situation. They are telling people to accept the offer in the portal to speak with a loan officer to make the revision. The problem is that once you accept you set the process in motion and then it gets obligated by treasury it is impossible to adjust. The proper time is prior to accepting. Often times loan officers never are needed, never reach out or even read these notes. I see it every day and people are stuck its the "kiss of death" advice. If you already accepted you may have time but would need to work quickly from date of submit.
UPDATE: As of 6/15 there is now a way to fix this. See question 13.

12. QUESTION: Who are you, cue378? Can you help me?
ANSWER: I am a small business owner who is a full time volunteer offering to assist in the EIDL process. I have experience assisting hundreds of other business owners in applying for and getting approved. I am sharing the information, strategies, and general knowledge I have gained over the course of 2 months. I do not work at the SBA nor do I have any affiliation with the SBA.
Do to an extreme flood of requests for help, I may not be able to answer PM's or chat requests. I have setup an email you are welcome to contact me on, but due to the volume I may not be able to respond right away or at all. My email is [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Some people have asked how they can support my efforts. While I do not ask for donations, our subreddit founder decided to setup a tip jar in case people want to show their support. To be clear I do not ask for donations for my help, but if you decide to spare anything I do appreciate it greatly. The tip jar can be found HERE.


13. QUESTION: My loan was obligated, already funded, or I already accepted the amount in the portal. I made a mistake with my COGS or revenue and I am not happy with the amount. Can I change it?
ANSWER: As of 6/12 loan modifications are now being allowed. You can contact [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) and request a "Loan Modification increase". It is a 3-4 week process that requires documentation. A second loan will be given for the difference from the first one. It will be processed as a 20xx series loan in the old system/portal. For more details email me. Note if you have not yet accepted the offer the normal process is much faster.


14. QUESTION: How do I show support for the volunteers and moderators for EIDL
ANSWER: For supporting Cue378, there is a tip jar listed above. If you wish to show support to our community moderators, a separate tip jar can be found HERE. Proceeds for this jar will be split between u/innocul8 and u/Scorpio14534. Donations in this jar do NOT go to Cue. Any amount is very appreciated. It takes a great deal of time and effort run the community and they are putting in a near full time effort.

15. QUESTION: I received my portal link, but when I go to create an account it just takes me to the login page. What can be done?
ANSWER: Follow these steps:
  1. Open the email to create your portal account. Right click on the green button that says, "create your account". Click "copy link address" or "copy hyperlink" depending on your browser.
  2. Use a VPN service, such as NordVPN or ProtonVPN (free), to connect to a VPN server in different state than yours, preferably on the opposite coast you are located.
  3. Open an incognito browser window, or private browser session if on firefox.
  4. Right click on the URL/web address field and paste the link you copied. Hit enter.
  5. You should then successfully be able to create a login, enter the portal, and accept your offer.
Alternately if you don't have a VPN or want to use one you can use a mobile phone to login incognito, with WiFi off on a cellular network, to create the account.

16. QUESTION: I was declined for "unsatisfactory credit". What are my options?
ANSWER: You have a few options.
  1. You can bring your vantage 3 score over 570 by paying down cards, when you are ready you can request the SBA re-pull your report and reactivate your account via [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
  2. You can request to add a co-borrower that has a higher score than 570 with no open bankruptcy and run their credit to reactivate your application.
You can expedite your request for a co-borrower by having this ready to go. You can also do this preemptively if you expect to be declined for credit. The co-borrower does NOT have to be involved with the business and can be anyone. The form is available here:
SBA Form 3501 - Adding Co-Borrower
Only fill out the following:
Line #14 - Add the co-borrowers information under owner #1
Line #15 - Answer question for co-borrower.
Line #16 - Answer question for co-borrower.
Sign page 10, co-borrower signs.
Ownership percentage can be 0% if co-borrower is not part of business.
Attach and send with your co-borrower request to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with your application number.
NOTE: If you have an urgent need to have your co-borrower request expedited, please email me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with the subject line: "ADDING CO-BORROWER REQUESTED URGENT" I will respond within 24 hours.

17. QUESTION: What documents are required? Will a loan officer contact me?
ANSWER: In most cases no documentation is required and everything is self certified. In some cases a LO will need to contact you to clarify some things about your business or request specific documents. In most cases you will never be contacted by or communicate with a loan officer.


18. QUESTION: What is the status of the Advance/Grant program? Can I still get a grant?
ANSWER: As most of you already know, the EIDL Advance/Grant program has ended and the full 20 billion in funding for the advance has been exhausted. The option has been removed from new applications. Getting funding for the advance as a new applicant at this time will not be possible.
For older applications please see this post for more information:
https://www.reddit.com/EIDL/comments/hr3l41/eidl_news_714_update_regarding_the_current_status/

19. QUESTION: What are the eligible uses of EIDL funds?
ANSWER: These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. What are all the possible uses of the funds? The wording ‘obligations that are unable to be met due to lack of revenue’ seems to be a catch all, but how much so? The EIDL working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion.

20. QUESTION: I received a denial letter for the reason "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED". What does this mean and what can I do?
ANSWER: This occurs when the numbers entered on your application for COGS are greater than your revenue. The SBA calculates economic injury based on the formula in question number 4. You can also be denied for this reason if the resulting number is less than your advance amount. Please note that the SBA is only taking into account revenue earned prior to the disaster date of 1/31/20 to calculate your economic injury. If your only revenue was earned after that date as a newer business you may not qualify.
If the numbers on your application were correct, you would not be eligible for an EIDL. If you made an error you can request an amendment and request reactivation of your application. I can assist with this process. You need at minimum Profit and Loss statements for the period 12 months prior to the disaster starting 1/31/20. Email me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with the subject: COGS DENIAL REVERSAL REQUESTED. Include your Reddit username. I will respond with instructions on how to file this amendment.

21. QUESTION: What is CAWEB and how can it help me track my loan disbursement and other status?
ANSWER: You can use the Capital Access Finance System to track your EIDL after your documents have been signed and submitted through funding. It allows you to see disbursement status and other details related to your loan.
****Hat tip to u/tahoechick36 for this amazing write up*\*
Using the Capital Access Finance System to track your EIDL after your documents have been signed and submitted through funding.
Visit caweb.sba.gov or click the link at the top of EIDL
Setting up an account:
You need a SBA Loan # to set up an account - for EIDL it appears on the first page of your documents, in the upper left hand area, and says "SBA Loan # XXXXXXXXXX.”
SBA loan #'s are 10 digits. Your Application # will NOT work for account set-up.
If you have a PPP Loan, you can use your SBA # for this loan to set up an account. Sometimes this # is easy to figure out, sometimes not. That has to do with an intermediary (like your bank) being involved, but if you can track down an actual SBA Loan #, you can go ahead and get registered without your EIDL loan number.
  1. On the home page click on "Not Enrolled?" in the top left. This takes you to a screen to enter info. You may come to hate this screen, this process is very finicky.
  2. Look at the rules for creating a User ID and Password by clicking on "Rules..." next to the fields.
  3. Write your exact ID & password down somewhere - if you ever get locked out and call the SBA for help, they are going to tell you that Borrowers are not supposed to be able to access CAFS CAWeb. Apparently we still can, so don't make this a big deal or maybe that will change!
  4. For user type - select "borrower" from the drop down menu.
  5. Fill in the highlighted fields with your info. Click on the "ZIP LOOKUP" button after you enter your zip code. This auto populates some other boxes, and registration won't work if you don't do this.
  6. For the country code in the phone number section enter "1" for the United States.
  7. Financial commitment ID is your Loan # - 10 digits.
  8. If you don't have a landline, it has been reported that just entering your mobile number in both fields works. You will have to select 3 of their security questions, enter the Captcha image info, then hit "submit" at the bottom.
If it didn't like the info you have entered, it will give you an error message for what part it didn't like, and you will have to try again, which requires re-entering quite a bit of the information. It's a pain.
But if it takes it, you're in! There may be a verification step now as well.
Finding your loan on CAWeb
  1. On the caweb homepage, login (if you aren't already), it will be personalized and show your name. You have to scroll down and check the "Agree to Terms" box when you are logging in.
  2. Click on "Borrower" in the top left, then click on "Borrower Search". This should take you to your "Loan List" showing the loan #, borrower name, loan type, amount, and loan status.
  3. PPP loans typically appear as "Active Un-Disbursed" - if your PPP is already funded don't worry about that. Your EIDL will show up as "Disbursed Current" if funds are on their way. It may say something else if you look immediately after you send back you Docs, but it should change pretty quickly. Logging out and back in again will sometimes refresh the status. Loan status will say "Active Un-Disbursed" until Treasury send the funds to your bank, then it changes to "Disbursed Current".


22. QUESTION: I received my portal invite link, however when I go to create an account I just get the message: "The user account has not been confirmed yet. Please confirm using the link in the e-mail". What can I do?
ANSWER: This is a known bug/error normally relating to either getting the invite ahead of schedule or other missing information in your file that would prevent the account creation from moving forward. Tier 2 cannot solve this and it need a special approach to resolve. Please email me with the subject line: "USER ACCOUNT HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED". Include your reddit username in the email somewhere. My address is [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])



submitted by cue378 to EIDL [link] [comments]

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