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What Is BlogShares?
Welcome to the game of BlogShares, the addictive and fast-growing web-based experience! Take the time to pop into our Forums and introduce yourself to the friendliest community on the Internet. Get involved! From documentation and support to game logic and coding, BlogShares depends on the amazing volunteer spirit of its players to improve and grow. BlogShares is more than a game—it's an addiction. Keep reading to get in on the fun!
BlogShares is a fantasy stock market where weblogs are the companies. Players invest fictional dollars in a wide spectrum of blogs. Blogs are valued by both incoming and outgoing links, and can add value to other blogs by linking to them. Prices increase or decrease based on trading and the underlying value of the blog. No actual ownership of blogs is transferred: BlogShares is purely a fictional marketplace for entertainment purposes only.
What is a Blog
Weblogs, called blogs for short, are generally online journals of some sort and can be used for an unlimited range of subjects and purposes.
Blogs run from individual diaries to arms of political campaigns, media programs, and corporations, and from one occasional author to large communities of writers. The totality of weblogs or blog-related web pages is usually called the blogosphere.
The format of blogs varies nearly limitlessly, however, the following must be true for the blog to be considered valid for inclusion in the BlogShares index:
It is difficult to know just what is and what is not a blog suitable for inclusion in BlogShares. For the purposes of this game, blogs must fit the following criteria:
- The blog is authored by a clearly defined blogger, such as:
- a specific individual
- a specific individual posting as another
- parody blogs (fake celebrities)
- blogs written by someone's cat, dog, infant, etc.
- a group of individuals
- a specific organization
- a specific company
- Posts appear in reverse-chronological order, or at the very least, the most recent post appears first.
- Posts are individual and dated.
- Timestamps, while helpful, are not required.
- Individual posts have some sort of permanent URL (permalink) with which to link to them.
- Past posts are available in some sort of archive in the blog.
- Commenting and/or trackback capability is often enabled, but not a requirement.
- Blogs can feature any subject, be personal, non-personal, or business-related, and offer content unique to the blog with each new post.
- Blogs must be human edited. The following do not follow this guideline:
- Blogs posted to by automated scripts
- Blogs that are link or post aggregators
- Blogs that contain only feeds of other blogs.
- Blogs are only the main, 'home' page for the blog, and not:
- link pages
- individual posts
- summary pages
- Blogs must have at least one post in the last six months.
These are few special cases or common mistakes made about deciding what is and is not a blog.
- Two sites which are commonly and incorrectly assumed to be non-blogs are About.com and Flickr.
- Primary About.com pages (such as this) are blogs.
- Primary Flickr pages (such as this) are blogs.
- Flickr category, collections, and group pages are not considered blogs.
- MSN Live Spaces Photo Albums are not considered blogs, only the blog module can be counted. If the blog module appears on the front page it is a blog.
- LiveJournal Communities are considered to be blogs, so long as they are publicly readable.
Social Network Blogs
The following are valid social network blogs, and should be added / linked as follows:
- Twitter Blogs
- URL by username. i.e. http://twitter.com/username
- Title is typically "Twitter / username"
- Only public twitter pages are valid for addition. Friends-only are invalid.
- Pownce Blogs
- URL by username, sent items only. i.e. http://pownce.com/username/sent/
- Title is typically "Pownce : username"
- Only public pownce pages are valid for addition. Friends-only pownces are invalid.
- Jaiku Blogs
- URL by username. i.e. http://username.jaiku.com/
- Title is typically "Jaiku : Display Name"
- Only Jaiku's with original content are valid. Those that only aggregate twitter / pownce / etc. posts are not valid.
- Plurk Blogs
- URL by username. i.e. http://www.plurk.com/user/username
- Title is typically "Display Name - Plurk.com", however is configurable by the user, and should be set accordingly.
- Plurk blogs do not properly pick up outgoing links at this time
- Kwippy Blogs
- URL by username, sent items only. i.e. http://www.kwippy.com/username/kwips/
- Title is typically "username's kwips page"
- Brightkite Blogs
- URL by username. i.e. http://brightkite.com/people/username
- Title is typically "Display Name (username) - brightkite.com"
- Tumblr Blogs
- URL by username, i.e. http://username.tumblr.com/
- Title is configured by user, set as displayed.
- Tumblr's must match above blog guidelines, as they are heavily user configurable.
- MeeMi Blogs
- URL by username, i.e. http://www.meemi.com/username
- Title is typically "www.meemi.com/username"
Why Play Blogshares?
Addictive Fun: The most obvious reason. Whether you like building your fortune, immersing yourself in multiple game play strategies, voting blog categories, or simply need a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, BlogShares offers you a game play experience that you will not soon forget.
Find New Blogs: Blogs are a great Internet phenomenon! They're changing the way some of us connect, reflect, and do business. If you are interested in a particular subject, feel free to browse our Industry page which has over 6,000 different Industries (categories) to peruse. You can utilize the search feature (quick lookup) in the upper right hand corner to search by keyword, blog title, or blog address (URL). You may even find your own!
See Your Own Blog In Action: That's right, you can add your own blog to our system and gain special controls over your blog in the BlogShares world. You even get 1K shares in your own blog just for taking the time to claim it!
Amazing Community: Not only do we have an excellent group of people in the forums, we also have a great group of gals and guys in our IRC channels. Feel free to join in the conversation, add a haiku to the monthly contests, or join any one of a dozen other contests held regularly. Take part in this community. BlogShares includes many player-volunteers in developing game algorithms, handling support, and even writing this intro.
A Brief History of BlogShares
BlogShares was written in early 2003 by Seyed Razavi in his free time. The overall objective of BlogShares is the exploration of an emerging social network while providing an addictive and fun environment for bloggers to join and help add to the worth of the social network. Another one of the purposes of this site was to prove the Power Law theory. Part of this theory is based on the fact that 20% of the population holds 80% of the wealth. This can also be attributed to weblogs, 20% of the blogs contain 80% of all incoming links. BlogShares hits a home run with this theory.
The BlogShares project took off rather quickly and was considered a personal success. The site, however, was a success that would not last. BlogShares suffered from a few serious coding issues that severely hampered the site's growth and expansion, as well as its speed. At this point, BlogShares was tracking 400K blogs and links. Eventually these took their toll on the BlogShares hard drives and a catastrophic system failure ground BlogShares to a halt. That, bundled with personal reasons, caused Seyed to choose to leave the game.
At this time, BlogShares was taken over by its current owner: Jay Campbell, and co-adminned by C. Suburban Wolf (AKA Rob/SubWolf) was brought on almost immediately to help recode the entire site. Once BlogShares was taken out of the beta stages its popularity sky-rocketed. It did have its ups and downs however.
The BlogShares team made some changes to certain aspects of the game. Originally, Ideas only produced twice a day and were worth a couple dollars each. Some players even held on to millions upon millions of Ideas. When changes were implemented the prices soared, making many people instant billionaires and trillionaires. Some of the users bailed out at that point, fearing a market crash. Others chose to hold on to their Ideas in hopes that the market could sustain its rapid growth a bit longer. Ultimately this was not the case. Further changes caused the market to crash in a matter of hours, nearly bankrupting some of the richest players in the game. There were some bitter words from some, solace from others. In the end it all worked out for the best.
They also added in a new item: Chips. These items were an answer to the growing number of votes clogging the system, and they revolutionized the way many trades were handled. Today, Chips are the most valuable asset in the game, because with enough of them you can buy anything, win raffles, and purchase text ads for advertising your blog, your philosophy, your politics, your humor ... whatever. Some players even offer to purchase a Premium Membership for others in exchange for Chips.
Black Friday (November 25, 2005) brought dramatic revaluation (1 to 10,000) of Idea prices and cash value, with no change to share values. While there were legitimate concerns and complaints about the changes, it completely changed the nature of daily game play from one dominated by Ideas to one fully-inclusive of share trading.
In early 2006, an Ideas Math Summit solicited player input toward a new pricing model for Ideas, as well as announced a new Game Improvement Committee (GIC), which works to improve the game and its community, and to ensure that both remain fun and enjoyable for the players. After testing by the GIC, a premium feature, the Chip Marketplace came online July 24, 2006. The new math was unveiled in late August 2006, adding a new dynamic to the ways players bought and sold ideas.
Today, BlogShares has become the most immersive online Stock Market simulation available, as well as the most popular with over 40K active users. Over 17K blogs have been claimed by their owners. Even more amazing is the sheer number of blogs currently tracked: 7.3 million.
To this day, BlogShares continues to grow and add new features. The admin and coders work hand-in-hand on a daily basis to keep this site alive, add new features, and improve functionality. BlogShares truly is a success.