April 29, 2009

Thank you, LodoWickians. This site has now surpassed 100 comments. Keep coming back and saying whatever you want.

A hundred comments is a great milestone. At one time, FrontBurner would surpass 100 comments in one day. Now, according to my calculations, it will take approximately ∞ days for them to reach that number.


Finally, Eric returns

April 28, 2009

…and he’s expressed his outrage at the loss of comments on FrontBurner in this well-reasoned post.

This is getting ridiculous, Ctd.

April 27, 2009

OK, so Wick told us that “The key to FrontBurner’s success is that it has always primarily been a conversation among the editors.”

But to me it looks an awful lot like this conversation is just now starting. Or if not that, it’s really become apparent. Perhaps Wick sent a memo out to his staff telling them to start this public conversation. It probably looked like this:

Read the rest of this entry »

Tim Rogers, lawbreaker?

April 27, 2009

The Open Letter is nothing new for Tim Rogers. He has publicly called out people of all demographics, including the person who stuck eating utensils in his front lawn. Nice.

But most of the time he was within his right to do that. I mean, who doesn’t hate drivers who take up two spaces?

This time, however, he went one step too far. In attempting to publicly humiliate someone who he claims he saw break the law, he himself might have broken it.

Here’s what happened. Tim called out someone by name in “An Open Letter to a Litterbug.” He says he saw someone flick a cigarette butt out of the window of a car. He then created a blog post and used the person’s full name several times, meaning he had gotten the information by using a license plate search at a Web site.

What’s wrong with that? Well, it’s illegal for a journalist (or anyone) to use that information in that way. That’s thanks to the Drivers Privacy Protection Act of 1994.

There are ways to be exempt from the law. This isn’t one of them. When Tim went to a reverse license plate search Web site to obtain the person’s name, he had to check a box agreeing to the terms. Here’s an example of what those terms look like:

I certify, and affirm, under penalty of perjury that the below identified DPPA exemption applies to this search and its follow-on displays. Further unauthorized disclosure of this information may result in penalties imposed under Title 18 U..S.C. Section 2721 et. seq., and applicable federal and state law.

He doesn’t qualify for an exemption. For more, check out the Society for Professional Journalists’ FAQ about the law. 

Here’s Tim’s original post. It has since been deleted from FrontBurner, which, to me, looks a lot like he’s admitting fault here. We removed the name of the alleged litterbug. Here’s the cached version of the post if you’d rather see it in its original format.


As well-meaning as Tim might have been, he wasn’t in his rights to do that, and the person he named can press criminal and/or civil charges. It’s possible this all might blow over and that the alleged litterbug isn’t overly upset. Either way, let’s hope Tim learned his lesson on this one.

I have sent Tim an e-mail and will allow him the opportunity to respond if he wants. Don’t hold your breath.

Thanks to a very bright LodoWickian for sending me this info.

Tim’s “Open Letter to a Litterbug” disappears

April 25, 2009

It used to be here. But now it’s gone.

Thoughts? I’ll have a complete story on this soon. Watch for it.


Wick carries the load

April 24, 2009

UPDATE: There were five posts over the weekend, and five of them were from Wick. Relentless.

Like the Cleveland Cavaliers, FrontBurner has become a one-man show.

Though there are four regulars (Wick, Tim, Eric, Zac) and a few part-timers (Glenn, Sarah), Wick Allison is taking all of the glory for himself. He’s a ball hog, even if most of his shots are clanking off the rim. Okay, so maybe he’s nothing like LeBron James.

Anyway, 24 of the past 50 posts have come from Wick’s hands. (I didn’t count any “Leading Off” posts since he never does those.)

Two questions about this: 

  1. Why is Wick trying so hard to flood FrontBurner with post after post about the latest Dallas-related study or poll?
  2. Generally speaking, do you enjoy the dull, humorless posts from Wick more than ones that actually are engaging, like those from Zac?

How to take money from Wick

April 23, 2009

I wonder how Lauren Cureton feels about this “New FrontBurner.” She works in advertising at D Magazine and can’t be thrilled with the loss of page impressions sure to come from the No Comments era.

FrontBurner, like nearly every other Web site with advertising, charges advertisers based on page impressions. A page impression, of course is what happens every time you load a page. Here are some of their rates, courtesy of Lauren herself:

50,000 impressions        =          $1,437

100,000 impressions      =          $2,625

200,000 impressions      =          $4,250

There are two ads on FrontBurner: the banner and the tower. So let’s assume they’re both paid ads (though they frequently are house ads instead). That means that each time you visit FrontBurner, you could be giving Wick Allison nearly 6 cents.

50,000/$1,437 = $0.02874… multiply that by 2 (for two ads on the page) and you get $0.057 per impression.

Load the page 10 times in a day, and Wick has received 57 cents courtesy of you.

That’s the extreme example, since advertisers may choose for the better deal of buying 100,000 or 200,000 impressions. But you get the idea.

As you can see, it’s important for Wick that people return to FrontBurner throughout the day. I reloaded that page probably 50 times a day when I was commenting there, but, of course, I don’t do that now. The point is this: Less reason to return throughout the day will mean slightly less revenue for Wick. 

Want to really stick it to him? Use the RSS feed at the top right of LodoWick. Rather than checking back with FrontBurner to see if there’s a new post, just look there first. If there is and it looks interesting, sure, click and read it. If not, save the 6 cents.