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Troy

What is Means to be Black

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theironpotcooker.jpgAs I was migrating content to the new format I can across the CD review I wrote for the Iron Pot Cooker by Camille Yarbrough. So I listened to the entire CD again and was just as moved as the first time I heard it.

But it also struck me because it reminded me of @Pioneer1, it made me think of him because I think of all the people on the forum he is most similar to me in terms of what it means to be Black.  We share a similar "culture."  I "get" everything Pioneer writes even though I'll disagree with him from time to time.  Everything he writes is familiar.

Now if you grew up Black in an urban ghetto you will understand this CD.  However, if you were Black and grew up in an integrated suburban environment, you can still be moved but not in the same way as someone who lived this experience.  Camille reveals a profound understanding of the dysfunction we have been talking about in another conversation recently. More importantly, Yarbrough is compassionate she loves the characters she is talking about because she loves them.

This is a Black experience that not every Black person will relate to and that is probably a good thing.  But if you listen to this CD I think you'll have a bit more compassion for the Brother and Sisters behaving in a dysfunctional manner in our ghettos...

 

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You know I was never introduced to Camille until Talib Kweli introduced me to her via one of his songs like 20 years ago. I guess it's like most people don't know who John Kasandra is. Good stuff Troy.

 

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Yeah, Yarborough is highly esteemed elder here in NYC.  I'm sure someone like Talib would have mad respect for her.  She actually intervewed  AALBC.com on her cable access show, Ancestors House but this was over 10 years ago. I knew she was in the film Shaft, but did not know she had a signing career until Fatboy Slim remixed one of her songs. The official video (supposedly) is below.  Slim's treatment has completely extracted all of the soul and meaning from the original.  But this is what white boys always do when they appropriate aspects of our culture for profit.  In fact, they taught us how to do the same thing.

But Slim did create a resurgence in Yarborough's work, and I'm sure he paid her for the use of her music, so I guess it is all good.

 

For comparison purposes Yarbrough's originals.  Taken in the content of the original album it is even more powerful... not to mention the same cultural experiences.

 

I've migrated Gil Scott-Heron earlier today.  Man, I wish he was alive and in his prime today.  I would love to hear his words on Trump.  Listening to him talk about Regan was just so deep.  I appreciate his work even more now.

I also moved The Last Poets and Abiodun Oyeloe work was slow today listening to these folks.  There are SO many Youtube videos of these folks now compared to when these pages were created it is incredible.

There was a time I could actually make money selling their music and video, but those days ended years ago. I can;t even image how much money the artist has lost. Youtube can generate revenue by providing a platform for piracy and no one bats an eye--but that is a rant for another day....

@CDBurns I was not aware of John Kasandra before now -- thanks!

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We share a similar "culture." I "get" everything Pioneer writes even though I'll disagree with him from time to time. Everything he writes is familiar.

Lol @ Troy trying to save me from Cynique and Delano's assault on just about every post I wrote.

I'm glad to see SOMEBODY out there felt sorry for me....lol



Yeah, this sho' nuff bring back memories,
Actually this is the first time I heard THIS particular artist but her work brings back memories of what older cats used to listen to while they were getting high .

It didn't go on in our home, but this was the norm for so many of our friends and their parents when we went over THEIR homes.

It's funny how she mentioned the "big H" in one of her songs because for some reason this type of music was the favorite of people who were high on heroin (or as they called it "heron") and as soon as you walked into their home and you heard this playing on the 8-track and saw spoons laying around on the table....even as kids we KNEW what was up.
We knew we'd have the whole house to ourselves because all the adults were going to be in the bed room either sleeping or doing "whatever" for a while....lol.

 

Words aren't stagnant, they tend to change and evolve (or devolve) in different periods.
In the West, the word "Black" is like the word "Jew"....isn't just a racial category anymore but today also describes a culture and particular perspective and way of looking at life.
This is why people can create a television show called "Blackish".

As Black people, we may come from different environments around the nation but just like "art" or "pornography" most of us can ecognize Black culture  when we come across it.

Me and a lady friend of mine when into a Chinese food buffet a couple months ago and they had fried chicken on the menu and I could tell by the way it was seasoned that it was a Black cook who fried it.  She wanted to argue with me about how there wasn't any Black folks in a Chinese joint but only Chinese and Mexicans cooking.
I decided to check around and sure enough there was a Jamaican dude....only one....back there who TOLD ME point blank that they just hired him in and he's the one who fried that chicken and used those spices...lol.

I KNOW my people and what we produce when I see them!


Which is why I and others will accuse Adele of stealing Black culture but not Lady Gaga or Christina Aguilera.

Because there are subtle differences that often times only WE recognize.


But back to Camille's work......
Besides the nostalgic effect, one of the things I like about so much of the music and televison shows from the 70s is how REAL they were as compared to today.

To me, the 70s represent as close to the raw realness of Black American culture BEFORE it was mainstreamed and captured by the corporate media.
You had BOTH the positive and negative story told from OUR perspective in a way that WE could relate to.....as opposed to today where you have White industry picking and choosing which aspects of our culture (usually negative) that they'll promote.

Can anyone name me ONE OTHER Black television sitcom today that was as powerful and entertaining and still resonates with Black America as Sanford and Son, or Good Times, or The Jeffersons did back 40 years ago?

 

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Pioneer, I wasn't trying to take up for you. No one who posts here regularly needs to be defended. I just wanted you to know I know where come from (most of the time).

I can't tell you anything about TV sitcoms today because I don't watch them.  I haven't even seen a single episode of Blackish yet.  When I did watch sitcoms I really enjoyed All in the Family.  It really was a smart and funny program.I like serval others as well but that show towered over the others in my opinion.

But what about the Cosby Show that was entertaining.  It did not resonate with me, simply because I did not personally know any Black people that wealthy at the time.  In fact, the first brownstone (like the one they lived in) that I ever went into, that was not cut up into apartments, was the one I purchased as an adult--and I grew up in Harlem.

Even today, while I know some wealthy Black folks, they are not friends who invite me over to socialize.  The Black people I hang with are within one standard deviation of my socio-economic class... I suspect that is true for most Black people.

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Like most 70s television shows, I liked All In The Family (or as I called it the Archie Bunker Show) also.
It was one of the few shows....both back then AND today....that exposed the true feelings of working class White men.
The racism, the sexism, the anti-semitism, the ignorance, ect........

Like I said, the 70s shows like many of the movies of the 70s were the REAL.
Not every story had a happy ending like they started having in the mid-80s.

Imagine a television show today where the main character is a proud racist and bigot AND is portrayed as ignorant and wrong as hell like All In The Family.
They wouldn't put it on television because too many White men who fit that description would complain about it!

I was actually thinking of the Cosby Show too when I presented the challenge.
That and Family Matters and a few others.

I liked the Cosby Show too, but not because I could relate to it but strictly because of the quality of entertainment it provided.
Cosby was funny as hell.
Phylicia Rashad was fine as hell.

There was a bit of realism in the show with the kids having fades, wearing contemporary clothes....but outside of that culturally speaking like you I didn't have much in common with them.

I didn't grow up in poverty, but I certainly didn't grow up with the wealth the Cosby's portrayed.

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14 hours ago, Troy said:

Youtube can generate revenue by providing a platform for piracy and no one bats an eye--but that is a rant for another day....

this might not be accurate - It's been my experience youtube will remove copyright content in a bat of an eye but you have to file a notice. 

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@Pioneer1 you have an interesting projection of my responses to your posts.Although that the feeling of being attacked will diminsh. That particular fire has been extinguished. 

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@Mel Hopkins it is obvious Youtube is not trying very hard to police privacy.  If you look at the two Camille Yarbough music clips I posted, I doubt both have permission to share this music. Of course downloading anything on Youtube is child's play.  

But if Youtube were not doing it; some other Napster-like platform would emerge.  Youtube preempts the possibility of anyone else entering this space.  It should come as no surprise that Google's Youtube is the 2nd most popular website, only surpassed in popularity by Google itself.

Sure Google will remove copyrighted material if you file a claim-I've done this myself to have videos I've created removed.  They will and even hunt for additional copies with it's algorithm.  Still, despite that, I can download virtually any song ever made for my own personal use using Youtube.  I stopped using Itunes because Itunes simply does not have the music Youtube has. Even if I never downloaded a single song--i can listen to them at will--for free (free to me that is).

Youtube is smart enough to do a much better job o eliminating privacy but what is their incentive?  Besides, who is gonna stop them? 

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5 minutes ago, Troy said:

Youtube is smart enough to do a much better job o eliminating privacy but what is their incentive?  Besides, who is gonna stop them? 

We do... you just confirmed we all have the power to stop youtube from exploiting our copyrights.  We also permit their activity as well with our implied consent. You admitted that too.  I'm strong proponent of copyright laws but I will look for music on youtube then I purchase it.   I think this is why most won't remove their music - they want to make it discoverable.  No harm if everyone wins. 

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I have not purchased music since my desktop's hard drive crashed last year.  Itunes with their DRM has made it VERY difficult to move not just my music from my IPod to my laptop but ALL of the digital content I created including home movies etc, But was stupid enough to store using Itunes software.  When my Ipod finally crashes I will be "assed-out" as they say in these parts.

This is also one of the reasons I don't buy ebooks. At the end of the day corporations want to (need to) be in your pocket 100% of the time, so if it is not paying for cloud storage to listen to music you've purchased in multiple formats over the years or subscription fees they gotcha.  Unless you were smart enough to save your LPs.

@Mel Hopkins you think artists like Prince would have approved of his music being freely available for download from youtube, in exchange for making it more discoverable? Now the video I posted below may get removed by Youtube but someone else will upload again 5 minutes later... Google wil not stop them, but they will profit from the ads served.

The younger generation simply does not buy music anymore--why should they?

Mel I'll let you in on something, these disruptive technologies have not done anything but enrich the uber-wealthy.  Everyone is not winning

 

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When Prince was alive very little of his work was on YouTube.  I heard he walked into Revolver records on West 8th aaid nothing took all of his bootlegs and walked out.

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1 hour ago, Troy said:

you think artists like Prince would have approved of his music being freely available for download from youtube, in exchange for making it more discoverable?

@Troy He did not. When he was alive he controlled access to his music.  It is a choice.   Just like you pulled your videos and NBC pulled and blocked worldwide the one I posted with my godson in it...it is a choice.  Those who leave it up want it discovered, others who want to control access have theirs removed... I have shaky knowledge of disruptive technologies but when it comes to copyright - I've noticed I'm not the only one like a pitbull to protect it...If you haven't already sign up for Law 360  updates  (updates are free , subscription is about $4k a year) do so and you'll see uber rich make money but they are sued at a crazy rate and a lot lose millions in legal fees and awards. 

By the way, did you see that google lost their $22 million class action suit for adwords on dead sites. That's just this week.  No telling how many pending suits are against them.  These corporations play fast and loose with the  rules but they lose big too. 

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Mel 22 million dollars is nothing to Google.

I picked Prince randomly I could have picked Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, or Beyonce it didn't matter none of them are immune. Besides, you don't think Prince's music only became available on YouTube after he passed, do you?

Also you don't have to bring up the examples of musicians who are trying to reach an audience that's not who I'm talking about. I'm talking about established musicians who have an audience whose music is available on Google's for free, music that in our day would have been purchased.

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7 hours ago, Troy said:

Mel 22 million dollars is nothing to Google.

That 22 million suit was just this week. Facebook just lost 500 million lawsuit on occulus.  I mentioned the lexis nexis service Law 360 , if you wanted to keep a running tab on how individuals are checking google  It's a big target and hard to miss.  As long as our laws are still open to the people, google is not above the law. 

You're  correct Youtube can benefit from the audience that sees ads when visits youtube for music and,Digital Millennium Copyright Act states they cannot be held liable for pirated music uploaded to the youtube site.  They can only be diligent in its removal.  (link: "How Google Fights Piracy") 
Google pays licensing fees for the artists and record companies who own copyright.

 

7 hours ago, Troy said:

I picked Prince randomly I could have picked Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, or Beyonce it didn't matter none of them are immune. Besides, you don't think Prince's music only became available on YouTube after he passed, do you?

Prince was an interesting random choice.   According to his former lawyer and our BTHS Alum Londell McMIllian  Prince's music only streamed on tidal until February 12, 2017- when the estate released it.   

"Feb. 12, is the focus of a major marketing campaign set up by the music companies that have rights to release Prince’s songs, and by the streaming services that have been hungry to carry the music but were blocked from doing so by Prince himself before he died last year at 57. (Currently, Prince's albums are only available on Tidal.)"  New York Times 

McMillian represented both Prince and Michael until their death.  (I think I read he still represents Michael Jackson's estate and he's on tap to represent Prince's  estate once its turned over to the heirs)  When I searched youtube in the past for Prince music, it wasn't there. I didn't keep a record so only google has a record of my searches.  Again all the artists you've mention have all blocked their music from time to time...Beyonce's vevo channel was even off youtube for a few weeks.  Still Youtube is a media site much like television and radio so when artists music is played or watch they get paid just like they would when their music is aired on any other medium. In fact, youtube (unless they manipulate the count) is a better source than radio and television because its end-user driven the more popular the more money. 

 

screen-shot-2016-07-13-at-2-07-14-pm.png

This is from a fortune article - Artist are NOT throwing up their hands ... they want more  licensing money and even better technologies as  to who is uploading pirated music.  And Most important, they are fighting to have the  Digital Millennium Copyright Act, revised.  This is the law that is allowing piracy from smaller companies that don't have as large a bullseye as google.  


AALBC is an important website that is filled with copyright holders and even those new to the game - I believe you are correct to warn those with intellectual property how easy it is to lose licensing rights if they are not diligent in keeping watch.  But to say there's is nothing we can do about it ... that's not true. 

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I go on YouTube all the time and have no problem downloading my favorite songs into my computer, including ones by Prince. Some of my old favorites have even been posted by just ordinary people who apparently haven't been prevented from doing this.  I think it's a win-win situation for everybody. For me, for the artists(most of whom, in my case, are dead - but kept alive in people's memories through their music), and for YouTube whose traffic I contribute to.  

(I previously posted these comments on the wrong thread)

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It Also Means,The Black Young ,Have A Gloomy .Future. Besides Demonic White Supremacy, The Street Gang Violence,Irresponsible Parents.. Leaders You Cannot Trust,Is Black Unity Possible? Black. Leaders Will .Not Follow,W.E.B. Dubois Talented Tenth,Malcolm .X Black .Economic Speech, Kwanzaa Principles To  Have Strong,Black,Communities..There,Are House Negroes  And ,Black Slave Holders..Enslaving Their Own People. Preachers,Are  Pimps And Crooks...

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Since I have a small record label I will say this, all of the music on YouTube is protected in some way. Some channels have it up and it hasn't been removed, but the "owner" of the video does not get paid, the person who owns the publishing gets paid.

YouTube doesn't pay much at all as far as streaming goes. I can give you hard examples for streaming on all streaming services. Just ask me to give it to you. If a successful artists controls their YouTube they can do very well with YT streaming. I think YT is not bad at all. Troy you talk as if you didn't put Maxell tapes in and record the Quiet Storm off of the radio. Music has always been accessible in some format. The problem now is that like Mel said the Digital Laws are flimsy and the studios are taking advantage of the loopholes. That takes us back to controlling our own platforms. At least an artist can become a YT millionaire with enough followers. There is real opportunity there and while it isn't a level playing field, a person with dedication and consistency can earn subscribers and convert those subscribers especially in music which is a more social medium than books or business info. (Which is why you and I have a hard to getting subscribers and followers on any social platform.)

I guess we live in a time that is great, but difficult. There is amazing opportunity, but serious consumer ignorance. Thankfully millennials are a lot more aware of how they consume and they are becoming more responsible which is what has allowed music artists to create Patreon and which also allows Bandcamp to flourish in an environment where streaming dominates.

As always thanks for all of your work on the site. As you know all of that work is about search because people will barely visit it direct and that's what we are all relying on is being discoverable.

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Mel I did not write, nor do I believe there is "nothing we can do about it." I did ask, however, "who" will stop them?  

Let me try another approach...

Over the past 12 months, I've spent a great deal of time enhancing my coverage of children's books.  It is an area of great interest but largely neglected by the mainstream media.  Much of the coverage on the subject covers how few Black children's book are published.

One of the most popular pages on my website is my Top 120+ Recommended African-American Children's Books. I started the page by asking industry insider and other experts which books they felt should be on a list like this.  I have continued to expand and curate this list.  In the process, I have added information on hundreds of authors and illustrators of children's books.

Now if you run a google search on African American Children's books, my site is likely to come up first.  I'd argue it deserves to be.  But let's take a look at the screenshot of the results:

image002.jpg

Now consider the following:

  1. Google hijacks the search results by placing book covers and links to THEIR store.  Do y'all understand what I'm saying?  Do you know what this means?  Google is grabbing visitors just as they are about to step into your store and pulling them into their with prettier pictures.
  2. Obviously, the sites most like to carry this content Are Black sites.  These sites don't stand a chance. Anyone with the gumption to start a great Black children's website--good luck, because you can't do much better than I am and I'm struggling.
  3. But here is the kicker:  Why is almost EVERY DAMN BOOK cover Google is displaying my MY LIST!  Now I've been looking search results on these terms for a very long time and this is something new Google has pulled.  I mean I pulled some obscure books for inclusion on my list and now Google is displaying them as if they came up with this shit on their own.

Now the implications of this are profound.  Not only has Google squashed all the competition, they are swiping content.

Of course, one can argue there are a finite number of great books so any lists compiled will necessary have some overlap, but again I've monitored this list and the overlap is alarming.

Still, even if I completely conceded point #3 entirely. Point #1 really should be cause for great concern.  But because it is not, we are not doing anything about it and we don't have as many quality Black sites as we should.  The growth of the sites that remain is constrained by Google.

So what can I do?

  • Sue Google for mining the search data for popular content then hijacking that traffic with content they've grabbed from Wikipedia and other sites and putting "their" content at the top of search results?  Don't make me laugh.
  • Work extra hard enriching other fantastically wealthy corporations by posting my stuff on their social media platforms, desperately trying to drag folks away to learn about some excellent book for children.  
  • Seek the support of people in my community by helping them understand what is happening and why it matters.

This is just one small example, in one industry, that will never make the light of day. Sites like mine die in obscurity every single day. Lord only know what could have been, but never got launched because of the hostile environment we operate it.

Look AALBC.com should not have been out of business years ago.  I'm crazy for continuing to struggle with it.  In some alternative universe, I'll be celebrating AALBC.com's 20th anniversary with a nice party, maybe a little press, and the promise of an ongoing legacy celebrating Black culture through books.  

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9 hours ago, Troy said:

Google hijacks the search results by placing book covers and links to THEIR store.  Do y'all understand what I'm saying?

Oh Snap!!!  I hear you now and understand.  It's like AmazonListmania - except you don't get the advertising credit!  That's some bullshiggity...

 

9 hours ago, Troy said:

Point #1 really should be cause for great concern.  But because it is not, we are not doing anything about it and we don't have as many quality Black sites as we should.  The growth of the sites that remain is constrained by Google.

Troy, this right here... is the crux of the argument because while google rewards you  (AALBC) for doing the work by making AALBC first - google is operating like  the "paid protection in the 'hood.  They don't create a damn thing but the get paid every month or you don't do business.  

Now here's where my #shesowhite moment comes in because I never owned a mom and pop store in the 'hood... Hell, the closest I lived to the 'hood was Clinton Hill before my dad left me the house in Bed-Stuy.  But I read and this is a iceberg slim -  "bumpy" ellsworth - number- running type racket, sans the bloodletting - just dead links.  So since you're a reader too, how did they handle this type racketeering in the neighborhood in the  past?  Since Google is acting like a gangster then gansta-tactics are warranted.  Employ those tactics to use google against itself.

On a brighter note:  As for now,  (AALBC) being first lieutenant ain't a bad spot to be in... As my Wi-Fi expert friend once said,

“…always ready to take over the world, even one city block at a time due to budgetary constraints”

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And don't forget that you can use Amazon against google and get your advertising credits ... I noticed number 3 on that list was an amazon page to the best african-american children's books too - and I swiped the link for my associates account... http://amzn.to/2mFpaVg

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Interesting analogy.  

Mel I simply lack the power to battle Google on any level.  Unlike the streets where you can get some of your boys or hired muscle to retaliate.  I have no one who will support me on this level. Think of it as everyone being on the the take, the government, the media, and all of your friend and family.  

Google can bitch-slap (continuing the analogy) AALBC.com at will.  Indeed they have already done this.  Consider the graph below:

aalbc-bitch-slapped.png

Basically, this publically available chart shows how my organic reach was removed by Google overnight.  In other words, in January 2011 my websites traffic dropped 75% in a day!  Let that sink in a minute...

By the way, Google won't even give you the respect explain why they slammed so many businesses.  They are not accessible via phone or even email.  They rule with an iron fist and are untouchable. So while I rank high on many Google searches today.  I also know Google still make my site disappear, in a fraction of a second.

I have also considered that my ongoing critique of Google opens me up for retaliation from them--that is the power they have.  

Now my site's traffic has recovered, but it took five years!  But it was not just my website -- every website whose data I had access to suffered too--some even more.  Black book websites, in particular, were annihilated on a grand scale.  While I wrote about this until my finger were numb, Black media were largely oblivious to what was happening or simply ignored it to cover the Kardashians.

2015-update-black-book-websites.thumb.jpg.ca533355c2b803283552531053083517.jpg

Not enough people knew or if they knew they did not care.  As a result, we have far fewer strong Black websites.  The lost revenue and enrichment provided to Black folks is incalculable.  

But Black folks don't demand very much and are easily placated.  If Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia were the entire internet (no other websites).  I do not think most Black folks would be disappointed.  Nothing in our collective behavior suggests otherwise...

During this same period, we witnessed the rapid rise of social media.  This was fueled, in part, by desperate webmasters frantically trying to regain lost visitors.  New webmaster, ignorant of the web and how it actually worked, touted social media as if it were the only way one could attract new visitors get them to visit their websites.  

While websites spent time amping up their followers on Facebook, at the expense of own websites, Facebook patiently waited.  Once webmasters and their social media strategists increased engagement on Facebook, Facebook announced that organic reach on their platform would end.  Today if you want to reach the followers, you worked so hard to attract, you would now need to PAY Facebook!  My data show that Facebook has indeed made good on this promise.  You can read some of Facebook's propaganda on the subject.

Now we can do something about this--if we wanted.  

We could boycott Facebook and put them out of business tomorrow.  We could also boycott Google search engine and use others that don't hijack and mine search result for profit.

The 2nd most popular US search engine, Bing, returns results on African American Children's Books differently.

bing.png

Now AALBC.com comes in at #6 on the Bing search engine for the same query, but I suspect a higher percentage of visitors actually visit the websites returned in these search results, because Bing is not hijacking search result with their content.  The ads shown are clearly presented as ads.  Google use to return search results this fashion.  But of course, I'm sure front running search results is more profitable.

Ignoring the Google images at the top of their SERP (search engine results page), their results are superior to Bing's.  I say because if you compare the websites on both SRPs and their treatment of the subject Google's result are superior.  For example, Google returns the Brown Bookshelf as #8, while the site does not make the top ten on Bing. The Brown Book Shelf is one of the best sites for Black children's book on the web.  While the Brown Bookshelf has SEO problems, Google search engine was still able to more appropriately place them on the SERP.  But I digress...  

This is worth mentioning because the issues with Google are not simple.  Google provides a great deal of value to the web--far more than Facebook if you ask me.  But there has to be a better way to ensure that creatively flourishes on the web, that indie business are not wiped out on the whim of a single company, and that more than the ultra wealthy can profit from the web.

Mel creating that Amazon affiliate link was smart!  I created one myself: http://bit.ly/amazontop100kidsbooks I'm also using it on my site: https://aalbc.com/books/children.php#amazon

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@Troy put a watermark then find a lawyer that will sue them on retainer . If you win just hit me off with one percent from your proceeds after the lawyer takes their cut. So for every $1,000 you get kick $10 to me.

You may have to split it with the author. Run it by Craig.

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Del I think I'd be wasting Craigs time, plus I doubt he work in anticipation of payout from Google.  There are real costs that would need to be incurred and google have the resources to drag this out forever.  You need some serious paper to go after Google.  Besides, there are companies much bigger than mine that have been hurt or destroyed by Google.  I'm not suing Google.

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@Troy, this is one of those class action suits I was speaking about - this is exactly how they get started and how they change corporate behavior.  

Although DMCA says that internet companies can't be sued for what end-user upload to their platform - it doesn't let the platform off the hook for pirating another corporation's work. 

Once you uploaded these books to your site in the form of a list, it made you the original copyright holder.   Therefore, google  infringed on your copyright.  I can't use your list on my website  without permission or attribution. Even when I use my own comments on the discussion board here I attribute to aalbc.com.  So why is it OK for google? The same goes for every website google may pirate content from on the 'net. 

Or is it ok because we use google webmaster tools for "verification" of our websites?  Are we giving them implicit permission to lift content from our websites?  I'm asking because I'm a beginner in this territory

But lets say it isn't ok and even if you inquire then for some reason your site fell off the radar during the same time as you pose a question then  that's considered a punitive action ...and seems as if it would be subject to further penalty in the class action lawsuit.  Now I'm not saying that you're going to start a class action lawsuit but since you have the knowledge of what the heck is going on -  I would damn sure keep a record if you find the same happening to other website owners (as you already have and posted) then I'm sure all you have to do is throw a rock and you'd hit a lawyer willing to take on the suit.  

I was looking through some old email today and I found one from google - disclosing a class action lawsuit against for google buzz for invasion of privacy.  I tell you these dudes get sued and settle every single week.

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Troy and Mel

While reading the exchange between you two I have to shake my head at myself.

So much waaaay over my head.

It's one of those times that I wish I had gone on to college and gotten myself a degree....lol.

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22 minutes ago, Pioneer1 said:

It's one of those times that I wish I had gone on to college and gotten myself a degree....lol.

LOL... stop playing... they don't teach that stuff in college! As I'm reading Troy's stuff -  I wish he'd go on tour! This is straight lecture-circuit content in the age of Intellectual Property!

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@Troy it's called a retainer. Lawyer work for free with the hope of a big payoff. Quite a few cases are settled out if court.  Reading the email takes one minute. I am an ideas person. Ya ain't interested cool. Hey Mel the ideas yours just give me a one percent cut of your take. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Del said:

Hey Mel the ideas yours just give me a one percent cut of your take. 

I'm a giggler IRL and every time I read a comment like this one- I crack up!

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I had to google "IRL" myself.  It means "In Real Life."

Pioneer I doubt they teach courses like this in college.  In fact, what they teach is more likely to help you fall how to fall prey these problems.  I teach a college course in web design and I often find myself biting my tongue in order not to introduce my bias.  I will, however, add a lecture to the course to talk about these issues.  It will be a precursor to a talk I plan to give at the Sacramento Black Book Festival in June.  I also plan to add it to a book I planning on various subjects as it related to the web and Black people.  So @Mel Hopkins, going on tour is something I have considered.

@Delano, it is not that I'm not interested in taking legal action against Google to get them to cease their monopolistic ways and get them to play nicely.  I just don't have the spare bandwidth.  Also, if I could not get others who have been hurt far more than I to even care enough to work together to do something about it, I have little faith in being able to mount a class action suit; but that type of activity is not my strong suit either.  But if you are willing to work with Craig on our behalf I'd be willing o split my take with our 50-50.

@Pioneer1, it would be helpful for me to understand what you do not get about Google's behavior.  Over the years I've tried to explain to people with a vested interest what is happening and why it should matter to them.  Typically they take no remedial action or they double down on the activities I told them was the cause of the problem--and it never works.

Perhaps I'm not explaining it correctly, where are you getting lost?  I also understand if this too broad a question to deal with online.  Some things require a face to face meeting.

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11 hours ago, Delano said:

What's a gigglers IRL

@Delano

Full disclosure:  As Troy mentioned, IRL means "in real life".  The "giggler" part means I giggle a lot.   I see pictures and images when I read words.  So when I read comments or hear what others say - a movie plays in my head.   When You said Cynique was a Magus I saw her walking around in full garb of purple and gold turban and robes, they were heavy because she appears to be petite.   Troy going up against google was actually me seeing him spar with the google logogram "Google" and  it had eyes.   When you mentioned taking 1 percent, I saw you in the McDonald's hamburgler costume .... and you'd appear out of nowhere to get your cut. 

So that's the rest of the story - I giggle a lot because I don't see words or "letters",  I see images and motion pictures. 

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Troy, this is the overall issue with using third party platforms. As I told you I went from making 30-50K a month with Amazon and one change in the system and now I'm driving Lyft as I redesign my website and build it in a way to garner some of the major money being floated around in the sneaker industry right now.

People have integrated third party sites so thoroughly into their lives that it's very hard to overcome without considerable consumer education. The consumer/user is the only person that can stop the bleeding and unfortunately comfort and ease of use rules the day. 

I need to explain how I was wiped out, but I have done videos discussing how I was setting myself up, but I couldn't stop like a junkie and I eventually was forced into rehab. I probably already talked about this, but it has to be presented again. Amazon a month ago decided to make all items over 35.00 bucks require free shipping. If your items did not meet the requirements for how they wanted free shipping presented, your listings were removed. I went from having almost 1000 listings available on Amazon to zero listings showing up. I contributed slow sales to post holiday hangover and I didn't check my inventory. After a week of zero sales I looked into my dashboard and realized that the listings were Active but not active in the buying area.

Every listing had to be deleted and recreated. This would take countless man hours and I realized that I'd waited too long to build my website up because I was mainlining Amazon so hard I was shooting up between my toes and in my dick; which I had been cutting off by using third party platforms to reach my customers all of these years. 

When you talk about being hijacked by Google, it's the same thing Amazon has done by mining data provided by third party sellers and then releasing their own private labels to sell what is hot. Amazon and Google are genius business models and pure capital engines. They exist as a medium providing no inventory of their own until they have mined the data to make sure that success is a certainty. Once they make the decision to replace you or change the rules, you are doomed if you haven't been building up your platform first. 

I commend you for taking the time to rebuild. It inspired my current work and while the benefits aren't 30000 a month, I will drive Lyft until I work through the process of garnering the revenue that is flowing through the sneaker biz at this moment. My website growth has been tremendous since I've started the work which shows that people are looking for information. In February of last year my ARCH site had 2000 Unique visits. This Feb 2017 my site got over 17,000 Unique visits. I'm selling a few shoes through the online store and the checks are coming faster from Adwords. Ultimately the goal is to garner media sponsorships from Verizon and other sites as I push the Uniques towards 100,000. You know like I know one endorsement could do this overnight, but more than likely like AALBC I will be working towards this on my own.

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2 hours ago, CDBurns said:

I was mainlining Amazon so hard I was shooting up between my toes and in my dick; which I had been cutting off by using third party platforms to reach my customers all of these years. 

ARGGGH... the imagery!!! LOL! This is an awesome cautionary tale that there are no shortcuts...Thank you for sharing!

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On 3/1/2017 at 0:51 PM, Troy said:

Mel I simply lack the power to battle Google on any level.  Unlike the streets where you can get some of your boys or hired muscle to retaliate.  I have no one who will support me on this level.

 

@Troy , The EU just BITCH-SLAPPED Google with 2.7 BILLION DOLLAR FINE for promoting their own ads in the search query https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-slapped-with-2-7-billion-eu-fine-over-search-results-1498556971

 

Google Slapped With $2.7 Billion EU Fine Over Search Results

EU orders Google to treat rival comparison-shopping services equally in its search results

 
 
By 
Natalia Drozdiak and
 
Sam Schechner
Updated June 27, 2017 9:36 a.m. ET

BRUSSELS—The European Union’s antitrust regulator on Tuesday fined Alphabet Inc.’sGOOGL -1.72% Google a record €2.42 billion ($2.71 billion) for favoring its own comparison-shopping service in search results and ordered the search giant to apply the same methods to rivals as its own when displaying their services.

The decision, if it is upheld, would force Google to reshape the way it presents search results for products in Europe, the latest move by Brussels to rein in the tech world. The decision could also have further-reaching implications for other Google products and services—as well as those from competitors.

If the ruling sets a precedent that holds, these firms might all have to rethink how they make products that—like Google’s search engine—have become more than just tools, but dominant gateways to the wider internet.   More at the WSJ

 

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The attorney Margrethe Vestager is my new hero.

 

While 3 Billion dollars is chump change to Google.  It is a step in the right direct and U.S. regulators really should be ashamed of themselves.  They have been pathetically inadequate for failing to act on this at all. I guess that is because Google owns American politicians.

 

The video below sums up the problem quite succinctly.  Y'all know I've been complaining about for years.  

 

 

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May send that memo. If they try and squash you the publicity would be worth it. Maybe even put it online and have it be a trending google search.

 

 

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Dude, Google can squash me at any moment and AALBC.com, I'm sorry to say, will just die. There will be no publicity or coverage, no bakes sales or crowd sourcing to raise money, it will just be over.

 

You see people believe their failure to secure traffic has to do with them not creating valuable content.  The biggest factor I'd argue Google.  Webmasters have to jump through every hoop Google holds up.  Miss one and you're done..done!

 

I shared this graph with you before right?  I share it because it is publically available, and while the data is not 100% accurate, it is very reflective of my relative traffic over time.  It is pretty clever really how they were able to plot this chart without access to my traffic.  Basically this company gathers search engine results (big data stuff), and are able to derive good estimates of traffic.  

 

In my case in January 1991 my traffic dropped >75% overnight!  My google revenue dropped from  more than $2,000 per month to less than $200.  This was the result of a google algorithm update.  Companies across a wide variety of industries were simply clobbered, including many bookstores who did not know what hit them.

 

This was before Google started placing their books in front of search engine results for queries about books.  This effectively made it impossible for a book site to obtain traffic.  I've seen excellent book sites come and go, sites no one remembers.

 

My site has recovered and this year will probably be a record year for page views, but Imagine if the site was able to growth without Google slap down.  I'll be the first to admit however that the site is probably much better than it would have been were it not for me jumping through Google hoops.  

 

But just today I was updating my Black Book Site database and the results were sobering--Black book sites are dropping like flies!  I wrote about this in a new conversation.

 

AALBC.com Traffic

 

Black book sites have two significant problems

  1. Google controls access to book sites in exactly the same why it is described in the video above
  2. Even if you do manage to rank in search and get visitors people will only by from Amazon

 

 

 

 

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