Wednesday, January 31, 2007

ThePayoff Returns

Back in the dotcom bubble of the mid- to late-'90s, I had a website called "ThePayoff" that was a collection of my referral links to the greatest get-paid-to-surf sites, along with tutorials showing how they worked and lists of features of and comparisons among each. The leader of the pack back then was AllAdvantage, and I made some money off of them -- I remember one $17 check in particular. It wasn't the only one out there by any stretch of the imagination (I think I was signed up for 22 similar programs at one point), but it was the most popular and perhaps the easiest to 'sell' to friends and family. Well, as easy as any pyramid scheme is to sell to friends and family.

Late last year, a couple of the AllAdvantage guys got together with a bunch of business students from Stanford and decided to get back into the GPTS business. And so we have AGLOCO, the unfortunately-named (think "A GLObal COmmunity") AllAdvantage for the new millennium. Yes, it's still basically a pyramid, and yes the concept is still "you install and run an adbar while you're online and we'll pass 90% of our advertisers' money directly on to you and your team." This time, though, they won't pay us before they get paid themselves (lesson learned), and they won't let your downline grow to infinity -- they'll stop counting our referrals five levels down. Still, that's plenty.

I write all this to say, of course, if you read this blog, please sign up for AGLOCO under me... but also, to report that I just got my first referral the other day. I haven't even done much recruiting -- who has the time? -- but it's nice to watch one of my downlines growing again. It reminds me of my life a decade ago, as ThePayoff.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Ten Years

Packers 35 - Patriots 21

Ten years ago right now, I was the happiest I can recall ever being as a single grown-up. We were on the snowy streets and in and out of the bars of downtown Green Bay, cavorting and reveling in the wake of the Packers' first Super Bowl victory in 29 years.

Of course, it was also their last. But I'd prefer to focus on the positive here.

I hope I'll always remember the feeling I had that night -- that whole season. The moment that is indelible in my memory came just as we arrived downtown about 30 minutes after the game. We stopped about six or eight blocks away from the center of town at an ATM machine. There was no traffic, but there was still a wonderful noise emanating from the city. We stopped and listened for a couple of minutes because it was such a joyful noise. It was almost eerie. Green Bay was alive with the sound of cheering. Thousands of fans were out on the streets shouting at the tops of their lungs. It was a little muffled from where we were, partly because of the distance, partly because of the temperature, and partly because of the snow. That combination of factors made for a sensation that I can't imagine ever being able to experience again. I'm not depressed by that; I'm thrilled that I got to experience it and I hope I'll never forget it.

But here's hoping I won't need to wait 19 more years for the next chance.