Koptalk News – An Honest Alternative – Please!

by Rupert Insider

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This article proposes that all LFC-related sites, other than Koptalk, join together to create an LFC news service.

The service would provide links with full accreditation to original sources of news stories in the mainstream media (apart from the S**) and articles, editorials and announcements in all LFC supporter sites – apart from Koptalk. It would include links to podcasts and broadcasts and books. It would be comprehensive and ethical. The product could be used by all the sites that participated. No funds would be required, just the contribution of time to find, post and organize the links. The blog could act as a neutral meeting-point to get it going, if required.

If you are a regular contributor to another LFC site why not discuss this idea there and bring it to the attention of the site owner or editor?

Despite Koptalk’s loss of perhaps 70-80% of its paying members in the last four months, and 100% of the visitors to its free forums, and despite the fact that it is recording far fewer hits than some other LFC–related sites, Koptalk continues in business.

Its hits have fallen sharply but it is still registering more than some of the smaller LFC sites, still paying for Oldham pies, peas and gravy even without any government unemployment or disability benefits he may also receive.

Anyone interested in bringing about Koptalk’s final demise should understand why some people still use it.

Some of his users are unaware of the facts. This applies particularly to those who have bookmarked Koptalk in the distant past and still log on unthinkingly. They are unaware of recent developments. They do not visit other LFC related sites or use search engines. Many of them are from overseas and are not online when Koptalk’s critics are on online. Some have limited used of English and don’t, therefore, understand all the subtleties of the situation. They renew their subscriptions because Koptalk debits their PayPal accounts automatically.

Some members who know what’s going on intend to quit when their subscription lapses. In the meantime they visit to keep a watch on Oldham, to report on him in this blog and tease him on his own site. Or they use access to his site to contact his other remaining members to tell them about this blog or alternative sites.

Some are new members who came across Koptalk through search engines and fell for the false promises in the Koptalk’s sales pitch. And even if they subsequently discover the truth, as some of them have, they don’t realize that they can cancel their membership and demand repayment of all or part of their subscription. This is particularly true of overseas members. So they, too, stay on to extract some value for their money until their subscription expires.

Some of Oldham’s stunts – such as sending his 17 year old step-brother to hang around in the street outside Melwood and take photos through the fence, actually earn him credit with some users, especially those from Asia who are hungry for any information about the club and the players. They have been taken-in by his false claims to have access to Melwood and don’t understand the geographical or logistical distance between Liverpool, in the North-West of England and Walsall in the North-East where Oldham and his side-kick live and work. And they do not know how much of an outsider from LFC Oldham really is or how deeply distrusted.

But by far the biggest attraction for all classes of visitors to his site is the news service. What he purports to offer is a one-stop source of all current news about LFC.

But as this blog has shown, nothing that passes through his hands is unadulterated. He distorts the original stories, claiming they are his own. When he is short of hits, he make up stories, usually negative stories about LFC.

He uses all stories as a sales pitch, suggesting that whatever has been reported was already predicted in the Gold Club or Insider and the reader should sign up for more of the same insider knowledge. You know the kind of thing.

Most of his readers don’t realize that they don’t need to pay Oldham 30 pounds a year. They can get the same stories free from the same sources he got them, and without his distortions.

All they need to do is change their bookmarks from Koptalk.com to News Now or one of the other free LFC sites.

And if they want the original stuff that Oldham steals from LFC’s Offical Site – liverpool-tv.com – they might just as well as pay a few more pounds and get it legally along with all the live feeds of matches and downloads and interviews with Parry and Rafa and the players.

And they would have the satisfaction of knowing that their money is going to LFC and not to a spiv from Yorkshire presently hiding out in his Ma’s back-garden shed in Walsall.

Oldham always knew that his readers could get everything free from News Now. So he tried to fool News Now and his readers by manipulating News Now in such a way that the Koptalk links dominated the News Now “Top Stories”.

To avoid complaints that he was stealing their stories, and to avoid giving his “rivals” credit, he would suppress the source of the stories and doctor their titles to try to fool his readers into believing that the Koptalk version of the story in News Now had a different angle, or something additional, than the original story featured in the chronological bulletins of News Now (in the centre of the page).

He would also pad out his LFC-related offerings by giving an entirely fabricated LFC spin to stories about other clubs, especially his own club, Newcastle United, in order to garner a few more unususpecting hits from LFC supporters.

In other words, News Now’s “Top Stories” were usually Koptalk links to News Now chronological stories – a vicious circle for the readers but a potentially profitable circle for Koptalk and News Now. (Although, to be fair, some of Koptalk’s links were direct steals from the Liverpool Echo and Post and from LFC’s Official Site. But he had additional motives for suppressing the name of the Echo and Post because of his long-standing feud with these “local media sources”, as he referred to them dismissively).

News Now could profit, potentially, because after clicking on Koptalk’s links in the “Top Stories” column, users might be expected to click on the same stories in the chronological bulletin of News Now because those stories – the earlier, original versions – had different headlines. The user would not discover this until they had clicked. So News Now would get two clicks for the price of one. I’m not suggesting that News Now joined his crooked scheme they may have been as unaware of his doctoring as others – although they had been informed.
In any case, Koptalk’s practices were ripping off News Now, too. Because once a person had clicked on a Koptalk “Top Story” they found themselves being encouraged by Koptalk to stay on the site, using the “forward” and “backward” links to all the other Koptalk versions of News Nows stories. In other words, Koptalk would compete unfairly with News Now – or bite the hand that fed it.

Regular readers of this blog will know that biting the hand that feeds you has always been one of Oldham’s main techniques.

This blog is in discussion with News Now. At the moment, it has cut the links to Koptalk’s podcasts and suspended links to Koptalk. Hopefully that will continue.

Oldham has responded by opening a free page on his site for the sole purpose of offering links to LFC stories. He is now attempting to compete openly with News Now for LFC links. And, as before, the links he offers are taken from News Now or from the online edition of the Echo and Post – or even the S** – one of the rags which News Now does not link to.

Of course, this Koptalk news service service is not offered from the goodness of his heart. He uses it to beg readers to “donate” 30 pounds to Koptalk. And he spoils the stories by adding his ignorant comments and distortions. The hits he receives to his news service earns him significant advertising revenues. Anyone who uses it or visits his site is adding to those revenues.

Koptalk has got away with these rip-off techniques for so long, partly because the owners and editors of other LFC sites have not protested strongly enough. The combined readership of all the LFC supporter sites could be a powerful lobbying tool for LFC supporters. A threat of an organized boycoot might be very persuasive.

But until the blog took up the cause, none had seriously challenged News Now and Google News and the other interested parties seriously enough to make them examine his practices and do something about them.

(A few individuals had tried, notably the editor of kraptalk.com).

But probably more important, the other unofficial LFC sites did not put together a competitive news services that had the same high profile as Koptalk’s.

Of course, Oldham had some unfair advantages. In the first place he could afford to spend all his time watching and waiting for LFC links to appear because of the unemployment and disability benefits he and his group got from the taxpayer, and because he never submitted VAT and never paid personal or business taxes.

In addition to those unfair subsidies, he also invented a lot of his “stories”. And he mixed Koptalk “editorials” and “announcements” with news stories. And such was his manipulation of News Now, he got them to included these Koptalk non-news items in News Now’s LFC related news, squeezing out authetic news or comment about LFC from legitimate sources. And when his silly podcasts started they were added to his News Now listing, too – at least until this blog complained.

One of the services he used to pad his offering might actually have been of genuine interest – that was his linking stories to anyone who ever had any link with LFC including a lot about Houllier and Owen and Diouf and Collymore, not to mention the guys who used to replace the divits at half time.

And as this blog has pointed out, he stole unfair advantage, by breaking the LFC boycott of the S**.

His was the only LFC-related site to cite the S** “stories”. He would give the gist of the story without naming or linking to the S** directly.

————————-oldahmsunhat.jpg
Oldham has profited by the lack of coordinated competition from the free sites. His motivation has always been clear – profit. Theirs has not. His business policy towards his “rivals” has always been to conquer them by dividing them.

The free sites have much to gain from banding together to enlarge the pie. They can do this by increasing the total number of hits for all sites, and by referring readers to each other. They could also set standards respecting news, media, copyright and accreditation to which all except Koptalk would happily subscribe.

In the process they could develop a stronger collective voice about information and the media than any one of them could achieve alone. Perhaps, if they were well-organised enough, they could get official accreditation to LFC press conferences and public events for a single “pool” reporter representing all the unofficial sites – except Koptalk.

The point is, there could be an alternative to Koptalk News. And this would be a good time to create it.

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27 Responses to “Koptalk News – An Honest Alternative – Please!”

  1. 1488 Says:

    interesting, ive actually been looking into doing something like this myself for the last few weeks – although not on the topic of LFC admittedly, this does sounds like a better idea though!

    for some reason there seems to be an overwhelming prescence of liverpool fans on the interweb, so – apart from the added bonus of ruining oldham – there could actually be alot of money involved for someone with an idea like this (with a couple of well placed googleads that is, not – take note oldham – 3000 popups and sleazy dating service ads)

    :-/

  2. anonymous Says:

    Just as a matter of interest, I notice that the Koptalk podcast is featured on the iTunes store — perhaps a politely worded e-mail explaining Oldham’s crooked ways through the “Report a Concern” link top right on http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=171070713 (this will open a web page which will in turn open iTunes, if you have it installed, and take you to the Koptalk podcast page in the online music store) might convince Apple to remove it.

  3. dataimaginary Says:

    It’s a great idea. It means that you’ll have to coordinate and get agreement between the owners of rawk, raotl, ynwa, est and all the others to do so. Some questions:

    1) Very Important. Apart from the fact it undermines dunkin, what is the motivation for other liverpool sites to take part?

    1) do you envisage that “gossip” from unamed insiders on these would be part of this news service too?

    2) where does this service exist – duplicated as part of each liverpool site – or siting independently?

    4) what technologies do you intend to use (rss. atom etc.)?

  4. dataimaginary Says:

    p.s. I’m dataimaginary (tom)

  5. 1488 Says:

    firstly, you used 1) twice and missed point 3) :p

    (sorry just being pedantic)

    although not aimed at me, i could probably have a stab at your questions…

    1) all have a common interest, liverpool. that i know of, none of them are in it for the profit, and none of these sites are competitive with each other – which to me just highlights the fact that theyre only in it for the liverpool community. expanding the online community for liverpool supporters is surely something they would be interested in, no? it would also bring them traffic… if theyre being linked to from a large and popular central source then you are always going have users unaware of the site (or who do not use the site) visit it. i suppose you could compare it to how oldham gets alot of traffic from news now, possibly.

    2) the possibility of having two section of such a site is an idea. a gossip and a news section. one could pull feeds from the gossip forums on the sites you mentioned and display in the gossip section, and the other could pull feeds from articles off the sites, and possibly even different newspapers (with all football feeds filtered for words such as ‘liverpool’ and ‘anfield’ etc), and display it in the news section. just an idea.

    3) one would guess independantly, with the approval and backing of all the independant sites. assuming they were game, that is.

    4) RSS feeds, PHP, MySQL … i would hazard a guess that most of the sites you mentioned have some sort of an RSS feed available (infact alot of the forums they are built around have these features built in), and the news sites such as BBC have them too. it is quite simple in theory (take that with a pinch of salt, as my experiences with parsing RSS feeds are limited) – parse the feeds onto the site (while filtering them if neccessary) and store them in a MySQL database for archiving, and voila…

  6. rupertinsider Says:

    A few replies to the comments so far. I posted the draft version about 4.30 am UK time. The software at WordPress can be very slow and very difficult to use. So I abandoned my numbered points format that 14488 referred to.

    Today at about 14.30 I also edit the edited version it quite a bit – so any who read it earlier might want to scan it again. I think I improved it thanks to some of the comments.

    in particualr I pointed out some benefits for the other sites:

    – if they become the LFC news source of reference they will take away some or most of the Koptalk traffic:

    – but apart from that, they will increase the pie – increase the number of hits to be shared by all the unofficial sites: by linking to each other’s comments, editorials and stories, they will increase the number of hits each of them receive and therefore the amount of advertising revenues they can earn to cover running costs:

    – it is conceivable that if it is well organized, it could gain representation for a “pool” reporter to represent all the unofficial sites at LFC press conferences and other PR events – something that KT will never have:

    – and such a news service would have clout – bargaining power in any media related issue – and, in extreme circumstances, could organize a boycott:

    On the issue of whether someone other than the unofficial sites could this – of course. But if they did, the first person to come calling to see how he could rip them off would be Oldham from Koptalk.

    I think it is a “natural” fit for the unofficial sites – something that would benefit them all finacially: it would offer them free amrketing foe ach other’s sites, and access to informantion and some influence on other media:

    as for getting it started – sites could talk to each other privately – perhaps 2 or 3 agreeing to do it then appoaching the others: if they need neutral ground then this blog can be used:

  7. Sinon Says:

    For anyone who is interested in getting book deposits back, just read this on sixcrazyminutes, posted by Piedro:

    “For anyone who is interested, maybe Onky, SpionKop, basically anyone in Liverpool today/tonight.

    Our great friend DUNK is staying at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Liverpool City Centre. I work about 30 seconds from this hotel, and had the great pleasure of viewing his car in the car park on the way back from my lunch.

    It is parked right at the front of the hotel, probably in the VIP section as we know he is a bit of a celebrity. It is a lovely Black Mercedes Kompressor, Registration number D1 UNK.

    I just thought I would let you know, as it is a wonderful Automobile, obviously paid for by Dunks hard work over the years, not of course any money from Koptalk, as, and I quote, “I run the site at a loss y’know”.

    Come down and see this wonderful motor car anyway. You never know, you might even get to meet the big man himself.”

  8. rupertinsider Says:

    He’s probably dining at the hot dog stall on the Pier Head but parks it at the Crowne Plaza for effect.

  9. Sinon Says:

    News Flash:

    There has been a mass culling of cattle in the Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester area by McDonalds – they have reported a critical shortage of burgers in the Food Court of St. Johns Precinct, Ranelagh St, Blundell St and Kensington Rd stores.

    A 17 year old white male has been stopped from buying 20 more in the Rice Lane store and police have been called to the Ormskirk Rd store where a fat geordie has barricaded himself in and has just started on the Fillet o’Fish…

  10. rupertinsider Says:

    anonymous: It would be good if you, or anybody else, were to write such an email. Perhaps give the link (available on this blog) to the excerpts from his blog which demonstrates his interest in paedophiliac jokes about himself and his young daughter’s friends, and some excerpts typical of his use of obscenities, burping and farting. But the main criticism should be that most of the content of most of his blogs are not relevant to LFC- which is the advertised subject-matter. And that part of hsi blog which is LFC related is stolen from other sources which he does not acknowledge.

  11. An Observer Says:

    Someone trash the fat cunts car please.

  12. anonymous Says:

    rupertinsider: I’m really not the person to be doing that — I have no interest in this other than as a casual follower of koptalkinsider and enjoying seeing con-artists get their comeuppance. I just happened to spot Oldham’s podcast on iTunes this morning and thought, although he won’t be making money from it, that cutting off another avenue for his publicising his crooked site might be a good thing.

  13. rupertinsider Says:

    dataimaginery (Tom):

    I’m not a geek so am not the person to ask how it might be done technically. I should think it would be technically simple.

    In principle it could do what News Now does – scan for LFC media stories and then link directly to the original sources. News Now might be its first stop to see what sources they are finding. But it could have better coverage than News Now, by scanning for items from LFC unofficial sites.

    I think yours is an excellent suggestion – to also link to “inside information” or gossip on the various sites. As long as it gave a link to the original site so that the original site earns credit and traffic and as long as sites did not abuse it by inventing gossip in the way Koptalk does.

    The service might also feature its stories on News Now – subject to their agreement. But, as in the Koptalk case, there might be a conflict of interest.

    Many of News Now links are duplicates – reporting the same wire service story as published by the Hindustanti Times or the Walsall Daily Rercod. That duplication could be cut out either by feeding directly from the wire service (assuming this is free) or linking to only one media source which carries the wire service story.

    If contributors or commenators knew that their information, research, articles and comment would be linked to all users of all LFC sites (apart from Koptalk) it would encourage them to produce more while staying on their “home site”.

    As to who owns, governs and organises it – that is something best left to the sites. It could be a very informal agreement between sites based on good faith with only some basic principles to deal with potential abuses. It could be like a co-operative, or association, formally organised, with a charter, but sharing profits and benefits on a pro-rata basis.

    It could even be a registered partnership or business – with an auxiliiary profit-motive- the profits being shared by the sites to cover their costs.

    It could be housed by one site – or duplicated on all the servers, as you suggest, with individual site access.

    The duties could be delegated to an employee paid for from advertising revenues, or they could be shared between sites – on a rotatiing basis.

    It needs one or two of the sites to thrash out an operational plan and then submit it to the others.

    An interested individual who has some technical background might also do everyone a favour by putting together a detailed proposal for consideration. if someone wants to do that and wants the blog to publish it to generate debate I’m sure that Insider would agree.

  14. rupertinsider Says:

    anonymous: There has been quite a bit of discussion of the ITunes situation. Basically, the rankings can be easily rigged.

    Its good if people other than the main contributors to the blog do some of the reporting/complainig (a) because we spend a lot of our time on the blog as it is and in writing letters behind the scenes and we can’t do all the work (b) because it adds credibility to the complaints if they come from different sources.

    So Ihope some other readers will wriet to ITunes with the points I made earlier. Thats how one of our contributors got Oldham’s podcasts removed from News Now.

  15. rupertinsider Says:

    Sinon: I was thinking about that time about Oldham’s car in the Crowne Plaza parking lot.
    That is a relatively new up-market hotel often frequented by visiting teams (and by LFC and Everton players out on the town).
    His team, Newcastle United are in town today. Perhaps they were booked into the hotel last night and he hung around the lobby? I wonder if he walked a couple of hundred yards to the Albert Dock in the hope of catching a glimpse of some of the LFC (or Newcaslte players).
    Oldham must be nostalgic for the good old days when he really did have the largest unofficial LFC site based on his stalking of Robbie Fowler and other LFC players.
    But those days have also left a bitter legacy – Liverpool at night is really not a safe place for Oldham or hsi car given the reputation he has earned over the years.

  16. Koptalksucks.com Says:

    I would be pretty simple to make a site that shows the news from the other LFC sites. If they post it in a specific “News” forum (using forum software) as most do, a simple RSS feed would allow the headline and a sample of the news story to be displayed, clicking the link to read more of the story would take you to the LFC site the news came from. Everytime they add a news item to the “News” forum then the external site would be updated. Take a look at the site I run that use RSS feeds; http://www.geekmirror.com

  17. koptalksuckscom Says:

    A mobile phone video of Oldham’s car with window done in would be nice. Wonder if Dunk’s paid someone to guard his car, seem to remember him saying something like that in his rant about parking near Anfield.

  18. Andy Says:

    Just seen Oldham’s new set of images from Melwood.

    Below are two excerpts from a legal guide for UK-based photographers.
    The full guide can be found at http://www.sirimo.co.uk/media/UKPhotographersRights.pdf (you need Acrobat to open it).

    “A person who enters onto private property without permission commits a trespass, as does anyone who ‘interferes’ with the property. Interference could be something as minor as climbing on the landowner’s wall to take a photograph over the wall or resting a camera on a fence.”

    also

    “Even where property is open to entry by the public in general, as in the case of most business premises, the owner or occupier has the right to demand that a photographer cease taking photographs and the right to demand that he leave the premises.”

  19. lamus Says:

    i think that rawk is pretty much the definitive LFC site… everyone should migrate there and remember that its a board with principles.

  20. 1488 Says:

    An interested individual who has some technical background might also do everyone a favour by putting together a detailed proposal for consideration. if someone wants to do that and wants the blog to publish it to generate debate I’m sure that Insider would agree.

    i might just give that a go tomorrow 🙂 this idea is really growing on me – and definately something i would like to be a part of (if at all possible)!

  21. rupertinsider Says:

    1488 – Please get in touch – I’ve been giving it some further thought, too.

    rupertinsider AT gmail DOT com

  22. rupertinsider Says:

    For addicts in need of a fix – I have psoted an article about Koptalk’s traffic relative to the blog’s traffic. But the WordPress software seems to be haviing a bad day – and it is not appearing online. Be patient.

  23. Peter Says:

    An interesting idea Rupert.

    I had planned doing exactly what you described in your article – for some time nw. I’ve just never got around to it. I even went as far as buying http://www.liverpoolfcnews.com last year to use as the domain for such a site.

    I’m up for this. Ive got hosting and a slight bit of know how. I could do with help though so I’ll chip in my assets if others chip in theirs. peter at talklfc.com

  24. ScouseUK Says:

    on my fan site if anyone uses a quote from any of the news places(apart from the Scum)they have to provide the link to were they got it and quote the source,i refuse to have krap talk news on there although members do post it up sometimes,its instantly dismissed as krap talk bullshit so no-one belives it lol,we tryed to have members write news articles for are main page and it worked but all people were doing is re wording sky sports news articles so we now just post decent rants and match reports on the main page but i luv you idear and its another way to stop kraptalk produceing even more bull shit about lfc

  25. Mark Says:

    Good idea, but putting it in practice (i.e. getting everyone to colaborate) will be difficult.
    have you seen pluogle.com/liverpool ?
    This is a liverpool news site that provides a preview of all the day’s liverpool news from every possible source (except kraptalk), its pretty convinient.
    Do you intend for something similar or an entire CMS site?

  26. Lee Radford Says:

    I am Liverpool based and run a webhosting company, I would be willing to offer free hosting for this project as I think it is a great idea and something that I would personally deffo use. I use NewsNow fairly regularly, but to have something that pulled together all news/gossip items from across all Liverpool sites, which normally would not get onto NewsNow would be very cool indeed!


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