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Boaz Berkowitz

 
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  • Cha-Ching: Microsoft Pays Users to Search with Bing [View article]
    Microsoft wouldn't do this unless they were betting it will increase their market share. In the short term, I bet they are right. The long term isn't as certain but will likely have a positive impact there as well.
    Aug 10 02:07 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I am not a Contributor [View instapost]
    Hi Jasper, as Director of Contributor Relations I apologize for any difficulties you may have experienced while trying to become a SA contributor. I have reviewed your correspondence with our company and I believe this to be a simple misunderstanding on your part. Any one can apply to become a contributor and can do so here:
    seekingalpha.com/page/...

    In your case, there was no issue of your not fulfilling specific requirements, rather you were simply having difficulty with the actual submission process on the technical side. I see our staff already tried to assist you in a helpful and professional manner. I believe they responded appropriately but if you are still having difficulties I would be happy to assist you personally.

    Feel free to contact me at any time via email (boaz[@]seekingalpha.com) or phone (646-248-7599) and I believe I can lead you through this trouble in only a couple of minutes. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have and assist you in your efforts at becoming a contributor as well. Assuming our editors like your articles (every single submission is read by our editors and only the best are handpicked to appear on our site), I see no reason why you cannot join the ranks of our over 3000 contributing authors.
    Jun 24 05:34 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama signs Bill inre Global warming( Presidential decree) [View instapost]
    Hi Freya, I noticed your bio today and I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you have experienced. I've requested that your user name be fixed as a priority and will stay on top of this to make sure it is done. Please feel free to contact me directly should you have additional problems in the future.

    Boaz Berkowitz
    Director of Contributor Relations
    Seeking Alpha
    Oct 7 05:28 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cha-Ching: Microsoft Pays Users to Search with Bing [View article]
    Rokjok777, what do you meant this is year-old news? Bing was only launched this past June and this particular promotion was only launched on August 10, the day the article was published. Bing did exist previously as Live.com but I believe my 2 articles covered why this promotion is different than anything they've done before. Please elaborate.

    On Aug 11 06:12 PM Rokjok777 wrote:

    > very, very old and stale news, this was launched nearly a year ago
    Aug 12 09:13 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat Number 132. Beginning 12/23/10 [View instapost]
    Wishing you lots of luck Mark! You will definitely be missed at SA and we'll be waiting for you when you retire once again!

    Happy Holidays to you too,
    Boaz
    Dec 26 03:44 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama signs Bill inre Global warming( Presidential decree) [View instapost]
    Hi Freya, I'm afraid I can only fix the problems that I am notified about and I don't know what you are referring to regarding your husband or other users. I'll contact Mary for more information but please feel free to email me directly at boaz [@} seekingalpha.com and I promise you, I'll do my best to help. I believe others on the site will vouch for both my sincerity and ability to produce results.

    Thank you.

    On Oct 07 06:11 AM Freya wrote:

    > Boaz: That's what Mary Hunt told my husband, But then abandoned him.
    > "work with us, we can Clean this site up."
    >
    > If you have a problem, write me. He did. Meanwhile, The Persons responsible
    > continue to wander around "unmolested", so to speak.
    >
    > And continue to Lie. Granted, this time around its in an Instablog
    > but as far as I'm concerned, A lie is a Lie.
    >
    > Believe me Boaz, I'd like to believe you.
    >
    > But I have history on my side, "once Bitten, twice Shy". Unfortunately
    > We were Bitten Twice, By Someone in your Organization while Responding
    > to the Same Author.
    >
    > That Author continues to make Comments. His Abusive comments continue
    > to permeate Seeking Alpha. He has been doing it for over a Year.
    > But he is allowed to get away with it.
    >
    > If that isn't two different codes of conduct, I do not know what
    > is.
    >
    > We'll see.
    Oct 7 02:52 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Obama signs Bill inre Global warming( Presidential decree) [View instapost]
    Hi Freya, your user name has now been fixed.
    Oct 7 05:36 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The UK Moves First on Bank Reserves [View article]
    Thanks to those of you who brought this issue of Optionsgirl to my attention. I did some investigating and found out that due to an error, a handful of user accounts were accidentally deleted, during a routine "spam" cleanup. Optionsgirl was one of these. These users were immediately notified via email to bring this error to their attention and to notify them that their accounts would be reinstated within 24 hours. As you can see, her account has been restored as promised:

    seekingalpha.com/user/...

    I too have been following Optionsgirl for some time now and was surprised she was no longer on the site. I'm glad to see she is now back.

    In the future, should questions like this ever arise, it is best to contact Seeking Alpha directly (seekingalpha.com/page/...). With thousands of comments posted to our site daily, we'll be able to investigate such errors far more quickly when notified in that manner rather than within the comments section of articles. Those of you who know me are already aware that I always do my best to get you the facts as expeditiously as possibly.

    Boaz Berkowitz
    Director of Contributor Relations
    Seeking Alpha
    Oct 6 03:09 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cha-Ching: Microsoft Pays Users to Search with Bing [View article]
    Doubleshortetf, you are correct and I mentioned the Microsoft/eBay deal in my article and also linked to an earlier article of mine that covered this in depth:

    seekingalpha.com/artic...

    Only it was as high as 30-35%, not 20%.

    And I agree it is desperate. But desperate measures sometimes work. I don't think Bing will overtake Google by any means but this should increase their market share.
    On Aug 11 01:10 PM doubleshortetf wrote:

    > Nice ploy but how long can MSFT finance this renewed effort? Can't
    > beat GOOG so "bribe" for few clicks? $10k questions is will the
    > users continue to use Bing when the cashback is reigned in?
    >
    > BTW this is 2nd time they did this. MSFT was offering whooping 20%
    > cashback on eBay buy-it-now purchase last year if clicked thru live.com.
    > It began at 20% and slid to 8% over few months.
    >
    > My 2-cents is glass is half empty on par with desperation all over
    > it.
    Aug 12 09:10 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cha-Ching: Microsoft Pays Users to Search with Bing [View article]
    Thanks spaid_fr, it is nice to know I'll get my 15 minutes of fame :)

    Bing does offer comparison shopping as well but yes, don't just assume because there is a big discount, that the original price is a competitive one. But I've searched for a number of products from reputable sites (Barnes and Noble, Overstock, SmartBargains, Buy.com, HP.com, etc.). All their prices seem normal, competitive and most importantly, do not seem to be inflated to coincide with the Bing promotion. No guarantee it will last but if these stores value their reputation, they'll behave.
    Aug 10 04:04 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stamps.com: First Class Mail [View article]
    I like Stamps.com and believe they offer a good service. However, I am very turned off by its incredibly misleading pitch to get new users to sign up for their no risk trial:

    - They promise a "free" postage scale but actually charge $10 for handling. The scale will not work if you cancel your account.
    - They promise $40 in free postage but you can only claim all of it once you've paid for 4 months of service. You do so by mailing in 4 different postcards, over a four month period (one per month) and only after you are a paying customer, not during the trial.
    - The trial itself isn't actually free. If you opt to stay with a subscriber, they charge you for that first month retroactively. Rather it is a no-risk trial, meaning if you cancel before the 30 days are up, you will not be charged.

    It is also very difficult to cancel - when I tried, the rep wouldn't let me until I listened to him try to convince me not to for about 30 minutes. However, he did offer enough incentives that I decided to stay with them for a bit longer.

    They also have a scaled down plan that is $9.99 per month. It is not advertised but you can request it.

    The software they have is great and very easy to use and works well with the postage scale. But the scale has no screen and will ONLY work with their software which is accessible only by paying members. Some hackers have found a simple workaround for this, but for the lay user, it means the scale becomes worthless if you cancel.

    Stamps.com advertises, and the author here mentions, that discounted rates are offered. However, I have found this NOT to be the case. When I compared printing postage at usps.com and stamps.com, the prices were all the same. In other words - no discount at all. When I mentioned this to Stamps.com, they did not deny it.

    One main benefit they do have is that Stamps.com offers a first class mail option while USPS.com does not. This can offer significant savings for those who can utilize this.
    Jan 4 11:07 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Revisiting Reed Hastings Vs. Whitney Tilson: Was Tilson Right? [View article]
    While many were outraged by the Netflix price increase, most I know plan to continue using Netflix since it is still the cheapest/best alternative available. Either as a supplement to their current media consumption or as a full replacement for expensive cable TV packages. During these difficult economic times, I expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. At the end of the day, Netflix has a great product at a comparatively low cost to consumers and an incredibly loyal fan base.
    Sep 6 11:30 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Twitter's Tiny Transactions [View article]
    Twitter had used Dabble DB as a database solution before creating their own product in-house. I actually believe Twitter is more interested in Smallthought Systems' other product, Trendly (www.trendly.com), "a tool that helps web sites distinguish signal from noise in their Google Analytics data." According to Twitter's blog: Twitter will now "...focus on integrating ideas from Trendly into our current tools and building innovative realtime products for our future commercial partners."

    A better question is whether Twitter will bother to keep Dabble DB alive, a stellar product in its own right, or view it as a distraction and put all of Smallthought Systems' resources behind Trendly instead. The company will not comment on whether Dabble DB will remain in business or not and will only promise to give customers 60 days noticed before any possible discontinuation of service. Neither Dabble DB nor Trendly are accepting new customers at this time.
    Jun 25 07:37 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why don't IR people use Seeking Alpha? [View instapost]
    It is certainly surprising that IR professionals have not been flocking to Seeking Alpha in greater numbers. However David, you are not the only one to have recognized the potential that Seeking Alpha has for the IR community. Not so long ago I linked to a post by Dominic Jones at IR Web Report where he outlined just how useful Seeking Alpha can be to investment relations departments. He gave step by step instructions describing how to best utilize Seeking Alpha to achieve IR goals:

    www.irwebreport.com/da.../

    Perhaps Jones is merely an early adopter and others in the industry don't have as keen an understanding into the workings of the Seeking Alpha community. But I expect in time others in the IR field will recognize the wisdom of his words and follow his lead.
    Apr 15 01:31 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft Xbox Natal: A Leap Forward in Gaming [View article]
    I know a few gamers who have both Call of Duty and Wii Fit. I happen to be one of them. Though I admit the Wii Fit, pretty much sits on a shelf. And it was intended for my wife so I'm not sure that counts :)

    Video games and exercise don't mix well. Natal might change that but games are supposed to be fun and for most gamers, exercise is anything but. Game like the Wii Fit don't hold as much appeal for us because it doesn't successfully fulfill either role - its not nearly as fun as other games yet doesn't come anywhere near "real" exercise.


    On Jun 04 06:01 PM Gaucho420 wrote:

    > Its too little too late for this generation, when one particular
    > console (The Wii) has already wrapped up a huge amount of the audience
    > that would be interested in Project Natal and when that particular
    > audience (non core gamers) are highly unlikely to upgrade to something
    > new, this soon and for this cost. In addition, the reaction from
    > hard core gamers I know has been one giant MEH...as in, if we wanted
    > this, we'd own a Wii. So its too little, too late in terms of marketing
    > & making money, not the technology, which clearly is very cool.
    >
    >
    > I may pick it up as I've got money to burn and I love gaming, but
    > other than me, who's apparently in a very small category who owns
    > a Wii & 360, most of the remaining audience falls on one side
    > of the tracks and either owns a Wii or wouldn't be interested in
    > a motion capture camera...people tend to forget that the hard core
    > gamers usually sit on a couch and don't move...it'll be hard to break
    > those gamers out of their habits and disdain for physical activity.
    > IE- know any hard core gamers that play Gears, Halo or COD4 and also
    > own Wii Fit? I don't and I know quite a few gamers.
    Jun 5 08:08 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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85 Comments
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