Is WEBLO about to SCREW you?? Seems to be the Case!!?? Updated 3/31!

Morning Folks!!


I just got an email from Weblo and they are taking back their city name assets and forcing you to sell!! I emailed support, and the email bounced. Box was FULL!! I wonder why??

I doubt if domainers and others will be going quietly. Bad decision and I am sure they will pay dearly both in terms of goodwill and legally.



'members who currently own more than 2 cities will be given a choice to select their top 2 cities, while the rest of the cities owned by the owner will be open to other members for purchase. By providing this option to the owners Weblo is giving the original owner the chance of earning at least double the original cost of their city.


After these changes cities on Weblo will be available for $1000, cities with a population less than 50,000 available for $500, and with a population less than 10,000 available for $100 with an annual subscription.'


To this I say BULLSHIT!!!!!!!


Rocky, you ain't gonna FUCK those that supported you to begin with. Mark my words!


Support email is still bouncing. Rocky did not answer my FIRST email. I just sent him a second one.


Email Rocky Direct at rmizra@weblo.com


Just registered WebloBlows.com and we will set up a forum for disgruntled investors that are about to be screwed by Rocky and Weblo.


3/31 7AM....Rocky has answered my second email. He says he is in transit today and will call me tomorrow.


Fine. But there will be another day of damage that can never be fixed. Their reputation is bleeding all over the net. They need to get a clue. They are dealing with people with resources, connections and soapboxes with big megaphones. Things like this can spiral out of their control and they will be left to pick up the pieces. Twitter, facebook, etc. I don't think they realize the collective power this has and how quickly the word can now spread. The TRUST has been broken. Those that invested the most, lose the most. NONSENSE! This is a money grab. MY MONEY. YOUR MONEY! 5 and 6 figures in a number of cases. The bouncing support email for 2 days during this crisis PROVES BAD FAITH imo!


3/31 8AM I got an email from support and awaiting a phone call.


3/31 10:45 Received that call. The only thing I can report is that a Q&A page will be up soon.


Rick Schwartz


PS: You can't change a self serving TOS AFTER the fact and apply it to people you already took MONEY from. That is Illegal. That is a Ponzi Scheme imo.




83 thoughts on “Is WEBLO about to SCREW you?? Seems to be the Case!!?? Updated 3/31!

  1. Charleston

    I currently own over 96 cities on weblo, this is the most illegal move they have ever tried. Thank you Mr.Schwartz for bringing some attention to the constant beatings that weblo members have continually taken. They should not be allowed to enforce this recent rule. Their email box goes to this guy..JS Cournoyer

    Reply
  2. Rick Schwartz

    Their site is now down as they TRY and contain this. They won’t be able to and if they don’t reverse their decision IMMEDIATELY they will do permanent harm to their company as they have lost the TRUST of MOST of their members with just one HORRIBLE decision.

    Reply
  3. Rick Schwartz

    I have sent the president of the company a personal email since support is bouncing I hope he will reconsider BEFORE this spirals OUT OF CONTROL which will be in HOURS not days or weeks.
    Rocky…..BAD DECISION. HORRIBLE DECISION!

    Reply
  4. Tia Wood

    I am only slightly familiar with Weblo. From what I understand: Weblo is forcing users to have only 2 city names instead of multiple? And you guys had to pay to obtain these cities, correct?

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  5. Kelly

    As a member of Weblo I recognize the rights memebers should have to their cities. But at the same time…. these same people are what hold back weblo from growing. I mean look at MOST of the cities. Cities with a population of millions of people have only 1 topic up and a dozen members collected over the course of years. These parasitic owners just sit there hoping for people from the outside to come in and build up their cities for them.
    I think a more fair system would be that Weblo set targets both in the form of content AND new users brought into the site(among many other targets) and only thereafter if the targets are not met can their city be placed for sale.
    If the community can grow stronger everyone wins. What I believe is the best case scenario is that weblo is burned to the ground by declaring bankruptcy and every whiner who hasnt accomplished reasonable things with the 50+ cities theyve squatted for years gets exactly what they deserve for exactly what they put into it… crap. A new owner rises the weblo community from the ashes placing new rules and reasonable limitations on squatters making the site what it shouldve been in the first place.
    So go hire your attorneys, sue sue sue, and dig dig dig your own graves. Im looking forward to the new weblo and less comments like”What the heck is Weblo?”.

    Reply
  6. Charleston

    With 4.5 million visitors each month spread across well over 50k to 100k pages all running ads bankruptcy is far from weblos savior. In real life how many mayors do you know that physically build a building? Weblo promoted the top spot of being a mayor that is why prices increased for cities. Weblo just gets greedy that is all. There were some deep pocket high profile investors early on. Someone will be on the hook for this illegal travesty.

    Reply
  7. Rick Schwartz

    This was not well thought out. I have 126 cities. It seems the ones that invested tens of thousands early on are getting screwed the most. That is not reasonable. The bigger supporter you were early on, the bigger the penalty.
    Their website has never been easy to navigate. Matter of fact for YEARS it was impossible. Now it is a bit better. Not good. Better. But it has been a lot of wasted time and then they TRY and pull this CRAP??
    Ok, we will see how long they manage to keep this going before it comes back to bite them in the ass. I am sure they are dug in for a fight. But stupid is stupid and this decision is absolutely the worst one I have seen in a long time.

    Reply
  8. Mike Jameson

    I see this as steeling period and the owners should be showed the slammer by the FBI and AG
    office.$40,000 invested and now they take it back and resell all over .
    No Jail if this happens!
    Mike Jameson
    I would like to reclaim everything Rocky owns so I can resell it for what ever
    I dream up!
    JAIL AND THERE ARE NEW LAWS FOR THIS SO IT MIGHT BE JAIL!

    Reply
  9. Mike Jameson

    PICK MY 2?
    FBI
    AG
    GOOGLE PPC DEPT!
    YAHOO PPC DEPT!
    FEDERAL COURT!
    LOCAL & STATE POLICE!
    THIS IS LIKE BREAKING INTO
    MY HOUSE AND OTHERS!!!!

    Reply
  10. nr

    i invested early on and own a ton of cities. this has to be highly illegal. they cant just take things away from us that we paid actual US dollars for. that has to be wire fraud or something. it would be like us buying music on itunes for 99cents each and then apple taking it back and blocking your access. are they only going to give us back double the reg fees of the cities? that would only be $50 each. what if i paid $800 for a single city? are they going to pay me back $1600 for it? other things they have done in the past to decrease revenue from its members sucked but this is actually stealing. this isnt a game with play money this is actual US dollars. yahoo needs to block their ads on their site and google should blacklist them and block them from their search engines. has anyone talked to the VC firm that invested in them? i wonder if they are aware of these illegal activites. has anyone tried to notify tech crunch or mashable? is weblo going to try to make city owners pay annually now for their 2 cities? do they actually think people are dumb enough to pay $1k per year per city?

    Reply
  11. Mike Jameson

    WHEN THE CITIES ARE STOLEN!
    If you find a fraudulent charge, here are some things you should do:
    1) Cancel your credit card. Your card number is in the wrong hands and is likely to be used again for illegal purposes.
    2) File a complaint with the FBI: Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). For any complaint launched, give as complete information as possible including the exact charge amount, company name, phone number and any other information available. The more variables you include, the greater chance investigators can find common factors across victims and nail the criminals.
    3) Initiate a chargeback by filing a fraud claim with your credit card holder, do not dispute the charges. The distinction here is critical. A chargeback sticks the fraudster with a hefty fee and helps raise the warning flags to banks and merchant account providers.
    4) Look back over old statements for any missed charges. In many examples, the fraudsters have made multiple charges to the same credit card.
    5) Even though there is no indication spyware was the culprit for card loss in this case, complete a thorough scan with you anti-virus and anti-spyware products
    6) DO NOT call the fraudsters and ask for a refund. It is counterintuitive, but in most cases they will grant you a refund immediately to keep banks and authorities out of the picture. Report it as fraud!

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  12. Mike Jameson

    WHEN THE CITIES ARE STOLEN!
    The Department of Justice (DOJ), through the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Division of the Untied States Attorneys Office (CCIPS), has used a variety of federal statutes to prosecute Internet crimes. The majority of these statutes were enacted prior to the expansion of computer use, or they have been amended to enable federal prosecutors to use these statutes against computer crimes.
    The DOJ has an array of statutes at its disposal to prosecute Internet investment fraud. Many of the statutes DOJ uses have been part of the United States Code for many years and are applicable to criminal conducts no matter the forum used to commit the crime.
    Sentencing for convictions under federal criminal statutes has been governed since 1987 by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”) These Guidelines are designed to reduce the discretion of the sentencing judge by forcing him to impose a sentence within a range that usually spans between six to twelve months for crimes calling for a maximum sentence up to five years; ten to fifteen months for crimes which call for a maximum sentence up to ten years; and greater ranges for more serious crimes.
    Federal parole was abolished when the Guidelines were adopted. The sentencing range for a crime is based on the seriousness of the offense as defined by Congress, called the offense level, and the offender’s criminal history. However, sentences for fraud crimes are greatly affected by what are referred to in the Guidelines as specific offense characteristics. For example, the offense level for most fraud convictions begins at level six which would make a first offender eligible for probation. If, however, the fraud resulted in a loss to the victim(s) of more than US$70,000, the offense level is increased eight levels. If there were more than ten victims, the offense level goes up two more levels. If the fraud was committed through the use of email, then another two levels are added. What began as an offense level of six is now an offense level of eighteen. The sentencing range for a first offender with an offense level of eighteen is 27 to 33 months in prison. This is only one example of the almost infinite number of possibilities about how these Guidelines work; in general, the greater the financial consequences to the victim(s), the greater the penal consequences to the offender.
    When an Internet investment scam is prosecuted under the federal fraud statutes what are the range of penalties?
    The range of penalties varies based on a number of factors. The most critical factor is the victims’ loss. If the victim’s loss was less than $5,000 and the offender has no previous criminal record a probationary term can be imposed. However, even one prior conviction would result in a few months in prison. If the victims lost more than $70,000 then the offender could serve anywhere from fifteen to 46 months in prison, depending on the offender’s prior record. If the total loss was more than $1,000,000 than the period of incarceration would be from 41 to 105 months, depending on the offender’s prior record. The penalties increase if greater amounts of money are involved.
    In 1998 Congress amended the Guidelines so that any investment scam originating outside the United States would result in a minimum prison sentence of ten to 37 months and increasing from there depending on the victim’s loss.

    Reply
  13. Anunt

    weblo can do whatever they want…its their crap…read the TOS and their rules, before crying and complaining like little babies…you guys cant do shit about this…its their crap…you guys are fucked, trying to buy virtual bullshit…buy the real thing…lesson learned!

    Reply
  14. Charleston

    weblo for paid membership levels constitute a legal binding agreement/contract. Any breakage or deviation from that contract is fraud,simple and put. Sure it is their site,but engaging in paid for services and not fulfilling the said services or terminating the service early is fraud. This was there one mistake, it is a apid service site,not free. You pay for goods,and terms. Terms of an agreement are there for one reason,to constitute”faith” and breaking those terms is in bad faith and goodwill. A apid for service is quite different from a free service. You can’t pay a cable company x for delivery fo services and then they not deliver your cable,or only give you free channels. I am not sure who is in control of weblos boat right now whether it is Rocky or this is a stunt by vantage partners, the VC firm, to try and wring some money, but they are dead to right wrong and will be prosecuted to the fullest along the lines of Madoff

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  15. Rick Schwartz

    Here is his email addy rmirza@weblo.com
    Tomorrow I will post his cell phone number.
    No, Rocky did not return my email. Support email is bouncing. Hiding under their desk won’t help things and day two will be more contentious than day one.
    Rocky, I will post publicly and this will start spreading. Nobody will trust YOU or Weblo.

    Reply
  16. David

    Absolutely unbelievable move by them. You can’t take cash for a service, promise lifetime ownership and then revoke that by revising the contract on a one party basis, imo.
    Its one thing for them to tender an offer to buy back any assets they’ve sold, its entirely another to unilateraly seize them, in particular since their intent is clearly to mark them up and resell them at a high value.
    They got away with restructuring the payout structure and depriving users of income opportunities already. While I had some sympathy in that they may have overextended their ability to run profitably in that situaton, I have no sympathy whatsoever for this stunt which is beyond reprehensible.
    Of course, with the activities of their content bot, its surprising they haven’t been legally challenged yet anyhow.
    Interesting how they never managed to enforce asset uniqueness on anything other than cities and states, and now they want to exploit the one strength in their system by repossesing and reselling it. Apparently they figured the purchases as loans to be paid back at their convenience.
    Looks like they found that fight they’ve been setting up for since day one…
    Apparently they just had to push it over the line this time.

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  17. Rick Schwartz

    I will be continually updating this post as new information comes in. I have had a number of conversations with Rocky over the years and a move like this really surprises and disappoints me.
    Let’s hope he sees that this was a bad decision. Let’s hope we don’t have to deal with this much longer. And if hope ain’t enough, then we just CONTINUE what we are doing because I believe in the reality of NOW as opposed to the paralysis of hope! When they change course, so will we. They hope we stop. We won’t. Now or ever. Just one way to fix it. THE RIGHT WAY! Do the RIGHT THING Rocky and say this was not well thought out. We DO understand the problem, but THIS solution will put you out of business. You should be out in front of everyone selling this if it is so great. Instead, support email is bouncing. It sucks and it is going to stop!

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  18. Bob Fontaine

    Rick, For What It’s Worth.. This case may have some relevance to the situation at hand.. As I read it, it effectively states that you cant have an agreement if one of the parties can unilaterally change the terms at will.”The court wrote:The Court concludes that the Blockbuster arbitration provision is illusory . . . . There is nothing in the terms and conditions that prevents Blockbuster from unilaterally changing any part of the contract other than providing that such changes will not take effect until posted on the website. The Court concludes that the Blockbuster arbitration provision is illusory . . .”.
    http://www.masslawblog.com/category/contracts/

    Reply
  19. Sam Winters

    You’ve got to admit that there must be more reason to believe why Weblo is making the changes they are. Taking a look at the site shows no relevance to any current events or news. I can see that very little work was done with the cities that were purchased, in fact they look like crap with very little content. When you visit a big city you expect to be bombarded with content that has relevance to that city, in other words good content that attracts people to visit often. The Mayors should have been doing this otherwise what’s the point in owning a city page that attracts nobody? At the very least they should be able to pay someone to do the updating of these pages. If people can afford the cost of the city they can afford the cost of a person making sure their cities are well served.
    I want my local city but it’s unavailable, and when I take a look at the city page I can see that nothing was done with it, so what’s the point in owning it? It’s almost like domain squatting if you ask me! This is not allowing any other Mayors to get involved in the Weblo community which makes it a shitty deal for everyone. Let’s say If 100 members own all of the available properties, only those 100 members will be seen on the site! Do you really want to be a community of 100 people on a site meant to be a replica of the world?
    When you read the email that was sent it doesn’t say anything about just taking back cities, it goes further to read that the current owner gets at least double their money back! If you’re not doing nothing with your cities, or you hate the changes this still benefits everyone. Like any site or email ID that isn’t used in a proper manner or on a continual basis they are discontinued. I do understand that cities were purchased and you have the right to do anything you want with it but how do you expect to have any kind of benefit from it?
    It seems to me that the email wasn’t done proper but after speaking with someone, it only reassures my thought that this is the right move.

    Reply
  20. Charleston

    As a former mayor of over 259 cities at one point i can see your point, however, Weblo purposely stopped us from adding content to our pages by reducing their ad payout and pass go payouts, why add to a webpage and take a less than 10% cut of ad revenue and they pocket 90%. this caused some higlhy skilled web content developers to leave and register real world domains and cut out the weblo middleman. Noone minds working, but people don;t like being slaves to a greedy site owner. Mayors have always sought dialogue with the site owners to try and work arrangements out to where everyone benefits and pages are updated. To no avail. Cities were trumped as the new .com the first one there gets the prize,bottom line.Currently weblo pays you $1 for every 10k site visitors. now most here are domainers, would you take that cut and be happy? knowing they ahve ads running that pay a fairly attractive ppc?i didn’t think so,

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  21. nr

    @sam winters, weblo didnt state that we had to add content to be able to keep our cities. it was just a land grab. you dont make money from your cities from having content. you make money when people purchase properties for themselves that happen to be located in your city such as their own house. i also made a lot of money flipping cities. for example i bought london for $600 and sold it for $2400. so you dont think there is a benefit to that? a company cant just change their TOS as often as they want and however they want. otherwise a site like facebook could update their TOS today saying that anyone who doesnt delete their account by noon owes facebook $1000. would that be legal? if weblo were just a game with play money then it would be theirs to do whatever they want, but this is real us dollars involved. they sold these items to us, it doesnt matter if its tangible or not. it would be like you spending thousands buying ebooks for your amazon kindle and then amazon saying they are going to take those ebooks away from you. that would be illegal even though it is not tangible and within amazons system.

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  22. Mike Jameson

    ATT SAM WINTERS GREAT LONG POST!
    Yes Weblo could work with the Hall Of Fame Mayors but they choose not to.
    They could add more features and other members to update and work with the mayors.
    Steeling is not an option and wrong all I see
    is prison bars for Weblo.
    Now your city price problem or not able to buy is a real world problem theres a nice lot on a hill in Lake George New York I want but the owner is not selling period.Some of these mayors do not want to sell they bought land before the city is started and want long term profits.
    Many options for Weblo but now they should just sell out to someone who can build it right and work with the first investors not step on them.
    There true colors are shinning now did they have it planned the whole time that would be another charge.
    Mike

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  23. Sam Winters

    @Charleston If Weblo is paying $1 per 10k visits then wouldn’t it be in your right mind to spruce up the page to attract more attention for the added return? To add to that i did notice that there are quite a lot of ads, but as with any company there are operation costs that need to be taken into account. That’s plain and simple for any business to continue running.
    @nr No Weblo didn’t state that you had to keep content up to date, and yes it is entirely up to the owner. Be that as it may, given your example don’t you think that if you spruced up the city page (as I mentioned above) attracted users by the thousands, don’t you think you could have earned profit while you had the city up for auction? Even then having sold the city for more than what you settled for? Who wants to buy a dying business? If you do you certainly don’t want to pay what it can’t bring in
    @Mike That is a great example about the purchase of land before the city is built. If we are going to talk about the real world, we might as well talk about how many times a country invaded another country to claim them as theirs in the hopes of dominating the world. Today almost every country stands on their own. On Weblo just through this blog I see that those who are most aggravated are those who built a monopoly around the cities owning 100 plus! I see people saying Weblo is getting greedy… well the rich who have money and can spend, bought all the cities leaving little pickings for the rest – is that called greed?
    As you all are I was a bit ticked off at the changes, but again I’m sure this can benefit not just Weblo alone, but the entire community. The more players the better I say
    SW

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  24. Scott

    “Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.”
    Let me start by saying, I was not in the original land grab ( Remember the state of California selling for 53k ).
    I was able to scratch my way to the top and make money along the way. The view..weblo is a total scam . This was proved when the England Auction was won by Weblo .
    “Would of -should of- could of” Those words were said by everyone that believed. Weblo was a great Idea built on a very bad foundation. Weblo never know what they wanted to be when they grew up. One day it was an investment ,the next a game, after that a social site. It failed on all.
    Weblo had a support staff. That support moved over to unique auctions ( another scam rocky dreamed up) I also believe a lot of weblo seed money funded it. If they wanted mayors to add content they needed to motivate them. Not beat them down. I went through the hoops to speak with JS one year ago. His plan than was to recall all fill them with updated content and roll them back to us. Guess the US got lost in the shuffle.
    They have changed the rules before . Original idea percentage of ad income this started click Fraud so they scraped it. Then it was 1 dollar per 1000 visits outcome Scraped .1 dollar per 10000 visits outcome scraped. This newest is not a rule change its thievery. Rocky will not be able to hide behind the terms of service. TOS does not protect a crime. They have been over ruled in the past.
    The people that were burned by Weblo have never had a platform to place their soapbox or a champion to fight for them. Well Times have changed thanks Rick !
    I’m sure a class action suit will follow next.
    Arrff

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  25. Charleston

    “If Weblo is paying $1 per 10k visits then wouldn’t it be in your right mind to spruce up the page to attract more”,get real,i have over 400 real life domains and websites,i make $1 off 10 visits to one site much less 10k,anyone who knows decent PPC ads knows a well built domain.website will run circles around $1 per 10k hits,

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  26. Charleston

    1,923,295domain
    775,464property
    33,3046celebs
    a quick perspective on the number of weblo sites running ads,well over 3 million webpages on the intenet running full steam ads on each page. now tell me who isn’t making money?

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  27. Scott

    “3/31 7AM….Rocky has answered my second email. He says he is in transit today and will call me tomorrow”
    very appropriate that tomorrow is April fools day
    Come on Rocky just say it is an Aprils fool Joke !

    Reply
  28. David

    @sam
    Those that bought cities did it as an investment. First mover is an advantage in Weblo as in any real domain.
    On the open domain market, I can imagine those that were able to identify the top thousand or so .com domains for registration fee would not be interested in returning them for 2x investment cost. Once sold, the asset is sold. The intangible property has a value defined by its qualities as a unique asset. I don’t think you’d find many early mover domain buyers that are receptive to giving back their domains so others have a shot at them at twice reg fee, regardless of whether they are developed and live or parked.
    If they wanted the ability to seize the geos then they should have built that into their original agreements, rather than selling them on the basis of false premises of lifetime ownership.
    Its bad enough that people bought them with a revenue model that was completely undermined by payout restructuring. I remember paying something like $250/annually just for the privelige of having access to bulk site purchases, in addition to registration discounts. That they significantly devalued the investment post fact by rewriting their payout structure when people found out how to bring in traffic was bad enough. The latest move however, is completely way over the line.
    They offered a lifetime investment and people gave them their money. Now they want the assets back, developed or otherwise because they understand the importance of geos and unique assets in the larger scale of things.
    Had they put their efforts into asset control on uniqueness instead of allowing unlimited versions of the same properties, they would have a much stronger product with a much stronger marketplace.
    For that matter, had they provided decent tools for developing cities and states they may have found that people were more willing to develop them fully. Instead of maximizing the potentials of the site, they chose to rake in as much as possible as fast as possible.
    They do not have the investor pool that Icann does to create an infinite namespace, and weblo is a prime example of what happens when you flood the domain space with unlimited extensions. Same thing, just a bigger scale.
    As it stands, there are a small number of strong assets, the main value being that people paid a premium to get unique asset qualities that weren’t duplicatable. There can only be one of each city/state/country. That definition is what gives value to the investment and at the same time makes the values of the base level properties meaningless.
    By taking that back with the intent of reselling, they are undermining the reason people invested and tied up their money to begin with.
    If they want to open the market access by buying back cities then they should be purchasing them on their dime at the sellers discretion rather than forcing a buyback.
    If they want to have the market flow better then they need to develop incentives to make transactions instead of undermining the financial basis for acquiring cities.
    The entire thing should be evaluated in the perspective of fixing the problem from the baseline assets up, by creating a reason and incentives for people to purchase and develop content for them, rather than taking the heavy handed top down approach they are taking.
    While it is true that you get out of the site what you put into it, there are much better places to create content and get paid for it, without losing rights to that content in the process.
    Weblo dropped the ball big time by failing to control asset uniqueness for properties, creating unlimited extensions (an infinite pool of assets)and limited flexibility in page design. They built a content generator which likely rakes in a lot of cash on the basis of the original content that is on the site. They certainly didn’t cut city/state owners in on any of the revenues from sites in that district which they generated. They did a massive payout cut unilaterally and took away the incentive to create the sites that fuel the cities.
    Rather than fix the problems, their approach is to take back the higher level properties by force and try and resell them.I’m sure if they have a good marketing engine or site building environment that they feel will make cities and states profitible, a number of owners would be interested in a profit sharing arrangement that is fair. Flat out stealing/reposessing the assets so they can price them out of reach of most buyers and apply their scripts to the geos, or hype them up and resell them is completely unethical. They are doing that on the backs of the people that financed their engine by making early investments.
    If city owners think the compensation they are offering is fair, then they should be offering the buyout directly as an option, not forcing it. Ultimately it is the site owners decision whether to sell what they paid for, not weblo’s.
    One thing is certain, if you keep screwing your users over you are going to pay the price for it. Instead of taking a hostile stance towards their investors maybe they should consider trying to work with them. Whatever happened to all that happy talk about everyone making money together? At the end of the day, your actions determine your credibility, not your words. Weblo seems to have forgotten that. Its hard to develop a site when their engine can’t even update a profile page properly. If they spent more effort in catering to their users instead of trying to rip them off, they wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.
    @scott
    well he’d be smart to play it that way, call it free, if negative publicity and get on with doing the site right rather than trying to scam his investors. I’d imagine the reason he’s slow to respond is that he’s busy talking to his lawyers and the venture capitalists to see what his options are.
    If its an April’s fools joke its a pretty poor one. More likely they want to seize the geo’s so they can set up business listings on them. Instead of cutting the page owners in they’d rather just take the whole pie for themselves, if their past behavior is any indication.

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  29. UFO

    Go for the advertisers, knowingly advertising on stolen property would bring them into the net.
    No advertisers, no business.

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  30. David

    First thing is to see if they back down on this. Bet they already have a new script made up for the geos though.

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  31. Charleston

    people do not realize the time that was spent aquiring assets on weblo. real time that can never be taken back,auction time spent at midnight to secure a city,time reviewing maps,population figures to reigister the best city,hours,evenings,days to gain a decent portfolio,,no way am i gonna settle on some hair brained new scheme they have cooked up,you want my cities pay me upfront,if not i will see you in court. The world has had enough of scrupulous people riding the backs of others.it is now time for those who put the real work into weblo to reap some profit

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  32. Mike Jameson

    BEST TO LET NEW SYSTEM RIDE WITH ALL MAYORS OLD,NEW,UNBUILT,BUILT TO PROFIT THAT IS HOW REAL LAND IN THE U.S. IS BUILT.
    LET THE MAYORS WITH ONE CITY,50 CITIES,100 CITIES,1000 CITIES TO HOLD WHAT THEY HAVE EARNED AND BUILD WEBLO FROM THERE.
    FORGET YOUR APRIL FOOLS TAKE BACK!
    YOU CAN FIRE WHO EVER THOUGHT OF THIS IDEA MAYBE MANDOFF!!!
    MIKE

    Reply
  33. fin

    weblo?!?
    my first thought is”have you finally lost your friggin mind, rick?”. domains as virtual property i understand, but this is nothing but virtual. anyone investing real money into this is a real fool. some will make outof course.but the greater fool theory will hold out only so long.
    i havnt had my second thought yet.
    good luck. be sure and your anurism scan ‘case this looks like it could turn into something vessel popping, fo’ sho’

    Reply
  34. Sam Winters

    You know change isn’t always bad, it can be good too, so why not look at the positives? I mean before smoking was allowed in all establishments, then the rules changed to benefit everyone as a whole! Why don’t you guys see that rules are changing to help benefit everyone in the Weblo Community as a whole? Sure time and late nights were spent on trying to win an auction to build your portfolio but at the same time what if you lost? Do you consider that time well spent at all? All I’m saying is stop being so negative and stop thinking about yourselves. Stand up and think for everyone! I bet you all realized the flaw in Weblo which was there not having a limit as to how much you could own and you guys took advantage of this. Now that rules are changing to compensate you’re bitching and moaning (lol coming from a girl)

    Reply
  35. David

    @sam
    there was no limit on what you could own. Properties were unlimited as were domains. completely. Its not the players fault they undermined it by not enforcing unique asset status.
    Interesting moves going on right now, this is all about online shopping, not about the players or the community. Its a land grab pure and simple.

    Reply
  36. David

    Its not that cities are particularly scarce. try this search.
    inurl:city site:weblo.com
    (shows 702,000 results) not all of which are cities, but there’s not really that much of a shortage of them.
    Its more that huge cities are relatively rare and they want those badly enough to take them by force.

    Reply
  37. Charleston

    “but at the same time what if you lost? Do you consider that time well spent at all”-yes it is part of life,some win some lose and if you lose you learn,pick yourself up and try again the next day/night. You don’t rush out and take from your comepitior his trophies.Noone fears change, in fact us old time weblo members have begged for change for years. There is a difference between change and stealing. We worked hard for our cities,we spent hours making deals,saving money,borrowing money etc. And now that a new revamp is coming that makes cities profitable you dont want the mayors to gain profit wise.And exactly when did it become out”job” to look out for the weblo community?,last i checked this is still free enterprise. Or maybe i should pose that to my local bank”how come your not doing what is best for me?” why because they want profits,money and so do we at weblo

    Reply
  38. Bradkey

    I wonder which two of
    Atlanta
    Austin
    Denver
    Detroit
    Long Beach
    Colorado Springs
    all bought in the aftermarket they set up they will let me keep.
    Weblo has completely lost the plot and clearly have no concept of the power now of blogs, twitter etc. If they pursue this course of action, the first xx results after anyone types in ‘Weblo’ will be”Weblo-scam”

    Reply
  39. Mike Jameson

    APRIL FOOLS NOW LETS GET BACK ON TRACK!
    UPGRADES FOR ALL SO WE CAN BUILD ARE EMPIRE LIKE
    YOUR MARKETING TOLD US.
    THIS IS LIKE HOME INVASION
    YOUR TELLING US YOUR GOING TO BREAK IN,WHEN,AND WHAT YOUR GOING TO STEEL.
    YOU MIGHT HAVE MANDOFF BEAT AT LEAST HE TRIED TO HIDE THE STEELING.
    MIKE

    Reply
  40. tony blair

    first comment, is this april fools on both counts? firstly what the frig is a middle aged man or anyone else wasting their cash and time on this crap for? LOL
    Domains can be priceless, this weblo is garbage
    that aside, t and c’s broken. he will lose everything the owner if he tries greed like this
    rofl though if anyone is deranged enough to waste cash and time on this crap. seriously
    concentrate on your domains guys

    Reply
  41. Danny Pryor

    Contact the Sun-sentinel, Rick … they featured you in a story about this a couple years back, I believe. Your picture was in there ’cause you owned all of Florida.
    Get Tribune involved and someone may get wise.

    Reply
  42. shaper

    Afer calming down a bit, I can actually see a scenario where this might be beneficial providing the players get a major cut of the new action with these caveats.
    1. That its lucrative enough to justify the proposed new city prices.
    2. That the capabilities are extended to reserved cities and owners get full benefit of ownership.
    3. That the cities are selected by the owner.
    4. That the transfers are voluntary.
    5. Transfers subject to a clear cut contract without any attempt at post facto escape clauses.
    6. a split profit model is offered as an alternative if a new system is implemented that takes the game to the next level.
    7. The new model, if any is ready to be implemented on very short notice.
    The unilateral attempt at changing the system is a big red flag, as is the lack of an attempt to sell things up front.
    Like Rick said, if its so great then Rocky should be out front selling this thing.
    8. A tendered repurchase price should be based on the highest historic sale value of the city, rather than the value that weblo sold it for, unless the owner is willing to waive that for
    While this is pure speculation at this point, it is conceivable that changes are in the works which would actually benefit the owners. Presumably this would involve a commercial development deal with a third party with the necessary development assets to take it to the next level.
    Even if this is the case, Rick is absolutely correct that Rocky should have been out front selling this to the owners instead of going for a carte blanche power grab.
    Pure speculation, but worth considering.
    That said, I am very curious about the outcome of recent communications.

    Reply
  43. shaper

    10. Cities which aren’t opted in to the transfer should be offered a profit sharing deal, again non-post facto reviseable.
    11. Large portfolio holders should be allowed to hold a percentage of their portfolios and still participate.
    Overall, if this is the case, which seems unlikely… I’m inclined to believe its just more of the same pyramid scale type activity … it should be approached as a partnership, not as a unilateral attempt to take control of the virtual real estate by force.

    Reply
  44. shaper

    Apparently they are running maintenance at the moment. The site is down. Should be interesting. Are we going to get some answers???

    Reply
  45. Charleston

    another possible arena is the credit charges,many used paypal and credit cards for purchases if these purchases are revoked then is essentially payment for good non delivered?

    Reply
  46. Charleston

    they may be attempting to stand behind their TOS,and i reread them tonight”6. Intellectual Property. Except for the personal information and content submitted by users of the Site, the Site , all other content and software included therein (including, without limitation, the virtual domain names, properties and celebrity fan sites) are owned by Weblo or its licensors, and are protected by United States, Canadian and other international intellectual property laws.” so yes they essentially own the rights to anything on weblo.com/example,,however,it is the internal agreements on site that is in question. When purchasing a city there was no limitation/renewal/or other,it was for a lifetime. So if i set up a site called modelsrus.com,,and resold each individual webpage to a client,then i am on the hook internally for a said agreement,yes i still technically own modelsrus.com and all it’s subpages,but my internal agreement supercedes my ownership….

    Reply
  47. MIKE JAMESON

    THE TERMS OF SERVICE!
    THE BIG GYN FOR WEBLO!
    WRONG
    MARKETING,PR,AND SELLING CITIES AND PUSHING BUILD YOUR EMPIRE AND FIRST COME FIRST SERVE ,YOU OWN YOUR CITY FOREVER IS THE DEAL!
    IN THE HIGH COURT OF FEDERAL LAW WITH MANY STATE ATTORNEY GENERALS,POSSIBLE FBI AND JUSTICE DEPT.WEBLO WE CLAIM THEY HAVE THE RIGHT BECUASE OF TOS.SO THE PLAN WOULD SOUND LIKE YOU SOLD CITIES ONLY TO TAKE THEM BACK PERIOD MEANING FRAUD.YOU CAN AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HIDE BEHIND THIS ALSO THIS WAS DONE IN ONCE BEFORE BY WEBLO BEFORE THIS WEBLO.ROCKY WEBLO COME CLEAN SHARE AND STOP THE GREED SOME OF THESE MAYORS WITH 10 CITES DO NOT DESERVE TO HAVE 2 NOW.
    WE ARE YOUR BACKERS THE TOS IS LIKE SELLING CONDOS GIVING DEEDS AND THEN CLAIMING OWNERSHIP AGAIN.
    CONSIDER YOU SHOULD WANT TO BACK UP WHAT YOU SAID AND FIGHT THE OLD NEGS ABOUT THIS BEING A SCAM.USING THE TOS IS WHAT ART FENNEL CALLED IT SOME KIND OF SCAM.
    WORK WITH YOUR MAYORS THERE PEOPLE NOT NUMBERS THERE ARE 100’S OF THEM MAKE THEM PROUD.
    YOU DONT NEED THIS NEW 2 DEAL IT IS JUST GREED AT ITS HIGHEST LEVEL.
    SIDE NOT IF YOU WHERE THE JURY WOULD YOU WANT TO EXPLAIN YOUR TOS AND SAY THAT GIVES US THE RIGHT TO RETAKE THE CITIES AND RESELL THEM IM SURE THERE WOULD BE LAUGHTER AND A VERY STRONG CONVICTION PERIOD.
    THE BIG QUESTION WAS THIS THE PLAN ALL ALONG TO RESELL THE CITES TAKE THEM BACK AND RESELL THE CITIES??????HUM
    MIKE

    Reply
  48. MIKE JAMESON

    POT LUCK DINNER HERE AT RICKS BLOG.
    Lets here again from all Mayors how the feel big or small threwout this Holiday
    Weekend.

    Reply
  49. MIKE JAMESON

    WEBLO SITE DOWN AGAIN!!
    UM MAYBE WE COULD TELL ROCKY TO PICK 2 AND WE COULD TAKE OVER!

    Reply
  50. John M

    MONEY TO BE MADE ON WEBLO!!!
    No temp cites or states talked about here on this news info below!!!
    News Info with 2 other investors!!!
    he mayor of Chicago is a 31-year-old microbiologist who lives in Canada and probably could not tell a political machine from a soda machine. He does collect taxes, however, and would flip the Second City for the right price. So who does this guy think he is, Richard M. Daley? “I guess he’s someone in Chicago?” said Andy Jonson, who holds the deed to the City That Works within new online social networking site Weblo.com. “I’m just learning about this stuff.”
    Launched last October by an Internet gaming entrepreneur and funded to the tune of $2.6 million, Montreal-based Weblo is part MySpace, part Second Life and perhaps part tulip craze. The company makes money by selling virtual plots of land — including municipalities, landmarks and ordinary addresses — to willing buyers who purchase the intellectual property for reasons both speculative and nostalgic. Andy Jonson paid nearly $150 for Chicago, but has since earned a few pennies a day while collecting taxes from the property owners who acquired virtual rights to the Sears Tower, Wrigley Field and other local institutions. He also gets a cut of any ad revenue circulated through his cities, which include San Francisco, London and Paris.
    “I’m sort of playing it like any other investment,” he said. “I’ve managed to resell some properties, and so far this is doing better than my mutual funds.”
    According to sales data supplied by the company, Weblo property owners are making tangible profits from their virtual assets. The state of California sold for $53,000 after it was initially purchased from Weblo for approximately $37,000 only months earlier. Illinois is listed for more than $17,000. As of Jan. 31, more than 5,200 cities have been purchased worldwide.
    Weblo founder and CEO Rocky Mizra said that nearly a decade ago he conceived the idea of assigning real ownership to virtual properties that are based on actual addresses. Until recently, however, Mizra focused on Web site consulting, buying and selling domain names, and running a gambling business at iBetX.com. As sites like MySpace and Facebook started turning heads, Mizra contemplated how social networks with exorbitant traffic could more efficiently make money from and for their members.
    “I’m used to having a revenue model right from the onset,” said Mizra, 34. “Until now, the only thing you can accumulate on social networking is fame. Where Weblo comes in is the commerce part of it.”
    Weblo’s investors include former MySpace Chairman Richard Rosenblatt and Fred Harmon, a managing partner with Silicon Valley venture firm Oak Investment Partners.
    Mizra said the company employs approximately 120 developers in India and Pakistan to codify his bizarro reality as well as other ventures. In addition to loading up on real estate, Weblo members can purchase rights to celebrities ranging from Brian Urlacher to Jennifer Lopez. They can also create their own profiles.
    While sites such as Weblo and Second Life, which now has more than 3.6 million members, are not my cup of tea, the economies that develop within them warrant attention. Over one 24-hour period last week, more than $1 million was generated through Second Life. On Weblo, in addition to resale opportunities, members are financially motivated through advertising commissions to their expand networks and presence on the site.
    J.M.
    Who would buy a city for 2 or 3 years.Who are they kidding!

    Reply
  51. Charleston

    the actual question is their TOS- if it is valid then it is a legal move, however, what comes in after that is the bad marketing campaigns,unofficial lifetime agreements and other such things,basically bad business.
    the second question is the argument for free enterprise market versus a socialistic stature. To revoke cities and sell them to others is along the lines of most communistic type government assets,basically noone gets ahead but the”state”
    in comparison to stocks let’s look at it this way, say i bought 100 shares of Google at $100 share, now google is trading at $800. however the government or the brokerage steps in and says Wait,jimbob doesnt have any google shares,let’s take 88 of your shares and we will sell them to him, dont worry we will give you back you $100 per share outlay. Whats missing is the capital appreciation factor. And also the fact that i may not care if jimbob has any shares,if he wants them he can pony up market price for 1. There are ways to keep current mayors installed over all their cities, most cities have deputy mayors,town admins, etc,they can run the cities(sites) and share in the profit some. Unless there are corporate buyers licking their chops at $1k city purchase for weblo to collect that price and money,then it is a straight money revenue steal, i am wondering if the day will come when GoDaddy issues the same”ok now pick your two best domains and we are gonna sell the rest”,now wouldnt that be a pickle

    Reply
  52. UFO

    Well, I looked at weblo (Sounds like those webble wobble toys when I was a wee kid) and if I am honest it looked dated and not the sort of place I’d ever go back to…
    Also, yahoo is pulling out of the publishing advert game… that’s going to cause that site some probs as it seems to be yahoo ad based…
    Personally, I think that its legal setup and incentive to develop basis has created some real roadblocks to growing… and the cost of renegotiating with all the owners is just complex and costly…
    A protracted stalemate will be the slow death of this idea IMHO.
    Good idea, poorly executed.
    The owner should just start a new site and have preferential rights to migrate (i.e. free pari passu to same properties) but with new TOS that ensure development, then cut the old site loose to slowly entropy into nothingness… that’s assuming the TOS haven’t got IP rights to the concept etc etc etc copyright, design mark rights, code rights

    Reply
  53. WTF

    What the hell are you people talking about? Some sort of virtual internet game?
    You people are spending real money on this bullshit?
    This is just fucking amazing to me…

    Reply
  54. shaper

    WTF,
    Tell that to the people that were making 5,000/month on that site for a while before they changed the rules….
    They had a great marketing plan, good following, great basic concept and then proceeded to totally drop the ball on the project.
    There are so many things that could have been done to make that a trend setting site, that its unreal. Greed of the ownership, failure to understand the true strength of what they were building and its potentials, as well as a major lack of followup killed it, imo.
    And yes, it is dated. The site is about three years old now.

    Reply
  55. shaper

    * city (over 2) doesnt sell in first year, then you lose all revenue/return potentials unless you want to pay through the eyes to keep it. (as I read that, terms are somewhat unclear as written, imo)
    * as predicted business listing software/storefront setups. Seems reasonable guess that they will promote this most on sites which they control or have reposessed.
    * this action serves two purposes. The first is to regain control of the sites so they can sell listings and allow the advertiser to have control over the sites content. The second reopens their ability to make an attempt to rehype the market.
    * They are selling this as being to the owners advantage, which is true possibly if 2 domains represents a large percentage of your portfolio.
    * This may benefit state owners, this allows them to pump state prices, and potentially compensate some of the larger investors by way of a reasonable offset.
    * Midrange investors, and city exclusive investors are likely to take the worst hit.
    * They have set no alternatives for a partnership arrangement, whereby a cities content creation rights could be surrendered for a lister, but a lease effectively maintained.
    * Prices are paid based on the initial price, with no consideration to the cost which the buyer may have actually paid.
    * If you bought a city at a high markup, despite the fact that they have the transaction records, you will be compensated at the price they determine the market is at.
    If you surrender a city”for the good of the game”, my understanding is that you will then be generously entitled to twice your original payment (weblo will pocket the difference in profit margins). This applies only if the domain is sold.
    If a listing is purchased then they keep 90% of the profits from that listing. If you no longer own the city they keep 100%.
    If your surplus cities are not sold within a year (which given their development turnaround, might be how long it actually takes to deploy) then they simply take it, and collect all revenues the previous owner would have otherwise been entitled to.
    Overall, this appears to be unsatisfactory. If I misunderstood the terms then please clarify.
    Thanks

    Reply
  56. shaper

    ** Should you choose to keep your assets they are leveraging a heavy extortion fee in the form of a very steep renewal tax of up to $1000/year per domain. In most cases this annual fee exceeds what they are willing to pay out in the event of a sale.
    I’m not a lawyer and read that thing fast, am really hoping I missed something in their game plan.
    IMO its a highly unethical move on their part. At Best.

    Reply
  57. shaper

    ***
    and the big question.
    Q: Now that they’ve shot their credibility, what’s to prevent them from a further revision should the model prove to be successful?
    A: Absolutely nothing but timely and immediate action.

    Reply
  58. nr

    i’m sure eventually they will change the rules again and say you can only have one city and then eventually nobody can have any cities unless you pay them $5k per year. why would anyone spend money on a city on there now when they can just steal it back later down the road?

    Reply
  59. SW

    Sharper you’re not that sharp at all – In fact the words that come out of my mouth are”you’re an idiot” for speculating as you do. Did you get a chance to read the new Q&A that was posted? If you didn’t, have a read. If you already did, read it again but with your eyes wide open. There is NO RENEWAL FEE FOR THE 2 CITIES KEPT! If you look at the examples given Weblo is only taking 10% in commission whereas the rest goes to the original owner, minus the 5% to the Governor – lol looks like hooked on phonics didn’t work for you lol. I’m not trying to back Weblo but things change with time, why don’t we see it for the better of the community as it states in the first Q&A. I’m sure that this scheme they thought up took time.
    @nr whats the purpose of buying assets in the first place? to sit on them for years on end and hope that out of the blue you make millions?? hahaha at least you’re gonna profit off of this rule change, in fact everyone will you’re all just not giving it a chance. Before we speculate anymore why not see the changes that come about on the 19th then say whatever you want! You know what they say about when you assume – Make an Ass out of U and Me. Me because I seem to be the only positive thinker here. Ever watch motivational speakers? Positive thinking is the key! Later all!

    Reply
  60. Adam Moskowicz

    Pretty easy to spot the damn SHILLS for Weblo. Why don’t you asses grow a spine and come here and defend your decision instead of your bs pot shots on people.
    You are thieves, don’t you get it? You steal once, you will steal again. weblo defenders are working for weblo.

    Reply
  61. shaper

    SW
    ok, misread the percentages, told you i scanned it quick.
    The salient facts are
    1. That this involves the two that you are allowed to keep, regardless of the initial number owned. Some people will be affected much more severely than others.
    2. There is no attempt at a mutually beneficial decision, it is a unilateral one.
    3. There is no option to opt in our out.
    4. No consideration is given for actual price paid for the assets, beyond the first two which are retained. Compensation is based entirely on the price that weblo made the initial offering without considering the most recent determined sales value. Sure weblo may have sold an asset for $20, but the person who is surrendering the asset may have paid four figures for it.
    5. Its highly questionable as to whether the assets are weblo’s for the purpose of reselling under any circumstances.
    6. Its a violation of the original terms of purchase
    7. This is the second major TOS revision which has significant potential impacts on the initial investor.
    8. There is nothing to prevent them, if allowed to proceed on this path for again changing the rules to suit their purposes.
    9. Any content created on sites beyond the first two that are allowed to be retained are now being claimed by weblo. This is significant as it was used as weblo’s argument for not enforcing the unique property status iirc.
    All of these factors are aside from specific considerations of the exact changes that are proposed.
    ———-
    Past behavior is the best predictor of future actions… If I seem skeptical about the latest turn of events, I think I have fair cause.

    Reply
  62. Donald

    I think we may need to wait and see what is what with these changes. Honestly how mmuch are your cities making right now? not much. Ownership is retained by the current owner until resold or reregistered so the onoly way you will lose a city is if it is reregistered by the listed prices and then it is down to population at base of $100, $500 and $1k. I’ve been at weblo since not long after they launched and there weren’t many sells above the $1k mark,citywise. Most of my cities i obtained between the $5 and $35 range so at a resell of $100,500 or 1k i’ll take that profit anyday. Maybe Weblo has found a way to make owning 2 cities profitable, we will see

    Reply
  63. nr

    @donald, the way to make money from cities is to flip them. i have over 250 cities and sell several of them per month for much more than i paid. how can i do that with only 2 cities? there is no other way to make money from cities. anytime people start to make money from ads or some other way then weblo changes the percentages so they take all the profit. if weblo sells your cities you dont get the $1k, you only get double what you paid and do you actually think people are going to buy cities anymore? also, i think it says if your cities dont sell then after one year weblo gets the whole thing and then if it sells you get zero.

    Reply
  64. Donald

    @nr i know how to flip cities,i flipped quite a few to you :)reading the Q and a again i dont see any timetable or the double you paid q and a:”Ex4: If you purchased a city for $15 it will be resold for $100 or more depending on city population.
    Weblo will keep a 10% commission for facilitating the sale, Governors will keep 5% and the rest will go to the original city owner”

    Reply
  65. justice

    Allainet was created to create and operate pioneering technology companies.
    they created weblo.com and
    http://www.dbuz.com/
    where you can
    Anonymously Read or Write Anything Positive or Negative About Companies/Products You Know!
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    Email:Montreal@allainet.com
    Ottawa
    53-Lillico DR, OTTAWA-Ontario, K1V-9L7
    Tel:+613-828-5449
    Fax:+613-828-2218
    Email:ottawa@allainet.com
    For Inquiry & Feedback:
    Email:hr@allainet.com

    Reply
  66. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    The universe has its own natural laws. If you violate a universal law such as weblo has done, you do not need an attorney to punish them, unless you want money for it. Otherwise they have violated a universal law and have self inflicted a mortal wound to their reputation. What comes around goes around.
    Gratefully,
    Jeff

    Reply

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