The CAP Solution

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Casinomeister

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There have been a crapload of threads dealing with the CAP implosion, and it is somewhat tiresome since it pertains mostly to negativity and how effed up the situation is/was.

I felt it would benefit everyone to begin a new thread that is much more positive and constructive - how to fix something that is (IMO) broken. I'm hoping that some of you will take the opportunity to share your ideas on what you feel would be a valid solution.

I'll give you an example of what I think would be a good start.

I look at CAP as a website that delivers information, service and support for webmasters AND affiliate programs (somewhat like what Casinomeister does - but we are focused on the player).

It should focus primarily on what it can do online, and how it can provide these services without considering itself to be some kind of cash cow. This is how it can be done:

  • As long as Warren and Lou are connected to CAP, all shared/connected business entities need to be removed from the site. Also, these shared/connected business entities should be identified for everyone's FYIs.
  • Never forget that the CAP exists to support its members. Never take a webmaster's idea and assimilate it (for instance the Affiliate Watchdog's T&C auditing program, APCW's player audit etc). Webmasters should be encouraged to develop these programs - you should not be competing with them.
  • Make the Certification free. Allow the certified companies to advertise via second tier ref share or media buys whatever. The aff programs should not be able to "buy" their certification.
  • Have a criteria to be certified. For instance, they need to be audited by a third party certification that means something (Affiliate Watchdog, APWC, etc for examples).
  • Have a criteria to be forum members. Just like in Casinomeisterland, members who commit fraud, spam etc., get the boot. Same thing should go for webmasters. Make membership worth something.

In the beginning CAP did not hold conferences/exhibitions. They started the Spring break in Florida a few years ago, and all I heard were raves on how great it was. It's only recently that it became CAP ber alles - do every conference in every place possible, and try to coincide them with other gaming events. This caused a bunch of problems for nearly everyone. I'll tell you why.

This is a small industry, and companies only have so many resources to either attend or exhibit at conferences. Three or four a year is doable, and anything more than this is excessive. There is already the ICE, EIG, AIG, and one in Australia. The CAC is already established in Europe, Asia, and now in Moscow as well. If CAP is running conferences in tandem or near tandem, it just screws everything up for everyone but themselves.

Remember, the webmaster and affiliate manager is in your (CAPs) best interest

  • Do away with the conferences; stick with the Spring breaks.

The comment I heard most was that the success of the SBs were from the lack of exhibitions and stands. People just met, networked, and partied. This is much more affordable for the aff programs. Keep it simple, stupid :D

If you do something well - then stick with it.

I would like to see a winter break as well - even a skiing excursion between the ICE and AIG.

Competition:
  • There should be competition between the GPWA, CAP, and any other entities - but it needs to be friendly competition.

CAP, GPWA, APCW, etc. should consider themselves to be "webmaster buddies" (like I have buddies here :D) and try to work with one another. Make an attempt to contribute to the industry and support one another.

I've done this with other sites since the beginning. I have linking partners, I have webmaster buddies in the forum, I refer members to other webmasters when they have questions I can't answer. Sure these are my competitors, but I've learned that providing a service supersedes everything else businesswise. I provide a service by assisting and working alongside many.

If you have anything to add or detract - post freely :D.
 

mojo

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As long as Warren and Lou are connected to CAP, all shared/connected business entities need to be removed from the site. Also, these shared/connected business entities should be identified for everyone's FYIs.

Thank You! I don't think anyone can begin to move on until this is accomplished. However, it would be difficult to swallow if Warren and Lou suddenly 'sold' Cap.

That is just what jumped out to me. This post is a great place to start. TY.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
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Earth
Thought provoking and useful post, Bryan - to which I would add that the parties involved really need to conduct some introspection on their individual conduct over some of these pretty cringeworthy events.

There needs to be a personal commitment to a more professional, decent style of management than some of the behaviour we have seen to date, and a realisation that the business lies in the service industry, not controlling it.

Competition is a healthy force that can spur better results....but not the style of competition where character assassination and the physical destruction of competitors is planned.

I was taught to be suspicious of firms that trash their competitors instead of using smarter and more competitive business moves to gain an advantage.
 

Webzcas

Winter is Coming!
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To be honest all I personally would want is transparency in any and all business dealings which affect affiliates, players and programs. Add to this a clear indication as to what process is involved in certification and a commitment not to plagarise the work of others that used to be championed by the management of CAP - ie Affiliate Guard Dog, APCW Audits to name but two.

Whether any of the above can be done whilst the status quo remains in control of CAP remains to be seen. However they have lost a lot of credability and support over the last few months.


The model you have described in your post Bryan is ideal and would be a kind of Affiliate Community Utopia. Unfortunately I can see what transpires over the coming weeks falling way short of meeting your criteria :(
 

lots0

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All good ideas Bryan.

But I gotta agree with Webzcas.

Bryan, what do you propose if Lou and Warren decide to continue just like in the past and ignore everyone and just do their same old stuff behind closed doors?

Because that is what I see happening.


P.S. I know this is somewhat negative, but for the life of me I just can't put a positive spin on this.
 

Casinomeister

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...Bryan, what do you propose if Lou and Warren decide to continue just like in the past and ignore everyone and just do their same old stuff behind closed doors?...
If this were the case, the CAP as we know it would implode on itself - just like we are seeing now. I seriously don't think that is going to happen.
 

rowmare

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CAP is an affiliate community. It earns its money via affiliate programs who are there because a large number of affiliates, their target market, read the forums there. Because of this fact, it should be obvious what WE as affiliates can and should do to nurture ethics.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
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Location
Earth
Rowmare has perhaps hit one of the nails on the head here - but whether a mass action by affiliates could be orchestrated or even happen is arguable - it could be like trying to herd a bunch of cats!

But I do think that if enough affiliates behaved in a cohesive manner it could be influential on the affiliate programs from whence most of the money probably flows.

What the affiliate programs do is the key to ensuring a better standard of corporate behaviour imo. If enough of them let their disappointment and embarrassment at recent events show in a concrete way.... that could be persuasive in all sorts of directions.
 

mojo

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Rowmare has perhaps hit one of the nails on the head here - but whether a mass action by affiliates could be orchestrated or even happen is arguable - it could be like trying to herd a bunch of cats!

But I do think that if enough affiliates behaved in a cohesive manner it could be influential on the affiliate programs from whence most of the money probably flows.

What the affiliate programs do is the key to ensuring a better standard of corporate behaviour imo. If enough of them let their disappointment and embarrassment at recent events show in a concrete way.... that could be persuasive in all sorts of directions.

Herd of Cats, that's funny. :D

I'm pretty sure a mass action could be done. Judging from not only this forum but from the large public denouncement we have all seen everywhere.

Affiiate Programs may also be suffering as well. Astronomical fees at CAP and huge conference costs have to be effecting the bottom line. Fees go up and up, depending who you are of course. Which in effect hurts the rest of us, many of which are banned putting further hurt on the programs as they are not getting their 'moneys worth'.

Affiliate Programs are not just Caps partners but all affilites as well. Therefore this whole mess effects everyone. So yes, it could definatly be done IMO.
 

swampwitch

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Iowa, dammit.
Make the Certification free. Allow the certified companies to advertise via second tier ref share or media buys whatever. The aff programs should not be able to "buy" their certification.
The casinos themselves need to insist that the programs representing them go along with this. There needs to be a REASON for the programs and/or the casinos to be certified. Certification should be earned. Payola does not an ethical program make.
 

dominique

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it could be like trying to herd a bunch of cats!

Lol, yes definitely that is my experience.

If it wasn't so, there would long have been some sort of Union.

Really, affiliates practically never agree on anything, just like players here don't agree much of the time.

Occasionally maybe a 10th or less agree on something and some cohesive action results among that group.

The very reason affiliates choose to work online is because they are individualistic and don't want to fit into any mold. The majority works very hard. They are busy worrying about finding decent promotions, ranking in google, learning CSS, collecting payments (getting harder and harder), crashing servers and on and on. Tons of headaches to keep one busy day after day, all day. The majority just reads the boards once a week or so, and then just threads that deal with casinos they promote. Or even more common, they just use the boards to contact aff program managers when they have problems and never read at all.

The day all affiliates agree on some action I will faint. :eek2:
 

lots0

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Really, affiliates practically never agree on anything, just like players here don't agree much of the time.

Dom - just a side note. But you might want to take a look around CM you would notice that there are a lot of webmasters/affiliates here, more than what you think.

I guess a lot of webmasters just wanted a place away from the drama were they could post what they think without fear of being banned or ostracized.
 

mojo

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If it wasn't so, there would long have been some sort of Union.

I think many are still waiting for CAP to come clean and maybe use some of CM's suggestions.

I don't think that will last forever though. Something needs to happen soon. We all know that when it gets to that point affiliates do get together. Google Grand Prive. In fact, you helped orgainize that Dom. Why would this be different?
 

Casinomeister

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...The day all affiliates agree on some action I will faint. :eek2:
I think I could safely say that 95% of affiliates AND affiliate managers would agree on the proposal I made.

I'm only giving suggestions on how to stop the implosion at CAP - how to save face, and how to make CAP a truly industry friendly company.

This is not rocket science, and it could easily be done.
 

dominique

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Dom - just a side note. But you might want to take a look around CM you would notice that there are a lot of webmasters/affiliates here, more than what you think.

Decent webmasters need to read player forums - how else are you going to know what's going on with the casinos and make informed choices?

Google Grand Prive. In fact, you helped orgainize that Dom.

Yeah and in the past 888 and cpays and, and... - but still only at the most 10% of webmasters joined each of these endeavors, probably a lot less than that.
 

lots0

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Decent webmasters need to read player forums - how else are you going to know what's going on with the casinos and make informed choices?
And like I pointed out affilaites need a place away from the drama, where they can feel like they are not being preyed upon.


I think I could safely say that 95% of affiliates AND affiliate managers would agree on the proposal I made.
Yup, every affiliate I have spoken to has told me that they agree with Bryan.

However, most also believe CAP/PAP is NOT going to fix their problems.
 

Antonia1953

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Bryan, the standards and ideas that you have outlined are integrity based and the success of implementation would be impossible without the operators being of the same mind. How does CAP feel about your concepts? Are these people capable of the type of character and dedication that you propose?

Standards are set by expectation and the recognition of improper behavior. Higher standards of measure cannot be achieved without conflict. It provokes vision and courage; two of the ingredients most required in industry pioneers.

Avoiding conflicts of interest does nothing except undermine our own true convictions and there is not a more demoralizing condition for one to be in. Killing the messenger doesn't change the message.

Lots0, there are many here that have a lot to lose and believe that there is a real risk of this happening. Silence is the expression of many emotions, including support.
 

dominique

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I think I could safely say that 95% of affiliates AND affiliate managers would agree on the proposal I made.

I'm only giving suggestions on how to stop the implosion at CAP - how to save face, and how to make CAP a truly industry friendly company.

This is not rocket science, and it could easily be done.

I agree that the outlined busness model is very doable for an affiliate forum.

I have no idea what the business details at CAP are, but I would assume a radical change in business model would entail major layoffs, cancellation of conferences and whatnot.

But - I really don't know.
 

lots0

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Dom - I don't think you can separate the CAP forum from the CAP business, the two have always been completely integrated.

As I said before, if all you want is an affiliate forum for you and your friends, it seems to me you would be far far better off to just start a new forum apart from CAP.

Lots0, there are many here that have a lot to lose and believe that there is a real risk of this happening.
I know this.
I can only hope that taking the "high road" will pay off in the end.
(God, I sound cheesy. But, I really mean it.)
 

Antonia1953

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I think you have raised a valid issue. I agree fully that there should be no payments issued for certification. It would neutralize the issues concerned with whether certifications were being bought, rather than earned. Their business structure depends upon the income generated by these fees and any proposal of change to them will have to address this. There are only three ways to go; reduction of cost, increase in cash flow or increase volume of affiliates. CM has already mentioned areas that could reduce cost, but rarely will that handle the replacement of income. Cash flow is critical in any industry, but especially in entertainment. How can the income be replaced? Any suggestions?

The volume will come automatically with trust.
 

jas2587

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Dom - I don't think you can separate the CAP forum from the CAP business, the two have always been completely integrated.

As I said before, if all you want is an affiliate forum for you and your friends, it seems to me you would be far far better off to just start a new forum apart from CAP.


I know this.
I can only hope that taking the "high road" will pay off in the end.
(God, I sound cheesy. But, I really mean it.)

cheesy but well said :p
Cindy
 

lots0

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...Their business structure depends upon the income generated by these fees and any proposal of change to them will have to address this. There are only three ways to go; reduction of cost, increase in cash flow or increase volume of affiliates. CM has already mentioned areas that could reduce cost, but rarely will that handle the replacement of income. Cash flow is critical in any industry, but especially in entertainment. How can the income be replaced? Any suggestions?

The volume will come automatically with trust.
Well if in fact CAP/PAP want to be real affiliate advocates.
I would suggest they focus on providing services/education (both free and paid) to the 3rd tier affiliates under their various affiliate accounts and base their business model on the success of their 3rd tier affiliates instead of basing their business model on the various 'fees' charged to the casinos/poker rooms.
 

Casinomeister

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I agree that the outlined busness model is very doable for an affiliate forum.

I have no idea what the business details at CAP are, but I would assume a radical change in business model would entail major layoffs, cancellation of conferences and whatnot.

But - I really don't know.
Major layoffs? I wasn't aware that CAP employed a lot of people. You could easily run it with a staff of volunteers or a handful of part-timers. That's just my take on it. CAP's overhead should be extremely low. Those programs that they assimilated could be outsourced to the same webmasters - there would really be no loss of income for anyone.

Like I mentioned, CAP conferences could limit themselves to the Spring breaks etc. Again, this would only take a couple of people to organize. Get Lyceum media to take care of it.

Antonia1953 said:
Bryan, the standards and ideas that you have outlined are integrity based and the success of implementation would be impossible without the operators being of the same mind. How does CAP feel about your concepts? Are these people capable of the type of character and dedication that you propose?

Actually, what I've outlined is not so much integrity based, but based on good business sense. But then again, to do well in this business, you must stick to good business ethics.

Like I implied before, if you treat it like a cash cow - it's gonna die.
 
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