Two Parter: MacauTripping Works In China AND Someone Stole Our Map (Update 2)
Part 1: MacauTripping is NOT blocked in China!
11/12/2007 - I've added a second update to the map poaching portion of this story (see below). Other than that, there is no new stuff here.
Contrary to the previous post, MacauTripping is accessible in China! ...at least for now.
I got an email this evening from Kimberly who lives in Suzhou, China who writes:
we live in suzhou - so far can open your macautripping - but can not open greatfirewallofchina - go figure. Other sites we used to access macaudailyblog & macaucasinoworld are now blocked. Maybe matter of time. Thanks for all the info - while it lasts!
Very interesting, MacauTripping.com works, but GreatfirewallofChina.com doesn't, just as Atltrainman suggested in his comment. Thank you Kimberly for sending us an update!
Part 2: Someone Stole Our Map!
UPDATE #2 (11/12/2007): Shortly after posting this story, Bert, the webmaster of the site that had poached our map emailed me to apologize. He said that one of his employees had accidentally published it without attribution. After receiving our request for attribution or removal, Bert graciously added a footnote stating that the map was from MacauTripping and added a link back to our site. Thanks Bert. I added the original "update" (below) to reflect this after we had sorted everything out way back when. Well, Bert emailed me again (11/12/2007) asking us to update the story saying that he did apologize and correct the issue, which he certainly did and we are extremely happy about. Thanks again Bert for being a stand up guy. I would like to take a moment to expand on the earlier update and state that Bert's Macau Daily Blog site is off the hook, and the following commentary is intended to deter other webmasters from poaching our content only, not to thrash Bert's Macau blog.
The Macau site Kimberly mentioned poached our Downtown Macau Map and repurposed the Trinity project rendering I extracted from MelcoPBL's latest investor presentation. The map is obvious - its ours. I'd link to it, but I'd rather not send traffic to the site for obvious reasons, at least until I hear back from the webmaster and reach a resolution. I can tell it's our copy of the Trinity rendering, because this weird horizontal line showed up in it about 1/3 of the way from the top when I resized it. I was gonna re-do it but I purposefully left it in there to see if the image would get poached. Didn't take long eh? We don't own the image of Trinity, so that part of the story really doesn't matter.
We're always flattered when people steal stuff from us. It makes me happy that another webmaster likes our content so much that they want to republish it on their site. It's theft, but still nice to be noticed. With casinos as in life (or websites), those that offer the best amenities, atmosphere and service will attract the best guests and together they will form a life-long relationship - at least until one or the other implodes in a fancy display of fireworks and jet fuel as their posse stands by and cheers. The other casinos, or people, or websites... will just fade into the forgotten.
Flattery aside, using our original content without permission (which we'd gladly give if we we were asked, and given return link) is another story altogether, particularly a detailed hand-drawn map. I spent about four months researching, drawing, fixing and quintuple checking the Macau Peninsula & Cotai Strip maps, culminating with dropping a grip of cash (out of pocket) to actually go to Macau. As regular readers know, despite all the joking around and shenanigans we do take this stuff seriously, and do everything we can to make sure that the stuff that goes up on the site is accurate, honest and entertaining. We'll go half way around the world to bring back the goods for you folks - that's a fact.
Over the last few years we've made friends with peeps who operate complimentary and sometimes competitive websites. Hunter at RateVegas.com is a great example of this. When I have a question about something Wynn related, I ask Hunter, he's an encyclopedia of Wynnformation, a walking Wynnkipedia. I've emailed him three questions this week alone! Hunter is always quick and generous with his responses even if the information at hand is extremely exclusive. He knows that I would do the same thing for him - including share a ton of Macau information with his readers/listeners via his podcast. We both understand that by cooperating, we both Wynn. When he's got great stuff we link over, and he does the same thing for us. We're friends. We cooperate. We learned what Mr. Rogers was telling us.
So, when I noticed that our map was appropriated by this other site, I emailed the owner asking them to either credit the map to MacauTripping.com with a link, or remove it. The decision for the webmaster is this: you can use it if you tell your readers the source of the information, OR if you would rather not be honest with your readers, that's fine too, remove the map from the site and live with knowing you've lied to your readers.
For me, it's an easy decision. If you knew that I was intentionally deceiving you, that I never actually went to Macau and that all of the reviews, photos, tips and info on this site was a scam, would you ever trust a word I wrote again? I certainly hope not.
I'm not trying to start a "scrum" with whomever it is that is behind that site (scrum, as Steve at the Strip Podcast recently called an altercation he recently had with another journalist.) In the bigger picture, this whole thing really does not matter to me. However, you, the Macau-hungry readers do need to know which publishers are doing their homework and which ones are essentially cheating for profit.
PS. I went to Macau. Ask Hunter, I sent him a postcard.