Discussion in 'Americans and Other Western Gaijin' started by Rich, Jul 31, 2011.
No worries you win some and you loose some. Your work is really awesome anyways.
I'm too old to understand the "bot"concept. However, I'm guessing it is why I've been unable to get my hands on a mvh or pk piece in the last three years. I just keep hitting add to cart like an idiot. Rich I really liked the Sam with the GID head...beautiful piece. Congrats to all the bots that were able to add them to there collection.
Is that really it, though? I don't think bots are actually that easy to construct... I really do think it's the same luck that guides the lotto process. Hundreds converging on a very limited number will lead to hundreds disappointed...
I honestly have no idea how the bot thing works. I know it's a computer thing, not a T28 thing. I just hear them...the bots...scapegoated after ever shop drop. I guess I just jumped on the "bot" blame train. What you are saying is true, in the moment you forget that you are just one of many disappointed after an event. Congrats to everyone that scored.
'bots, scripts... they're automated bits of software that are actually quite trivial to put together, if one has the know-how and the proper tools.
as my day job involves software testing and development, i know exactly what tool (and what the code would look like, for that matter) i *could* use to generate a script that would instantly add whatever products i like into my basket; i can even have that tool simulate 100's of users doing the same thing so as to increase my odds against other 'bots.
i just hadn't actually even thought of this until someone else mentioned the 'bots, and from my own observations and some digging, i'm now certain that they are being employed in timed releases where the items have been posted ahead of time (the "coming soon" products).
in fact, this is one piece of information that i know for certain helps the 'bots vs. the humans: when the items are posted up beforehand, setting up a 'bot/script to get any (or even all!) of the items going on sale will definitely require a minimal amount of code and very little know-how.
probabilities still allow for instances where manual buyers do indeed luck out, but those odds are greatly reduced when we have 'coming soon' pages against which those scripts may be developed ahead of time and then fired off shortly before the announced time.
it becomes quite a bit more challenging to create a script that can successfully 'win' when the items' pages are not created/posted until *after* the start time.
when the 'bots/scripts have no idea what the URL of the items' pages will actually be, it gives the manual shoppers a far greater fighting chance at scoring.
of course, that then means more work for the seller, unless big cartel has some way to have the products 'staged' ahead of time, but not yet posted live (that is, the pages and links remain unknown to the public).
sorry to get off track again... i just wanted to provide a bit of insight to those who may be wondering how in the heck everything gets sucked up into carts in less than 1 second after going live.
Thanks for the info spungee. Big cartel does allow you to hide items until release and not do a coming soon. Of course then people can't see pictures or read the listing until the release time.
Good broad non-technical write-up. I work in IT security for a living so it's interesting to see the level of effort people will go to cheat the system. Hell, some stores that have this issue are so widespread you can download extensions it is so common (Nike comes to mind).
Another thing to mention is that if Rich migrates to hiding the items to make it more difficult for bots, he should also use a non-standardized URL that cannot be easily guessed. I've been in the limited art game long enough to know if you hide the page but the seller always uses vendor.store.com/item_name_here.html then the same problem persists to a lesser extent.
You can't stop flippers, but you can sure as Hell make it a lot more difficult for them.
indeed, you are correct, sir. but then, much of the time, those details have already been announced/posted/emailed separately.
ah! yes, you are quite right, that's an important point to mention as well.
of course, there are a number of additional pluses/minuses to whatever method a seller may choose to use that i can list, but then i'd *really* be rambling on and on.
instead, i'll bring this back to Rich's fantastic work.
i may not have been lucky this year, but i have in the past...
There are still plenty of other forms of social media to preview the item beforehand, which most artists are already using anyway, so that's a Wonderful feature of bot prevention on bigcartels part.
Thanks for the enlightenment, Spungee and Chris. I wish all artists on bigcartel knew about the cloaking techniques until drop time. The fact that you know from digging that these bots are not a rumor, Spungee, means that everyone is certainly not given the same opportunity, and all artists would object to that.
I appreciate you breaking it down for us, Spungee, but I hope no asshats start bothering you with requests to make one for them now. You either, Chris.
heh - as i can't be arsed to do so for my own self, i'm certainly not about to do this for anyone else!
if anyone does ask me, i'll just out them (so don't bother, whoever may be thinking along these lines).
unfortunately, it's easy enough that novices can do this themselves nowadays.
Well at least i feel better knowing it wasn't just my internet being slow or reflexes. Would have been nice to grab a bigger figure but the Sludge's are fine for the time being.
Everything Spungee says about Bots makes sense now, especially since I saw a comment on Instagram from someone asking "What's the link, I need to get ready" an hour before the sale started. And that person got at least two items from the three day event.
I hope Rich reads this thread and takes your advice about not putting the "Coming Soon" page up in advance so the Bots can't use it.
Rampage has done a good job by taking down the entire shop page before posting lots of new stuff. I think everything goes live at the same time. It's a bit overwhelming, and an extreme example, but I think it works pretty well.
Yeah I'll probably do this next drop, all makes sense.
What's running a small business without having to jump through hoops? Although, I guess, having to level the playing field due to too much demand falls under "good problems". Congrats on your Halloween releases, clearly it went pretty well and a lot of people got something, even if it wasn't their first choice.
as much as i like to get into the whole bot conspiracy i just dont buy it.
dont you think when 300 people are racing for 1 item its going to go quick and seem like other means are at play?
the slightest split second making the difference.
my friend did the old fashioned f5 repeat and scored all 3 days.
visually id imagine the drop looking like this, guess who scored, guess who didnt.
(im not even in this picture as i work evenings without internet access, sigh)
No longer a conspiracy.
Oh, I didn't think you would, bud. That's why I went with "bothered"
Good Call, Rich. Like many have said, many times - you obviously care about your fans. Everyone definitely deserves the same fair shake at that vinyl tree..
thanks jp i missed that
if someone is taking advantage then anything to level the playing field sounds good
i still think its bottlenecked right out the gate but what do i know
heres my sludgie, i think he's been into the booze
Lol if yours was in the booze mine has to have been in a keg or a booze factory. XD
Did you get the black blank at all to?
You're right - it Has to be bottlenecked. With MVH being in the top 5, I can't imagine how low the chances are of actually coming out a winner. And that's what sucks so much more about these bot users, cause as fast as everyone else is at being on time and pushing buttons like a madman, they have them as Soon as the sale goes live, which is definitely a big advantage in an already difficult to win world, ya know? Bunch of poop is what it is.
Though I can certainly see the appeal. We're entering these because we Want to win. Is it smarter hunting using a bot, or is it cheating? I couldn't do it because no matter how much I may want something, I'm not going to consciously step over anyone to get it. I wouldn't do it in the physical world, so the same should apply to that of the virtual. Even if no one would know I was doing it, except for Spungee , I'd still feel like an arsehat.
Hopefully artists will continue to utilize these cock bot block preventions as it comes to their attention. Cause really, if it's there anyway, bot or not, we all start the race from the same place.
Congratulations on your Sludgie! Ha, I dig his boozy nose. These Sludgies are hands down my favorite version.
You're 100% right that no matter what technical controls are put in place, there are simply not enough toys for the amount of people that want them. The problem is bots exacerbate that problem more than you may think. I've convinced some artists to switch vendors when some stores can't step up their game. BigCartel for the most part is a really good store, you just need to use it right. The most control is self-hosting with a really savvy web developer, but that comes with its own host of problems, namely resource sizing where the store just flat out dies when a release happens.
The problem with bots is that of relationship to run sizes. If Rich does a run of 25 and 500 people try through the ol' F5 and dumb luck, each person has a 1 in 20 chance. Now let's say just 5 of those people are using a bot. Effective bots can almost guarantee success depending on how the store is set up/the seller wants to police after-the-fact. Assuming total success, that's more like a run of 20 for 495 people. Your odds are now 1 in ~25, or roughly 25% worse than without any bots.
THAT is how bots fuck up communities.
There are a ton of unique ways to deal with this problem, but I don't want to derail this thread anymore than we already have with our technical mumbo jumbo
Im surprised no one posted there Rotten DX score at all from a few months back. Hes pretty cool looking especially at night when he glows in the dark. Now all i need is his buddy Sam to keep him company lol.
This is probably one of my favorite Rampage x MVH collabs so far.
Obligatory. Glow shot please!
Where the hell have you been hiding!?
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