Updated Interview with Shawn Hogan (AKA DigitalPoint)

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The Sandman

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The Sandman submitted a new Article:

Updated Interview with Shawn Hogan (AKA DigitalPoint)

It's been 9 years since we first interviewed Shawn (Interview with Shawn Hogan [DigitalPoint]). There's a thread running on TAZ about Shawn's pending incarceration for eBay affiliate fraud that I'm sure everyone's familiar with.

Here's a short update to our original interview. If you have any additional questions for Shawn post them here and hopefully he'll get around to answering them as well.

Thanks Shawn!


===========================================


DigitalPoint is a obviously a very successful site - it currently has almost 730,000 members and more than 17,000,000 posts. Why do you think it's so popular?

There are a ton of things on the site that you can't get on other sites. If you don't venture outside the forum subdomain, you are missing all the good stuff. :)


Even so, a look on Alexa shows that the Global Ranking has dropped from around 300 or so back at the start of 2013 to under 1000 today. Any thoughts on why that might be? If memory serves me correctly that's around the time you switched from vBulletin to XenForo.

The short version is we have been actively trying to shed low quality traffic/users. And those users are the ones that tend to have the Alexa toolbar installed. So while our traffic from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, etc. are down, traffic from the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, etc. is up.

I'll trade high quality traffic over low quality traffic any day. :)

Some info/reference:

https://forums.digitalpoint.com/threads/mitigation-of-low-quality-users.2628741/

https://forums.digitalpoint.com/threads/being-recognized-by-3-people.2636788/#post-18461129


How has XenForo affected traffic, participation, and revenue generation on DP?

It hasn't affected any of that directly. Indirectly it gives us a better platform to build cool things on top of though... So indirectly we get traffic because of the things we are able to build with it.


Would you have liked to have done anything different before or during the transition to XenForo?

Nothing major, no.


What other observations have you made regarding the benefits and drawbacks of your switch to XenForo?

The biggest benefit for me is that it gives us a fantastic platform to build custom applications on top of. To me,...
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petertdavis

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I really hope this prison thing is as light-hearted as he seems about it.
I think his lightheartedness is coming more from the fact that he's almost at the end of a long stressful journey than anything else.
 

Nogitsune

Unleash The Beast....
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I really hope this prison thing is as light-hearted as he seems about it.
Well he and everyone else have been making a joke out of it really xD So I guess it is.

Still, good interview :) He does seem like quite a driven/talented gentleman which I do admire, despite his other less than good actions that landed criminal actions.
 

Digitalpoint

Brain
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I really hope this prison thing is as light-hearted as he seems about it.
Honestly, it's not a terrible thing really. You would have it worse off living on a military base in the barracks. The camps (where I'm designated) have no fences, no violence, no guard towers, no cells (or locking rooms even), plenty of things to do (baseball, soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, pool, ping pong, foosball, bocceball, handball, etc.)

There's a huge garden (the size of a baseball field) which you can see on the satellite maps...

af.cl.ly_items_3v222N2f3F3r2I0j1519_Image_202014_06_04_20at_201.35.11_20PM.png

If you wanted to, you literally could just walk away. The BALCO guy has a pretty interesting account of his stay at the exact facility/camp where I'm going (in Taft):

http://boingboing.net/2012/10/23/former-inmates-description-o.html

Sports complex "The first morning, when I woke up it was a kind of university-campus like setting. I walked out and in the middle of the courtyard was a huge sign that said 'Sports Complex.' Basketball, football, baseball, soccer, bocce ball, volleyball, handball. And I looked around and there were about 500 guys there. And they all had on equipment; there was a soccer game and a baseball game going on."

Rec center "I looked over I saw the rec center. And I walked over to that and looked in and there were six pool tables, six foosball tables, six ping-pong tables."

Music department "Then I went through this door and there was this huge music department. Three different musical groups were practicing. I said, 'Do they have concerts here?'

'Oh yeah! We have a routine on Friday nights and the bands play concerts outside.'"

Drugs This is my first 10 minutes -- I was on the compound I started walking with some guys around the walking track and I went [sniff] -- 'Are they smoking weed around here?' And they said, 'Yeah! You want some weed?'

I said, 'Listen, I don't want anything to do that with this kind of stuff. I don't want to get in any more trouble that I'm already in.' But yeah, anything that you wanted -- alcohol -- any and every type was $25 for 8 ounces. They had meth, they had steroids, they had cocaine."

No fences "There's no fences around the the place, about every 200 feet they have a sign on a stake that says 'Out of Bounds.' I got there on December 1 of 2005. That Christmas, about 25 guys just walked out on the freeway and they had their families pick them up and they left. So it's kind of an honor system."

Female prison guards as hookers "It didn't take me long to figure out, they had several really nice-looking female correctional officers there. You know, hair done up, big chest. It was kind of stunning to me. And they said 'Listen, you want some action?' I'm telling you the straight scoop. My understanding is on average they were making about $30,000 a month."

Some prisoners don't want to leave "This young kid came in that same first day I was there and my cubie was a guy named Evil. And he said 'Evil, I'm going to have to do something bad because I'm supposed to go home tomorrow.' And I said 'You're supposed to go home and you want to stay here?' He said, 'Yeah if I go home I've got to start paying rent!'"
I think his lightheartedness is coming more from the fact that he's almost at the end of a long stressful journey than anything else.
A good part is that. But in a weird way I'm looking forward to going. If I could just go for a month or two to just have a break from life, that would be ideal to me. Of course I say that now... we'll see how I feel when I get there. :)

Well he and everyone else have been making a joke out of it really xD So I guess it is.
It is kind of a joke... I mean here's the short version of what happened...

OMG, you stole $32M... Indictment!
Case passed around between 2 judges and 3 prosecutors for 7 years and they realize I actually *didn't* steal $32M because they finally figured out what happened.
"So how about this... Plead guilty to 1 count of using a wire that crosses state lines for a total monetary gain of $0, go to camp for a few months and pay a $25k fine so it looks like we won?"

"Fine by me, done."

Look at it this way... my best case scenario had I not taken the plea deal was to fight it for probably another 3-4 years and sink $3-4M more into fighting it in the hope I would be found innocent. Even if you are found not guilty, you are still out a whole lot of money and time. Even at the low end of costs that had not been spent yet to prove innocent, that's $3M.

So if you break it down to what it is at the most fundamental level... Getting paid (by not having to spend it) $600,000/month to go to camp, and you also don't have to worry about being found guilty and being hit with some crazy prison term or restitution amount.

I'm sure there's a whole lot of people who would have taken the $3M to go to camp for 5 months even if all the other stuff wasn't a possibility.
 

49er

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Some nice facilities there for sure, but do they have any for the older guys .. :daroldi:


Good luck with the internment my friend ..
 

Kyrie

Fan
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Are you allowed on the internet? If not, it truly is prison.
 

IcEWoLF

Habitué
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Messages
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Honestly, it's not a terrible thing really. You would have it worse off living on a military base in the barracks. The camps (where I'm designated) have no fences, no violence, no guard towers, no cells (or locking rooms even), plenty of things to do (baseball, soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, pool, ping pong, foosball, bocceball, handball, etc.)

There's a huge garden (the size of a baseball field) which you can see on the satellite maps...

af.cl.ly_items_3v222N2f3F3r2I0j1519_Image_202014_06_04_20at_201.35.11_20PM.png

If you wanted to, you literally could just walk away. The BALCO guy has a pretty interesting account of his stay at the exact facility/camp where I'm going (in Taft):

http://boingboing.net/2012/10/23/former-inmates-description-o.html



A good part is that. But in a weird way I'm looking forward to going. If I could just go for a month or two to just have a break from life, that would be ideal to me. Of course I say that now... we'll see how I feel when I get there. :)


It is kind of a joke... I mean here's the short version of what happened...

OMG, you stole $32M... Indictment!
Case passed around between 2 judges and 3 prosecutors for 7 years and they realize I actually *didn't* steal $32M because they finally figured out what happened.
"So how about this... Plead guilty to 1 count of using a wire that crosses state lines for a total monetary gain of $0, go to camp for a few months and pay a $25k fine so it looks like we won?"

"Fine by me, done."

Look at it this way... my best case scenario had I not taken the plea deal was to fight it for probably another 3-4 years and sink $3-4M more into fighting it in the hope I would be found innocent. Even if you are found not guilty, you are still out a whole lot of money and time. Even at the low end of costs that had not been spent yet to prove innocent, that's $3M.

So if you break it down to what it is at the most fundamental level... Getting paid (by not having to spend it) $600,000/month to go to camp, and you also don't have to worry about being found guilty and being hit with some crazy prison term or restitution amount.

I'm sure there's a whole lot of people who would have taken the $3M to go to camp for 5 months even if all the other stuff wasn't a possibility.
Its summer and no swimming pool? FAIL!

BTW great interview, I always enjoy reading the Interviews here at TAZ. :)
 

PoetJC

⚧ Jacquii: Kween of Hearts ⚧
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Messages
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Nice interview update.
LOL @ this coming from someone so obviously talented in all things code:

First I would have my brain examined because to me a couple hundred dollars isn't worth the support headache I would be taking on [by creating my own forum software]. No way, no how... not ever.
J.
 

CMOBOSS

All About Da-Cookies.
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Sep 14, 2006
Messages
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Have you ever seen Monkeys picking and trading Bananas? That's Congress. Surely you can see the similarities between the two.

Bah... Tax. :whistle:

Enjoy your Vacation, it really does look like a resort. :tup:
 

Alfa1

Administrator
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Messages
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We do expect a report on the sex, drugs & rock n roll thing when you get back. I find the report by the BALCO guy a little hard to believe, but I have seen weirder things.
 

Digitalpoint

Brain
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I'm sure there are probably drugs and alcohol... But yeah, I have a hard time believing there are female prison guards as prostitutes. Hah
 

David Lyon

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Think Shawn might in for a culture shock having this idea prison is a holiday camp, be it an open one or not.

Wait till they find out he's loaded with cash.
 
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