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  1. #1
    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series: Davide - dfiocch

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    Age: 33
    Hometown: Rome
    Living in: Rome
    Favorite Food: Spaghetti, of course!
    Must Read Book: I vinti non dimenticano, by Giampaolo Pansa
    Site: freeextrachips.com

    How did you become involved in the industry?
    About six years ago, I was a soldier. You can perhaps imagine why I had to leave. Before joining the army, I’d been studying to be a Computer Engineer, a course I then resumed after being discharged from the army. During the resumption of studies I discovered the magical world of the Internet and this industry that so fascinated me.

    What were your goals as you developed FreeExtraChips?
    The goals that I set for FreeExtraChips.com were very simple: to present a wide range of bonuses to visitors. Then, gradually, I tried to make the site more professional. I still receive requests from players via e-mail asking me to help them with the various casinos.

    When did you launch the site?
    I launched FreeExtraChips.com on July 31, 2006.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?
    After three months, I had a good number of players – a good result for a young site!

    Your site is beautifully arranged, with all casinos split into three lists – for U.S. players, U.K. players and European players – and you draw quite a lot of traffic. Which of the three player groups gives you the most traffic?
    Sixty percent of my traffic comes from the U.S., 30 percent from European countries and the remaining 10 percent from the rest of the world. The situation with respect to online gambling in the U.S., unfortunately, means that many users from the U.S. must ask me via e-mail about new bonuses and new casinos for them . . . I hope that everything will be resolved soon.

    You have a section devoted to high rollers. How important is it to offer information and deals specifically to gamblers looking to wager large amounts? How successful have you been in getting high rolling players to sign up and make deposits through your site? And what are the important keywords to bring high rolling traffic to your site?
    It is very important to also think of the high roller. Let’s not forget that many players who come to casinos are people with high incomes. These people are always looking for the best. So, just make them happy, right? As for keywords, I don’t give much importance to this aspect. The end user knows what to look for. It 's no use trying to think what others think. Each of us has his own brain.

    Has your site ever been blocked by the Italian government? Do you have an AAMS license?
    Yes, my site is blocked to Italian users. But when there is a problem, I can work through a proxy. I do not have an AAMS license simply because the franchisees do not need them. An affiliate, here, is regarded as being self-employed. The only thing that affiliates should worry about is paying taxes on their earnings. And this is what I do. AAMS is a license for private operators and costs thousands of euros . . . hundreds of thousands of euros!

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    An affilialate manager must above all be courteous and helpful regarding the needs of an affiliate. Let us not forget that we are the primary source of traffic for their brands. Then, of course, they must be ready to respond to particular matters relating to players; player protection is an essential part of their work.

    Regarding affiliate programs, I watch most of all their history and their reputation. In the beginning, I trusted programs that subsequently closed within a few weeks – and fled with the cash! So I recommend . . . always be prudent.

    What advice would you offer someone just starting out in the industry?
    Patience, patience and patience . . . and more patience! It 's the only recommendation I can give to newcomers. "Catching" a player requires patience and hard work. So, again, patience and work, work and work.

    Occasionally webmasters post in the forums that their sites have just been hacked and they’re not sure what to do. Having been hacked yourself, please tell us what you did to recover, and what you’ve done since then to protect your site.
    Yes, my site was hacked about four years ago. Fortunately, the "guy" who tried to sneak through an SQL injection did little damage and it took me a couple of hours to restore everything. The only thing I had to do was to clean up the database, delete all traces of PHP code that the "guy" had left and put the site online. Unfortunately, the mother of an idiot is always pregnant . . . pardon the expression but that's what I think!

    Protecting a website is not easy. A site can have many "micro holes" that are beyond the view of even the most experienced webmaster. For myself, I'm running some scripts that control the state of the database and source code. At the slightest change or variation, I am informed.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
    Yes, joining GPWA was really a great help! When I needed help the GPWA guys were always there. I have nothing but praise for the staff. Thanks, guys!

    What do you like about the industry?
    In this industry I especially like its ever-changing nature. This gives me a great desire to improve the site from time to time

    What don’t you like about the industry?
    The thing that I do not like about this industry is that, unfortunately, there are still many experts who give little space to the problem of compulsive gambling.

    What surprised you most about the industry?
    What surprised me most is what I have said before about the industry’s ability to adapt to any policy and any socioeconomic situation. It’s amazing how this industry is able to change its appearance completely in a short time.

    How long do you give yourself for answering e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer?
    Usually I answer e-mail within a few hours. At most it may take up to 24 hours if recipients are out of the office and if I bring any mobile device. Of course, if it's junk mail I can take several months to answer!

    How do you manage your “to-do” lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    Oh yes. I use very complicated software . . . my brain! Seriously, I hate the so-called "to-do software." It always ends up ruining the work. I much prefer the brain, a pen-and Post-it notes.

    How much time does it take to keep your site updated?
    As I said before, the management of a site requires much time and dedication. By the way, FreeExtraChips.com is being renovated with a new look, a new management system of bonuses, new casinos, new games and a brand-new online helpdesk to assist players with issues related to online casinos, a sort of direct line to the staff of casinos. Stay tuned, online soon!

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your site?
    What do you prefer to find on a site with a specific topic? That topic, right? Once you have answered this question, then you can calculate the time it takes to deliver quality content and quantity. Spending hours and hours to search for weird keywords that in most cases serve no purpose except to take a huge penalty by the search engines is unproductive. Better to spend an hour more for quality content rather than five minutes on a blackhat SEO technique.

    For social networks I have hired a few employees who handle Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

    If someone were visiting you, what’s the one place you’d definitely take them to see?
    Without a doubt, Rome. With all due respect to all the beautiful cities of the world, Rome is unique. We forget that once, long ago, the whole world knew it was called . . . Rome.

    What’s your favorite vacation spot?
    I love Formentera, a small but beautiful island in Spain. It is a paradise, the ideal place for those who want to relax by day and check out a bit of the "movida” by night. It 's wonderful. I can’t wait to go back.

    If you could have one “superpower,” what would it be?
    I wouldn’t want a superpower. I would rather have at least a quarter of the greatness of men in our history such as Einstein or Martin Luther King, Jr., or, more recently, Steve Jobs. More than having a superpower I wish I could make history in some way. It 's my dream.

    What’s your favorite TV show or shows?
    Uh, sorry! All I watch on TV are the football matches of my Juventus. Italians and football have a special relationship. In fact, Winston Churchill was right when he said that "Italians lose wars as if they were football matches, and football matches as if they were wars."

    What’s your all-time favorite movie?
    Pulp Fiction! Yeah! I find myself very much in character, the cynical but correct Mr. Wolf [Harvey Keitel]. I love him . . . and Quentin Tarantino has Italian origins.

    If you were shooting your autobiography, whom would you cast to play you?
    Mr. Wolf!

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
    Hmm . . . five people – OK, I have them:

    1) Pope John Paul II, because beyond being a religious figure he was a great leader.
    2) Steve Jobs, because I would like to have at least half of his desire to act and to change the world.
    3) My girlfriend, because even in the darkest moments, I was never abandoned.
    4) My friend who died in Iraq when we were soldiers. I miss him so much.
    5) Pamela Anderson! lol

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?
    By now everyone who knows me knows everything about me. But because you’ve handed me this question that I can’t answer, I have to invent something . . . let's see . . . I’ll tell you just one: no one knows what color underpants I’m wearing today!

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  3. #2
    annihilation's Avatar
    annihilation is offline New Member
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    Very informative and inspiring interview.
    One comment on your website though.
    It would be great if the layout response to the mobile device that I'm browsing with.

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    dfiocch (21 November 2012)

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    Thanks for the interview Davide,

    Nice to get to know you a little better !
    Joe

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    dfiocch (21 November 2012)

  7. #4
    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    I really enjoyed the interview, thank you for sharing.

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  9. #5
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    Thanks to all, guys!

    Sorry for the long absence from the forum but as someone already knew, in April, I was the victim of a bad car accident.
    My spine is going much better and all the ailments seem almost completely disappeared.

    I'm back stronger than before!

    @annihilation

    Thank you for your advice, man!
    Working on a better mobile devices layout.
    I had to restyle entire website: when I was at hospital I paid a indian company for the redesign... never do it! Avoid cheap web designers! Basically, they completely copied the layout of another site and applied to mine.

    Released from the hospital and noticed their despicable work, I had to work night and day to change everything! And I'm still working on it ... The result? $1200 lost ... they (or him?) disappeared within a minute when I pointed out the damage to reputation that they caused to my site.

    However, I'm working on a responsive layout.

    Thanks to all again!

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    Maria F is offline Former AM
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    I am glad to hear that you are getting better.

    All the best with your health and your site.

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    Hi Davide,
    great that you're recovering quick from your accident. Nice interview, and definitely thumbs up about your favorite reading!
    -----------------------------------------
    Paolo

    Online Gambling Guide - casinoimpact.com.
    I sell Cheap Web Hosting.

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  14. #8
    dfiocch's Avatar
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    Thank you very much, Paolo!

  15. #9
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    annihilation is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfiocch View Post
    Thanks to all, guys!

    Sorry for the long absence from the forum but as someone already knew, in April, I was the victim of a bad car accident.
    My spine is going much better and all the ailments seem almost completely disappeared.

    I'm back stronger than before!

    @annihilation

    Thank you for your advice, man!
    Working on a better mobile devices layout.
    I had to restyle entire website: when I was at hospital I paid a indian company for the redesign... never do it! Avoid cheap web designers! Basically, they completely copied the layout of another site and applied to mine.

    Released from the hospital and noticed their despicable work, I had to work night and day to change everything! And I'm still working on it ... The result? $1200 lost ... they (or him?) disappeared within a minute when I pointed out the damage to reputation that they caused to my site.

    However, I'm working on a responsive layout.

    Thanks to all again!
    Hi Davide,

    Sorry to hear about your accident. Glad that you are fine now.

    I'm a novice who is just starting out. I commented your site from a visitor point of view.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience with cheap outsource website developer.

    I will keep this in mind when I need external help.

  16. #10
    clarar's Avatar
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    Davide is one of the nicest affiliates I'm working with.
    I really wish you the best!

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  18. #11
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    Nice interview Davide and I wish you a speedy recovery. Good luck with your site.

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  20. #12
    Louis - Income Access's Avatar
    Louis - Income Access is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Pamela Anderson!?! Davide you are OLD SCHOOL! Though I'm sure if you're fantasy dinner DID happen, Pope John Paul would appreciate your selection.

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  22. #13
    dfiocch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis - Income Access View Post
    Pamela Anderson!?! Davide you are OLD SCHOOL! Though I'm sure if you're fantasy dinner DID happen, Pope John Paul would appreciate your selection.
    Oh, yes. I have to admit: I am "OLD SCHOOL"! After all, I am part of the generation of Baywatch, A-Team ... Hazzard (do you remember Daisy Duke aka Catherine Bach?).

    Although a dinner (by candlelight and then ... ) with Megan Fox would not mind at all
    ...or with our Clara! Hello clarar

    ...ehr...my girlfriend is calling me ... I'm going to take two slaps and I'll be back!

    P.s.: Is there any fan of Chelsea around? 3-0!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all American friends!

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