|BlogRush = Pyramid?|
You know those exam questions you used to get that made your blood run cold - "Hitler and the Spanish Inquisition - Compare and Contrast" (and why is it always Hitler or Napolean or Alexander the Great - is it only homicidal maniacs who make for interesting history lessons?). Well, I was thinking about a similar question this week when I saw all the guru spam flooding my inbox about John Reese's new offering, BlogRush.
One thought kept running around in my head as I read all the details, and that was 'pyramid scheme'. In fact, John Reese openly admits that's the structure used with BlogRush, but then that's also exactly why it won't work as people expect it to.
The idea is simple; "A flash of inspiration at 4 in the morning" as quoted by JR - well, I get those too, but I write them down on my bedside notepad - hey, Einstein did it too - and then I look at them seriously the next day to see if I was dreaming at the time, seriously inspired, or just had a brain fart. I get the feeling that BlogRush was a moment of cranial flatulence for Reese that somehow escaped noisely into the proverbial escalator. Basically, it's a fancy form of surfing popup, only done with an MLM twist. That's it. It looks great as you can see (although you won't see BlogRush anywhere else on this site) and it's a clever piece of coding in an Adsense kind of "always looks the same and will soon be ignored" kind of way.
But, just like Adsense if it wasn't so closely overseen by Google, it's also open to being massively gamed by the hackers, as has just been shown on the Blackhat's Diary blog (thanks also to Alex Goad for the heads up). Look at the conversion figures quoted in the Backhat's Diary piece - 2 visitors from 8483 credits. Eeek! Andy Peel from Marketing Pilgrim has shown figures that are just as bad - 3 visitors from 11827 credits (those credits giving 1715 actual impressions - a delivery rate so far of only 15% on credits earned, and a conversion rate of just 0.17% of actual impressions resulting in clickthrus).
And you thought your Adsense figures were bad! At least they pay you for taking people away from your site; all BlogRush does in return for a demonstrably pitiful number of incoming visitors is leech users away for no obvious benefit at all.
In any conventional MLM/pyramid scheme it's those who are first in that gain the benefits with those who follow later getting progressively less until those last in make the inevitable losses. BlogRush is no different hence all that initial guru spam to make sure that the usual suspects got their more-than-fair share before their followers made their usual lame mess of it.
That would be bad enough, but the actual basis of the product is just as lame. Ken Giddens' description of his Adsense web sites was brilliant; "Get off my site so I can make some money". In fact, that's why lousy cookie cutter MFA sites have such great conversion rates - there's nothing else to do other than click away from them, and if you shove enough Adsense onto the home page (we're talking near 100% bounce rates here people) then that click is bound to make money. With BlogRush the whole idea is to make people click away from your site without making you any money!
But for me the really great annoyance in all this is that Reese is actually one of the good guys in this mega parasitical industry. He really does walk the walk, as well as talking the talk, and has the property and cars to prove it. He's obviously putting a lot of time and money into Income.com but this really was the worst way to start things off - a very well executed and completely vacuous dud of no real use to anyone apart from the person taking all those sets of details (who just happens to be... hold on, that's it, of course. Silly me).
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