Power Of Blog: What A Blogger Can Do?
It is just a matter of one blog post that is changing the whole ecosystem around Social Networks and can go a long way in removing the scams presents in these social networks. It’s a fight of a blogger against the companies who scam on Social Networks like Facebook and Myspace and create a bad user experience. It’s a story of how a blogger may have instigated the process of replacing a CEO from her place. Bloggers are often criticized that they write things out of their limits and create controversy just to gain some traffic. I am not at all disagreeing with this point because there are always some bad elements in any setup but the whole community can’t be blamed for this. People some times over look that journalism is there to regulate things and act as a watch dog. It is there to help people differentiate between a good guy and a not so good guy.
The blogger I am talking about here is Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. Let me explain you the sequence of events that have taken place till now.
1. It all started when Arrington confronted Anu Shukla CEO and Co-founder of Offerpal in an onstage debate at Virtual Goods Summit last month [Video of this spat]. Offerpal provides a platform to run offers and surveys that help social-network app creators like Zynga make money. Arrington questioned Shukla the very credibility of companies like Offerpal and SuperRewards for running scam ads that tricked the users into buying subscriptions or products in return of few virtual currencies that can be used in social games like Farmville. Shukla responded to his accusations as “sh*t, double sh*t and bullsh*t”. How unprofessional? I think that comment irked Arrington.
2. Then Arrington has written a compelling and provocative article on TechCrunch titled Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell. The post talks about how Social App Companies like Zynga ($100 million company) and Offer Companies (like Offerpal) are making their revenues in unethical manner by scamming users in Facebook and Myspace. He also said that knowingly or unknowingly Facebook and Myspace are also allowing this to happen. This blog post has created a lot of buzz in the blogosphere and helped people to share their experiences of the scam that are taking place in various Social Networks. This post alone has invited around 590 comments till now (at the time of writing this post).
3. This has further led to companies like Zygna (leading social-network app creators with popular games like Farmville and Mafia Wars on Facebook) coming out in open and accepting that these scams are there. Mark Pincus CEO of Zygna said in a blog post that they are doing every bit to eradicate these scams even though they make up a sizeable chuck of revenue out of these. Myspace jumped into this debate and modified their terms and conditions They conveyed that there will be zero tolerance for app scams. Companies like Rock You and Trial Pay also explained their position on these scams. Facebook has also written a blog post saying that they are going to increase enforcement on anti-scam rules.
4. here was lot of pressure on OfferPal to come out in public and accept that these scams are there and they are doing every bit to eradicate them. But they rather replaced their CEO Anu Shukla who was in total denial state about the scam ads running in their network.
5. George Garrick the new CEO of Offerpal, within 48 hours of taking his position has admitted that Offerpal was indeed running scam ads. He posted a long comment on one of posts by Arrington saying that Offerpal is guilty distributing offers of questionable integrity. He promised that offers will now be in compliance with the Facebook’s standard.
The whole episode has opened a new chapter and in a way helped to regulate companies who are trying to make a quick buck by tricking customers. Companies will now be very careful as their steps are being watched by bloggers and they have the potential to change the fortunes of the company upside down. Anu shukla may have faced the music as she treated a blogger unprofessionally. She might have been unaware of what a blogger can do?