May 152008
 

Since I didn’t sleep last night I was refreshing the SocialSpark marketplace with some regularity this morning as the IZEA staff started releasing opportunities. An excellent opp titled “$15,000 Online Video Contest” appeared that seemed perfect for Philaahzophy, so I clicked over to take it only to find that the slots for today had already been taken in the three minutes it took for me to see the listing.

Curious who was so quick on the draw I clicked over to the profiles of the six bloggers who had looked at the opp before me as clearly they were the ones who got the available slots. After looking at their blog demographics I can’t imagine the advertiser, Pandemic Labs, is going to be happy with the results of their first day’s spending. Here are the requirements for the opp-

Min. Words 100

Language English Only

You must also meet at least one of the following: ITK Installed, Top RealRank, Highest Monthly Pageviews, Highest Monthly Visitors, Most Posts Per Day, Most Props, Most Male Traffic, Most Female Traffic, Most U.S. Traffic

The opportunity is to promote a contest on CommercialPitch.com that is only open to U.S. Residents. Let’s take a look at the segmentation created by the advertiser and how those six blogs measure up-

ITK Installed – since this is a requirement to take any sponsored posts at Social Spark I assume that all six blogs have it installed (as do all of the hundreds (if not thousands) of other blogs in the system)

Top RealRank – The RealRank of the six blogs are as follows: 5,288; 5,304; 1,410; 1,524; 525; 671. Two are in the Top 10%, two in the Top 20% and two are not even in the Top 50%

Highest Monthly Pageviews Every one of these blogs has their Pageviews set to private, so I can’t give you actual numbers here, but considering RealRank depends heavily on pageviews I can’t imagine any more than 2 of these blogs are in the Top 10% of Monthly Pageviews.

Highest Monthly Visitors Again, each of these blogs refuses to share its monthly visitors, but I can look at their Visitors/day: 6, 5, 50, 63, 160, and 159. Again only two have any chance of being in the Top 10%.

Most Posts Per Day – I haven’t taken the time to browse enough blogs at SocialSpark to determine what qualifies as high or low in this category, but here are the numbers for the relevant blogs: 0.28, 0, 0, 1.2, 1.26 and 0.

Most Props – again I haven’t done the research to determine how many Props is “a lot”, but the 10th most propped blog currently has 40 according to the leaderboard on the homepage. These bloggs have: 1, -1, -1, 4, -1, and 0. Hard to imagine any of those qualify as “Most Props”, especially the three with negatives.

Most Male Traffic and Most Female Traffic – These two requirementswould seem to cancel each other out, so I’m not really sure what SocialSparek or the advertiser was thinking with this type of segmentation. hence, no further comment.

Most U.S. Traffic – This, in my opinion, is the most important segmentation due to the fact that the contest is only open to legal U.S. residents. let’s see how the six blogs measured up: 8.4% (w/ 85.2% Malaysia), 15.3% (w/ 82% Canada), 32.5% (w/ 22.8% Philippines), 46.2% (w/ 29.5% Malaysia), 36.7% (w/ 33.2% Philippines), and 55.2% (w/ 21.3% Philippines). Only one of the blogs has more than 50% U.S. Traffic and the average (if I’m doing the math correctly) is only 32.3% U.S. Traffic – not exactly a majority considering many blogs in the system have 85% or more U.S. traffic.

Several of these bloggers have more than one blog in the system and I have no way of telling which blog will host the opp, but I chose the one with the most U.S. traffic for each blogger. While I won’t be sharing the names of the bloggers or their blogs here I will tell you that the numbers are in the same order for each type of segmentation.

An additional caveat is that I don’t know if all six of these bloggers received the opp. they were, however, the only six to visit it before me and there were no additional slots when I arrived, so even if they haven’t received the go-ahead yet, they will before anyone with a significant amount of U.S. traffic does.

So, I ask again. Do you think this advertiser is going to be happy with their Return On Investment?

  9 Responses to “Can SocialSpark Advertisers Really Be Happy With This?”

  1. Are you sure they were the ones who received the Opp?

    So far Social Spark has failed to impress me.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Bloggers Unite – China

  2. Unfortunately, I am beginning to agree with you more and more, Lisa. It seems like kinks are being worked INTO the system rather than out of it.

    The “social networking” aspect is far more detrimental than it is beneficial since so many people are gaming the system or simply ignoring it, and more than 10% of the posts I’ve written there have gone unpaid, not because they were rejected, but because of bugs in their system.

    The only real benefit I see to us bloggers, thus far, is the removal of PR as a segmentation device.

  3. I don’t think that you understand how the segemntation of opps works. I didn’t either until I talked to the IZEA sales team about it in length.

    The blogs only have to meet ONE of those requirements, not all of them. By putting ITK installed ALL blogs that have that then qualify (which as you point out is all blogs). Therefore, the rest of those requirements are a moot point and don’t even need to be considered. The requirements are inclusive not exclusive so every additional requirement you add allows MORE people, not less, into the opp.

    I think it is a rather silly way of doing things as well since you can’t have strict requirements. It should be an option to force the blog to meet multiple tests I think.

    Nathan’s last blog post..CBS Acquires CNET, Does it Matter?

  4. Hi Nathan,

    Actually *I* understand the way segmentation works, but I think it is clear that MANY advertisers do not understand how it works. In fact, I don’t recall seeing an opp yet that didn’t have “ITK Installed” as part of the segmentation (though I seldom look that closely).

    This post was not intended as a “who are these people stealing my opps?” rant. Rather it’s an attempt to point out to IZEA that their failure to properly educate their advertisers (or create a submission form that is more fool proof) is going to cost them (and ultimately us bloggers) money because the advertisers aren’t going to be getting what they are expecting.

    I didn’t know that the threshold for “Top” was 30%, though and that’s good info to have.

  5. I can’t say much about SS except that it’s too social for me and I haven’t gotten a single opp from it yet. The queue system will prevent me from probably ever getting one. I decided after signing up and seeing the queue system I’ll give it between 3-6 months and if I still haven’t gotten an opp I’m taking the code off.

    valmg’s last blog post..ToysRUs speaks to autism and so does their shoppers

  6. I am not very impressed with Social Spark, either. It just seems like another PPP – where all those bloggers who can sit on top of the Internet all day can snatch them all up. What I want to know is why did we install the codes on our blog and this has happened?

    At least on PPP, we are leveled on our ranks – more so on our PR, but at least it is leveled to something!

    I am having such a hard time navigating into opps at SS that it has become very frustrating for me as well.

    Karlana’s last blog post..Learn About It! :: Endangered Species Day

  7. Welcome Val,

    I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about the queue system causing them not to get opps and I think you’re misunderstanding how it works. I explain it more fully in my One Month Into SocialSpark post, but basically the queu is a GOOD thing for bloggers.

    In PPP X number of bloggers would be allowed in to an opp. Period. The first X people who saw the opp and grabbed it would get it. Period. If one of them released it or missed the reservation window then it would appear on the opps list for a few seconds once again only to be snatched up by whomever happen to be looking at the screen at the right moment.

    With the queue the line starts when the opp opens and there is no “line jumping” should someone miss their reservation or the advertiser add more slots, they go to the next person in the queue instead of being open to anyone and everyone again.

    Okay, I guess that turned into a rather long explanation as well, but I hope that makes sense to you.

  8. Greetings Karlana,

    I have been in Social Spark since April 8th and have done 26 sponsored posts through them (on two blogs) in that time. On PPP I’ve done 56 (again on two blogs) in the same time frame. So while I agree that SS doesn;t have the same number of opps, I don’t thin khalf as many is too bad considering SS is new.

    The problem with “leveling” people by PR is that PPP is the reason so many of us lost PR in the first place. Philaahzophy is supposed to be PR 3, but I got smacked to PR0 just because of PPP while other paid bloggers did not. How is that remotely fair?

  9. I have to say as of right now I’m not very happy with social spark, but it has some great potential once the kinks are worked out. Also I think as Izea and the advertisers get a better idea of how the system is used and abused by bloggers it will get to be much better.

    I think that having ITK installed should either be removed as a opp requirement or the blog has to meet more then just that requirement. That may help with advertisers who may get upset with results.

    Holly’s last blog post..
    Simple Saturday, Fans

  10. […] Can SocialSpark Advertisers Really Be Happy With This? – May 15, 2008 – 4 common tags […]

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