Larry Brauner

This is my final blog post for 2008. I have enjoyed our interaction this past year.

Thank you. I learned a lot.

I look forward to more give and take in 2009.

Thinking Outside the Box

In 10 Not Simple Success Strategies for 2009 I stated, “What worked in the past may no longer work in the present economy. You may have to make some tough personal or business choices going forward.”

Thinking Outside the BoxTo succeed in 2009 we need to be flexible and to think outside the box. According to Wikipedia, thinking outside the box is “to think differently, unconventionally, from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel, creative and smart thinking“.

I hope to help you think outside the box and navigate through some of the challenges and choices that lie ahead.

If you don’t yet subscribe to this blog, I ask you to subscribe now. Let’s stay “on the same page” as I continue to publish thought-provoking and hopefully outside-the-box articles on a broad range of topics.

Networking Outside the Box

If you are not yet a member of Critical Thinking Outside the Box, my no-spam online social network, please join now. This social networking site is a place where you and I can share ideas and network with each other.

Set up your profile there and add me as a friend. That way you can contact me whenever you wish.

By starting discussions and participating in existing discussions on the forum, you’ll brand yourself as a leader. If you’d like to become a featured leader on the site and have me promote you there, send me a message and we’ll discuss the details.

Marketing Outside the Box

Online social networking and social media marketing are still very much in their infancy. We’ll see plenty of growth and change in 2009 and beyond. To market outside the box you’ll need to keep abreast of online and social marketing changes, and you’ll need to keep learning new skills.

Affiliate University Marketing TrainingOne excellent training and support program that I highly recommend to learn and implement new marketing ideas is Affiliate University.

Founder Bill Hibbler is a successful Internet marketer and an excellent instructor. Bill along with Dr. Joe Vitale is co-author of Meet and Grow Rich: How to Easily Create and Operate Your Own “Mastermind” Group for Health, Wealth, and More.

The Affiliate University training program has ten modules, and more will be added in the future.

Additionally, I’m starting a marketing clinic to complement the Affiliate University curriculum and help you through the rough spots as you put what you learn to use.

Achieving Outside the Box

Setting and following through on goals require ongoing support from peers. Mastermind groups provide that support and have long been known to increase focus and speed movement towards achieving objectives.

Affiliate University will start you on the path to forming a mastermind group. After teaching you the basic concepts and mechanics of mastermind groups, their forum will help you connect with prospective members for your group. I will help too.

If you believe that you can benefit from one-on-one mentoring, I offer special consulting rates for my “inner circle”. See the bio and endorsements on my about page for information about my qualifications.

As usual, feel free to comment on this blog post or ask questions… And let’s have a great year!

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Larry Brauner

What is Twitter?

Twitter may very well be the hottest online social media venue today. It’s a social network, micro-blog, instant messenger, mobile communications tool and giant party — all rolled into one site.

Twitter is a great branding and marketing resource with the potential to reach thousands of people. I myself am a very enthusiastic Twitter user.

Originally Twitter entries were status updates that answered the simple question, “What are you doing?”

Twitter has evolved over time, and members now post all sorts of short messages which we affectionately refer to as “tweets”.

How short is short?

There is a strict 140 character limit so members can tweet via text messaging wherever they happen to be at the time.

If you’re on Twitter and want people to “follow you”, write a comment below explaining briefly why you like Twitter and including your Twitter link.

Twitter Training

I found a three-hour course that fully answers the question, “What is Twitter?” and goes step-by-step through complete Twitter setup and usage.

There are also extensive interviews with Warren Whitlock and Deborah Micek, authors of Twitter Revolution: How Social Media and Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Do Business & Market Online, who provide many useful Twitter tips.

Affiliate University

The Twitter course is being offered by Affiliate University as a free sample of their social and search engine marketing training which was designed primarily for novice Internet marketers and more seasoned marketers who want to increase their skill set.

Affiliate marketing, referring customers to others’ websites in order to earn commissions, is a great way to develop multiple income streams, create passive residual income, and generate leads for nearly any type of business from mortgages and real estate to network marketing.

It isn’t very difficult to get started in affiliate marketing. Having your own website isn’t required, but if you have a website or blog, that’s a big plus.

Affiliate University teaches the necessary concepts and techniques in a structured and easy to follow format.

Founder Bill Hibbler is a successful Internet marketer and an excellent instructor. Bill along with Joe Vitale is co-author of Meet and Grow Rich: How to Easily Create and Operate Your Own “Mastermind” Group for Health, Wealth, and More.

If you have experience with affiliate marketing, feel free to write a comment below and share your experiences.

In any case, enjoy the Twitter Course. It’s excellent, and there aren’t any strings attached.

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Larry Brauner

Home Business Survival Crash Course

People launch all types of businesses every day.

Despite enormous investment and months or years of preparation most new businesses fail. Their once well lit storefronts and offices are now dark, and their employees are searching for new jobs.

I don’t have precise statistics for a home based business. I estimate that perhaps 98% of new home businesses never earn a dime. If my estimate is too high, it can’t be too high by much. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

My first home business with Excel Communications lost money for five years before finally turning a profit. I have since embarked on other ventures. Some have worked out well, and others not.

Let’s discuss why home based businesses usually fail and what you might be able to do to succeed. First I’ll share my thoughts about this, and then you’ll have a turn to express your point of view.

Reasons for Failure

The following list of causes for failure is arranged with readability in mind, rather than the relative importance of the contributing factors:

  1. YOURSELF - You have an uphill battle if you lack internal motivation, commitment, relevant skills (such as organization, communication, sales, marketing, online social networking or prospecting), proper training, posture, preparation, productivity, or some combination of these.
  2. Others - Other people can lack all of the above. Sadly, they can also lack integrity. I believe that people not doing as they say they will is very disappointing and the greatest business obstacle. Read the story of Orovo and Network Success Builders for a good example of this.
  3. Hype - Exaggeration and misrepresentation of products, services and business opportunities are all too common today as people try desperately to differentiate themselves from their competition in an over-crowded marketplace.
  4. Company Affiliations - Your success is likely to be tied to the success of a parent company. New companies are unstable and inherently risky to do business with. However, old companies tend to have insufficient momentum.
  5. Wrong Side of the Marketing Equation - Your cost per acquisition or sale exceeds the value of the sale. The more you sell, the more money you lose. Every business, even a major corporation, can find itself on the wrong side of the marketing equation.
  6. Over-Reliance on Systems - Your business depends on a system, and when that system stops working, just as systems usually do, your business also stops working. People who preach that people don’t duplicate but systems do are lying big time. Do not fall for this one! What is the truth? Please read on.

Work on Number One

You are #1. Your long term business success hinges upon your mastery of life and business skills and upon your growth as a person. Read books such as biographies, business books and books on personal development. Read blogs, watch videos and associate with successful people. You will improve your chances of succeeding in your personal life and your business endeavors.

Check Out People and Companies

Do the best you can to check people’s backgrounds. Request references.

Look up companies at the Better Business Bureau, and see if they belong to the Direct Selling Association — even though neither guarantees a company’s legitimacy!

Google people and companies alike, and don’t stop after page one or two. Keep going. Try adding in keywords such as scam, rip-off, accused, alleged, cheated, lied, stole, swindled, cheated, convicted, etc.

Limit the extent to which your success depends on people and organizations doing exactly as they say they will. Try to diversify your business so that it doesn’t collapse if a single person or company flakes or rips you off.

If you’re honest like I am, you’ll tend to place too much trust in others. Trusting people is good, but be sure to limit that trust and the damage that any single person or business can inflict on you.

Don’t Fall for Hype

Do you believe everything you hear? Then I know somebody who will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. Old New York joke, but I can assure you that the joke doesn’t date back to before 1883.

All kidding aside, there are people out there who will say just about anything to get you to buy from them or to recruit you into something.

Do your homework. Use common sense. If something sounds not quite right or too good to be true, assume that it is until you believe that you’re proven wrong.

Consider getting a second opinion from a highly knowledgeable independent third party. Don’t ask Uncle Harry, your neighbor or your accountant. Ask an expert. You will probably have to pay for the advice you get, but the time and money you can save by avoiding a scam or jumping into a business with the wrong expectations may far exceed the cost of a qualified consultant.

Old vs. New Companies

Mange your risk.

Younger people can assume more risk than older people, because they have more time to recover from setbacks. A startup business will best suit a young person. High risks, high rewards.

Older people ought to be more conservative and choose a business with a proven track record.

If you are middle aged or older, here’s another option for you. Spend part of your time and energy on a new business that’s just launching and the rest of your time and energy building something safer.

Even a young entrepreneur can use this strategy, but it does have a drawback. It’s harder to focus on two ventures than on one.

Business Analysis 101

If you’re math phobic, this one is going to be difficult, but help is available.

Your cost per acquisition should be less than the net present value of your expected future profits from the acquisition, also called the customer lifetime value.

CPA < NPV

In plain English, don’t let your cost per sale (in both time and out-of-pocket dollars) wipe out your profit. You can never make it up in volume.

If you cannot figure this one out, get help from a business analyst or a qualified accountant. You’ll have to do your part. You will need to track your sales and your expenses very carefully in order to reach a correct conclusion.

If the basic marketing equation (CPA < NPV) doesn’t balance in your favor, consider using an ethical funded proposal to fix the problem.

Sell another more profitable product or service to “get the customer in the door”. Then sell your main product, service or business opportunity to the customer on the back end.

Systems Don’t Work

Last but not least, despite all the hype about the SpiderWeb System and the Reverse Funnel, systems don’t duplicate. They don’t work for long. In the home business world these systems produce a bunch of clones that run around competing with each other. Believe me, that’s not a pretty sight.

Unfortunately people don’t duplicate either. We know this from the childhood game of Telephone. The message always gets distorted. Any person can become a weak link in the duplication process.

Now, the one thing that does duplicate…

Leadership

Leadership does duplicate. Leaders will get the job done. If more leaders are needed, they will find them.

How do you find leaders?

Be one! Leaders attract leaders.

Now It’s Your Turn

Be a leader. Write a comment.

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Larry BraunerI’m working on an in-depth business article, but I decided to take a breather to make an important announcement.

Free Social Media Marketing Training

Until now access to the Web 2.0 social media training at My Private Classroom for Marketers had been restricted to private membership. Today that has changed. My Private Classroom is now open to all absolutely free.My Private Classroom My Private Classroom is a regular Ning social networking site, and you can add me there as a friend just as you would at other social networking sites.You will learn online social networking strategy, video marketing, social bookmarking, personal development and much more.

A Word of Caution

Before you head over to My Private Classroom, I recommend that you carefully read The Darker Side of Funded Proposals. A word to the wise will hopefully be sufficient.

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Also, visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about me and my social media and web marketing services.

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Larry Brauner

Did Orovo Make a Major Blunder?
Reading Down to End of Comments is a MUST !

This is not so much a blog post about Orovo.

It’s a post about one man’s lack of personal and business integrity and how it is impacting a large number of people.

I have no strong opinions about Orovo products one way or the other. It seems to me that Orovo products have gained a lot of popularity, and based on that observation I can easily believe that Orovo’s products are effective.

It is not at all the purpose of this article to raise any questions or doubts about the Orovo product line or to imply in any way that Orovo is a scam or rip-off. I will however expose a recent decision that Orovo supposedly made which, if true, could jeopardize Orovo’s entire business.

Money Making Schemes

In a recent post I discussed how Radio Stations Tout Money Making Schemes. Hard times have forced mass media to carry advertising that was once taboo.

On July 10, 2008 in ASD Ad Surf Daily Cash Generator I exposed a popular money making scheme that has since received some much publicized and unwanted attention from the Office of the U.S. Attorney General.

 Bill Arnold

This time my focus is on one of the people behind money making schemes. I turn my attention to Bill Arnold of Network Success Builders, the man whose unscrupulous business tactics and lack of personal integrity may in time cause tremendous damage to Orovo and to Orovo’s distributors.

The Anatomy of a Scam

It sounded too good to be true.

I met Bill Arnold a while back through Direct Matches, the online social networking site. Since springtime Bill on his Network Success Builders conference calls has promised listeners the moon.

To qualify for Bill’s money making dream a new recruit was required to join Vitamark through Network Success Builders, place a 100 point initial product order, and continue to place 100 point product orders every four weeks.

In essence here is what Bill Arnold promised Network Success Builders members:

  1. A team of top InterNetwork marketers who — once Bill “flicked the switch” — would supposedly build down in Vitamark under Network Success Builders members generating massive amounts of what is commonly known as “spillover” for Network Success Builders members. The plan was to “feather the nest” with as many new recruits as possible before Bill flicked the switch.
  2. Bill had supposedly made a deal with Internet Marketing Gorillas, LLC, the inventor of the AUMMB lead generation technology, whereby Internet Marketing Gorillas would place several dozen people into Vitamark under Network Success Builders members thereby creating even more spillover. Internet Marketing Gorillas would generate free leads for all Network Success Builders members in exchange for the spillover that they too would receive as part of the money making scheme.
  3. Bill had supposedly made another deal with Peter Minglis of PM Marketing / Network Leads to supply free leads and a free contact manager to Network Success Builders members in exchange for spillover they too would receive as part of the scheme.
  4. Network Success Builders members were to receive free marketing training and free custom search-engine friendly websites — co-branded Vitamark and Network Success Builders — as part of their membership package.

If Bill had followed through on his promises, there would be scores of happy people, and I wouldn’t be writing about his callousness and about Orovo’s possible oversight. I fully believe that he had intended at the outset deliver with Vitamark, but several obstacles got in his way.

  1. Bill over promised. People who lack personal integrity tend to do that.
  2. Bill got very sick. That was sad, poor luck and poor timing. It set him back, and made it harder to deliver on his inflated promises.
  3. Bill has control problems that prevented him from accepting help from people who would have pitched in and helped.
  4. Bill’s delay, control issues, and lack of open communication alienated people whose support was essential for the project’s success.
  5. Peter Minglis’ leads turned out to be really bad just as they have pretty much always been. I had very bad experiences with Peter’s brother and with PM Marketing about five years ago which left me without any desire to give them business ever again. In recent years Peter has lent support to the Distributors Rights Association. Kudos to Peter, but I still wouldn’t give PM Marketing my business.
  6. Bill’s training is mediocre. It’s kind of like buying a defective CD, and only the first track plays. It keeps replaying over and over. I wonder what will happen once Orovo realizes this, since they’re swinging their whole organization under Bill Arnold in order to get his training.

New Round of Promises

Bill announced that he’s quitting Vitamark. Here’s what he had to say:

Vitamark has excellent management and great products. The fact is that I was in the single best position to reap the benefits of that program. I have nothing bad to say about Vitamark.

However, I am cancelling my Vitamark position. This means I am walking away from a serious income that is already generated. True revenue that was being paid out each month…. Surprised? Me Too!

The reason is simple is that Bob Gatchel and myself have been offered an opportunity that makes the Vitamark one seem anemic. ANYONE WHO JOINS ME WILL FIND THAT THIS IS THE SINGLE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO A SIX FIGURE INCOME! The Company is OROVO!

How can I be so sure, Bob Gatchel and [I] have struck a deal with the President of Orovo. In exchange for our training programs they will put in several hundred people beneath us each and every month. They will also move over existing downline and teams. For those who sign up now, by next month you will be in a positive cash flow and on your way to very serious income very quickly. OROVO has no sign up fee, just the cost of buying the monthly auto-ship.

Too good to be true?

OrovoI don’t know what will happen when Orovo discovers that Bill Arnold is a buffoon and unable to deliver the training he promised. I can’t imagine that it will be very pretty.

I also don’t know what will happen if and when Bill quits Orovo and herds people over to his next program.

Incidentally, Bill’s Vitamark exit strategy includes taking his downline’s downline with him, not just the people he personally sponsored. This form of cross recruiting is totally unethical.

When I confronted Bill on this subject, he replied:

The fact is that I sent the email to everyone in my downline with Vitamark.

Everyone on my team deserved an equal to know that I had made a material shift and why.

I am not trying to leverage anyone to anything, But offer everyone an opportunity that is a phenomenal way to quickly earn a significant income.

Pure rationalization!

Lack of personal and business integrity is a major problem in our society.

We must work on our own integrity and that of out children. We must also seek out leaders, Go-Givers and people of noble character.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions in this article are my own based on my knowledge and experience at the time of writing. They are not to be construed as fact nor taken as business advice.

You may append your views and opinions by posting a comment to this article. Please represent them as opinion rather than fact. As blog publisher I reserve the right to edit or reject any comment for any reason but assure you that I do not do so capriciously.

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Is ASD Real or Just a Scam or Ponzi Scheme?
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My May 6 post, The SpiderWeb Marketing System, garnered many readers, especially from search engines.

While I expressed some concerns over the Spider Web program, I never implied that it was a pyramid or scam. My issues with Spider were the hype, the spam and the choice of GDI as a web hosting platform for their blogs. It was the spam over at Direct Matches, one of my favorite social networking sites, that first grabbed my attention.

A recent unexpected development however has dramatically hurt the growth of the Spider Web just as it was starting to gain steam. The SpiderWeb Marketing System is facing some serious competition from a program that may be little more than the latest money scheme and perhaps the next 12 Daily Pro.

Andy Bowdoin Launches ASD at ASDCashGenerator.com

The get-rich-quick crowd has welcomed the new ASD Ad Surf Daily Cash Generator with open arms. With oil prices moving up and real estate prices moving down who wouldn’t want to make a quick buck?

If you could spend a few hours a week viewing ads and make a load of money without having to recruit a single person, wouldn’t you at least want to check it out? I know I would.

So yours truly put on his business analyst hat, transfered $30 to his Alert Pay account, and gave that money over to ASD so that he could report back to you first hand with the inside story.

Here’s the story. You decide for yourself whether ASD is the real deal, another scam or something in-between.

The ASD Business Proposition

ASD purports to sell website traffic and to rebate a percentage of the sale price to qualified members. The rebate percentage is currently set at 125%, and amount tied in to new sales volume and subject change in the future. To qualify, members log on and surf 24 sites of other members daily for 125 days.

My Evaluation Criteria

My research and analysis of ASD Ad Surf Daily Cash Generator focused on answering some important questions.

ASD claims to be in the business of selling website traffic. Is their advertising a reasonable value at the price asked, or would it sell only to people hoping to make money from the ASD rebate scheme?

ASD shares revenue from new business by paying rebates. Can ASD sustain itself without continually recruiting new members? Can rebates adequately compensate members for the use of their funds, their time and for the associated risks?

Traffic Exchange Visits

Website visits provided by traffic exchange schemes are very much untargeted and incentivized. Moreover, such visitors are typically multi-tasking while plodding their way through the required website rotation.

I want to be generous rather than conservative in my assessment. If you could make a perfect match between the ASD viewing membership and your target websites, each visit to your sites might be worth as much as a nickel. While it’s likely to be less, let’s tentatively assess the value of a page visit as $0.05.

ASD charges $1.00 per page visit. There is a large 20-to-one discrepancy between price and value. If you can find me somebody who’s genuinely prepared to spend a dollar for one traffic exchange site visit, put us in touch. I have a bridge I’d like to show him.

Seriously, nobody in his right mind would pay more than pennies for a traffic exchange visitor.

I have to conclude that members are paying ASD for the privellege of making money from rebates or recruiting — and not for website visits. It appears that ASD is in the money business and not in the advertsing business.

If government authorities reach a similar conclusion, they could rule that ASD handles investments and is threrfore subject to the purview of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC). Such a ruling would not be favorable in the least for ASD nor for ASD’s membership.

Sustainability

In a video Andy Bowdoin explains that, unlike 12 Daily Pro, ASD doesn’t make payments to members at a fixed rate, and that it may not continue to make payments in the future. I appreciate that Andy was up front in raising the possibility that ASD as we know it today may not be sustainable long-term.

Andy’s disclaimer may allow ASD to comply with anti-pyramid statutes today and to bow out in the future if new sales ever decline sharply.

ROI Return on Investment

Whether money paid to ASD legally constitutes an investment or not, I’m not competent to decide.

However, to qualify for rebates members need to surf through a rotation of 24 sites each day. Given the slow speed of ASD’s site and frequent hiccups, it takes about three hours per week to run their Cash Generator.

How much is three hours of your time weekly worth to you? $50? $100? More?

If you’re buying rebates, not advertising, you need to figure the value of your time. The amount of rebates you will earn relative to the value of the time you spend determines whether or not ASD is profitable for you.

Your profit threshold will probably not be the same as mine. It might be higher, or it might be lower.

Just as an example, let’s suppose that you would like to earn $35 per hour, and any benefit you get from your advertising you’ll accept, and consider it gravy.

Math-phobics may skip this part if absolutely necessary.

You consider the possibility of purchasing 500 units for $500. Each day you receive $5 which is one percent of the principal.

$4 of the $5 is recovery of principal, not profit. 125 days times $4 equals your original $500.

$1 of the $5 is your daily profit, so each week your earn $7.

You want to earn $105 or three-hours times $35. You’ll need to invest 15 times as much or $7,500.

Invest $7,500 and do the required surfing. You’ll earn $105 profit per week.

Invest less, you’ll earn less.

If you don’t have much money, you won’t make much. If you do, you probably have better things to do with it and prefer not to devote a month per year of productive time to this type of risky project.

Risk Management

Yes, there’s definitely a considerable risk factor. I’m not going to call Ad Surf Daily Cash Generator a scam, but I’m telling you… It is risky.

You might not recover your $7,500 or earn the 25% bonus of $1,875.

You have to account for risk and plan for it — if you can. You can try Lloyd’s of London if you need help.

Sure everybody’s making money now. Some are making tons of money, but will ASD last indefinitely?

Perhaps not.

Every gambler who makes money at Las Vegas faces the same dilemma: cash out or let it ride.

There were many people who made big money at 12 Daily Pro and many other high yield income programs (HYIP’s) that circled the globe a couple of years ago.

And there were people who lost. Some of them lost a lot.

A Few Quirks

Like most other growing sites ASDCashGenerator.com can be very slow. They’re upgrading their servers, but their upgrades will soon need upgrades. You’ll have to be patient.

It can take days for your payment to show up in their system. Perhaps some things are done manually. Submit a support ticket and be patient.

I created a unique e-mail address just for ASD and received an unsolicited business offer from a woman oversees sent to that address a couple of days after registering. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that my sponsor exposed my address when sending a group e-mail.

I requested to buy 30 units of advertising but received only 28. I guess they took $2 as a processing fee.

A Major Fallacy

I hear people explaining that they already made their money back, and that they’re playing with profit as if the profit isn’t their own money.

You can take your profit and do something for yourself or your family. It definitely is your money just as much as your original principal was. If you throw it away, you’re throwing away your money, not ASD’s or anybody else’s.

It Boils Down to Using Common Sense

You don’t have to be a top business analyst to figure these kinds of things out.

My Private ClassroomIf you get down to the basics and avoid the hype, you can make excellent business decisions. As my mentor Diane Hochman, founder of My Private Classroom, says, “Use your common sense.”

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History Repeating Itself
Reading Down to the End of the Comments is a MUST !

Pay It Forward for Profits, a quasi downline club pretending to be a funded proposal, collapsed last year. I hoped people would learn a lesson from it.

Members were funneled into marginal programs such as GDI and Empowerism for the sake of the income streams they provided — and perhaps too because the Pay It Forward founders had a prior interest in those programs. Members had sought to promote their primary businesses when joining PIF4P, but that idea typically got lost in the shuffle.

My Private ClassroomAs Diane Hochman used to teach in My Private Classroom webinars, marketing systems are simply not sustainable. They implode once a large enough number of users adopt or tout the system.

Rather than develop or teach systems and shortcuts, Diane Hochman and I teach key leadership skills and offer excellent social media marketing training.

After all, isn’t it better to invest a few months to develop strong marketing and communication skills that will serve us a lifetime than to invest the same effort in a system that might make us a few fast bucks if we’re lucky?

It’s not good to rely solely on a marketing system to build a business, but when the system itself is the product, as was the case with Pay It Forward for Profits, then the ultimate end comes quickly, usually within a year or two, and the program is completely wiped out.

Unfortunately most people don’t learn. They blame their result on bad luck or external circumstances and jump on one of the next bandwagons to come along.

As Alexander Pope said, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” and new marketing schemes appear every week.

Caution Recommended

What’s astonishing about The Spiderweb Marketing System is how closely it resembles Pay It Forward. When I signed up and looked inside, I could hardly believe my eyes. There was GDI front and center, just as it was in PIF4P.

That’s where the automated blogs are set up. Global Domains is the first paid component of this free system.

Hmm. Did I just say that?

I guess the system isn’t free. Users buy overpriced web services for $10 per month from GDI in order to use The SpiderWeb Marketing System.

When you get to the Direct Matches* sign up, you really can sign up for free. However, if you do, you won’t be able to implement the Direct Matches piece of the traffic system — better pay another $10 per month for that. I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here.

Ever hear of bait-and-switch?

Sorry. Let’s call it upsell.

There are multiple income streams — some pretty good. And there’s no made-up story about funded proposals like with Pay It Forward for Profits — also good. However, I wish they were up front about the cost. Spider Web is not a free system.

Many people will join Spider looking for multiple streams of income, but instead they’ll find themselves saddled down with multiple streams of outgo.

Oh, there is one other thing. In addition to clogging the Direct Matches MyMail system with spammy messages, The SpiderWeb Marketing System is a proponent and proliferator of automated blogs.

An automated blog is a system generated blog. The system creates the blog and pumps posts into the blogosphere faster than you can say “global warming”.

I just though of a name for this new phenomenon, it’s a blog infestation.

Okay. Needs some work. Give me some time. I’ll think of a better one.

All kidding aside, I can’t understand why somebody would want to spend hours spamming members at Direct Matches and Yuwie while polluting the blogosphere on auto-pilot.

There’s a moral issue too which I hope to discuss in detail in a future post. For now, consider this. When somebody visits a blog, they assume that it’s the journal of a real live person — not the fiction of a computer program. How can this type of impersonation be right?

Kimball Roundy, creator of the Spider System, has given us something interesting to watch. We’ll get to see how Google and the other search engines cope with his quasi-blogs and how visitors react to them as well. We’ll also get to see if automated blogs are really scalable and if a substantial numbers of people actually make money with them.

Meanwhile please be careful. If you see a low hanging spider web, duck!

Speaking of ducks, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck. I wish we could still say that about a blog. ;-)

*Direct Matches happens to be one of my favorite social networking sites. Too bad it’s going to be overrun yet again with spammers. I was so relieved when Pay It Forward fell by the wayside. Now I’ll have to put up with another wave of spamming for a year or so until The Spider Web Marketing System runs its course.

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