Larry Brauner

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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Larry Brauner

History Repeating Itself
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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.

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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