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Monday, July 26, 2010

How to Piss Off Your Internet Marketing List Members

It's bad enough getting spammed with offers every 3 days, but one of the most insulting and lowest tactics used in an attempt to get people to open emails is to put something in the subject title like,
  • A Paypal Payment Has Been Made

Let's see, Charles Mutrie, Phil Mutrie, Matt Bacak, Gary Baker, you're all doing this. It's deceptive. It worsens the work field for the rest of us who really DO have something useful to share with readers. Put your talents to use, if you have them, and come up with a catchy email headline that's HONEST and COMPELLING.

What kinds of email subject headings are you getting that are deceptive, insulting and objectionable?

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Change to Ebay Policy

This stuff usually sneaks up on people so I'm posting it here... nothing overtly controversial but when you end up having your Paypal funds held and don't know why... now you'll know why.

Updates to the eBay User AgreementDear samfreedom,I'm writing to let you know that the eBay User Agreement has been updated to support policy and other changes. The updated Agreement is effective immediately for new members, and on September 7, 2010, for current members.There are two key updates to the User Agreement:

Provisions have been added regarding eBay Buyer Protection. If a seller changes his or her reimbursement method for eBay Buyer Protection cases from PayPal to a new one, the new method will only be effective for transactions not yet paid for, and for future transactions. In addition, eBay may correct payment processing errors made in connection with an eBay Buyer Protection Claim. Please refer to the eBay Buyer Protection policy for the full terms.

Clarification is included about instances where seller funds may be held as pending in their PayPal accounts. eBay has at times requested, and may continue to request, that PayPal hold seller funds to help facilitate smooth transactions. eBay will make such requests based upon factors including, but not limited to, selling history, seller performance, riskiness of the listing category, or the filing of an eBay Buyer Protection claim. PayPal may also hold funds pursuant to their own Funds Availability Policy. As with earlier updates, other changes have been made to keep the User Agreement up-to-date with our product and service offerings.You don't need to take any further action to accept the new eBay User Agreement. If you choose not to accept the new terms, visit this help page for further direction.Thank you for being a part of the eBay community.

Braden Dong
Senior Counsel
eBay, Inc.

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TWITTER SUCKS - Technical Follow Limits, Hooray!!

Twitter sucks. No, I understand, all too perfectly well how so many twitterers suck it up like crackheads and hyper-focus their attention on the bazillions of tweets rolling by... in lieu of a social life, but Twitter, as in "it's management", sucks.... BIG TIME!

As always, instead of growing a set and making an example out of spammers in a court of law, then publicizing it, they let those handful of bad apples spoil things for everyone. So, instead of taking a little bit of their pot money and holding the CULPRITS' feet to the fire, Twitter is now placing TECHNICAL FOLLOW LIMITS on every account. In other words, I can't follow people any more because of some f*cked up ration that they arbitrarily decided to come up with and impose on everyone.

This is like creating gun laws to prohibit criminials when criminals don't even get the guns legally anyways! And, they'll always find a way to get guns no matter what. So, in the case of Twitter, you have NO IDEA what the formula is that puts you in "NO MORE FOLLOWING" land.


So, I just wanted to perform a little test, knowing full well the results ahead of time, and I unfollowed some poor guy, "IPlusMarketing" (go follow him just to make up for this), and Twitter wouldn't even allow me to follow him immediately after. So, be careful of whom you unfollow because it's not like Facebook where you can add a friend back after a dispute. If you're a hostage to Twitter's technical follow limits, and you unfollow someone, it's "Bon Voyage, Mate!" until god knows when.

As far as I'm concerned, Twitter, this was like bringing an aircraft carrier to a knife fight.

Get rid of technical follow limits, and find a way to properly punish, ward off, scare the OFFENDERS and not your LOYAL *FOLLOWERS*!!

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

plugin-container.exe: Mozilla vs Macromedia vs Adobe vs Your Mother

In case you haven't heard yet, there's a pesky little Firefox plugin by the name of plugin-container.exe that has bajillions of former Mozilla fanatics screaming bloody murder! The common complaint is that plugin-container.exe is hogging up massive resources for reasons no one seems to know. It all began with Mozilla's release of Firefox 3.6.4, so many an exasperated victim has sought refuge by rolling back to Mozilla's previous version Firefox 3.6.3 which Mozilla forum mods say does not use the plugin-container.exe file.

But that's a very risky proposition, other afflicted users chime in. They say that Firefox 3.6.4 also contains some security updates which would not only be wiped out by a rollback to 3.6.3, but would never get updated ever again as long as the user remained with 3.6.3, so... what is the solution (see if the second post in this thread works)?

Well, first, just what is this plugin-container.exe supposed to do anyways? Despite the occasional scream that someone's firewall has mysteriously disappeared, the vast majority of Firefox users seem to agree that plugin-container.exe is not malware, so if you've been incapacitated by it, rest easy as far as that goes. What Mozilla support forum moderators have been saying is that plugin-container.exe was meant to isolate certain things which had a history of causing Firefox to crash -- most notably, Flash, Quicktime and Silverlight -- so that if they crashed, they wouldn't take the whole Firefox browser down with them for that session.

Well, it either ain't working, or it's working so damn well that users can't even watch anything anymore that uses those programs. Many users, for example, seem to experience trouble when visiting Youtube (though it's not limited to that).

So, Mozilla continues to say its not their problem and suggests users check with the makers of the plugins. And whilst the problem DID appear with the advent of plugin-container.exe, Mozilla support could be right. There might very well be something in those other programs that had been causing Firefox to crash. And the plugin-container.exe crash protection might just be doing its job so well that something in it might be locking up during Flash play before flash can cause its problem.

And that leads us to the thing that Mozilla's support needs to understand. Even if they are TECHNICALLY not at fault, it appears that whatever problem their plugin-container.exe "solution" was intended to solve was FAR more tolerable BEFORE plugin-container.exe than it has been AFTER.

So, Mozilla, instead of blaming everyone and denying it's your fault, either get rid of plugin-container.exe or make it OPTIONAL so those of us with some hair on our chest and balls can get back to living life on the edge with a couple of youtube-induced browser crashes.

Oh look... here comes one no... (darkness)

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Rip-Off Report: You Will Donate $5 to Fiverr for $5

It all started with my first article, " We Will Rip You Off for $5!".

In it, I explained how "the latest rage", has a payout requirement that is virtually impossible for every merchant to reach. I also wrote 2 more articles after it, and this will be the fourth. In a nutshell, merchants must make a min of 8 sales ($40), in order to be able to withdraw their money. Now, that's bad enough, because that means....


Those who don't make ANY sales won't lose any money to Fiverr but they'll still be TRYING to make 8 sales. So, everyone is trying to make 8 sales while all the ads from the newest merchants (read: no sales yet), will be forcing down the ads by the earlier merchants (read: 0-7 sales).

Keep in mind, if you are fortunate enough to make, for example, $55, and cash out, well, currently, it just starts over again. You have to make ANOTHER 8 sales in order to get paid (if that changes, please notify me in the comments). Along with all those NEW merchants, AND along with all those who cashed out and have to make ANOTHER 8 sales.

So, Here Are Some Comments I Received

1. Fiverr is great, IF you know what you're doing.

I never said a person couldn't make money. And, I never said a person couldn't make a LOT of money. But, when you step back and look at Fiverr from a more comprehensive view, you can easily see that a LOT of people are going to be leaving a LOT of money in Fiverr's wallet. And, though they say merchants can't withdraw until $40, they don't specify a deadline... so, does that EVER become Fiverr's money? And, if so, at what point?

2. People should read the TOS. It is their own fault.

Rubbish. That is the mantra of a ponzi scheme. And, while I'm not saying Fiverr is a ponzi scheme, I AM saying that it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE for everyone who makes 1 sale to make 7 more. Theoretically, maybe... in reality, no way. Even if people had the attention, and foresight, to read a boring, lengthy TOS to find the payout requirements, Fiverr's payout requirements would still be virtually impossible for the whole of the merchant community.

3. It's no different than Google's Adsense program that has a $100 payout minimum.

Au contraire mon frere... (on the contrary), Google Adsense is passive income. Granted there's an initial setup of your website and maybe a little promotion but, otherwise, you can be on the beach in Maui while your website is passively earning income from 1000s of people who don't have to spend a dime to click on your ads.

But, with Fiverr, merchants have to PERFORM a SERVICE... and, in order to get paid by Fiverr, they've got to perform a service EIGHT times. And, that's if they are even FOUND 8 times. After all, there are many new merchants every day and their ad is forcing earlier vendors ads down the line as THEY try to make 8 sales.

So, unlike Adsense merchants who can sit on their behind with unlimited websites being found by millions/billions of people who don't have to spend any money to trigger a PPC ad, Fiverr merchants are in a constant struggle with newcomers for 8 BUYERS, while their ads all age and fall to the bottom of the list.

Conclusion about Fiverr

Whether one thinks Fiverr sucks, or Fiverr rocks, is irrelevant. And, I can't say that the owner(s) of Fiverr intended for their payout requirements to be virtually impossible for all merchants and to result in what, in my opinion, could likely result in an "unjust enrichment" violation of law. But, what I CAN say is that it is unethical to have such payment requirements and, in the very least, they should be IMMEDIATELY visible the moment a merchant initiates a public offering.

As for all those who have gushed and praised Fiverr: In your lemming-like zeal, you have, potentially, sent countless others over the cliff. That's right. While it might not be a lot of money, you have potentially wasted a lot of other peoples' time sending them to such a venture. But, I don't stand in judgment of you. I think it's a pitfall that is part of the learning process. But, do understand, it happened because you think like a consumer... a blogger who gives free advertising for businesses in the wish to become popular... as opposed to a marketer who just happens to also blog.
You are the former, I am the latter.

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Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hey, Internet Marketers, Need Some Quick Cash?

Ok, so, keeping in mind that you have a hard drive full of programs and software for which you've paid a small ransom, the money's just not yet coming in, is it? Or, is it?!

Well, if you're in the former "or is it?" category, and you're in need of some quick cash, have a look at WalletPop's, "25 (Unusual) Ways To Make Quick Money", then leave a comment below and let me know which one(s) you'd actually consider!

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is Fiverr.Com Breaking a Law?

Ok, as per the screenshot on the left, never mind the fact that Fiverr has allowed some pretty racy offers to appear in their listings. Isn't sending some a picture of your hoo-hah considered "adult" in nature? There's kids on Fiverr, chrissake...

But, putting that aside for the moment, my big issue with Fiverr, as of late, has been the fact that they don't make it unavoidably clear to potential merchants that their payout requirements are nearly impossible for the bulk of merchants to achieve. And, gauging by the countless articles from people extolling the great, clever virtues of Fiverr, it seems as if I'm the only one who's spotted this so far.

In my 2nd Fiverr article, "Using Fiverr Can Make You A Loserr - Solution Enclosed", I presented a possible solution for what I discovered was Fiverr's virtually IMPOSSIBLE payout requirement ($40 = 8 Sales). The reason it's virtually impossible is because everyone has to make 8 sales to get paid. And while they are trying to make those 8 sales, their offer sinks to the bottom of the list as countless other new arrivals throw their hat in the ring as a Fiverr merchant.

Now, if a merchant doesn't make even one sale, that's one thing. However, the moment they make their first sale, THEIR $5 from the service that THEY performed, is retained by Fiverr until the merchant reaches the payout minimum of $40. It doesn't matter that most newcomers to this marketing phenomenon won't even know anything about a Terms of Service, prompting "realists" to say, "Hey, it's caveat emptor, you know, buyer beware." What matters is that along with nearly impossible payout requirements and an ever-growing number of new merchants, Fiverr is going to end up "unjustly enriched" by the WORK OF OTHERS.

In other words, in a very passive, and quiet, way, Fiverr makes it VERY easy, and VERY likely, that many, if not most, merchants, will leave some of THEIR earnings behind. In fact, it's SO easy, and SO likely, that many, if not MOST, Fiverr merchants will end up leaving THEIR rightfully earned money in the hands of Fiverr, that it would seem to fall under the legal heading of "Unjust Enrichment." Here is a section about it from Wikipedia:

At common law, a claim based on unjust enrichment can be submitted to five stages of analysis. These can be summarized in the form of the following questions:

  1. Was the defendant enriched?
  2. Was the enrichment at the expense of the claimant?
  3. Was the enrichment unjust?
  4. Does the defendant have a defense?
  5. What remedies are available to the claimant?
QUESTION 1: Do you think whoever is behind Fiverr actually anticipated this? Or, do you think they meant well but only realized it afterwards and aren't yet willing to change it?

QUESTION 2: As per the Wikipedia article, *wrong-doing* does not need to be proven in order for there to be a case for being unjustly enriched (by their merchants good faith efforts). Do you think, therefore, that Fiverr would be found guilty of unjust enrichment?

In your opinion, professional or not, what do YOU think the solution to all this should be? Should Fiverr be penalized? And will you link to this article (or tweet it), as a service to help protect others, just like yourself, avoid such a problem?

If so, thank you. So, your thoughts?

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Using Fiverr Can Make You a Loserr - Solution Enclosed

I wouldn't go so far as to say Fiverr did this intentionally but, by now, those who've read my previous blog post, "Fiverr: We Will Rip You Off for $5!!", understand that getting paid by, for most people, will be nearly IMPOSSIBLE.

Before I present my solution to Fiverr's problem, I want to say that if it was unintentional, then it is forgivable, but only if they rectify it. And, for those who still don't grasp the enormity of this problem, here is one more go at it in a short, point-by-point explanation.
  1. Merchants (you, and 1000s of others) sign up to perform like a pack mule for $5 per event;
  2. You make a sale (yay!), and only THEN do you find out that you must have a $40 balance to withdraw;
  3. You attempt to make 7 more sales to reach the $40 payout minimum;
  4. Those "1000s of others" are trying to make their 1st-8th sales, too.
  5. Whoops, 1000s of more people are signing up because you, and others, are raving about the coolness of (I'll explain this phenomenon in a moment);
  6. Now many MORE 1000s are trying to make their first sale, while MANY 1000s are STILL trying to make 7 more sales in order to reach Fiverr's payout requirement;
  7. Meanwhile, more people are signing up each day and your offer slips slowly away into the depths of the Fiverr ad abyss.
  8. Return to point 4 forever and pray you reach $40 or you get none of it.
Ok, First, What Fuels This?

Most of the merchants on Fiverr are not skilled marketers. They have some kind of TALENT but it is not in marketing. So when something like arrives on the scene, these talented individuals (mixed with a small percentage of clowns trying to exploit the opportunity) eagerly dive in hoping to get some exposure, and/or junior-league bragging rights to their friends.

Because they are not marketers, they tell EVERYONE about how cool Fiverr is and, guess what? By telling everyone, they just increased their competition ten-fold. It's a good bet that many of the people who visit fiverr are going there because they want to see what cool things they can get for $5 - period, so ANY exposure they give Fiverr waters down the opportunity for them.

So, unwittingly, this mix of talented people, and their clownish counterparts, increase their competition and further erode any possibility of reaching a payout minimum.

So, What's the Solution, Sam?

It's rather simple, actually. Since Fiverr takes $1 from every sale you make (something else that isn't readily apparent before you join as a merchant), it adds up to Fiverr keeping 1 out of every 5 sales you make. With the money they have made so far, it should be no problem for them to develop a script that pays Fiverr for the first of every 5 sales you make. Fiverr gets paid directly for the first, then YOUR paypal address should be rotated in for the next 4 sales.... rinse, repeat.

Is there a possible risk that the merchant could take a few sales and not come through? Sure, however...
  1. That's a risk that FIVERR should shoulder, or solve, rather than coming up with a payout requirement that's going to leave most merchants with 1-7 sales, uncompensated for their work;
  2. The disgruntled buyer can request a paypal chargeback. No legitimate paypal user wants that nonsense on their paypal account;
  3. If a merchant gets X complaints of non-performance, Fiverr simply removes them.
But, the burden should not be on the merchant. Otherwise, what you will find is something that might already be happening -- sensing they will never reach 8 sales, some merchants might decide not to finish an order they started.

Please, someone, tell me how most of the people who make a sale on Fiverr aren't going to end up a Loserr?

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fiverr: We Will Rip You Off for $5!

At first, Fiverr seemed like a pretty good idea. For a mere $5, you can take advantage of someone's desperate need to make $5 and/or get some publicity, and they will do whatever it is they say they'll do for it. I kinda liked the idea... like a five dollar bargain basement.

So far, I've got a cartoon drawing underway and got some fashion tips... cost? $5 each. Cool.

Then I threw my hat in the ring and offered some info for $5. And wow! A week later, someone ordered! Cool, I was gonna make FIVE DOLLARS!! I was really liking fiverr...


until, just after completing my first sale, replied with,

"Minimum withdraw sum: $40 of Cleared funds

You need additional $40 to withdraw"

I'll tell you this, Fiverr might slip that news into an obvious place NOW, but until now, it was nowhere easily found. So, the fact is, they stand to make a LOT of money from people who make less than 8 sales... and with a ton of incompetent jamokes out there trying to sell everything but the kitchen sink for $5, it's gonna be virtually impossible for every person who makes 1 sale to make 7 more.


That means the odds are they'll get to keep $5-$35 belonging to YOU!

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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