Between my personal blog and that of Content Factory, we’ve gotten about 23,000 hits in the last 24 hours. The TechCrunch Effect is when TechCrunch covers your site, typically on launch day, and brings it down from massive traffic. And you often generate media buzz, with many companies then being acquired.
Fortunately, we didn’t go down– as we were prepared in advance for the 100k-300k hits that sometimes strike from a TechCrunch post.
The article drew 315 comments so far– polarized between mudslingers and applauders, with the applauders slightly winning. Let’s talk about what these folks were saying, bucketing responses into generalized categories:
- Hooray for exposing the spammers.
- What? Do you mean that Acai Berry doesn’t work and that it isn’t free?
- When is the next article in the series coming out?
- Ads are not spam– there’s a sucker born every minute.
- Stop outing what I do– I’m trying to make money spamming.
- Dennis and his BlitzMetrics crew have the cooties and can pound sand (that’s not what they actually said, but you can insert your favorite personal insults in there).
What these people are saying also says a lot about them. Let’s start with the vocal minority. There are affiliate marketers who feel the need to defend the flag of affiliate marketing. Remember back in 1999 when David Howard used the word “niggardly” to describe a stingy budget package? Jesse Jackson and prominent members of the black community were up in arms, citing racial slurs. This fellow was crucified over the ignorance of others– since niggardly means small and stingy. No racial overtones, though it’s similar to another word.
My TechCrunch post was about the ecosystem of ad networks, Facebook, advertisers, and app developers– how Facebook has been striving to shut down deceptive ads (it’s the whack-a-mole game), and how virtual currency can perpetuate this behavior. It ends with a positive note on how local advertisers and brands would come on the scene and squeeze the current affiliates out.
Is all affiliate marketing bad? No, since an affiliate is anyone promoting an offer that isn’t theirs. Look at the e-commerce offers on Commission Junction and LinkShare. Those are products we can be proud of. Same with promoting local businesses. If you’re helping small businesses with their Internet marketing, you’re a local affiliate marketer.
The folks who are complaining– are we ruining their livelihood? No, since the article is written from the viewpoint of someone running an ad network. There aren’t that many of us. But it’s interesting to see folks complaining about a view they don’t even understand– they’re not even the subject of the article. You might as well boo if your favorite pro football team loses– though you had nothing to do with their winning or losing, as just a faceless spectator.
Hence, a niggardly response– one that exposes children playing schoolyard games and attacks from the shadows. There is one thing about arguing in Internet forums. If you stoop to their level, you’re no better than them.
For those who want to post a thoughtful response, feel free to write one using complete sentences and proper grammar– then email it to me and I may post it. Or call up Michael Arrington and tell him you have a counterpoint. Or post your response directly in the article comments– then see what everyone else thinks.
I knew when posting the article that some affiliate marketers would be offended. But I also knew that this would help solidify BlitzMetrics’s position as a Facebook advertising agency. The number of media inquiries and large brands in the last 24 hours has been amazing.
A number of folks are also inquiring about joining the BlitzMetrics team– I’d welcome anyone that wants to make a decent living serving real businesses, as opposed to pushing Russian brides ads. It might not be as much money as spam, but it’s an honest living and one that is in an area of growing importance.
I’m grateful for the good folks that I get to work with and friends like James Hong who gave encouragement, as well as Facebook themselves.