Posts Tagged ‘nuffnang’

Disclosure coming of age – Kudos Nuffnang!

Just read a good CNBC article titled Bloggers: Asia’s Next Generation of Product Endorsers. Some highlights from Nielsen’s 2nd quarter Global Consumer Report:

  • Over 60% of Asian consumers (compared to 43% globally) use social media – including social networking sites and blogs to help them make purchase decisions
  • 6% of Asian consumers identified “influential bloggers” as one of their top 3 trusted sources when making a purchasing decision (compared to only 1% of North Americans and 2% of Europeans)
  • In China, lots of new foreign brands are flooding the market, and customers have not formed brand loyalty yet, so influence helps
  • Nuffnang’s company revenue grew nearly 250% this year, netting them about SGD$10 million, according to co-founder Cheo Ming Sheng
  • Blogs popular with advertisers (on Nuffnang at least): women’s blog, focusing on families, with food and tech blogs coming in at a close second

“When you write an advertorial (online), there (must be) full disclosure that it’s an advertorial,” says Cheo. “It’s the same as an advertorial in a magazine or newspaper.”

Right on Cheo Ming Sheng. Good work Nuffnang. Bloggers, be clear, make sure you disclose clearly what an Advertorial is (newspapers and magazines clearly mark ADVERTORIALs). This will ensure that readers and the audience trust you (and trusting you grows trust in the advertising network too). And you do not mislead the audience (after all, with great power comes great responsibility).

Contrast this to the Nuffnang attitude two years ago (see: The Real Story behind Maxis Broadband). I sincerely believe that Nuffnang is having a coming of age and are realising that non-disclosure (see: Advertising & PR, Bloggers & Integrity: Making Money, While Being Honest which was a very popular talk at BarCampKL April 2009), click fraud, etc. is bad. I also believe that this is a natural progression as more and more people understand blogs, social media, and the social nature of the Internet. Largely in part due to traditional agencies playing an active role in this space. Oh, and let’s not forget metrics.

So kudos to you Nuffnang. May you set a good example for the rest of your competitors in this space. And all the best in expanding to new markets!

ChurpChurp: Nuffnang’s new Twitter offering

I’ve written about Nuffnang in the past, but today, I will focus on their new service ChurpChurp. This is Nuffnang’s latest foray into the advertising space – they’re into Twitter advertising. All Singapore and Malaysian Twitter users, this is something you should read about and understand.

This isn’t new

Twitter advertising has been around for about a year, with the first service that launched, being Magpie. This is similar to what ChurpChurp is – it identifies campaigns, matches them, and will then automatically tweet them for you (visually, how it works).

Magpie allows you to pre-approve all magpie-tweets before it goes out there an automatically posts them. Its not clear if this is just an option or something that happens all the time – auto-posting at random seems more interesting eh?

Magpie has a tweet average – once every ten tweets – by default. You can change the ratio (to once every 200 tweets too, it seems). Magpie supports disclosure, via a customised disclaimer, so you can have a hashtag to say it is sponsored. You can read this and more in their FAQ.

Disclosure is encouraged even via IZEA (the people that mass marketed sponsored conversations). They also have Sponsored Tweets, a yet to be launched service.

And in quick Googling, I also found RevTwt.


Register Twitter « ChurpChurp A quick view of ChurpChurp, without signing up (the last thing I want is my followers to be spammed). The registration page is most interesting, considering they use your age, race and religion potentially, for targeting purposes. They quite blatantly state: “Although optional, depending on the country you are in, we may use race and/or religion to target sponsored posts.”.

Register Twitter « ChurpChurp But Nuffnang has always shone because they err on the side of fun – they associate themselves with alcohol and possibly tobacco (I can’t remember a recent tobacco related campaign) related companies, and its no different on ChurpChurp. Imagine following funny-man Kenny Sia, and he tweets something like:

Just had a smoke. The menthol feels so good, you should definitely give it a try #churp2

But that’s a matter for another day. Alcohol related advertisements are rife in the Malaysian blogosphere, and I can almost guarantee that all readers aren’t of the legal drinking age.

How does ChurpChurp work? Two ways: automated insertions, or via customised insertions with just the appropriate keyword and link. The automated insertions might be easy to figure out, but the customised insertions with just a keyword, and potentially a different shortened URL (for tracking purposes, quite naturally)? Without disclosure, this could potentially be great for advertisers, and in fact, unsuspecting Twitter users will fall prey to ads too. I should make mention that ChurpChurp does support disclosure.

ChurpChurp has an FAQ for Twitterer’s as well as one for advertisers. There’s an interesting list of items that ChurpChurp will not advertise for.

ChurpChurp has defaults – up to 10 ads per week – but this can be customised. You can cash out after earning RM100/SGD100, and I wonder if the rates for the “chosen ones” go up higher enabling them to cash out faster? Or are “chosen ones” really chosen based on Twitter follower count? Remember, if chosen ones are based on follower count, it changes quite rapidly, as and when Twitter decides to clean out spam accounts.

Does this work?

Magpie has been around for a while and seems to not be going anywhere. In fact, I even follow one Magpie advertiser, @WoNoJo. He tells me that he’s just experimenting with Magpie, and I find his other tweets have more value, so I still listen to what he has to say.

That may seem like a blatant “OK” to this ChurpChurp idea, but it isn’t. Remember, you are enabling Churpers, and you can stop by just unfollowing them.

Duncan Riley over at The Inquisitr, has published a telling piece on how he used Magpie and what he thinks about it in: In-Stream Twitter Advertising: Does It Work?. All potential ChurpChurp advertisers should be reading this.

I’m following someone who’s Churp-polluting my stream. What can I do?

If you value his/her tweets, tell them via an @reply that you do not like it. Direct message them if they follow you.

Alternatively, you can always unfollow them.

However, if you feel strongly about this, feel free to drop a direct message to the @spam account on Twitter. Gareth tells me in a comment that its best to direct message the @spam account on Twitter, so as not to mistake your account as a spam account too.

I’m thinking of joining ChurpChurp, should I?

Well, quite simply, you should not. But the promise of earning money is there, right? Just ask yourself: do you want to alienate your followers?

Also, please look at Twitter’s terms of service – #8 states You must not create or submit unwanted email to any Twitter members (“Spam”)..

Anything else?

I invite you to share your comments about ChurpChurp in the comments section. On Twitter, it seemed like most people weren’t too thrilled with Nuffnang polluting the Twitterverse, but it was only a matter of time after they had polluted the blogosphere.

Update: Thanks to Gareth for telling me in comment #1 that its best to direct message and not @reply the spam account on Twitter.

On the mobile data business, and iPhones

It always makes me smile when I see headlines like this: iPhone can boost mobile data business: Maxis. Lets decompose the article. (And yes, the answer is still that you shouldn’t buy a Maxis iPhone 3G.)

“We are seeing exponential potential in mobile data growth. With the launch of iPhone, I think it will strengthen Maxis’ competitiveness,” chief marketing officer Matthew Willsher said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

What it means: Lots of people like mobile data. New phones practically demand it, otherwise you might as well buy a cheap as chips phone, that only makes and receives phone calls, and has a non-colour screen. The chief marketing officer continues to say that the iPhone will “strengthen Maxis’ competitiveness”, which means that they will get more mobile data subscribers yes. But they will all complain at the lacking quality of service. Its fine and dandy that there is a 3.5G network, but if each cell can only take a certain capacity (in terms of bandwidth), what happens in areas where things are oversubscribed?

So far, more than 1,000 units of iPhones have been booked and Willsher said the initial booking numbers have “exceeded expectations”. However, the company did not want to reveal its actual booking numbers.

What it means: There are over a thousand idiots (some tell me its mostly Maxis staff and partners, since Maxis provides hefty staff discounts) who purchased the phone. This after the announcement that there is to be an iPhone OS 3 sometime really soon, and the heavy, mostly accurate speculation that there will be a new iPhone coming out sometime in June. It also seems that Caller ID doesn’t work out of the box and will require Maxis to update the software themselves (how true is this, I have no idea). But the chief marketing officer is right, 1,000 units being booked and snapped up, really does exceed expectations — I expected Malaysians to be a lot that valued their money a lot more.

Industry sources revealed that Maxis may have ordered as many as 150,000 units of iPhone 3G, as part of the conditions to bring the phone into the country. Willsher also declined to comment on this.

What it means: Wow. 150,000 units of a product that is to become obsolete within the next few months? Especially noting that it may not be exclusive to Maxis?

What’s the appeal of the iPhone? The AppStore. The iTunes Music Store. Not being able to have the music store seems like a big boo-boo towards Apple/Maxis.

And just in case you made it this far, read Jeff Ooi’s rather satirical piece Cut Maxis from broadband, please! When it works, its usually a breeze — when it doesn’t, its mighty annoying. Sadly, its usually not working… i.e. probably lacking capacity.

So Maxis’ mobile data business will be boosted – chances are lots of people are locked in for a year or two, and even if the service sucks, paying the penalty of quitting early, will probably derail most folk. Let’s see how they flog off the remaining 149,000 units in the next few months ;-)
(and no, no amount of advertising on blogs [I’m looking at you Nuffnang], and getting funny man Kenny Sia to write about it will help – read the comments, it seems at least his readers are smart!)