Exclusive First Look At SocialSpark, Formerly PayPerPost, A "Social Network" For Advertisers & Publishers | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Exclusive First Look At SocialSpark, Formerly PayPerPost, A “Social Network” For Advertisers & Publishers

I just got a private first-look at the new Izea system (PayPerPost) from Ted Murphy himself at his Postiecon event (where I’m speaking shortly, full disclosure). I was asked not to print the entire press release, so here’s what I can tell you.

It’s called SocialSpark (which now forwards to PayPerPost.com so don’t bother looking). Click image for bigger version.

What Is SocialSpark?
So what is it? Well, it’s a “social network” for advertisers and publishers (bloggers). Wait, wait, wait… Who wants another social network, right? I don’t either, and that’s what I said to Ted. SocialSpark is different. From what I can see, you don’t join to make friends… you join to meet advertisers. So it’s essentially a matchmaking network for the blogger and the advertisers. I guess a super, fancy marketplace, no? That was my first impression.

Now, you’re in the network, and you put their code in your blog and now advertisers (who are also in the network) can browse your blogs and pitch you on advertising their goods/services. They can name a price, and you can decide to accept it or not. The ads are in the form of pop-up, layered interstitials, and “paid to post” blog entries.

Whoa! It’s just like PayPerPost, lame, right? That’s what I said. It’s not. A few things Ted told me.

1. Every link in your post is nofollow.
2. You are required to put a disclosure badge… in the post… or you don’t get paid.

An Alexa Killer?
On another note, Ted showed me something called “realrank”. Which is essentially the stats your blog gets in the network that can be seen by anyone else in the network. I took this as something like an Alexa ranking. Ted said bloggers in the network will eventually have little traffic widgets they can put on their blog to “show off” their realrank. An Alexa killer that we all finally wanted? Maybe.

Open Source
Looks like third-party developers will have access to an api to do with what they want, which can only be a good thing?

What Will Happen To PayPerPost? Will It Die?
I asked Ted frankly if PayPerPost is going to die and fade away, and he would not commit to that. However, it’s my opinion that that is his intent down the road. He used the negative press for a year to drive the company’s growth, then smartly changed the name to Izea, and is now launching a new brand under the umbrella. I see no reason why PayPerPost will live on, do you?

Summary
I’m trying to think of reasons why SocialSpark will suck, but I can’t yet. I mean, I’m really trying to shoot the business model down but so far all of my red flags are gone. Of course, we’ll have to wait to see it in live action to judge it, and I know the bloggers will. :) Ted said it doesn’t go live until Jan, 2008.

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