October 25, 2010

Why So Loverly is leaving Nuffnang & How clients and agencies should treat bloggers

It seemed like such a good idea. A local advertising service catering to the blogging community, bringing unity and credibility to the medium. Unfortunately, Nuffnang has proven to be manipulative, disrespectful to the community and frankly rather clueless of the value and power of the blogging medium.

As such So Loverly has removed all Nuffnang ads and will be forfeiting the money we have made on it in protest against such treatment. 

This really isn't about the amounts of money we've made. It's entirely possible that if So Loverly had stooped to slightly less ethical blogging practices we could have made considerably more. Here are our reasons, based on my personal experience as a professional journalist, backed by my co-bloggers:

1. Nuffnang inherently disrespects the blogging community. By attempting to run competitions instead of campaigns - pitting one blogger against another and by attempting to ban bloggers from dealing with other social media advertisers, Nuffnang is ignoring the media's inherent value. The truth is Nuffnang would not exist without bloggers whereas we'd happily go on blogging without them.. They need to learn their place.

2. Nuffnang attempts to monopolise bloggers. Recently, Nuffnang created their "Glitterati Plus" group. To belong to it bloggers must, among other things, attend about 50% of all Nuffnang events and attend and post exclusively on Nuffnang events and advertisers. This is ridiculously deluded. The onus is on Nuffnang to create events and campaigns so compelling that bloggers WANT to be at their events. This is how the media is supposed to work. Please don't let them continue with this delusion. 

3. Nuffnang dangles events as prizes and payment. Media events are money-making for the organisers and provide the sponsor with publicity. Dangling it as a prize or payment is like awarding work for work. How ridiculous is that? If I win the event as a prize I should not have to blog about it. Instead they are making money both ways. They run competitions and get paid, award an event they are presumably PAID to organise as a prize, and then reap the benefits of bloggers blogging about the event. Also, competitions pay them better than campaigns as not all participants are compensated. 

4. Nuffnang assumes all Malaysian bloggers are ignorant and teenagers. Not only by the practices listed above but the promotional ideas they forward. For example, the Vaseline "Are You Moist Enough?" blogger competition which had bloggers writing "the best post" answering if they were "moist enough". Who thought this up? A bunch of horny teenagers? Not to mention the ridiculous prize - the Vaseline Are You Moist Enough Party (after which, Nuffnang tweeted that "all ther staffs are moist" [sic]). Frankly, it's the job of professional media to attend these things and we're paid to do so - it certainly isn't doled out as a "prize". 

5. Nuffnang treats foreign bloggers with more respect. If you read online, they treat Australian bloggers with considerably more respect than local ones which, when you consider that Nuffnang is Malaysian, is a crying shame. 

6. Nuffnang is advertorial heavy. Advertorials are really not what blogs are about. Being paid to say something is good undermines the value of blogs as word-of-mouth opinion. If So Loverly ever accepted money to say a product was good, when we didn't think so, would you ever trust us again? So Loverly has never accepted money, products or services to voice an opinion we didn't believe. Giving us a free product or service to try merely gives us the chance to try something we might not have otherwise and will usually guarantee an HONEST review. (Edited from "Nuffnang wants us to lie to you" as I felt that was more sensationalist than fair. I don't think advertorials are ethically wrong if disclosed. I do feel they are a strategic mistake however).

These statements are opinion and perhaps not fact. But I have tried to be fair and balanced in my evaluation of this social media advertising service. Do read it through and make your own decision. 

So how should companies and agencies deal with bloggers? Here are 10 pieces of advice on handling Bloggers for brands, PR and media agencies:
1. Treat us with the same respect you treat professional / mainstream media.

2. If you want us to write about an event, make the event worth writing about. Believe me, we enjoy what we do or we wouldn't be doing it so when something great happens, we're bursting to share. Make something great happen.

3. Freebies and review products are not the same thing. A free gift is a GIFT and I am entitled to do whatever I wish with it. A product for review however, if accepted, promises a review after a full and fair evaluation of the product. (edit: That means giving us enough time to test the product)

4. If you want a review written in any particular fashion disclose it first before sending the product for the blogger to accept or reject. 

5. Why are bad reviews good for you? Because not only is it valuable market data, it prevents girls who the product would not work for from trying it and thus damaging your brand image with them. The girls on So Loverly, and many beauty bloggers disclose our skintypes for a reason. And if a product fails to work for us we try to discern why and recommend it for other skintypes. Your brand value will actually strengthen with honest and fair reviews. 

6. Be honest and don't attempt to use us. 

7. Choose your blogs wisely. I am the last to say that all blogs are created equal. Each one is unique and appeals to different demographics. Read a few posts to learn if this is the blog for you. 

8. Don't expect miracles. Getting your product or service reviewed by us is like having someone tell a thousand friends about a personal experience. Whether they trust us or not entirely depends on the individual. We're not a silver bullet. 

9. Please don't treat us like we're idiots or children. All the bloggers on So Loverly are highly educated professionals. Same goes for the circle of beauty bloggers we hang out with. Dangling a goody bag as a prize for a review, asking us to stick products down our cleavage, or assuming we don't know basic chemistry or dermatology is insulting.

10. Be human. Social media is about people. Bloggers are people, our readers are people and this is your chance as a brand to also be a person. Don't waste this chance by attempting to be a faceless product. Talk to us and then listen.

I will be happy to talk to anyone about the opinions voiced here. Do leave a comment or send us an email!

Love,
Kahani

Edit (05/11/2010): So how should marketing on blogs be done? Read this post for examples.

72 comments:

ZF said...

Yo Kahani,
Totally agree with you on nuffnang. i really loathe seeing all the product reviews by all the gliterrati bloggers as if it was 'scripted'. then u kept on reading and can't help saying this to yourself 'argghh, not again?!!'. in the end u were left wondering whether the product really works or not (especially beauty product). coz when it's all scripted, it sounded really fake.

kudos for the good write!

Tine said...

I hear you, woman. I removed all affiliations with Nuffnang about a couple of years ago. Nuffnang Australia seems to be very "happening" of late, but I want no part of it. I highly agree with #5. Not only are Australian bloggers treated with more respect, but Australian angmoh bloggers. More often than not, if you have an Australian blogger who was from Malaysia, you'll still be treated as "Malaysian". Talk about making us feel like second class citizens out of our own country.

Oh, and that Glitterati group thing is just total B.S. Don't even get me started on that "Are You Moist Enough" rubbish.

Connie De Alwis said...

Extremely well-written! But I a bit shy cuz I is not highly educated professional :P But I'm lucky enough to be hanging out with a bunch that are!
Nuffnang is pure rubbish. I cashed out and of course, because I've recently been demoted, I have to wait twice the amount of time to get the money I've accumulated over the years because priority goes to the Glitterati. I'd forfeit the money but it's quite enough for a shopping spree so fine, I'll wait.
Haha, I see advertlets on So Loverly now! Maybe I just didn't notice them before. Are they better?

octopus said...

yeah, Nuffnang seems like a huge club for the 'elite' bloggers, in other words, the celebrity bloggers. people like Kenny Sia and the likes used to blog sincerely entertaining material before the advertising storm took over, which totally puts me off reading their material.

i'm glad you are upholding your integrity. i follow other beauty blogs, but i do drop by your space occasionally. and hat's off to you girls because i salute your bravery in voicing this out.

unfortunately, youths are the most easily deluded by glittering carrots held in front of them, so i'm sad to say perhaps Nuffnang's influence is still pretty pervasive at the moment... i mean, their events are all lights, cameras, actions, and a lot of naive young girls can't wait to just throw themselves into this sort of limelight.

anyway, good luck and good job girls. :)

Kahani said...

Thanks for the support ladies! Interestingly enough, So Loverly was "Glitterati" before I killed the account (or tried to, anyone know how to actually delete the damn thing? I've sent in an email requesting it be done). Had no idea it was any special privilege, everything they offered was just... meh.

I've only JUST switched over to Advertlets after rooming with Hanie at a media event. She's a prominent blogger who now works with them. They're non exclusive and she, at least, gets the community. Just gonna give them a try first. :)

slowbrogal said...

This is extremely a good piece of article. I do agree with you in all points. Nuffnang had successfully manipulated most of the bloggers to write down post more towards advertising than their own sincerity opinions just for the sake of winning a competition and prize.

Anyway, I love how to write about this. You're done a very good job.

Eli said...

Good on you for writing this. These are things others and Nuffnang should wisen up on.

We aren't blonde bimbo bloggers. We are thinking, intelligent consumers who blog.

xin said...

kahani, i couldn't have agreed more with every single thing you wrote! ditched it already. i guess i am better off without anythng.

❤ Ee Von said...

Oh my... I guess I've been too ignorant about the current blogosphere except for beauty blogs! Heard of the Glitterati thingie but never bothered to find out what's it all about. events as prizes?! treating foreign bloggers with more respect?!! n i thought scripted advertorials are all that's conquering the blogging scene especially bloggers who were once my favourites before they got too 'engaged' with nuffnang, singing fake praises.

i'll take my hats off for you for such a great, honest post, at least i know there're still REAL bloggers out here.

Kimberly Low said...

I salute & respect your decision to be a 100% review blog without any pay but that is your decision. however, many bloggers especially ones with strong traffic do look at their blogs as advertising real estate. Personally I do not find anything wrong in doing so. There is a reason why blogs have traffic or not, it's all about whether the blogger himself or herself is able to balance paid posts and ordinary posts.

Advertorials are hugely encouraged to be disclosed as so and Nuffnang has never in my history with them, asked me not to disclose anything.

As for your concern in dilution of opinions, perhaps you have mistaken advertorials with reviews. They are different. Yes, there have been instances of paid reviews but nobody has been stopped to criticise a product if it's shit. Use a less cut throat tone, now that has of course happened.

I have to say, this post doesn't seem to be just taking shots at Nuffnang but also the good bloggers who trust the network. I am 26, a professional, a Nuffnang blogger and had the opportunity to write an advertorial for the Vaseline Are You Moist. It was one of the funnest assignment I've ever done, thanks to the tongue in chic humour. The campaign is also successful and was participated by people of all ages, the event was tastefully done, so what is the wrong in that? Because of the phrase "Are you Moist?"....don't you think it is a matter of subjective taste level here? To generalise the entire community into horny youths is rather severe. How about there are also many family oriented events and campaigns all this while. Don't they count for nothing?

As for special treatment for foreigners, I wish you could give more examples. NN Australia, which is a different management altogether has its own way of caring for its bloggers. It is separate from NN Malaysia. And it is not a coincidence that many Australian bloggers are foreign.

Lastly, I am frankly rather offended by your 6th point. You are essentially saying all Nuffnang bloggers are liars. Well, I'm sorry, but I'm not a liar and I don't lie in my advertorials. I think I speak for many Nuffnang bloggers as well. Sure there are some bloggers who may go to the extent of lying for money, there are also bloggers in the beauty blogging community who would lie for some free product samples. But ultimately, it's down to the blogger's own upbringing.

For me, Nuffnang has done nothing but good for me as a blogger who wishes to monetise my blog without all the hassle and complexity in dealing directly with an advertiser. I don't think I'm a bimbo, child or an idiot.

beetrice said...

(Side note to Kim - #6 in Kahani's post was directed at brands, PR and media agencies, not the bloggers themselves. Of course there ARE bloggers that lie, but that's a whole different can of worms.)

Well written, Kahani. I had (well, for now still have) ‘Glitterati' status on Nuffnang, but am seriously considering pulling out as I don't see the benefits of remaining on this network.

The Vaseline "Are You Moist?" campaign was just a disappointment and paled in comparison to all their other campaigns run internationally. For one, I felt it catered only to a certain type of bloggers, and just created the wrong image for Vaseline overall. I mean, if they had been trying to promote Durex’s surveys it would have been fine, but there’s a time and place for everything and having an ‘Are You Moist’ campaign for a brand I had previously considered classy just killed my enthusiasm for it altogether.

As for advertising, I’m not above having advertising on my sites, but as there are multiple advertising networks out there, the onus is on these networks to make it attractive enough for me to remain loyal to one network, and not to tie me down to a network that has a lot of limiting terms and conditions, yet doesn’t help me in any way. We wouldn’t settle for this in relationships, so why should it be any different for this?

Of course, this is my own view on it and others may not see it the same way. However, I for one would like to see how Nuffnang addresses the points you've made in your post.

Kimberly Low said...

Bee: kahani's title of 6th point is that "Nuffnang Wants Us to Lie to You". Doesn't that imply that bloggers in Nuffnang are currently lying to their audience?

The Vaseline campaign was a collaborative effort, so the advertising agency and Vaseline itself is also answerable. I personally think it's a fun & great campaign. But again, what about this campaign makes Nuffnang such a bane?

I really don't see anything wrong with the exclusivity. All ad networks worth their salt do it, some with even stricter criteria: Google, Blog Her, etc. The companies who don't are just casting a wider net because they can't keep their bloggers on the basis of substance. It is a business decision as well as a natural way to reward their supportive bloggers.

Steph said...

Hi Kahani. Just wondering, is this a general observation or did Nuffnang actually do some of the things to you personally?

I myself don't believe in blogging about an event just to get an invite into said event. Like you, I believe that if your event is good and worth mentioning, then I will blog about it.

Kahani said...

Thanks for the support ladies, feel free to add your own opinion,

Kim: Hey girl I respect you and I understand where you're coming from. I did look at this and think "What if I'm insulting the bloggers who do participate?" which is not my intention. I'm not even interested at slagging off at Nuffnang. But I feel they are killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Do you realise that Vaseline has been trying to move AWAY from its lubricant image? How does this help them? And yes it got coverage and so on, but is it the kind that's beneficial to the brand? They've also done amazing work in other countries with social media, why is ours so juvenile?

Exclusivity only exists in the blogging world honestly - simply because they feel they can do it. Name me one media agency that's attempted to tell The Star (for example) they can ONLY get ads through them and their clients?

Perhaps "nuffnang wants us to lie to you" was taking poetic license - as I've never said 'yes' to the proposed campaigns that's just my take on it. I will edit it to read "Nuffnang is advertorial heavy" and note the editorial change. Thanks for pointing it out.

I was thinking that there are bloggers who appear to be promoting products they've barely tested or just highlighting them to gain favour and it undermines the credibility of more ethical bloggers like yourself. That nuffnang encourages this behaviour rather than negates it is counterproductive and hence the "wants us to lie to you" Implication. You're right though, it is rather strong and I'm amending it now.

Finally I'm very much aware of the distinction between advertorials and reviews. Believe me. I just don't think they're the way to go, disclosed or not unless they are crazy well-written and have intrinsic value.

Thanks for posting your thoughts. Nuffnang has indicated they will be responding and I will republish their response here just to cover all sides.

Kahani said...

Eevon: That's my point with the advertorials. Not that they're morally wrong but they're a strategic mistake. Too many similar writeups, no point reading, and diluting the bloggers' true value and appeal. Some bloggers DO stand out, but it takes a lot of extra work.

Kahani said...

Hi Steph: Some are personal, some are based on research and some are based on behind-the-scenes observation of the industry - from the adman's point of view so to speak.

toughcookie said...

i always love the way you write your analysis on serious matters like this. i agree with you on many of your points but i have not taken out nuffnang from my blog because i get very little from them anyway and very little is still better than nothing. i do get involve every once in awhile but not to the extent of getting upgraded to their latest glitterati plus level. but yeah... there are so many valid points in here that I wouldn't have been able to put forth as well as you did. good job!

rinnah said...

Such a well written post! I hadn't given much ordered thought to this whole issue before, but I found myself reading the post and agreeing with many of your points.

I think it is rather unfortunate that the blogging community overall (yes, I'm generalizing here) in Malaysia has yet to reach this sort of maturity because many of the youngsters are attracted to the events and contests that Nuffnang runs. Can't really expect them (the bloggers) to come up with much more than that, really.

Having said that, that also shouldn't mean that once Nuffnang has hit on a 'winning formula' so to speak, they should keep on hammering at it. I used to like Nuffnang better in their old days, before they came up with stuff like the 'Moist' campaign which was a major turn-off for me. The quality of the bloggers blogging about Vaseline was simply not there and the type of blogposts coming out I found to be rather tacky, IMO. Certainly it did not do anything to enhance my impression of Vaseline as a brand I would trust/use nor of Nuffnang's credibility in the blogging community.

Just my two sens worth of opinion. :)

Connie De Alwis said...

It's expected that your post will offend those who are very much attached with Nuffnang. Kim's not a bimbo for sure and I can understand her defensiveness. After all, she has benefited well from Nuffnang without having to do what she didn't want to do. That's good for her. Nuffnang treats THEIR people well, I suppose but what the elites perhaps do not realize is that for the rest of us who are less enthusiastic about blogging about every single thing that's thrown to us simply because they're less than relevant to our niche blogs, we are lumped aside with the "desperates" which is really not what we are. There's a distinction between popular lifestyle bloggers and us, niche beauty bloggers. The problem lies with Nuffnang treating the non-elites like second class citizens that have to grovel at their feet to get their supposed perks.

Why should we be loyal to advertisers? advertisers pay us to advertise. why should we be advertising exclusively and excessively for them just to get more money? It's like telling me to dedicate my blog to just one brand so that I can get more free stuff for that one brand.

I've been glitterati for almost 3 years and the money, while substantial, is really nothing to shout about compared to what I've been getting from my US advertisers. They are clean, most pay upfront and don't punish me for not being loyal. They may request to have a more prominent spot which is fair if they're offering me a higher price. Sorry, but I prefer positive reinforcements rather than negative ones. That's how I think of Nuffnang with their approach.

One can be a popular and distinguished blogger so why can't one stand on its own rather than be called a "nuffnang blogger"? Why should one be "owned" by an advertiser?

If money plays a bigger role than publicizing your words, it defeats the essential purpose of blogging. Most of us start to blog because we have something to share. It's only a perk that we generate some income or enjoy special treatments as a recognition of our opinions as well as the effort we put it. There's nothing wrong with making money from your blog. It supports the hobby, if anything. If it wasn't for my advertisement revenue, I wouldn't have the money as a jobless student to spend USD100 on my website layout so that my readers can navigate my site easier. The perks support what I do and I'm grateful for that but I don't need to be yearning and begging for them.

Connie De Alwis said...

But it all boils down to whose blogger you end up being. Your own blogger writing for no one else but yourself or Nuffnang's blogger. If one's comfortable with their position with Nuffnang, there's nothing wrong with that. But should nuffnang be threatening bloggers to stay loyal? Come on, it's not hard to figure that out. Very simple, I've been "loyal" for the past 2.5 years and because I decided to take on a competitor advertiser, I now have been punished to wait twice the time for my money. So not cool lah weh. Analogy: Eg. I've been a loyal Clarins user and suddenly I decided to try Kiehl's and Clarins tells me that because I became disloyal, I have to wait twice the time to redeem my points. Again, what's with the negative reinforcement? If you're dependent on Nuffnang, you'll feel the pinch, get scared and run back to Nuffnang. Quite obvious that's what they're attempting at. If you're not, screw Nuffnang! Fine, I'll wait 60 days and when I get my money I'm outta here! Hey, if I don't cash out now suddenly Nuffnang starts to punish me by deducting 1% of my earning for each day that I'm not loyal to them. Very plausible lor.

Being a beauty blogger, I don't dream to be a famous money-making machine. There's not enough market share for me to conquer la. I only have beauty on my side. I won't divert and thus I know I'll never achieve THAT kind of "fame" level and I'm perfectly fine with that. In the end, I am my own blogger and my blog belongs to no one but me.

Note: It's OBVIOUS what nuffnang was trying to get at with their Vaseline moist campaign la. From the type-written snickering in their introduction e-mail as if most of us already corrupt-minded people won't catch on. Very well that the campaign was done "tactfully" and I was quite impressed with the chosen winner but doesn't change the fact that the tagline was concocted with basis of sexual thoughts. Fine, if you're NARS and you wanna name your blush Orgasm and Deep Throat. Very amusing! But that's the image the brand wants to portray. I'm all for it. But Vaseline already has a classic timeless image on their side and looking at the brand on its own, I doubt it's trying to steer from that. Imagine asking my grandma if she's "moist enough" O_O her response would probably be "hit menopause already la. where got moist some more?". Just like how my grandma would use a blush called "Desert Rose" and not "Deep Throat"

Kahani: Sorry for FLOODING your comment box. I got carried away! I'll shut up now

Steph said...

Wow Connie, you said perfectly what was on my mind all this time! Great job!

And as for the Vaseline campaign, all it did was to remind me of all those dirty jokes about using Vaseline as a lubricant when getting "naughty". Body moisturiser was the last thing I thought about.

Kahani said...

Whoa Connie, I suggest when you cash out and decide to leave Nuffnang, to repost this on your blog. Very well written dear!

I realise I didn't get a few more points across in my writeup (mostly because it was getting crazy long). They have to learn that not all publicity is the right kind, that we don't owe our popularity to them - they owe their revenue to the popularity we have generated through our content. And that a hundred advertorials all spouting the same thing results in everyone getting bored of blogs.

Toughcookie: Good for you girl, knowing what you want! This post is the reasons why I don't want to be affiliated with nuffnang, but it doesn't mean that no one should. I just want to nudge them to do a better job. ;)

FeeQ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica Tan said...

I beg ur pardon?
"If So Loverly ever accepted money to say a product was good, when we didn't think so, would you ever trust us again?"

Then dont accept. Simple. If you dont want to LIE to ur audience bcos u honestly dont like the product, then dont accept the product and decline the review.

"I don't think advertorials are ethically wrong if disclosed."
Nuffnang strongly encourages every of their bloggers to disclose that the advertorial is a sponsored post and even encourages us to put a disclaimer.

Just some facts, i'd like to clarify from what I know and have experienced with them. I believe Nuffnang can explain for the most of it, should they come across this blogpost of yours :)

Cheers and have a nice day!
(delete the previous comment pls, i accidentally used my other nickname meant for other things. thanks babe)

Anonymous said...

I think its important to point out that Kimberly Low is working on Public Relations for Nuffnang, and is not speaking as just a blogger.

http://www.kimkomm.com/

(Look at the list of clients)

FeeQ said...

Hi babes, u have a nice post.

Somehow in ur blog post, I agree with some of ur point and some of it I do not have any comment.

I drop by a comment in ur blog post as someone who neutral in blogging industry. Maybe what I say is not good enough since I just a small potato in the blogging world.

To be honest I have a lot of good friends that belongs to Advertlets and Nuffnang.

Just want to make it fair where maybe u can add something on ur blog post where suggest to Nuffnang what they can do.

If u read my previous blog post b4, I tried to educate people what is social media is all about. I know that I just new in social media and I believe that rather we start continue with politic, it is better we think something that blogger can do in order blogger can united. Rather than keep create an enemy.

Regardless u are Nuffnang or Advertlets Blogger, lets we take the 1st step to change people mind. Start forget about brandscist.

-peace-

Kahani said...

Hi Anon: Thanks for pointing that out. But from the personal tone I'm inclined to think she's speaking as a blogger too.

Jess Tan: Yep have deleted your earlier comment as you requested.
I honestly don't think advertorials are of any value unless they are purely informative and contain no opinion forming. Any opinion expressed, even if its true, is not-credible. Of course the option is we don't accept but an ad agency that is advertorial heavy and isn't offering much in the way of alternatives, is therefore one you should leave. Agreed? =)

FeeQ: It's because I want bloggers to be credible and to be a strong community that I feel they shouldn't allow themselves to be used like this. And that an agency who makes its living on bloggers should be supporting the community's crediblity, not undermining it.

Vin Tsen Gan said...

Well, I have to admit that you did put forward some pretty substantive arguments. With all due respect, I am opining based on my past personal dealings and relationship with Nuffnang.

I joined Nuffnang in 2008 and have been with them ever since. I've participated in various screenings and events not because Nuffnang dangled it in front of my very nose; but because I wanted to. Truthfully, Nuffnang did not in any way enticed bloggers to write for them in exchange for event's invitation as a trophy. It was us, bloggers, who "competed" for it on our own will. We were the ones who WANTED to attend events and took on our own initiative to script a post willingly in exchange for invitations.

As for the take promotional ideas, I guess it was just part of their marketing strategy and they were being cheezy in their promotion. It's not wrong actually to be cheezy, it is in fact a form of creativity. Like the Vaseline slogan - Are You Moist Enough. It's a matter of how one interprets in. You see, it is a simple statement with only 4 words and no further elaboration, how can you conspicuously assume that it was thought up by some horny teenagers? It was open for discretion, and if you've decided to interpret it in light of negativity, it's not Nuffnang's fault, really.

Just like the rather popular 'potong' campaign by P1 some time back. Does it imply that this crusade was thought up by some religion fanatics who heavily advocate on circumcision? Again, it's how one actually sees it. You can't go around blaming the creator of a propaganda because you have decided to construe it in a different meaning and leading yourself to a state of misguidance.

Advertorials is just another form of paid advertisement. Of course, when you are advertising something, you have to publicize it as positive as plausible. You have to shower it with compliments and commendation, as if it's the second best thing on Earth after light-bulbs. You're not suppose to condemn your subject of advertisement, or in this case, advertorial. Just like those clothing detergents' TV commercials who exaggerate on their fantabulous "power of cleaning", you will inevitably tell yourself, can it REALLY clean my clothes that well?

I assume that you're trying to relate it with 'review', which is ultimately a different thing. You can have your own say and opinions in a review because you not committed to any party. But in an advertorial, you have to write in accordance to the advertiser's request and guidelines, because you are being remunerated for doing so. Your post is the advertisement. And if you do not like having someone dictating you on what to write on your blog, you are more than free to decline the offer to write that advertorial. Because, once again, it is an advertisement and not a review.

Well, I'm just offering my viewpoint and have no slightest thoughts of malice against you. I enjoy your writing style and hope my little difference of opinion here will not lead to an eternal hatred subjected to me from you.

Cheers. :)

Vin Tsen Gan said...

Well, I have to admit that you did put forward some pretty substantive arguments. With all due respect, I am opining based on my past personal dealings and relationship with Nuffnang.

I joined Nuffnang in 2008 and have been with them ever since. I've participated in various screenings and events not because Nuffnang dangled it in front of my very nose; but because I wanted to. Truthfully, Nuffnang did not in any way enticed bloggers to write for them in exchange for event's invitation as a trophy. It was us, bloggers, who "competed" for it on our own will. We were the ones who WANTED to attend events and took on our own initiative to script a post willingly in exchange for invitations.

As for the take promotional ideas, I guess it was just part of their marketing strategy and they were being cheezy in their promotion. It's not wrong actually to be cheezy, it is in fact a form of creativity. Like the Vaseline slogan - Are You Moist Enough. It's a matter of how one interprets in. You see, it is a simple statement with only 4 words and no further elaboration, how can you conspicuously assume that it was thought up by some horny teenagers? It was open for discretion, and if you've decided to interpret it in light of negativity, it's not Nuffnang's fault, really.

Just like the rather popular 'potong' campaign by P1 some time back. Does it imply that this crusade was thought up by some religion fanatics who heavily advocate on circumcision? Again, it's how one actually sees it. You can't go around blaming the creator of a propaganda because you have decided to construe it in a different meaning and leading yourself to a state of misguidance.

Advertorials is just another form of paid advertisement. Of course, when you are advertising something, you have to publicize it as positive as plausible. You have to shower it with compliments and commendation, as if it's the second best thing on Earth after light-bulbs. You're not suppose to condemn your subject of advertisement, or in this case, advertorial. Just like those clothing detergents' TV commercials who exaggerate on their fantabulous "power of cleaning", you will inevitably tell yourself, can it REALLY clean my clothes that well?

I assume that you're trying to relate it with 'review', which is ultimately a different thing. You can have your own say and opinions in a review because you not committed to any party. But in an advertorial, you have to write in accordance to the advertiser's request and guidelines, because you are being remunerated for doing so. Your post is the advertisement. And if you do not like having someone dictating you on what to write on your blog, you are more than free to decline the offer to write that advertorial. Because, once again, it is an advertisement and not a review.

Well, I'm just offering my viewpoint and have no slightest thoughts of malice against you. I enjoy your writing style and hope my little difference of opinion here will not lead to an eternal hatred subjected to me from you.

Cheers. :)

Vin Tsen Gan said...

Well, I have to admit that you did put forward some pretty substantive arguments. With all due respect, I am opining based on my past personal dealings and relationship with Nuffnang.

I joined Nuffnang in 2008 and have been with them ever since. I've participated in various screenings and events not because Nuffnang dangled it in front of my very nose; but because I wanted to. Truthfully, Nuffnang did not in any way enticed bloggers to write for them in exchange for event's invitation as a trophy. It was us, bloggers, who "competed" for it on our own will. We were the ones who WANTED to attend events and took on our own initiative to script a post willingly in exchange for invitations.

As for the take promotional ideas, I guess it was just part of their marketing strategy and they were being cheezy in their promotion. It's not wrong actually to be cheezy, it is in fact a form of creativity. Like the Vaseline slogan - Are You Moist Enough. It's a matter of how one interprets in. You see, it is a simple statement with only 4 words and no further elaboration, how can you conspicuously assume that it was thought up by some horny teenagers? It was open for discretion, and if you've decided to interpret it in light of negativity, it's not Nuffnang's fault, really.

Just like the rather popular 'potong' campaign by P1 some time back. Does it imply that this crusade was thought up by some religion fanatics who heavily advocate on circumcision? Again, it's how one actually sees it. You can't go around blaming the creator of a propaganda because you have decided to construe it in a different meaning and leading yourself to a state of misguidance.

Vin Tsen Gan said...

Advertorials is just another form of paid advertisement. Of course, when you are advertising something, you have to publicize it as positive as plausible. You have to shower it with compliments and commendation, as if it's the second best thing on Earth after light-bulbs. You're not suppose to condemn your subject of advertisement, or in this case, advertorial. Just like those clothing detergents' TV commercials who exaggerate on their fantabulous "power of cleaning", you will inevitably tell yourself, can it REALLY clean my clothes that well?

I assume that you're trying to relate it with 'review', which is ultimately a different thing. You can have your own say and opinions in a review because you not committed to any party. But in an advertorial, you have to write in accordance to the advertiser's request and guidelines, because you are being remunerated for doing so. Your post is the advertisement. And if you do not like having someone dictating you on what to write on your blog, you are more than free to decline the offer to write that advertorial. Because, once again, it is an advertisement and not a review.

Well, I'm just offering my viewpoint and have no slightest thoughts of malice against you. I enjoy your writing style and hope my little difference of opinion here will not lead to an eternal hatred subjected to me from you.

Cheers. :)

p.s. I apologise for the long-winded comment, or should I call it essay. Really really sorry about it.

Kenny Ng said...

That's why I canceled and left all advertising services. I'm just an unknown blogger and will not get anything from them.

andy said...

thanks for this entry, well written. i shared it with my twitter followers as well. :)

http://twitter.com/andytelasai/status/29329439069

§pinzer said...

I thought I'd never be one to leave a comment that will put myself in a disadvantage that I'm clearly in now, one which tells me I have to go "exclusive" to either network in order to "succeed" together with either of them. This is made harder by the fact that I dearly love some of the people who belong and work in both sides of the blogging advertising industry.

However this article has allowed me to think that there are many such as I who believe in self-value, among others, and that it was time to make your stand. While I do not necessarily agree with all your points, the main gist of it is in line with the thoughts I have of Nuffnang which would coin the following phrase to describe what it is today: "A company that used to thrive on the support from the blogging community but has now become one that makes us bloggers think that we OWE them everything, and that we NEED their support."

That being said, most of my views have been reflected well by Connie anyway.

After clicking the submit button I know I would regret as I can imagine friends of mine who work there, and may I add some ARE the awesomest people in the world, would not be happy with me. But here is my message to them: this is my honest opinion and all I'm asking is a reviewal of your direction moving through the years. Everybody makes mistakes, Nuffnang does, Advertlets does too, but ultimately I only blog for my own interest and feel that the contents of my blog shouldn't be dictated by anyone else other than me, hence, the objective of this comment on this post is purely targetting on Nuffnang's business policy & strategy and my decision to be non-exclusive.

Finally, I'm just worried of the spillover effect it will have on new bloggers of Malaysia. Glitterati Plus is an awesome marketing strategy for all its intent (specifically business wise), but oh I don't know, I can't help but think how it will impact the blogging community in the future both on the blogger side, and on the way others will view us bloggers. Point is, we're all still bloggers at the end of the day and perception that is caused by others may affect us eventually. Even now, I cringe whenever I have to identify myself as a blogger. How many of you do, too?

I'd like to end this long-winded comment by saying at the end of the day, all of us have our own true worth- an indication of hard work poured into our blog's content, positioning and branding. I will not allow something like advertising value to demean my blog's popularity, even if my statistics proves to show that I will never be as big as the "elites" in the industry. I choose to acknowledge recognition given by individuals or companies with credibility, not by those who HAVE to pay to me or the network because if I did, I'd fall into the trap of thinking I've made it, or am famous- only as an advertising tool. Thank you for reading, and I certainly hope I've not marked an early death in terms of financial opportunities (read advertorials) in my humble blog with my frank point of view.

§pinzer said...

I thought I'd never be one to leave a comment that will put myself in a disadvantage that I'm clearly in now, one which tells me I have to go "exclusive" to either network in order to "succeed" together with either of them. This is made harder by the fact that I dearly love some of the people who belong and work in both sides of the blogging advertising industry.

However this article has allowed me to think that there are many such as I who believe in self-value, among others, and that it was time to make your stand. While I do not necessarily agree with all your points, the main gist of it is in line with the thoughts I have of Nuffnang which would coin the following phrase to describe what it is today: "A company that used to thrive on the support from the blogging community but has now become one that makes us bloggers think that we OWE them everything, and that we NEED their support."

That being said, most of my views have been reflected well by Connie anyway.

After clicking the submit button I know I would regret as I can imagine friends of mine who work there, and may I add some ARE the awesomest people in the world, would not be happy with me. But here is my message to them: this is my honest opinion and all I'm asking is a reviewal of your direction moving through the years. Everybody makes mistakes, Nuffnang does, Advertlets does too, but ultimately I only blog for my own interest and feel that the contents of my blog shouldn't be dictated by anyone else other than me, hence, the objective of this comment on this post is purely targetting on Nuffnang's business policy & strategy and my decision to be non-exclusive.

§pinzer said...

Finally, I'm just worried of the spillover effect it will have on new bloggers of Malaysia. Glitterati Plus is an awesome marketing strategy for all its intent (specifically business wise), but oh I don't know, I can't help but think how it will impact the blogging community in the future both on the blogger side, and on the way others will view us bloggers. Point is, we're all still bloggers at the end of the day and perception that is caused by others may affect us eventually. Even now, I cringe whenever I have to identify myself as a blogger. How many of you do, too?

I'd like to end this long-winded comment by saying at the end of the day, all of us have our own true worth- an indication of hard work poured into our blog's content, positioning and branding. I will not allow something like advertising value to demean my blog's popularity, even if my statistics proves to show that I will never be as big as the "elites" in the industry. I choose to acknowledge recognition given by individuals or companies with credibility, not by those who HAVE to pay to me or the network because if I did, I'd fall into the trap of thinking I've made it, or am famous- only as an advertising tool. Thank you for reading, and I certainly hope I've not marked an early death in terms of financial opportunities (read advertorials) in my humble blog with my frank point of view.

Sherwyn Chin said...

well said. i also prefer advertlets because they are a small community that seem to treat alot of bloggers quite fairly.

I feel NN is too big of a community that they will focus more on their 'elite', as us small potatoes are just that, small potatoes.

either way, i'm still a new blogger and exploring both companies.

Cheers.

BrenKenLee.com said...

Well Written Kahani...
Agree to everything you have wrote..
I myself got leaked info from inside Nuffnang itself that nuffnang actually have a bad rep among lots of companies.

As for my opinion.. Bloggers should be all the same.. There should be no difference between us.. Nuff or Advertlets. We are STILL bloggers..

I myself was a jumper from Nuff to an Advertlet as i did not get anything from Nuff.. as like you said.. it IS concentrated on the 'famous' ones only..

Being with Advertlets have given me so much more opps and experience in 1 day then in 1 year with Nuff.. (see the difference??)

Thanks to Josh Lim for laying out the opportunities..
Vive le Bloggers! =)

P.S - Blogging is NOT about the Money..~!!!

Obefiend Weiland said...

i know im late but imma share my experience with NN

last year i decided to change advertiser from NN to Innity. Part of it because for 5 month i was in NN i was paid only RM 32.50. I think that is just pathetic

On dec last year i cashed out my payments and switch to innity. As a Glitterati member I was guarantee a payment within 30 days of issuing a check out

now..

January passed and I still didnt get my cheque

Sent an email

They told me since i no longer serve their advert on january.. they revoked by glitterati status. So I have to wait 60 days or something for the cheque to arrive on my doorstep

i said

how can you hold my cheque back? I cashed out when I was still a Glitterati member.

They still wont budge. Insist that "i broke the term and condition"

what a bunch of a holes

Ever since i switched to innity im getting between RM150-Rm400 per month for THE SAME amount of UNIQUE VISITOR to my site

So for the longest time NUFFNANG have been paying me peanuts. I am sad to see other bloggers who still uses Nuffnang. They dont know they are getting fleeced by this company

If your blog fulfill the requirement of Innity please jump ship now

you will get 5 to 7 times more than you will ever get from Nuffnang.

Nik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kahani said...

Hey there, I'd like to say upfront that this is not a nuffnang vs advertlets post. I'm aware that Josh Lim retweeted this post, as did Hanie. But please it really isn't meant to be used to support advertlets as I have no facts to either praise or criticise them. Nuffnang however, as the largest blogging network, has the power to influence and direct the blogging scene. Which is why I'm happy they're reading this and as Spinzer says, it's not personal it's business strategy that they need to reconsider.

Vin Tsen: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am actually very much aware of what constitutes an advertorial. I have been involved in the professional media for some time. And I'm just saying that an advertorial-heavy strategy is one that an agency like Nuffnang should counsel against when dealing with clients. Blogs have a different value from mass media, and this method undermines it. And regarding interpretation - if you throw something out into the mass media you MUST consider all implications. And believe me, the Potong campaign people MEANT to reference circumcision. I work in the industry and have read their campaign briefs. You're simply not allowed to blame the audience for "thinking that way". The responsibility, is with the advertiser.

Kahani said...

Kenny: I'm sorry you felt that way. Truth is, I have absolutely no problem with nuffnang offering better campaigns and more support to those with higher readership. It's simply the way the game works. It's how they USE the blogs with higher readership that bothers me.

Andy: Thanks =)

Spinzer: That was excellently written. I know that not all my opinions are "right" - they are after all, merely opinion and I don't expect everyone to agree with me. The crux, and the straw that broke this camel's back, is however that they are trying to fabricate the image that they have bloggers in their pocket and frankly, no agency should ever be allowed to assume it controls the media. Bloggers like you understand this, but there are many who don't, or (and I hope these are few) are simply eager to chase a quick buck. I believe you, like me, are speaking out not to hurt but to help. So thanks again. Nuffnang has so much potential, I wish they'd sit down and look at their goals, aims and objectives and see if it's sustainable.

Kahani said...

Sherwyn & Ken Lee: No choosing sides here please. I hope you don't work for advertlets, I'd be very unhappy. And I never said they only concentrate on the "famous" ones as a reason for leaving. I think they should do more across the board, but again, readership figures are earned and deserved.

Obefiend: Actually I believe nuffnang has a point in rewarding those most loyal to them. BUT they should NOT do it in a fashion that penalises everyone else. EVERYONE should receive excellent service and opportunities. For a few selected bloggers they choose to work with, partnership agreements can be formed. It's something the media does actually. But the approach should be more carrot than stick. I feel they are mishandling this aspect. Thanks for your recommendation. I'll ook into it. (Psst, no name calling lah)

Nik: I'm wondering if you're the Nik I know. But it's a breath of fresh air to have someone from the industry pop by. ;)

observer said...

Hi all. Just to make things clear.


Kimberly Low's boyfriend Shaolin Tiger/Gareth is a shareholder in Nuffnang.

So is KY.

Just so you all know and have the full information to keep things clear and don't get misled by her.

She is a conflict of interest due to her links to another blogger with conflict of interest.

I would not take her opinions seriously since she has a vested interest along with her boyfriend in the image of Nuffnang.

horizeon said...

I posted this at robbyaoi's comment and he did not approve it.


This is in reply to his post about nuffnang 'bettering' the blogosphere:

http://robbyaoi.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-nuffnang-changed-blogosphere.html

Don't agree with you. Nuffnang corrupted the blogosphere, along with it's competitors.

You guys created 'gangs' and splitted the blogosphere, not unite it.

There's also a serious conflict of interest issue with giving company shares to prominent bloggers and then they used that privilege secretly to promote nuffnang and bash the competitor privately.
Just because you don't publicly smother your competition doesn't mean we don't know you do it privately behind their back.

I've been observing the blogosphere since PPS days, way longer than you.

The fact of the matter is bloggers are now too commercial oriented to write anything truthful from the heart and are scared of offending advertisers/potential revenue.

The other issue is they're no longer honest because they have to write paid advertorials.

Kennysia was despised for that but now everyone's doing the same thing.

The blogosphere is dead. Thanks to both nuffnang and it's competitors.


If you're truly objective then you publish this comment.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Kahani said...

Observer: That I did not know. How'd you learn this? And thanks =)

Horizeon: You appear confused. Did you even read my post or are you just so keen to share that you're posting this at every blogpost that mentions nuffnang? I agree with you on your points, but your expression is a little strong for my taste.

Anon: Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Interesting writeup.

I didnt know that Kimberly Low's boyfriend Shaolin Tiger/Gareth is a shareholder in Nuffnang. And so is KY. Is Kenny Sia part of it too?

http://socialmediascandals.blogspot.com/

knowing said...

Full shareholder list of nuffnang(my) as listed by ssm purchased information for under 20 ringgit.

1. Netcentric (tim, ming and parents)
2. shaolin tiger/gareth
3. KY Teoh
4. Chan Lilian
5. Xes.CX cheng leong.


Now you know who are the loudest pro nuffnang bunch during the nn vs advertlets war days and why.


You NN bloggers feel the OMG now ?

:)

Stephanie / Yukaeshi said...

Just my 2 cents as I am, myself, a blogger, but my readership is extremely niche (To almost none) and I don't believe in blog advertising with that I'm writing in my blog (Personal stuff), but I don't honestly care much, since I write to pass my time mainly, as an aspiring writer.

I don't like it that the blogsphere, in general, is split up into cliques. Admit it, even beauty bloggers are cliqued. Or food bloggers. Or car enthusiasts. And then there's this obvious Nuffnang/Advertlets thing.

It seems like, though, that those commenting in support of Nuffnang, are those strongly affiliated with them.

And yes, Kimberly Low's boyfriend is Gareth aka ShaolinTiger. Kimberly Low also goes by kimberlycun (Twitter and a domain name by itself).

stephen said...

steph/yuka.


Strongly affiliated is an understatement.

They're financially vested in the company and are notorious cyber bullies against their competition!

The loudest bunch of hypocrites in the blogosphere.

They like to call themselves the Pork Gang.

They're blogger gangsters.

Anonymous said...

Lets clarify further.

CL Foong - 5%
Gereth Davies - 5%
KY - 2.5%
Chan Lilian - 2.5%
Muzaffar bin Mustapa - 2.5%
Netcentric - 82.5%

The shareholders of Nuffnang.

Joy said...

I'm so glad to finally see a blogger with credibility. I've started reading blogs just over a year ago. Initially, it was interesting reading about a stranger's experiences (with no financial incentives attached I thought at first). However, I've started to feel robbed of my time whenever I read a post that is obviously an advertorial. It's like sitting through a show only to realize you had paid to watch an ad. Only a handful of blogger have the integrity to state that it is an advertorial before the post (even foul-mouthed Xiaxue is ethical enough to do so). However, there are some (like Kimberlycun) who writes an ad as if it's an "honest amazing experience" with no indication at the beginning this is paid work. Being a naive blog reader at first, I had thought it was an non-paid review, however, I started noticing other blogs under NuffNang were ranting and raving over the same products, only then it occurred to me it was an advertorial. I'm scaling down on reading most blogs because I do not enjoy having to read a review only to realize it's in fact a paid job. These bloggers to me has lost their credibility. I'm sure most of them started off blogging as an avenue to voice their honest opinions, to avert hypocrisy, not to earn a quick buck, but for many it has turned out otherwise. Adding to that, I think some bloggers now has this perception that they are ambassadors of products, that their readers are going to use it because they are. Frankly, I do not idolize any bloggers as the reason why they are appealing to read is because they are ordinary folks,like you and me, going about their lives and sharing some interesting experiences along the way. Therefore, I will not try out a product simply because a blogger endorses it. I'd be more convinced if it was an international sports figure who first of all is more respectable because he/she had to earn his way to fame through hardwork and secondly, whose reputation is everything (well almost). I believe most sports figures would be much more careful before endorsing any product. Having said that, I'm not going to run out to buy a Gillette shaver for a male friend just because David Beckham endorses it, but certainly, these people has alot more to lose if their product has harmful effects or are of inferior quality. I wouldn't believe a word a blogger said if it was a paid review because in the blogsphere one can say almost anything they like with no legal repercussions. Reading a paid blog review is no different from seeing an ad on tv. At least, on TV I would know it's ad time and could choose not to watch it, however most blogs now deceive you into reading a post only to realize you've been conned to "watch" an ad. I somewhat believe the statement that NuffNang assumes that their Malaysian bloggers are ignorant and teenagers is true, because the effect has certainly trickled down to some their bloggers, who probably thinks we haven't realized that they get paid to rant and rave over a product judging from their repeated posts. I'm not writing off advertisements as evil as it is a way to create awareness. A non-paid review blog which generates revenue from ad banners are still credible to me.

Joy said...

I'm so glad to finally see a blogger with credibility. I've started reading blogs just over a year ago. Initially, it was interesting reading about a stranger's experiences (with no financial incentives attached I thought at first). However, I've started to feel robbed of my time whenever I read a post that is obviously an advertorial. It's like sitting through a show only to realize you had paid to watch an ad. Only a handful of blogger have the integrity to state that it is an advertorial before the post (even foul-mouthed Xiaxue is ethical enough to do so). However, there are some (like Kimberlycun) who writes an ad as if it's an "honest amazing experience" with no indication at the beginning this is paid work. Being a naive blog reader at first, I had thought it was an non-paid review, however, I started noticing other blogs under NuffNang were ranting and raving over the same products, only then it occurred to me it was an advertorial. I'm scaling down on reading most blogs because I do not enjoy having to read a review only to realize it's in fact a paid job. These bloggers to me has lost their credibility. I'm sure most of them started off blogging as an avenue to voice their honest opinions, to avert hypocrisy, not to earn a quick buck, but for many it has turned out otherwise. Adding to that, I think some bloggers now has this perception that they are ambassadors of products, that their readers are going to use it because they are. Frankly, I do not idolize any bloggers as the reason why they are appealing to read is because they are ordinary folks,like you and me, going about their lives and sharing some interesting experiences along the way. Therefore, I will not try out a product simply because a blogger endorses it. I'd be more convinced if it was an international sports figure who first of all is more respectable because he/she had to earn his way to fame through hardwork and secondly, whose reputation is everything (well almost). I believe most sports figures would be much more careful before endorsing any product. Having said that, I'm not going to run out to buy a Gillette shaver for a male friend just because David Beckham endorses it, but certainly, these people has alot more to lose if their product has harmful effects or are of inferior quality. I wouldn't believe a word a blogger said if it was a paid review because in the blogsphere one can say almost anything they like with no legal repercussions. Reading a paid blog review is no different from seeing an ad on tv. At least, on TV I would know it's ad time and could choose not to watch it, however most blogs now deceive you into reading a post only to realize you've been conned to "watch" an ad. I somewhat believe the statement that NuffNang assumes that their Malaysian bloggers are ignorant and teenagers is true, because the effect has certainly trickled down to their bloggers, who probably thinks we haven't realized that they get paid to rant and rave over a product judging from their repeated posts. I'm not writing off advertisements as evil as it is a way to create awareness. A non-paid review blog which generates revenue from ad banners are still credible to me.

Joy said...

I'm so glad to finally see a blogger with credibility. I've started reading blogs just over a year ago. Initially, it was interesting reading about a stranger's experiences (with no financial incentives attached I thought at first). However, I've started to feel robbed of my time whenever I read a post that is obviously an advertorial. It's like sitting through a show only to realize you had paid to watch an ad. Only a handful of blogger have the integrity to state that it is an advertorial before the post (even foul-mouthed Xiaxue is ethical enough to do so). However, there are some (like Kimberlycun) who writes an ad as if it's an "honest amazing experience" with no indication at the beginning this is paid work. Being a naive blog reader at first, I had thought it was an non-paid review, however, I started noticing other blogs under NuffNang were ranting and raving over the same products, only then it occurred to me it was an advertorial. I'm scaling down on reading most blogs because I do not enjoy having to read a review only to realize it's in fact a paid job. These bloggers to me has lost their credibility. I'm sure most of them started off blogging as an avenue to voice their honest opinions, to avert hypocrisy, not to earn a quick buck, but for many it has turned out otherwise.

Joy said...

Adding to that, I think some bloggers now has this perception that they are ambassadors of products, that their readers are going to use it because they are. Frankly, I do not idolize any bloggers as the reason why they are appealing to read is because they are ordinary folks,like you and me, going about their lives and sharing some interesting experiences along the way. Therefore, I will not try out a product simply because a blogger endorses it. I'd be more convinced if it was an international sports figure who first of all is more respectable because he/she had to earn his way to fame through hardwork and secondly, whose reputation is everything (well almost). I believe most sports figures would be much more careful before endorsing any product. Having said that, I'm not going to run out to buy a Gillette shaver for a male friend just because David Beckham endorses it, but certainly, these people has alot more to lose if their product has harmful effects or are of inferior quality. I wouldn't believe a word a blogger said if it was a paid review because in the blogsphere one can say almost anything they like with no legal repercussions. Reading a paid blog review is no different from seeing an ad on tv. At least, on TV I would know it's ad time and could choose not to watch it, however most blogs now deceive you into reading a post only to realize you've been conned to "watch" an ad. I somewhat believe the statement that NuffNang assumes that their Malaysian bloggers are ignorant and teenagers is true, because the effect has certainly trickled down to their bloggers, who probably thinks we haven't realized that they get paid to rant and rave over a product judging from their repeated posts. I'm not writing off advertisements as evil as it is a way to create awareness. A non-paid review blog which generates revenue from ad banners are still credible to me.

bystander said...

This brings back memories of the PPS days when Nuffnang and Advertlets were having a big war and the pings on PPS were non-stop, filled with NuffNang endorsees and others slagging off Advertlets and Josh lim.

I was under the impression that Advertlets do have some image issues that time. Hey after all, if everyone's slagging them, it must be true.

The most vocal were Chan Lilian having the loudest voice then. Then followed by Shaolin Tiger and KY Speaks. They went around blogs, leaving comments, slagging off with sarcasm towards the competitor, and promoting nuffnang. They wouldn't relent on sharing scandal links about Advertlets, and also due to their HUGE network of other bloggers, they used that network to their advantage to gain adopters for Nuffnang.


Now that the truth has come to light, things are much clearer in perspective now.


Apparently, the shares were alloted to them to help fight the war for Nuffnang against Advertlets.

Chan Lilian leads the front end, the no holds barred direct to direct fight with Josh Lim, advertlets, resorting to personal attacks and so on.

Shaolin Tiger, KY Speaks, do it privately, underground, using their network of influences to convince others to switch over, and then indirectly, manipulating them into becoming nuffnang's FREE PRIVATE ARMY.


So I would like to ask those who've helped these bloggers by becoming their free hired assassins towards advertlets, what have they gained so far ?

Besides burning bridges with the other advertiser, you've not only help promote this blogger elite culture, where the elite bloggers are getting exclusivity when ADS are coming in at your expense..

In addition, they too, get paid in DIVIDENDS because they're shareholders in nuffnang. If Nuffnang makes 300,000 a year in net profits, guess how much those bloggers are going to get just on dividends alone ?


So basically, you help them for free, by adopting nuffnang, get paid peanuts to nothing, subjected to Carrot and Stick approach as mentioned by Kahani, and enriching the shareholding bloggers further, win win situation for them, getting income from both blog ads AND dividends.

What do you free nuffnang armies get ? Hmmm ?


You become a statistic, a figure in nuffnang's portfolio to convince clients that they have a lot of bloggers signing with them. But when the actual money comes from the client to nuffnang, you don't get the ads.

The elite bloggers get the ads, and a further profit from the dividends from nuffnang's year end profits because they hold shares in the company.


How does that make you non-shareholding nuffnang adopters feel now? ;)

bystander said...

This brings back memories of the PPS days when Nuffnang and Advertlets were having a big war and the pings on PPS were non-stop, filled with NuffNang endorsees and others slagging off Advertlets and Josh lim.

I was under the impression that Advertlets do have some image issues that time. Hey after all, if everyone's slagging them, it must be true.

The most vocal were Chan Lilian having the loudest voice then. Then followed by Shaolin Tiger and KY Speaks. They went around blogs, leaving comments, slagging off with sarcasm towards the competitor, and promoting nuffnang. They wouldn't relent on sharing scandal links about Advertlets, and also due to their HUGE network of other bloggers, they used that network to their advantage to gain adopters for Nuffnang.


Now that the truth has come to light, things are much clearer in perspective now.

bystander said...

cont..

Apparently, the shares were alloted to them to help fight the war for Nuffnang against Advertlets.

Chan Lilian leads the front end, the no holds barred direct to direct fight with Josh Lim, advertlets, resorting to personal attacks and so on.

Shaolin Tiger, KY Speaks, do it privately, underground, using their network of influences to convince others to switch over, and then indirectly, manipulating them into becoming nuffnang's FREE PRIVATE ARMY.


So I would like to ask those who've helped these bloggers by becoming their free hired assassins towards advertlets, what have they gained so far ?

Besides burning bridges with the other advertiser, you've not only help promote this blogger elite culture, where the elite bloggers are getting exclusivity when ADS are coming in at your expense..

In addition, they too, get paid in DIVIDENDS because they're shareholders in nuffnang. If Nuffnang makes 300,000 a year in net profits, guess how much those bloggers are going to get just on dividends alone ?

bystander said...

cont..

So basically, you help them for free, by adopting nuffnang, get paid peanuts to nothing, subjected to Carrot and Stick approach as mentioned by Kahani, and enriching the shareholding bloggers further, win win situation for them, getting income from both blog ads AND dividends.

What do you free nuffnang armies get ? Hmmm ?


You become a statistic, a figure in nuffnang's portfolio to convince clients that they have a lot of bloggers signing with them. But when the actual money comes from the client to nuffnang, you don't get the ads.

The elite bloggers get the ads, and a further profit from the dividends from nuffnang's year end profits because they hold shares in the company.


How does that make you non-shareholding nuffnang adopters feel now? ;)

Kahani said...

Ok, this is my blog and while I invite open discussion, mud slinging and name calling is simply not allowed. So while I value facts like the posts regarding who are shareholders in nuffnang so their contributions on this post can be taken into consideration. I'll be deleting any comment I see from now on that slags off members of nuffnang or advertlets personally. I'm also inviting those who have used the words "c*nt" and "conslutant" to edit their posts removing these words or they will be deleted.

Thanks and I hope you understand that free speech is not free slander.

Kahani said...

Stephanie / Yukaeraeshi: I think cliques and friendship circles are natural - there are some people you're drawn to and some you're not. However it really depends how those cliques behave. If they are inclusive, warm and friendly then why not. But if they make every blogger evident uncomfortable for others, then that's not so good.

Joy: Thanks for your thoughtful post. I think if you look at kimberleycun's tags she'll mark those that are advertorials / nuffnang sponsored. I checked ;) However I definitely agree that advertorials across the blog with over the top product promotion is a real turnoff.

Professionalism: I really don't find your contribution relevant to this discussion... and it's, ironically, highly unprofessional. Please delete it in 24 hours or I will. I hope you understand that I'm not limiting your right to post for or against. I really don't want this to descend into a personal slagging match.

yapthomas said...

You nailed it right for all media agencies...
Unfortunately, not only Nuffnang did not see it, but many others as well.

Anonymous said...

what the? this is just pure BS.

ken said...

well, in a general concept - most of the dissatisfied points highlighted is used by many other companies as well.. that's how companies run their biz - to monopolize, gain loyal users and possibly to manipulate them too..

nuffnang is advertorial heavy because they're an advertising company. digi is all about phones and mobile internet because they're a telco company.. no? :)

akuzle said...

volunteer advertorial for kenwooi: ken, i really love your comments...eheheh

Teh Tarik Drinker said...

made my point on this matter. enough said.

tehtarikmemoirs.com

Kahani said...

Ken: That's just silly. There's more than one way to advertise and market beyond advertorials. In fact for most agencies advertorials are not the first choice. I suggest you do some research first.

Anonymous said...

Yea Kim and ST are a couple. She admitted it herself at

http://www.kimberlycun.com/2010/05/14/how-on-earth-did-i-land-myself-in-project-alpha-season-2/

ken said...

i dont run an advertising company, so it's pretty unnecessary for me to do any related research :)

anyway, it was just a thought.. it's your choice to accept it or not.. and probability is that you won't..

all the best to you and the blog then :)

Kahani said...

Well Ken, of course you can voice your thoughts and I can disagree. =)

Tan said...

Dear Kahani,
Simply superb and well written articles. I have even include the link to this post on my Nuffnang review post on my site.

http://humblethought.com/web/nuffnang-review-sucks-ugly-truth.html

Personally i have long felt that Nuffnang are manipulating both publishers and advertisers which they should not at all. Both parties are the one who bring up Nuffnang and seems that Nuffnang take us for granted.

Money has totally rotten their souls. I started my personal blogs to rant the shit out of all these kind of bad cultures. Hopefully can create some awareness among Malaysian bloggers.

Last but not least, your blogs are cool and professional. Why not considering purchase a domain?