The Yellow Brick Road: Adventures in Yuwie-land 0-2

April 20, 2008

0-2 Preface, Yellow Brick Road, Adventures in Yuwie-land

Note: special thanks to Stuart Godwin for inspiring me to try writing in a different style.

Don’t play it. Really. Don’t do it. Because it’s god-awful: Eminem, Yellow Brick Road

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Don’t know what Yuwie is about, then read my initial thoughts about Yuwie here.

NOT Yuwie again!

‘Fraid so.

An hour ago, I got a message in Yuwie from an old friend. My G-mail inbox is flooded with Yuwie messages- 24-7.

Note to self: make new a new email account for spam and registrations. Soon.

“So, now what? How do I make money?”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Making Lots of Money on Yuwie?

April 18, 2008

Below, some beautiful and exhilarating music for your reading. Polovtsian dances from Alexander Borodin’s opera, Prince Igor. Performed in this clip by the Berliner Philharmoniker and conducted by Seiji Ozawa.

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Make Lots of Money

Less than a year online, another social network platform is slotted for takeoff on the runway of success. It’s called Yuwie. Based on open source technologies used by MySpace and others, Yuwie allows users to customize profiles, import videos and pictures, blog, easily make friends with Yuwie members, make clubs, and interact with their Yuwie group of friends.

According to Alexa, the Internet traffic keeper, Yuwie is one of the top 500 most trafficked websites. But what’s driving the popularity of Yuwie is not its features and cheap dressing on an open source solution. It’s the business model. Yuwie ‘s business model is based on sharing advertising revenue with its users. Remind you of MLM? Yup. Yuwie is MLM. And the so-called unwashed masses of online users like that idea a lot.

People like it so much that Yuwie boasts almost 600,000 registered users within nine months of going online. It went online in July 2007. According to my estimates, Yuwie has about 3,000 active users on the website at any given time. If Yuwie is lucky, they have about 200 users that are so active that those users spend four hours or more per day, everyday, on Yuwie.

Revenue Sharing

Some critics are horrified by Yuwie’s seemingly indecent revenue sharing plan. Revenue sharing seems to some to be a contradiction to the spirit of social networking. Although name brand companies and rock star developers are championed on Wall Street (NYSE), Hyde Street (London), and elsewhere for the unrealistic cash value of their social networks, the same financial analysts suggest that social networking, users, and money should not mix. That it’s vulgar.

Those critics are terribly mistaken.

Yuwie has problems, but the concept of sharing advertising revenue with users is not one of Yuwie’s problems. In fact, not sharing advertising revenues may become a big problem in the near future for MySpace, Facebook, HighFive, and Linkedin. Web 2.0 without users is nothing more than Web 0.0 (game over).

Already, Yuwie is capturing on MySpace, Facebook and Youtube defections and recruitment at a rate of thousands of users per day.

Yuwie

That’s not to say that Yuwie doesn’t have all the ear marks, tell tale signs, and stink of a hustle, scam or pyramid scheme. In fact, Yuwie promises users some very abstract concepts on how users can earn money from page views. Yuwie also seems to deliver less than a little of the cash it gets from advertising. Worse, most of Yuwie’s ads represent cheap bulk ads handled by the same weasels that do spam and spyware. Despite these often discussed problems, Yuwie users seem to be more forgiving than any other user base.

By the skin of the founder’s teeth (Korry Rogers), Yuwie just barely avoids being defined as a scam or pyramid scheme. However, many suspect Yuwie to be a scam and a scheme. Using Yuwie’s website and services costs nothing; anyone can register and get started without a credit card or paypal account. In my opinion, Yuwie’s users might benefit from paid premium services. But let’s leave that rant for later.

In a BBC News feature on Yuwie, Korry Rogers seems to suggest that Yuwie users can make between 400 and 500 dollars per month. In Yuwie introduction videos, it is also suggested that it is possible for high performance users to build up to incomes as much as $5,000/month. After corresponding with active Yuwie users, I found there are very, very few people who have been known to make thousands of dollars in a single month. Most people are self-reporting earnings a lot less than they had expected.

Pyramid Principle

Yuwie earnings include earnings based on referral or downline activities. According to an article in the UK’s Guardian, earning on the downline can reach down to 10 levels of referral’s referrals. However, few users are reporting having downlines past level three at this early stage. The bigger problem, explains one active Yuwie user, is keeping the downline focused on the recruitment, mentoring, and creation of interesting content that will generate sufficient page views.

Below, some more background music. Cold Play, See You Soon.

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Yuwie Earnings

Yuwie earnings are based on pageviews lasting from three to five seconds each. These pageviews generate the ad impressions that Yuwie provides to advertisers and online ad networks. A user’s pageviews include both the personal pageviews of the user (looking at other people’s profiles and content AND those pageviews of the user’s profile and content made by others. As most realize, building a strong downline seem to be key to Yuwie earnings. Alone and single-handedly, the most hard-working user may not get $20/month for 16 hours/day of Yuwie contact building.

Best Practices

According to some of Yuwie’s most successful earners, building a successful Yuwie practice and downline requires six things:

1. Coming into Yuwie with a group of 12+ persons committed to roughly two to four hours per day through a two year effort, come hell or high water…

2. Developing ongoing insight into common issues, the big challenges, and Yuwie-user best practices

3. Converting insights into strategy, methods and practices that can be easily adopted by the group and effectively used by every level of the downline

4. An attitude of experimentation and open-mindedness to trying out new methods with the patience and understanding that most of this will not pan out as individual experiments

5. Technical support to develop scripts and other tools that will enable automatic realization of Yuwie connections, etc.

6. Determination of each individual to succeed in developing a powerful downline and their empathic ability to provide morale support for the other members of the group.

Imho, any business is likely to succeed with such a force behind it.

Case Study

Myself, I’m interested in making a case study of Yuwie and I’d like to form a group of 24 persons (ideally, half that never had any experience with Yuwie but are interested in it and half that may already be involved in Yuwie). Whatever happens will happen.

I am mostly interested in the experience of users across the long haul. Such a case study may provide me with the needed insight to strengthen a business plan that I am developing for a new kind of social network service. This doesn’t mean that I won’t participate actively in the group’s work. In fact, I can provide several of the needed factors to ensure we are doing everything we need to do for this group to succeed.

With the help of a top Yuwie user, I have set up my Yuwie profile and achieved a high level performance (1000 Yuwie friends and 16,000 page views) within 15 days with no more than two hours spent on Yuwie per day. I am told that the average user would accomplish the same results in three months with 2x to 3x the hours spent per day.

For example, I have retained a top Yuwie earner that is providing consulting to me on best practices and common problems. I’d like to get started with this next week. What about you?

If you would like to join me in this online adventure in network marketing, please let me know by contacting me through Buzzfuse or Linkedin.

If you would like to learn more about Yuwie, click here. OR read more about Yuwie in my Yellow Brick Road series, click here.

Below, some beautiful piano music. Helen Grimaud plays the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 17, The Tempest.

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Stan Faryna
April 16, 2008
Bucharest, Romania
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FEED UPON posts about moby, the electronic pop star, and me:

>> Easter Pilgrimage to Bucovina (A Four Part Recollection)
>> Good Friday and Happy Easter
>> Austin, Democrats and Degenerates
>> Concidence and Melancholy
>> Bucharest and Chestie
>> New moby album coming out, Last Night

Or, perhaps, you may be interested in my other posts:

>> Get Good Coffee – Know how to make a great cup of coffee?
>> Second Amendment – What’s the US Supreme Court saying?
>> Facism and Romania – Is this a European trend?
>> Outsourcing – Is outsourcing still a cost saver?
>> Great Websites – What makes a website, great?
>> IAB Europe – What is the Interactive Advertising Bureau?
>> Online Strategy – What are marketing people talking about?
>> Open Source – Did it deliver on the 90’s promise?

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About Stan Faryna

Mr. Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

Stan Faryna is also a Global Voices author and translator. Global Voices is a non-profit global citizens’ media project founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a research think-tank focused on the Internet’s impact on society.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna also served as editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

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A Sermon for Sci-Fi Fans: Who knows right from wrong?!

April 10, 2008

Below, the cinema trailer for Season Four of the new Dr. Who.

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Although the large base of Dr. Who fans tend to be from the UK, the BBC sci-fi tv series made some headway in Europe and in the US in the past. And, also now in the present. Dr. Who is about a human-looking alien (his mother was an Earthling) who has a fancy for Earth, humanity, and British chicks. Dr. Who may be the longest running sci-fi tv series ever, anywhere. It first aired in 1963. The television show has also received many British television awards through the years.

Below, background music. Geoff, Rose.

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For those unfamiliar with the Doctor, the Doctor travels through time and space in an unsual and, perhaps, organic, transportational unit called the Tardis. The Tardis looks like an old British police call box from the outside. The Doctor tends to “land” or “appear” in the nick of time to save the day – wherever and whenever the Tardis “lands” or appears. Another thing: the Doctor reincarnates which makes it convenient for the producers to change the actors playing the Doctor.

And another thing: the old show was more of an intellectual experience; it was more about the human story. In fact, the special effects, sets and costumes were really proaste. No, I mean really, really bad…
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Romania: Authoritarians Trample On Constitution, Civil Rights

April 6, 2008

Treading fearlessly…

Sounds and images from Kazakhstan (wink) for your reading background music (below)

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In preparation for the NATO summit and during the period of the NATO Summit in Bucharest, the Romanian state and Bucharest city government may have violated all or more than the following Romanian Constitutional articles:

1. Article 21 Access to Justice
2. Article 23 Individual Freedom
3. Article 24 Right to legal counsel
4. Article 25 Freedom of movement
5. Article 29 Freedom of conscience
6. Article 30 Freedom of expression
7. Article 39 Freedom of assembly
8. Article 40 Right of association

In consideration of these abuses of national and local government powers, a Romanian civil liberties group has filed an official complaint with the Romanian Public Ministry – the same institution which may be responsible for said violations. Some Romanians, however, believe that complaints should be taken to the EU Courts for Human Rights in Brussels. They argue that the Romanian Public Ministry is unlikely to condemn itself or those officials within the institution which continuously demonstrates its contempt for the Romanian Constitution.

The most cynical of Romanian critics believe this civil liberties group is conspiring with the Romanian government to take the heat off by allowing such questions to be handled by the foremost guilty party and, as soon as possible, to be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Interestingly, this is no serious story about this in the mainstream Media (Television, Print or Radio).
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NATO Summit in Bucharest may have been too big for Romania

April 2, 2008

02 April

NATO Summit in Bucharest

As the minutes tick closer to the start of today’s NATO Summit in Bucharest, some Romanian bloggers question the zeal of their leaders in ensuring there is neither public protest nor questions to the value of NATO for Romania or other European states- neither in Bucharest nor Romania in general. Although an outspoken and public critic of the flagging commitment of other NATO members, Romanian President Traian Basescu believes that NATO remains a national priority for Romania.

Yesterday’s press conference on the arrival of President Bush and the upcoming NATO Summit in the clip below:

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Recently, Basescu challenged Russia’s opposition to NATO, telling Russia that its time now to work with NATO- and not against it. Among the public items on Basescu’s agenda: an anti-ballistic missile shield for Romania provided by the US or NATO, renewal and enlargement of Romanian troop commitment in Afghanistan, security policy regarding energy, and NATO acceptance of requests to be considered in the enlargement of NATO. Included in these requests are those from Albania, Georgia, Macedonia, and Ukraine.
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Security Measures of Summit Compromises Free Speech and Open Borders to EU citizens

April 1, 2008

NATO’s Bucharest Summit

As I have written elsewhere, the NATO Summit in Bucharest will determine the future of NATO for many years to come. Some (mostly harmless) questions in my mind:

Will European members rediscover a common will regarding redefined global goals and strategy of the alliance?

Will NATO come to represent something more than an American heavy hand in the European pie or merely as a gate keeper for nations seeking membership in the European Union?

Since the Cold War is over, how will NATO assure Russia that NATO plays a new role in international politics – a role that supports common economic interests including reasonable Russian interests?

Related to the NATO Summit in Bucharest, but more immediately interesting than the NATO specific questions on my mind is… recent authoritarian moves of the Romanian government to prevent dissenting opinion and protest about NATO in the Romanian public square.

Background music for your reading: Marilyn Manson, Nobodies

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Why Romania is important

Why is Romania so important to the US and NATO?

I’m not talking about the Romanian hotties- though there is much to be said about that subject. Some local hot shots are even grumbling that all the working girls are booked solid for the Summit. Rumors have it that the Italian and French diplomats may have arrived a bit in advance of the Summit to log some quality fly time.
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