A Brief History of Making Lots of Money Online

April 5, 2011

A Brief History of Making Lots of Money Online

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna plays Castleville

 

Back in Black, AC/DC
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Old School

Back in 95 (1995), there was an excitement about the internet that bubbled and foamed like an uncorked bottle of fine champagne. Online entrepreneurs (netpreneurs) were aiming for million dollar exits. Those were fast times. It was a race and no one knew anything for sure – not even Harvard MBAs and McKinseyites who tried their luck at prophesy and online savvy.

Enthusiasm, hubris and dream substituted for a complete lack of insight and caution.

Not unlike what people are doing now, we were putting our dreams and ideas out there. Some of us even had traffic. I had 100,000+ unique visitors per month with an average of 10 pages viewed per visitor. But I couldn’t monetize that traffic. Nor could others. Online advertising, as we know it now, would take five years to start thinking about how it would capture the online potential. Read the rest of this entry »


Facebook Games, The Grapes of Wrath, And a World of We

March 30, 2011

Oh – The Grapes of Wrath are spreading across Facebook Games like Kudzu

Social Games

Wildly embraced initially, Facebook games have become a huge disappointment to players. Hundreds of millions of farms have been abandoned, crops have withered, propeller capped sheep are on the verge of extinction, and farmers aren’t talking to their friends. The good news is that the flood of game-related wall spam has passed. But it didn’t just happen to Farmville. It happened across the board; Facebook games are failing to retain and entertain a restless market of 500+ Million Facebook gamers.

Game industry experts like Playdom Creative Director David Rohrl somehow got it wrong about what casual game play should be in a social game. As Rohrl himself noted, the social gaming space is not straightforward. One of the obvious fails was that social game companies fell into trap of thinking that graphics can substitute for game play. If only that were true, the economics would be unreal! On the other hand, players wanted more cuteness. They demanded it in the forums. Clicks confirmed it.

Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, however, cautioned against falling into the rut of crowd sourcing. “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse,’” observed the American industrialist. According to Jay Elliot, Ford’s caution is often quoted by Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. Read the rest of this entry »


Why does email suck?

March 17, 2011

Email sucks

Founder of Digg, Kevin Rose says, email sucks.

Rose cites his stats: 938 unread work emails. 1002 unread personal emails.

I know the feeling.

My Gmail stats:

Inbox: 28175
Facebook: 8210
Twitter: 6136

I won’t even mention how many emails are unread. If you really want to engage me, send me a message in Facebook. Or tweet me in Twitter.

As I commented at James McCullough’s blog, Four Sides… the problem is the email app – not email.

Digg’s former CEO Kevin Rose is mistaken to emphasize email as the problem. Rose’s three sentence solution is a ruthless yet savvy approach for keeping up with the demands of accelerated communications in a high speed world.

But it doesn’t solve the problem of the out-dated email app.

Facebook

In the not so distant past, I have argued that one driver of Facebook’s rise to almost universal appeal was how people use Facebook messages as a substitute for personal email. People effectively connect and communicate with friends and family though Facebook in a superior manner to personal email. Unfortunately for Google, Yahoo and Hotmail, Facebook effectively makes the generic personal email account so 2002. In other words, obsolete.

I’m sure that Facebook hasn’t figured this out as succinctly as I have stated it. But the move to Facebook mail addresses suggests that Mark Zuckerberg might have a clue – as hard as that might be to imagine.

Fforward this: The next step for Facebook is to make the messaging center relevant in terms of mail/message management. Done well, this would be the game-changer that would make Google less relevant. It very well could be an obituary for Yahoo.

A killer email app

The killer email app will be:

  1. Engaging
  2. So easy to set up filters that a dummy like me can do it in 1 minute or less
  3. Present decision-making information in a clear and actionable way

It’s that simple.

Who wants to build that with me?

Stan Faryna
17 March 2011
Bucharest, Romania

If you’d like to connect with me, follow @Faryna and tweet me up on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/faryna

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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 served as 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 DefenderJurnalul NationalThe Washington TimesSagarSaptamana FinanciaraSocial 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 2012 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. Generally speaking, as long as you are not acting as an agent or on behalf of a corporation or institution, I am not interested in any payment for the quotation or use of a complete article. Nevertheless, you may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission via Facebook. Or tweet me up me on Twitter.


Twitter, Facebook, and other web apps as instruments of political and social change

March 14, 2011

The debate over the usefulness of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube (and many other internet services) is being argued in regard to steering and consummating political and social change at ground zero. The sweeping change in hearts and minds across the Arab world have fueled these debates – especially the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, but also the events in Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen, and beyond.

No well informed opinion can deny that humanity’s struggle for freedom and dignity has received more attention now than ever before. The unfolding drama and embrace of change have never captured the imagination and hearts of so many of the world’s population as the recent unprecedented changes in the Arab world.

Never before have so many experienced true revolution directly by picture, video, text message and blog post. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube (among other social media) made this possible. And let us not forget that it was the English language which was instrumental to the sharing of information, inspiration, insight, sympathy, anguish, hope, and, yes, outrage. Read the rest of this entry »


The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.4

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Fight On!

What we all want is a better world. A better life. Isn’t that what we really believe Democracy and Freedom is all about?!

Such democracy is not something we can purchase at a store – online or offline. It’s not a one time, one click purchase. No government can deliver on that. For each of us, it is a life-long commitment to demanding it from each other -demanding the things that matter most. And not just demanding those things – but also giving them. Read the rest of this entry »


Backyard Monsters: Cheats 1.1

July 9, 2010

Looking for CastleVille cheats, a Castleville guideCar Town cheats, Go Fishing cheats or Marvel Avenger Alliance walk throughs click the orange text links.

Backyard Monsters: Cheats 1.1

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna plays Castleville

Below, what an attack looked like in Backyard Monsters:

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All your base are belong to us.

Backyard Monsters

Backyard Monsters is almost ok as an extended tower defense game. Check out the Youtube video (above) to get a glimpse of the action. Build your base. Harass other bases. Isn’t that what base games are about?!

But what makes a great base game?

What makes a great game and why should you care?

If you are a gamer and you dream of making games, you should check out Backyard Monsters. Myself, I continue to wait for that day when I can realize my game vision. It’s going to happen. Someday.

Oh. There’s no cheats here.

Are you really looking for cheats for Backyard Monsters? You don’t need them to rule your map in Backyard Monsters. If you do need cheats for Backyard Monsters, just take your meds and think about things that matter like love, life, and money.

The Casual Collective

Backyard Monsters is produced by The Casual Collective (CC for short). CC is a start up with a focus on developing Flash-based browser games. Two years ago, Paul and David got a million dollars in seed money from Lightspeed Venture Partners. Long before they got the seed money (2008), they’ve been tinkering around with flash games for 5+ years.

Paul and David who?

Founded by Paul Preece and David Scott, The Casual Collective is a great story about two ordinary guys that might make it. Jason Kincaid of Techcrunch writes a vignette/ode to Paul and Dave here. If they can get to a five million dollar round of investment, life should be good for Paul and Dave.

Facebook may (or may not) be their ticket. And since The Casual Collective is all about Flash-based games, there’s no iPhone glory waiting for Paul and Dave. At least, not in the foreseeable future.

Currently, The Casual Collective has two games on Facebook: Desktop Defender and Backyard Monsters.
Read the rest of this entry »


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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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.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. Generally speaking, as long as you are not acting as an agent or on behalf of a corporation or institution, I am not interested in any payment for the quotation or use of a complete article. Nevertheless, you may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission by inmail through Linkedin or contact me through Buzzfuse.

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