Sunday, April 27, 2008

Is Nuffnang ripping us off? (The Truth Part 1)

I am not too crazy on blog-entry ranking, but when I see my recent entry currently sitting on Singapore's 10th "most popular this year", I do get the feeling that readers and bloggers are curious and they do want to know about the nature and details of Nuffnang pay-out structure. Ok, I admit, the provocative title helps, but this is a valid question - Is Nuffnang ripping us off?

Here are my responses to the readers' comments, as promised.

CK: I have yet to get for the ads as it stops coming after the initial burst... still below $50. I wonder whether you have got paid yet? Also, may I know where you got the 30% figure from? Cheers!

SSL: Hi CK. Many Nuffnang (NN) bloggers are still waiting for ads, and they won't get any if they don't work for their traffic. Yes, I said work. Many still want to believe that NN ads money are "free money"- so why complain and demand this and that, right?

It is not free money, my friend. We are leasing our blog space for ads. So shouldn't we have some right to ask for payment transparency, and question the commission rate that our ads agencies are charging?

To anwer your question, I haven't cashed out on my ads money. I should because this is "stagnant money", our funds are collecting cob-webs in the NN account and not interest! It doesn't pay for us to keep money with them, NN is likely to earn compounded interest from our funds held with them of which we are not entitled to. The $/RM1.00 charge for withdrawing money deters bloggers from withdrawing "too soon" - that's a hefty 2% charge of the minimum $/RM50 cash-out money! I personally think the "admin fee" or whatever they want to call it is unnecessary and should be abolished, but NN sympathisers may disagree. My advice is this, cash out when you hit the minimum because keeping the money in your savings account will return you more (more than 2% per annum)!

The 30% figure was taken from NST-Tim interview. And this is a typical percentage cut Nuffnang gets for their service, I suspect the actual range is between 30 to 50%. I am also guessing because Nuffnang is not telling.

: i have no comment about the 30/70 issue but i do realise that the popular bloggers get extra advantage from nuffnang with advertorial and stuff la but not complaining on that also. but i do agree on the havoc created by innit. too many flamings and bloggers disliking each other in there. haih, i never seen anything like that in pps. haha!

: INNIT encourages people to compete for blog-entry rankings - which only means generating more traffic for NN. So all those "havoc and flamings" on INNIT will play into the hands (and pockets) of NN. And I always say to my fellow NN friends, INNIT is NN's smartest creation to date.

Yes, this is a partnership concept between NN and bloggers: NN scratch our back, we scrub theirs.

: It is common knowledge that blog wars bring hefty traffic. As immoral as it is, it brings you monetary benefits (paltry, as you mentioned) and as well as Nuffnang.

However, I don't see why you're grumbling about the 70% shared by thousands of sacrificial lambs.

You make it sound like using your blog to put up one 200x400 javascript advertisement takes a lot of effort from you. The people at Nuffnang are the ones who work many hours a day to include all of us in their network. We are just bloggers who choose to blog what we want. The ads are just a square box at the side that generates some pocket money for us, big or small.

SSL: You are absolutely right, NN work many hours a day. But you left out something, the biggest component in NN's business machinery: the bloggers' collective hours. We bloggers put in the hours too!

Yes, putting up ads on blogs does not take a lot of effort, but pulling in the traffic does. No traffic means no money, remember?

: Blogger union? Is that even necessary? I mean, I do know of groups of bloggers who are good friends to each other. Well, even if there is a blog union, i'm sure there are people out there to support it

SSL: It won't be easy to form a cohesive group among bloggers, unless we have a very specific agenda like fighting for freedom of expression in a named country or petitioning for the release of mr so-and-so blogger/prisoner.

Indeed, there is always support for anything, like believing NN has the right to conduct ads payment without explaining the pay-out structure.

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Anonymous Hungzai said...

Look at it this way, Nuffnang is a business entity. Like any other business they have overheads to run. Hawkers have cost materials and so do they.

Now its a fair game. Anybody can start a business - any kind of business, as long you think it can make money, right? In a business its all about making money.

So now my question to you is this, if you think online advertising is a rip off and they're making too much, what is stopping you from setting up an online advertisng company to compete with them?

April 27, 2008 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Nuffnanger said...

How old are you? Your questions are seriously lacking in logics.

April 27, 2008 11:45 AM  
Anonymous aldragon11 said...

With no offense intended to you I do at times wonder if all these negative publicity is yet another way for nuffnang to publicise itself.

The reason being that much has been said about nuffnang and it continues to amaze me why anyone continues to use them even with the continued controvesy!

Now, let's revisit the controversies so far:

1) No ads
There was once complains of not getting ads, and as a matter of fact more often than not I see people with a nuffnang widget but no ads. The matter might be a small one to some, but it begs the question:

Are these ad-less bloggers used by nuffnang to sell to their potential customers? For e.g. telling AhKow Enterprises that it has 50,000 bloggers displaying ads but yet in reality only a fraction of those get ads from time to time?

Would AhKow Enterprises be aware of this situation and will there be anyone from AhKow Enterprises to monitor the situation from time to time? In other words, if only the same pool of bloggers are getting ads and getting paid, it would appear to some of us that many bloggers are taken for a ride and the business itself was set up to benefit only a few. (IMO, that's dishonest marketing. And in Wall Street if a broker sells shares that way, he goes to jail.)

2) Gliteratti
This has gotten some negative response from some. First of all, it now becomes justified that some people don't get ads - "Well, Gliteratti first, remember?". Next, it is a pathetic attempt to corner the market. And finally, with the matter of how ads are given out not resolved, if everyone thus become a Gliteratti member, what difference would that made at all because in the end: STILL NO ADS!

3) Payment
I hear complaints of people not getting ads when they are approaching payment stage. Why it may not be the case, it is giving people the impression that this is a deliberate ploy to hold the money. While a current account makes no interest, no one is aware what is being setup in nuffnang's back-end.

I have heard of companies which has a savings account where the money is kept, a current account where transaction is made and money is only moved between the two when payment is needed. No matter how their banking facilities is setup, holding payment to bloggers by any means possible, would serve one purpose - liquidity, i.e. to continue to hold the money for nuffnang's operations. (There probably isn't going to be a lot of interest earn from that unless the amount is in millions.)

Either way, all of these surrounds the matter of nuffnang's transparency in doing business. And if a Blogger's Union is to be set up, it should run along the line of the Share Investors thingie that someone setup during the CLOB shares fiasco - to bring justice to the bloggers, and you can only do that but bringing in awareness to the people giving nuffnang the business to also monitor how nuffnang is giving out their money.

Legal means should be used to get nuffnang to answer all the tough questions on their transparency in which they have failed to do since the first controversy!

A legal justification must be found to call in independent auditors to audit nuffnang's accounts and their mode of operations - beginning with how they sell to their customers, to how they distribute the ads to bloggers, and why just some bloggers seems to be getting more ads than normal.

Simply put, nuffnang isn't afraid of anyone or any of these negative publicities as long as they are not taken to task by an authority which can put an end to their operations. A Bloggers Union is no more than a toothless tiger if its roar is worse then its bite.

April 27, 2008 11:57 AM  
Blogger eStee said...

Have u ever ever run a business entity before? It is very apparent that you know ZILCH about running a business.

If you're that unhappy, then don't install ads la, as simple as that.

April 27, 2008 1:37 PM  
Anonymous aldragon11 said...

esTee, if you want to talk about anybody's ignorance, it is also your responsibility to show them what they are ignorant about.

Just by saying so doesn't mean shit and it only convinces everyone that boyfriend of yours have something to hide.

April 27, 2008 1:51 PM  
Blogger Sisuahlai said...

Thanks for the comments, I welcome all views (and emotions). I will respond to these/'I know zilch' comments later.

April 27, 2008 1:56 PM  
Blogger Sisuahlai said...

aldragon11, please include your contact e-mail/blog url. Thanks.

April 27, 2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the space on your blog has no value until nuffnang and advertlets came in to monetize it. u need them more than they need u. u are one blogger out of the tens of thousands. if they ban u today u are in trouble but if u stop using them today they have another ten thousand to give money to. if u think there is another option to get more value out of your space then go ahead but im sure u know there isnt which is why u are sticking to nuffnang. go ahead and use google adsense instead of nuffnang and advertlets.

April 27, 2008 4:49 PM  
Anonymous aldragon11 said...

Don't let any net-ad company fool you that your blog is only worth something because they came along. The idea these regional net-ad companies are running on isn't new. Was adsense not ahead way before them? And even with adsense, was it not some blogger who came up with the idea of monetizing the blog that created this entire line of business?

If you expect $3 a month from a net-ad co's widget and you don't even get an ad after 3 weeks, you are losing at least $2.25 and advertising for the net-ad co for free. Drop the widget and go for another, even one that would pay you just 5cts for the effort.

Anyway, if you put up a widget and it displays an ad from panda shoes co, then panda shoes co. is the true paymaster. imo, if a blogger has a question why only some people is getting the ads, then panda shoes co. also need to know about it.

To elaborate, if abc co. tells panda shoes they have 50,000 bloggers and takes a cut when they are given the project, but only 500 bloggers are always getting ads, then it is necessary for panda shoes to know about this. It's not so much about the cut abc co is getting, but rather panda shoes is not getting the reach they are promised.

Granted that those 500 bloggers who got the ad may well be posting related articles to what panda shoes is selling, but would panda shoes have given the project out at all if they are aware that they are reaching just 500 people instead of the 50,000 they are promised?

All the better if the 500 getting the ad aren't even putting up topics related to the ad because that will be a whole new question. - aldragon11 [at] hotmail [dot] com

April 27, 2008 9:46 PM  
Blogger soup said...

I think you make much sense. There are many people who commented here who are supportive of NN, but yet offer no good views or explanation or alternative idealogy. However they still stoop to insults when they fail to win people over.

Anonymous is one example all air and no substance. If let's say we can't sell our houses without a housing agent, then does our houses have no value until the agent's come to monetize it? What about rental of houses? The idea's the same. We rent the ad space out, and get some money.

The problem is not about not getting money, but whether promises are delivered. I can say I have 8000 bloggers and all in Glitterati, but what does it truly mean? The real figures should be how many bloggers can you serve.

For anonymous info, currently advertlet's pay me better than nuffnang, even google adsense. My own experience with them is when i complain on my blog, I suddenly get ads, after that, they disappear.

April 27, 2008 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree that nuffnang has the right to earn some money, whether it is big or small.

after all they're investing a sum of money for this venture, and they had no idea if it's going to be this successful. so i believe that they ought to be compensated with some money.

soon, of course, there'll be other agency and the profit got eroded. this is natural and i think competition can be good, instead of forming a union.

union will not be operating more efficient than profit-making companies.

but i do agree with you on some extent. these companies are not professionally run. there is a room for union because the differences between union and nuffnang are small. after all, nuffnang is started by young teenagers and is not entirely efficient in operations.

plus, i'm very concerned about the minimum payout, because most people will just forfeit it and then nuffnang get a lot of freebies.

with blog2u, nuffnang and advertlets in the market now, i think outsourcing to a profit-driven companies is the better way than a union. after all, blogging is just a side activity. no one is going to be bothered to run a union. even if they do, the admins will sooner or later think of running his own company.

by the way, i very dislike those nuffnang loyalist. there's nothing to be proud of if you have a nuffnang ad, or if you are part of a nuffnang exclusive club. please don't flame the author for his/her opinion.

April 27, 2008 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous@11:37 PM: Well said!!!

Estee: Are you representing Nuffnang?

April 28, 2008 2:47 AM  
Blogger naeboo~ said...

i dont care about how much of a cut they take.

im more interested in the band # and pay structure for each band. and what constitutes band 1, ....12, 13,14 etc.

this seems to be alw varies even with their own (weird) trackers.

the only transparency is this thing, if it's needed.

if i rent out a house, i wld like to know how much my house is getting. not being told, oh today ur house is situated in mont kiara, then next week it's in segambut, so we r paying u differently. but we r also not telling u how much is the rent until it comes out the week after.

completely weird.

April 28, 2008 11:35 AM  
Blogger naeboo~ said...

oh yah. btw. it's smarter to sell their "ads reach" to advertisers, like so:

if u want to cover 5000 blogs with a good mix of 40% blogs with X amount of visitors and above daily with 60% band 1's... then u pay Y amount for it. rather than going around telling ppl u got 50k blogs under u and not using all of them if the campaign is not able to cover the costs.

April 28, 2008 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Hungzai said...

Advertiser pays for an ad according to the no of audience exposed to it. Doesn't matter 5 blogs or 50 blogs or 500 blogs. If even 1 blog can get you 20K audiences, then thats all that matters. The advertiser don't give two hoots about how many of those blogs in the database can satisfy their ads exposure.

April 29, 2008 10:22 AM  
Blogger naeboo~ said...

hungzai>> what u mean by "it doesnt matter?" if u only needed 20k audience, then only go to one blog lar: kennysia. end of story.

the selling point of NN's is having further reach than only approaching ONE blog. if u dont need a bigger audience, why gather so many blogs into a collective and then pan out the ads one by one?

this is a symbiotic relationship.
not arbitrary one.

u can set how much u r paying each band all u want, that's ur prerogative. not telling at all is another thing.

the mass of the blogs in NN are not the ones with thousands of visitors every day. true?

so, what u r essentially saying is, if NN sell themselves to an advertiser saying they have a reach of 50k blogs with X million amount of audience, and if advertiser is to pay Y amount for a campaign and if the money is only split to 50 blogs with less than X, it's ok? and they wont care? really? how sure are u?

bcoz this is actually what i got from ur comment.

April 29, 2008 3:05 PM  

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