1. 3/19/2013

    I appreciate your blog but must correct some assumptions on what the platform does. One of the great things about Yappem, is that is decouples the incentivized review/recommendation. We are rewarding people for sharing their experiences, but they are not forced to choose that brands gift card. For example, if a user is talking about McDonald’s and Gatorade and then earns enough coins for a gift card, they may chose to get a gift card from Amazon.com. Thus brands are not able to “Pay” for endorsement.

    Our idea is to have organic naturally occurring behavior (which is already on other social platforms) go through Yappem. We are not interested in SPAM or other incentivized content. We are going to reward users by sharing the profit in the form of gift cards. We like the idea of this behavior getting rewarded as it is currently creating profits for companies but those profits do not seem to find their way back to the users. We think the users own their content, and thus should be rewarded.

    I hope this gives you a more clear understanding of our platform and we would welcome a further discussion to allow you to fully understand what we are offering.


    Justin Webb – CEO and CoFounder of Yappem

    • 3/22/2013

      I think you’re missing the point here.

      Alienation and disenfranchisment is bad enough in the modern world without having to worry why your friends are recommending things. It’s not so much that they don’t get benefit currently – that’s why those suggestions bear some weight and trustworthiness.

      Having people gaining credit (from anyone) for such recommendations breaks that trust. The idea of ‘monetizing’ mine or more importantly my friends recommendations makes my stomach turn. And is pretty evil, as it brings advertising and outside influence and money into a social friendship, and makes you question the veracity and source of the other things they say.

      Very problematic – and I bet either people won’t declare they are doing so, nor will there be the transparent framework to see it’s a ‘sponsored’ suggestion, and the companies won’t want that because they want to leverage those social connections and they know such ‘outing’ would mean people would then switch off as advertising.

      It’s an insidious way of using social relationships and media, and I don’t see how it can work especially when (and it will be when) such ‘benefits’ come out and the inevitable fall out happens…because it won’t be organic, people will start suggesting the companies that are part of the scheme to gain more benefits…such ‘brand champions’ I don’t want to be part of my social circle as they have basically sold my friendship.

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