We Blog: We Socialize! We Win! (?) We DO NOT Care!


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In the previous issue in this section, I did a review on the professionalism and genuineness of IndiBlogger. This time, my recent experiences have led me to bring to light a whole new story from the Blogosphere!


WeBlog! They were sending add requests to all the bloggers they could find on Facebook last month, telling everyone to get “blog-rolled” on their website days before it even went online! And with promises of winning a chance for an exclusive interview with them, they even managed to gather quite a fan following! Despite the fact that they had no existence at that time other than their page on Facebook, and a personal account called “Web Logger”, that was also never heard of before!!

But that’s a completely different story altogether. If you want to read all the juicy (and lengthy!) details, then refer to the post “Honored… by Mistake???” (by miss_teerious). The post here is just an objective review of this new “blogging community” (as they claim to be!) called “WeBlog”.


CONS:

Hate the lack of transparency!

Who the hell is “Web Logger”? Is it just one person or a group of several people? Why not reveal yourself? Surely you aren’t bigger than Renie, are you? At least not yet! Why hide yourself unless you are up to some mischief? And even big shots like IndiBlogger and BlogAdda announce the prizes of their contests right in the beginning. WeBlog, however, chooses to remain mum on this, even ignoring specific comments!

The apparent “link-farming”.

You can read more about it in the post on my personal blog (linked above). It would have been better if they had done their homework before they involved so many bloggers. IndiBlogger, BlogAdda, Blogged, all these big names in the Blogosphere aren't stupid that they spend so much resource in maintaining a proper directory of blogs, with categories and sub-categories, rather than just DUMPING everyone in a list of several hundred blog addresses scrolling in their sidebar, which nobody will ever glance through!

Lack of clear vision.

What exactly are they aiming to do? First the interviews, and then a contest, and then right after that, they say on their page that they are out of ideas. Out of ideas within 2 weeks of launch? Surely when you start something as big as that, you must have a blue print in mind – a road map – for at least the next 6 months! How can you even afford to run out of ideas in just 2 weeks if you are claiming to create a revolution in the blogging community? How exactly were you planning to do that anyway, without any concrete to-do-lists? (Of course, eventually they came up with a “featured post” thing… right after our FB page posted a request for submissions! A coincidence, like I mentioned in my post!)

Pathetic CRM.

Managing good relations with your customers (even if they don’t pay you anything!) is extremely important! BlogAdda and IndiBlogger are the biggest Blog directories for Indian Bloggers, and even they reply to everyone promptly and politely. And WeBlog is just a few days old in this world, and is already ignoring people’s comments and posts? And even banning them… just for informing the bloggers in their community about a new opportunity!!! And not even just banning them from the page, but also from their personal account! (Yeah well, for this you will have to read that lengthy post linked above, but I have given evidence in support.)

Pack of Lies.

They say that they want to "help the smaller bloggers out there", so that they "get noticed". But if they really wanted to do this, then why did they ban me from their page? When all I had done was post the information that Indian bloggers of specific categories could showcase their work in a new eZine! And NO! They weren’t running an eZine at WeBlog… at least not at that time. However, if some “coincidence” has happened again, I’m not aware of it. (Or maybe it will happen now, after they get to read this!)

Copy Cats???

By the way, the part of the screen shot displayed above wasn’t there on their site till the time I got banned! Also, their slideshow came up the very next day after I posted about our slideshow giving problems, and that I was going to work on it! And I have already mentioned above about their current “featured-post” stint. They have even copied the exact same format for the posts as in this eZine! Surely you guys are smart – I don’t need to spell-out everything to you!


PROS (Oh yes! I always give proper credit where it is due!):

Their marketing skills, if slightly controlled (to cut the over-aggression that can be a major turn-off to many) can be put to great use.

They adapt fast and learn fast. (Obviously, they’ll have to, because very clearly, they are just “learning on the go” it seems, with hardly any background research!)

They did come up with some good questions in their interviews. (Whether anyone else read those interviews or not, I don’t know. But I certainly did, only ‘coz I was looking for more writers for the eZine!)


UPDATE on September 2nd, 2010:
I just found out that the interview questions had been copied too, verbatim, from the questionnaires of BlogAdda interviews! And when a BlogAdda representative confronted them about this, they banned him too! That's why I have crossed-out the point above listed under "PROS".

Their tagline (in their Titanic-sized badge!) says – “We Socialize. We Win. We Care.” Now maybe I’m missing something here, but where is the CARE? And where is the SOCIALIZE? Win? Well that depends on what they were planning to win actually, but the bloggers aren’t really winning much here.



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9 comments:

Kaddu said...

RECEIVED THIS COMMENT FROM WEBLOG WHICH I AM NOT PUBLISHING 'COZ I'M NOT GIVING THEM ANY LINKS FROM HERE...

"Thank you for the review Miss Kaddu or whoever you are. Such criticism actually helps. Keep up the good work. All the best.

See if this helps you justify your claims -
[link to someone's blog post praising WeBlog, could be a friend or a part of their team specifically asked to do a testimonial, 'coz most of the recent posts on that blog are just praises about WeBlog!]

Regards.
Administrator
[Their link here]"
-----------------------------------

MY REPLY IF YOU HAVE SUBSCRIBED TO COMMENTS HERE:

Dear "Administrator",
I have not yet posted the link to this review anywhere on Facebook, and the fact that you have started publishing testimonials on your FB page right after our 2nd issue went live (yeah I noticed the date in the screenshot given in that blog linked in your comment - 18th Aug] is again proof that you guys are still stalking this eZine for ideas!

But it looks like you have missed the complete post on my own personal blog. I have linked to it from this blogpost. Read it carefully. Perhaps then you'll recognize who I am, and why I have written this post.

And then, if you guys are really genuine, you ought to offer a public apology to me and un-ban my account from your FB page and your WebLogger both. Until you do that, I will maintain my stand - that your tagline is completely wrong! And no amount of testimonials you show me can make me change my views. I know how these testimonials work by the way! :D

As for the criticism, well I sure do hope you'll do something about the "link-farming" soon. Because that might actually negatively impact the bloggers!

I wonder if you'll publish the link to this post in your FB page! Surely if you can post the praises, why not the criticism if you think it's actually beneficial to you? :D

Oh and I still need an explanation to why my account was banned in the first place. Let's see how gracefully, and IF, you can manage your way out of this mess... and if one day you DO evolve into a useful community for bloggers, justifying your tag line, I will be very happy to do another review on you, a genuine one, not like those testimonials you are publishing right now.

Regards,
Kaddu [There is no Administrator here]

August 23, 2010 at 9:18 AM
Bikramjit said...

I LIKE THISSSSSSSSSSSSssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

What can i write when so much is already written :) with you all the time :)

November 6, 2010 at 3:41 PM
Kaddu said...

:D Thanks Bikram! Did u read the related post on my personal blog too? I have given the full story, with evidence in support, over there. This is the link: http://mysterious-kaddu.blogspot.com/2010/08/honored-by-mistake.html

November 6, 2010 at 5:40 PM
Mohan said...

I never was a part of that team from the very beginning. I have been invited to join that group on facebook a number of times by multiple people. I kept on reject[ignor]ing because i saw a lacuna and somehow I smelled the spamming intention of that... Now I am getting to read more from the former members!

November 6, 2010 at 8:10 PM
Prateek said...

Yeah! I noticed the same. They dumped my Blog in some non-ending directory of Blogs (i never found my Blog there. Actually I doubt on my registeration too). Request from WebLogger too came to me. Guessing from the mutual friends I mistook him/them for some profilic blogger. I never knew it's WeBlog. And I find other platforms in Blogosphere more reliable than WeBlog. You are right this platform was setup without any pre-thoughts on how to run.

November 6, 2010 at 8:33 PM
Bhavana ಭಾವನ Rao said...

Well, let me tell you how i am feeling right now :)
they asked for friendship, i accepted and I asked them how they found me, they said they have their ways.I never wrote my blog for pulicity in the first place, my intention is to find good bloggers who share similar attitudes as I do. They came back and said,they reviewed my blog and ïts amazing and that I am invited for an interview and other things". I did not like getting interview and stuffs because I write it for myself, and I am very much sure I am mediocre writer. I was always amazed with the way they said that my blogs posts are very good and I am a "brilliant" writer(which I know I am not :o)). Today when Swathi wrote about whois the Admin for weblog, I decided, this is too much.. But taking this incident on a positive note, i got to know nice bloggers :) It was not a worse experience as you had, since im not very frequent blogger, but very interesting experience :) cheers. And I would like to tell your blog is very neat and nicely writtem :)

November 6, 2010 at 9:49 PM
Kaddu said...

@ Mohan: Yeah, they sounded so much like the FarmVille scam pages, but I joined their fan page anyway, though I did not give my bloglink to them. Wanted to find out first what they were exactly planning to do...
Anyways, it's all out in the open now.

November 9, 2010 at 4:09 PM
Kaddu said...

@ Prateek: Hey I mailed u the code buddy. Do try it out & let me know. Btw, they have apparently announced on their page now that they will be back with a new domain and better site. So let's see... maybe they do deliver in the end.

November 9, 2010 at 4:15 PM
Kaddu said...

@ Bhavana: Oh yes, it was definitely a very interesting experience! And no, it wasn't really that bad for me. I'm old enough to realize that there are always people who try to use others for their own motives. Personally, I have seen so much deceit in real life, that this virtual scam doesn't even come close to it all. I just try my best to spread awareness about it, learn whatever can be learnt, and then move on. Like you said, because of all this mess, we did get to meet some new good bloggers! :)

Thanks for liking this blog. This is a group magazine... a monthly publication for Indians. If you want to write something for it, do let me know. You can check the "Contribute" page on the top for any details. Take care :)

November 9, 2010 at 4:27 PM

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