evil-lurksApparently I’ve been under a rock this last week. I just learned that on October 5, 2009 the FTC has new guidelines for advertising, blog endorsements, and testimonials.

The biggest target of these new guidelines is going to be faux viral marketing efforts in my opinion. An example would be when a company recruits bloggers/3rd parties of any sort (even celebrities) to talk about their products/services in exchange for a free product, cash, or other service.

Most viral marketing efforts online are done using social media. It has been growing rapidly. Social Media spending has reached $1.35 Billion in 2007 and is expected to reach $3.7 Billion by 2011 according to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

The big social media platforms look like they are going to be monitored. Look for FTC agents to “friend” you on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter (LOL).

I believe though, these new guidelines are going to also affect those advertisement website (web page really) whose scrolling down never ends, with countless of fake testimonials from individuals that are not really credential. And at the end, they have a ridiculous price, or no price at all until you click on payment to get you to sign up. I mean, it’s just a single webpage, but yet people still signup and fall for it every time. Usually the main products they are selling are e-books, or SEO Expert tools of some sort.

Actually, now that I think about it, every industry, every niche, online and offline is going to be affected. In the guidelines it also specifies that “extraordinary results” can no longer be used, but only on average results/testimonials; so no more “results may vary”, or “these results are not common” practice.

In a nutshell a blogger or celebrity must now disclose their endorsement properly and also the payments that where made to them in detail (cash, goods, freebies, etc.)

Read the full FTC guideline.

I believe this will eliminate a lot of bad apples online, but only in the United States. So, it comes down to bloggers/celebrities around the world can say whatever they want, but not in the USA. The real problem here is that the FTC doesn’t really have control over the Internet. It’s not in “US territory”. The Internet is worldwide, and there is really no “Internet Police”.

The Internet is still like the Wild Wild West, and its evolution will continue. These bad apples can simply “move” to another country, and start making the claims again. There will always be scammers that slip through the cracks, and now policing the whole internet, and attempt to make sure no one lies seems too big of a task for even the FTC. What has happened in the past will continue to happen, the bad apples will continue pushing the limit, and the FTC will step in on the major ones they can find, but catching them all? It’s impossible.

One thing I am thankful for is that companies who are doing the right thing and not attempting to sneak around with deceptive practices will slightly have a better chance of getting their voices heard over the would be scammers.

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what do you think about the FTC new guidelines, and some of the gray areas that have been left for interpretation? Do you think that the FTC can police the Internet? Successfully?

To The Competition

On March 8, 2009, in Personal Revelations, by Adelard

I’m sorry I outrank you for your profitable keywords. I’m sorry every move you take, you are only are taking a small step in my shadow. I’m 5 steps ahead of you, since I’m 5 times better than you. I put in 10 times more effort, with 20 times more skill that you.

While you were complacent in your 9 to 5 work hours, I was absorbing knowledge and studying your tactics from Midnight to Midnight. I didn’t sleep for days and learn to control and dominate whole markets.

When you worked, I worked. When you ate and took your hour long lunches, I worked. When you slept I worked. Now, I’m on top.

I rearranged the landscape, you can’t even recognize your own terrain anymore.

Your home turf is now unfamiliar. I aligned myself with your competition, we took over the world and split it 50/50.

Now your drowning, you don’t realize it yet, but you soon will be forgotten. I define my market. I dominate the industries I touch.

There is no where you can hide, for every hour you put in, I put in 3 times more. You have an 8 hours work day, I haven’t slept in weeks.

I haven’t forgotten all of you whom owe me money. I still didn’t get all my money, so I’m coming for your clientele in exchange.

You mimic my moves, but can’t copy my style. You lack the swagger to understand the moves I can make. You’re stuck watch me, in awe,

“How did he do it? How can he outrank me within 2 days in a field I’ve been going at in 2 years?”

The answer has been in front of you. The reason I get thrown 80K to 120K job offers every week. I’m the one of the best. My track record proves it, everything I’ve ever done has come down to this final show down.

And to your unfortunate luck, you are one of my last few standing competition. Tell Lucifer it wasn’t my turn yet when you next see him for me.

Now I truly understand, every time I tried to get out, the forces kept pulling me back in; Because I’m suppose to win, here is my domain, this is where I belong.

-Adelard

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Customized TwitterCounter.com Design I added some widgets to my blog today. I liked the Customized TwitterCounter.com that Dani McDaniel uses on her website so I decided to make a quick 5 minute versus and put it on my site.

If you like it, and want to download it, click here.

I did it in about 5 minutes, so improvements can be made to it, like having the image itself clickable, instead of just the data that is pass from TwitterCounter.com. If you enjoy it leave me some feedback and comments on it!

FYI, The Tweeties Icons I use and included where created by Chris Wallace.

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