Sunday, November 26, 2006

introduction

As a resident of San Francisco I'm not much into putting down new ideas,
but on this subject I find it very hard to be silent. I was shocked recently to find that
the web 1.0 company I worked at: alladvantage.com, was relaunching
as "AGLOCO" short for "a global community". 'What the ***' I thought,
'all the things I thought we learnt have been forgotten?'.

A little background, from August 1999 to August 2000 I worked for
one of the strangest companies ever to exist. At the tail end of the
first Internet bubble, AllAdvantage.com offered users the chance to
"get paid to surf". The concept was that if you installed a "Viewbar"
which sat below your browser and showed you ads when you were
active on the Internet, you would be paid money for your time. Not
that much initially, but if you referred users to the system
and they referred others and so on, you would receive more money
corresponding to the number of hours each of your referrals spent
online per month. Sounds like multi level marketing? Yeah - it was,
but wrapped up in all sorts of nice phrases like "infomediary" and
"alladvantage protects your privacy".

Ok - so maybe it wasn't the smartest company choice back in 1999 but
at the time I joined at 15 people, the company had signed up
over 3 million people in less than 4 months on the promise of
earning money for watching ads. Our belief at the time was that
we would use this INITIAL marketing technique as only one of the
methods for acquiring members, and that the TRUE mission of the
company was to offer this valuable set of tools for users to use on
the Internet to protect their privacy, give them ecommerce discounts etc.
Sounds great? Well... in November 1999 we got the first big VC
round of $30m I believe, with the specific mission - go public
fast and do it on the current model of "pay to surf".

I think people were genuinely surprised when they received their first
checks in late 1999, and after the first scans of checks hit the Internet
the craze really took off. I think by the time the company shut down
the "pay to surf" part of the business, they had handed out over
$100m to users. Probably the biggest redistribution of wealth ever?


Why am I writing this now? I have no regrets. I learnt a lot
and made some great friends at alladvantage, but I also learnt
that:

- there's a lot more to life than advertising
- companies that offer no inherent value do not survive

I think agloco is a very bad idea, and I also think it is a bad
thing for the Internet right now. We are in the middle of a
regrowth in the web, and people are starting to do some
very cool things, e.g. flickr, 43things, delicious, youtube,
mashups etc. Muddying these waters with a "get rich quick"
scheme seems like a bad idea at best.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you nuts???? What SCAM?? You say AllAdvantage gave its members $100 million - and they want to start it again - and you think it is a scam.

I looked at the AGLOCO site – looks like they have a serious interest in redistributing some Internet wealth – they seem to have a serious interest in Privacy (Ray Everett-Church is their Chief Privacy Officer.) And they seem to have a serious team (over 50 people listed on their team page.) That doesn’t spell SCAM to me.

The stuff you like – YouTube, MySpace etc. – the users create 90% of the value and got 0% of the sale money. Me – I signed up for AGLOCO --- and you should stop reliving 1999 and see the world as it is.

By the way if you decide to join – could you use my referral code BBBB-0035 – I hoping to get part of the money being created on the Internet and help put my kids through college

skeptic said...

Interesting that you embed your referral code in your comment. I'll assume you're not a neutral third party in this discussion...

I'll try to answer your tirade.

I am not reliving 1999, agloco is however.

Ray was chief privacy officer the first time around, so there's nothing new there. Privacy was the big hook to cover up the cheap "pay for surf" model initially, so again, nothing new.

Let's take a look at these companies that gave you 0% of value. Myspace created a new mechanism for communication and networking, Youtube created a mechanism for video sharing that is changing entertainment. The value to you is the functionality and the networks themselves. When you buy a new car and the stock of that company goes up, do you sit around saying, "what's in it for me?".

Agloco is creating zero value for anyone. The fact that you are willing to spam your friends with email, and sit and watch "ads" to receive cash (well in this case the potential of cash) shows up the stupidity of the idea.

I truly feel for your kids who are apparently going to college but couldn't you think of something more creative to do to make money other than sitting around being advertised to?

AGLOCO Reviewer said...

Hi,

I don't have the advantage you have of working for the original incarnation of the company back in 1999. but I think it sounded like it was a good idea back then (I don't know why I neevr heard of it before ) and it sure sounds like a good idea to me now.

I must diagree with your use of the term "scam." Companies that are free to join, free to stay with, and then pay their members are not scams. They are wealth generators.

Please see my review:

AGLOCO: Make Money Online

Anonymous said...

You are spending money to advertise that the rebirth of a company you worked for is a scam. Yet people were paid and it is absolutely certain that it was not a scam.

You sound like a disgruntled employee trying to get back at an ex-employer!

Why dont you tell us your real name and who you are? The guys that started the company have their names up!

What can we say about you?

Anonymous said...

you're an idiot

Anonymous said...

AllAdvantage was a great idea, that happend to be at the end of the tech bubble. There were also major faults (like Auto surfers, programs that tricked the ad bars into thinking someone was actively watching the bar 20-40hours a month). So in reality, advertisements werent even getting seen by a huge amount of people.
AllAdvantage didnt have much time to get off the ground before this all happend, hence it closed its doors.
AllAdvantage made me some good extra cash for a teenager who was old enough to sign up but to young to legally work in my state. I was making more monthly than my older friends doing a part time slave labor job after school at fast food joints. I never recieved any mail or email from advertisers thanks to AA, nor do I believe they ever sold my info to anyone.

Anonymous said...

If it's free to sign up and it pays your surfing, it should not be labled as scam. At the worst, they just pay you less than you should be paid. But in the shops, are you sure you do not pay more than you should?

What could you lose if it's free to do

Anonymous said...

You are an idiot

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, I received this email from AGLOCO which doesnt seem to be doing so good right now....


Thank you for becoming an AGLOCO Member during our beta phase. Here is what the Membership has accomplished:

AGLOCO is only four weeks old and it already has signed up tens of thousands of Members, created enormous 'buzz' (over 700,000 pages in Google's search results talk about AGLOCO) and established a website more popular than Toyota's or Ford's or Bloomingdales or Kmart's (it took YouTube 8 months to do that).

Here is what you as a Member can do right now (to help AGLOCO and yourself):


Recruit five new Members in the next thirty days
- if each new Member did this, we would reach our goal of 10,000,000 Members by May


Increase your earnings - every five new referrals (direct or extended) doubles your AGLOCO income
- over 90 percent of our Membership joins through a referral email from an existing Member
- we have provided a sample at the end of this update that you may use if you wish

To help you we have also listed a couple of blogs that our Members have created to share ideas on how to obtain referrals, as well links to two successful Members who have over a thousand referrals.

Ideas
http://aglocoideas.blogspot.com/(good site for ideas for obtaining referrals – sample emails etc.)

Two successful recruiters:
http://mccallsnotes.spaces.live.com/blog/ (over 6,000 referrals)
http://www.johnchow.com/the-agloco-viewbar/ (over 1,700 referrals)

Two'fun AGLOCO sites'
http://aglocovideo.blogspot.com/ (a Malaysian video in English)
http://www.aglocotest.com/ (A newbie diary)

Sample referral email:

I am a member of AGLOCO. It has a goal of reaching 10,000,000 Members by July 1st.

Here is why I would like you to consider joining:

1. AGLOCO pays you, as an Internet user, your fair share of the value created while you surf.
2. The AGLOCO's free software puts you in control of what arrives on your screen and what data you allow outsiders to collect.
3. AGLOCO is a 100% Member owned company which rewards the Members who help build the company. It never costs anything to be a Member

AGLOCO is only four weeks old and it has already signed up tens of thousands of Members and has created enormous Internet 'buzz' (over 700,000 pages in Google's search talk about AGLOCO).

AGLOCO is not a 'get rich' quick scheme. Every additional Member raises the value of all the Members, so we all get more if you join.

It is free to join and Membership never costs anything. Click here to read more and sign up now.
Thanks

victorlhenryonline said...

I guess I'm really confused. I have never seen a scam that was free. Anyway, I signed up. I do have some questions for anyone how is a member of Agloco

1) I did not see where they took any info to send me a check. Did I miss something?

2) Will I have to login to the viewbar when I surf. What if I share a computer with someone. How will it know the difference.

3) Stoocks vs. Cash. I'm leary about that. I live in Houston, That whole ENRON thing....

Please help.

aglocoinspired said...

Hi Guys,

I am very very close! to the agloco team and I will tell you this: IT IS NOT A SCAM. I know the team members extremely well, one of them for the 21 years! And If you are worried about stocks instead of cash have a look at http://www.insideagloco.blogspot.com or http://www.aglocoinspired.blogspot.com

SIgn up at http://www.agloco.com/r/bbbb2585

Khup said...

I am carefully watching your disscussion cos I invested $350 for www.agloco-burma.com

Khup

Khup said...

I carefully watching ur discusion, cos I has been investing 350 dollers for www.agloco-burma.com

khup

Anonymous said...

Agloco is already starting to unravel since they admitted that they won't be paying people until they have a "comfortable" balance between income and expenses!


This article found on Digg.com lays it all out (stocks vs. cash, etc...):

What Everyone Ought To Know About Agloco

If you read the official Agloco blog you'll notice that people are already selling their Agloco sites/URLs