Microworkers – a case of ethics?

July 29, 2010


Cherry Picked recently blogged about a new site, ‘Microworkers’ – “Think of it as Santa’s Little Helpers for odd jobs. Except you’re not Santa, and they’re not doing it for love. Don’t have time to edit a cover letter for that must-have job? Simply become an “employer” and hire someone (a microworker) to do it for you. Can’t seem to attract traffic to your work-of-art blog? Start a campaign and watch your numbers rise. You can even ask workers to product place your latest business venture on discussion forums.”

 I have to admit I was intrigued, we are all looking for ways to earn that little bit of extra money right? So I clicked through to the website, but as I started to read more the first thing that came to mind was surely this isn’t ethical!?

 According to the homepage employers are asking people to blog about their products, post reviews to websites and blogs, become a Facebook fan, follow them on Twitter and the list goes on.

I can understand if businesses are trying to find people to review their products, as long as the reviewers are honest. However there is an ongoing debate about whether paying bloggers to review products is ethical (see my last post on the ethics of food blogging) and asking people to become fans of your brand on social media takes it that one step further!

Personally I believe that it is not the amount of fans or followers you have on Facebook and Twitter it is how many are engaging with your brand and providing valuable feedback and real referrals.

If you are paying someone to become your fan or follower then how likely is it that they are going to be interested in your brand and really engage with it? Is it likely to help you promote your products and/or services? In my view, probably not, it is likely to just make you feel better about yourself, being able to reach those milestones of 100, 200, 1000 etc fans.

So when you are looking to set up your social media strategy or reviewing it, think about what you really want, hundreds or maybe thousands of people who ‘like’ your brand or maybe just a couple of hundred people who really love you brand and are engaging with it?



Worst website copy crimes

October 8, 2009


As Kim mentioned in her latest blog, we’ve been doing quite a few website reviews of late, which means looking and researching many, many websites.

Most people tend to underestimate the power of good wording on a website, for most it’s about making it visually appealing and maybe having some cool effects.   

So I thought I’d put together a bit of a list of the most common website copy crimes I come across.


Feel free to suggest and discuss others that make your list.

1.   What do you actually do?

It’s surprising how many websites I come across where it takes me at least 30 seconds to figure out what it is they do. I think some businesses think that because they know what it is they do, they assume so does everyone else.

I figure you have 20 seconds at the most to communicate to a visitor what your site is all about and if you haven’t got them by then, they will be on to your competitor’s site.

For service orientated sites, the priority is not only telling visitors what you do but also giving them an idea what they will get out of it.

The trick in doing this comes from why clients use your service or what they are looking for.

For example, say you’re a business consultant that offers business planning advice, you might say on your home page,

          “Business consulting expert offering business planning services”

 But it would be better to say,

           “Helping you develop and implement business plans that work”

 If you are someone wanting a business plan, isn’t that what you want, someone to help you put together one that works?

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Is your website up to scratch?

October 1, 2009


We’ve been doing a lot of website reviews for our clients lately and one thing that strikes me the most is the lack of clear objective(s) organisations often have for their website. Trying to be everything to everyone with a website is a risky business that can result in high bounces and low user retention and interaction.


Three of the most common problems we’ve encountered with websites include:

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