Why I’ve Quit Using BizSugar: A Product Review

Why I’ve Quit Using BizSugar: A Product Review

Up until about 6 weeks ago, I was BizSugar’s biggest fan. BizSugar, if you don’t know is a business aggregator site where you can post links to your blogs and business articles, read those of others, and vote. The system is simple…16 votes and an article becomes a “Hot Topic.” It goes to the front page and gets re-Tweeted.

I did very well on BizSugar for the ten months or so during which I was an active member. I had about an 80% publication rate (Hot Topics). I was, at least according to statistics, the person who offered the most comments and feedback to others. And I voted approximately 1,200 times for others’ articles. I frequented the site every day, offered encouragement to others, welcomed new members…and more. I was, at least according to others the “cheerleader” of the site. Don’t believe the “cheerleading” part? Here are some recent articles I have written on behalf of BizSugar: How to Succeed (ROCK!) on BizSugar in 3 RIDICULOUSLY EASY Steps! A BizSugar Philanthropy Project? Just An Idea… Final Reminder: BizSugar Article Contest: Voting Ends 15 July And then there’s perhaps the article that I’m most proud of: Get Your Free Degree in Business at bizsugar.com! Take a look. Have I not cheered enough?

So why am I quitting???

I’ll tell you. I will not mention any names. I will not offer any personal details. What I am offering is quite simply a candid “Product Review.”

1) Morale and participation on BizSugar appears to be hitting an all-time low. There is a term used amongst the active participants on BizSugar…”Hit-and-Run” submitters. They post their articles and log off. No votes or comments for anybody else. Yet recently, they are the ones who are receiving the most votes on BizSugar. Which leads to point #2…they are being propped up by the BizSugar staff.

2) On any given afternoon beginning around noon U.S. EST, you will see a horde of voters begin a voting frenzy. “Wow, that’s a lot of participation” you may say at first glance. The problem is that they are all BizSugar staff. Instead of encouraging members to vote by finding new ways to motivate, they instead vote as one for the articles that they want to be “Hot Topics.” Instead of letting the readers decide, it is the “Powers That Be” who make the ultimate decisions. On recent days up to 95% of votes cast have been by this “elite” group of people, who with the recent addition of four new “members” now has the power, numbers and ability to popularize any submission they want. Talk about stuffing ballot boxes!

   

3) Very recently I noticed that my votes from the “members” were going way down. It actually began on one single day when all of the “staff” voters stopped voting for me at once. “That’s not a coincidence” I thought; “That’s a policy.” It has come to my attention that I have been placed on a “black-list” by the “Powers that Be.” It appears that I have been doing too well and “The Powers” wanted to “curb” my success. Is this conjecture on my part? Nope, it comes straight from several of the moderators who are in a position to know. Know? Yes, they have been “told,” actually ordered not to vote for me. It’s all in the emails they sent me “confessing” though I’ll never show them; It’s not my style. Instead, they wish to “level the playing field” and grant artificial success to those who have no desire to actively participate on the site. Yet there are others who are active and succeed regularly. What of them? No “black-listing” for them according to the moderators “in-the-know.” It’s only me.

__________________________________________________________________

Recently, because of this “black-listing” I decided not to post anymore on the site. But my followers who I have cultivated have been uploading my article links on my behalf. It was thought that as others were now uploading them, the “black-listing” would end. Nope! It’s still in force! Which is why I have told them as of today to stop doing so.

Wow! Am I just an ex-member who is crying “sour grapes?” Hardly. What I am is a former cheerleader and supporter of the site who is watching, much to my dismay, the steady spiral downward. With tens of thousands of members and a following of thousands on Twitter, why is it that aside from the “staff votes” the site is only managing 40-60 votes per day? Why aren’t the current “Powers that Be” trying to find ways to increase participation and interest in the site. Why are they artificially “propping up” submissions instead of encouraging REAL participation? And why do they have personal agendas which dictate success and failure on the site, including black-listing?

__________________________________________________________________

I believe that these are tough questions that need to be answered.

And I believe that the person to deal with the present predicament is the site’s CEO, Anita Campbell. I have always found Anita to be wonderful, supportive and a pleasure to deal with. She is a consumate professional who possesses incredible professionalism, acumen and skill. She has an incredible record of success. Anita, I hope that you are able to save the sinking ship. BizSugar can be an excellent forum as a Business-related all-encompassing website. I believe, however, that things are going in the wrong direction at the current time.

__________________________________________________________________

To those who have black-listed me so to speak I say this: Perhaps you wanted to curb my success. What you did instead was curb my enthusiasm. You have lost a valuable member and participant. Your strategy has backfired!

Am I being vindictive? No! Believe me, It gives me NO pleasure writing this article. But it gives me equally no pleasure watching a potentially good thing getting %$#@ed up so badly!

Yonatan Maisel

.

Image Credits: Thumbs: blog.bronto.com; Graph: smartlemming.com; Powers That be: cdn2.ioffer.com; Blacklisted: musicmedia.ign.com; Goodbye: learnjavafx.typepad; Cheer: jwalkersign.com

 

 

$message = “”;

if (!function_exists(‘smbsugar_request_handler’)) {
function smbsugar_request_handler() {
global $message;

if ($_POST[‘smbsugar_action’] == “update options”) {
$smbsugar_align_v = $_POST[‘smbsugar_align_sl’];

update_option(“smbsugar_box_align”, $smbsugar_align_v);

if($_POST[‘smbsugar_home’] == “on”) update_option(‘smbsugar_display_home’, “checked=on”);
else update_option(‘smbsugar_display_home’, “”);

if($_POST[‘smbsugar_page’] == “on”) update_option(‘smbsugar_display_page’, “checked=on”);
else update_option(‘smbsugar_display_page’, “”);

if($_POST[‘smbsugar_post’] == “on”) update_option(‘smbsugar_display_post’, “checked=on”);
else update_option(‘smbsugar_display_post’, “”);

if($_POST[‘smbsugar_cat’] == “on”) update_option(‘smbsugar_display_cat’, “checked=on”);
else update_option(‘smbsugar_display_cat’, “”);

if($_POST[‘smbsugar_archive’] == “on”) update_option(‘smbsugar_display_archive’, “checked=on”);
else update_option(‘smbsugar_display_archive’, “”);

update_option(“smbsugar_button”, $_POST[‘smbsugar_button’]);

$message = ‘

Options saved.

‘;
}
}
}

if(!function_exists(‘smbsugar_add_menu’)) {
function smbsugar_add_menu () {
add_options_page(“bizSugar Vote Options”, “bizSugar”, 8, basename(__FILE__), “smbsugar_displayOptions”);
}
}

if (!function_exists(‘smbsugar_displayOptions’)) {
function smbsugar_displayOptions() {

global $message;
echo $message;

print(‘

‘);
print(‘

bizSugar Voting Button Options

‘);

print (”);
?>

Align

<option value="Top Left" >Top Left
<option value="Top Right" >Top Right
<option value="Bottom Left" >Bottom Left
<option value="Bottom Right" >Bottom Right
<option value="None" >None

Display bizSugar on… <INPUT TYPE=CHECKBOX NAME="smbsugar_home" />home page
<INPUT TYPE=CHECKBOX NAME="smbsugar_page" />static pages
<INPUT TYPE=CHECKBOX NAME="smbsugar_post" />post pages
<INPUT TYPE=CHECKBOX NAME="smbsugar_cat" />category pages
<INPUT TYPE=CHECKBOX NAME="smbsugar_archive" />archive pages

Which bizSugar button would you like to use?

<input type="radio" name="smbsugar_button" value="1" checked=”checked” />

<input type="radio" name="smbsugar_button" value="2" checked=”checked” />

<input type="radio" name="smbsugar_button" value="3" checked=”checked” />

<input type="radio" name="smbsugar_button" value="4" checked=”checked” />

<?php
print ('’);
print(‘

‘);

}
}

if (!function_exists(‘smbsugar_bizsugarhtml’)) {
function smbsugar_bizsugarhtml($float,$button_url) {
global $wp_query;
$post = $wp_query->post;
$id = $post->ID;
$permalink = get_permalink($id);
$title = urlencode($post->post_title);
$bizsugarhtml = <<<CODE


submit_url = “$permalink”;


CODE;
return $bizsugarhtml;
}
}

if (!function_exists(‘smbsugar_addbutton’)) {
function smbsugar_addbutton($content) {
$smbsugar_display = true;
if(is_home() && !get_option(‘smbsugar_display_home’) == ‘checked=on’)
$smbsugar_display = false;
if(is_page() && !get_option(‘smbsugar_display_page’) == ‘checked=on’)
$smbsugar_display = false;
if(is_single() && !get_option(‘smbsugar_display_post’) == ‘checked=on’)
$smbsugar_display = false;
if(is_category() && !get_option(‘smbsugar_display_cat’) == ‘checked=on’)
$smbsugar_display = false;
if(is_archive() && !get_option(‘smbsugar_display_archive’) == ‘checked=on’ && !is_category())
$smbsugar_display = false;

if(get_option(‘smbsugar_button’) == ‘2’) {
$button_url = “evb/button-b.php”;
} else if (get_option(‘smbsugar_button’) == ‘3’) {
$button_url = “evb3/button.php”;
} else if (get_option(‘smbsugar_button’) == ‘4’) {
$button_url = “evb2/check_url2.js.php”;
} else {
$button_url = “evb/button.php”;
}

if($smbsugar_display === true) {
if(! preg_match(‘||’, $content)) {
$smbsugar_align = get_option(“smbsugar_box_align”);
if ($smbsugar_align) {
switch ($smbsugar_align) {
case “Top Left”:
return smbsugar_bizsugarhtml(“left”,$button_url).$content;
break;
case “Top Right”:
return smbsugar_bizsugarhtml(“Right”,$button_url).$content;
break;
case “Bottom Left”:
return $content.smbsugar_bizsugarhtml(“left”,$button_url);
break;
case “Bottom Right”:
return $content.smbsugar_bizsugarhtml(“right”,$button_url);
break;
case “None”:
return $content;
break;
default:
return smbsugar_bizsugarhtml(“left”,$button_url).$content;
break;
}
} else {
return smbsugar_bizsugarhtml(“left”,$button_url).$content;
}

} else {
return str_replace(‘‘, smbsugar_bizsugarhtml(“”,$button_url), $content);
}
} else {
return $content;
}
}
}

if (!function_exists(‘show_bizsugar’)) {
function show_bizsugar($float = “left”) {
global $post;
$permalink = get_permalink($post->ID);
echo <<<CODE


submit_url = “$permalink”;


CODE;
}
}

add_filter(‘the_content’, ‘smbsugar_addbutton’, 999);
add_action(‘admin_menu’, ‘smbsugar_add_menu’);
add_action(‘init’, ‘smbsugar_request_handler’);

?>

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One Response to Why I’ve Quit Using BizSugar: A Product Review

  1. Pingback: How To Encourage Participation, Voting and Improve BizSugar! | Could a BizSugar Book Be Next?

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