Will selling through Ensogo and other social buying sites damage your brand?

Ensogo. Great for bargain hunters, but how about merchants?

Ensogo. Great for bargain hunters, but how about merchants?

I’ve been receiving pretty good offers from Ensogo over the past few weeks now and I am surprised by the amazingly low prices they have.  Almost every single thing is marked down or discounted by at least 50 percent and the quality of the stuff they are offering  seems pretty good.

Ensogo, like Groupon, is a social buying site and was recently acquired by LivingSocial, one of the major Groupon competitors.

In their e-mail to me today, two things interested me immediately: an offer for a Php600 (about US $ 15.00) Berting’s Grill gift certificate discounted at P300 (about US $ 7.50) and a 3-day, 2-night stay at the Boracay Terraces Hotel going for P7,700 (about US $180) when it would normally cost twice that much.

And, having just opened up a bank account that links up with PayPal (but you can also pay via ATM Peso Pay or bank transfer), I might just buy that gift certificate from Berting’s Grill and use it to buy several orders of their fabulous barbecued chicken ass and liempo or pork ribs.  As for Boracay Terraces Hotel, well, it’s something that I really got to discuss with my wife first — but it looks like a pretty good buy.

All in all, it’s almost a revolutionary site for bargain hunters like me but it may not be all that amazing for merchants who get into social buying sites expecting “magic” to happen.  A long time acquaintance who sells organic food online clued me in on a couple of caveats and cited a couple of reasons why he isn’t a fan of Ensogo — at least, not yet. [Read more…]

From 55 Blogs to 4 Local Websites: An Interview with John Evans


John Evans’ blog network Syntagma Media always stood out a bit from the blog networks of the early days. First it was because of the hacked Kubrick blog template with the rainbow headers (which I remedied in one of my first design gigs in the blogosphere), and then because of Evans leaving the term blog behind, rebranding as a network of sites, web magazines, and other ideas aimed to make them more accessible and easy to understand.

Earlier this week Syntagma Media launched its most recent venture, the first in a series of “hyper-local” websites. So how do you go from blog network to local websites? That’s what this interview is about. [Read more…]

The Gawker Media Demo Reel

If you’re a blog network like Gawker Media, mixing rumors and news with celebrity stalking and snarky commentary, you need a demo reel to go with it. Luckily, enough people have spoken out against the network blogs, and they have been featured in a fair share of popular culture TV shows (you missed the Californication Gawker mugshot, guys!) to make for an interesting video. [Read more…]

BlogTalkRadio: An Interview With Deborah Ng

Deb Ng

BlogTalkRadio is you chance to host your very own radio show, participate in, or just listen to one. The service’s been around for some time, and has attracted quite a few celebrities, both online and the more traditional kind. With that in mind, I got in touch with Community Manager Deborah Ng to hear what she had to say about BlogTalkRadio, podcasting, and other things. The interview was a treat to good to pass up. [Read more…]

If I Could Start My Blog Over Again…

In August of 2005 I sat down to write my first few posts for a new blog, Plagiarism Today. It was my first attempt at a blog and at the time, it was viewed more as a side project than anything big.

Yet, with time it grew, not just in terms of readership, but also in terms of the amount of time I spent on it. First becoming my primary site and then a full-time business. Currently, I spent about 60 hours a week on PT-related issues and am very stunned by what the site has become.

However, with this experience came a lot of lessons, many of them hard. Some things I did well from day one, many things I did not. Though I’ve been able to go back and fix many of my mistakes there are some I haven’t and probably never will.

Still, if I could do it all over again, there are many things I would change. Here’s a list of five of the more important decisions that, if given a second chance, I would not repeat. [Read more…]

What Automattic Should Do With WP.com


I’m happy to see that Automattic has been able to acquire WP.com, from Yahoo incidentally, who also sold the blo.gs domain to the creators of WordPress and Akismet not so long ago. Matt is thrilled, and rumor has it* that he spent a full day just typing in wp.com and watching it resolve to wordpress.com (*not confirmed).

Naturally, he blogged it as well, on the WordPress.com blog, asking the world what they should do with the new domain, and urging people to make suggestions in the comments.

My reaction to that: Whaaat?!?!

Are you mad? [Read more…]

Top Tech Brands Don’t Get Twitter

The Royal Pingdom blog continues to do and publish interesting studies. The latest one is about how many of the top IT companies that are represented on Twitter, or even in control of their brand, and the result is a depressing one indeed:

Alas, our Pingdom poll of 100 Fortune 500 IT-companies (full table below) showed that 67 of them can be hard to find with a name search, as they don’t use Twitter accounts which have the same names as their company name.

That’s 67%, a staggering number, that just don’t get Twitter. Perhaps a bit harsh, but true nevertheless. Maybe they are more inclined to get their Twitter account under control now that even Oprah’s doing it?

SyFy: It’s No Wii Is It?

I don’t really care what the SciFi Channel calls itself, but rebranding itself as SyFy to not alienate people is just plain silly. Most tweeters seem to agree, judging from the search result for the #SyFy hashtag, and here’s the Technorati tag. Science fiction blog io9 offers 25 other names for rebranding the channel, and webcomic Real Life makes a pretty good observation. Penny Arcade is slightly less politically correct, as usual.

I don’t know, maybe they hoped to do a Wii and gain something from all the bad jokes. After all, all the pee jokes proved successful for Nintendo (the Wii prints money), so maybe that’s it? Either way, gotta love the blogosphere for making the most of this thing.

Exploring Social Media Series

One of the Anderson Historical Family Farms in Wisconsin - copyright Lorelle VanFossen

One of the Anderson Historical Family Farms in Wisconsin - copyright Lorelle VanFossenHanging on the wall in a family friend’s home is a quilt bearing the name of our grandmothers. Surrounding their names are the names of men and women from their community. Funds were needed for a community project so a quilt raffle was developed. Each participant embroidered their names onto flour sacks in this once agricultural community now lost to the time and the metropolitan expansion of Marysville, Washington, USA. All the flour sack squares were sewn together to create a simple and colorful bed quilt, padded with a left over blanket and backed by a bed sheet.

The quilt was displayed in the community center of the now lost village while community members spent what little money they had on raffle tickets, knowing it was going for a worthy cause. Her grandmother won the raffle and the quilt comforted the beds and the spirits of their family’s sick and cold children for decades, finally finding its way to her wall in honor of the past and community spirit that once thrived in a place covered with housing subdivisions where no one knows their neighbors.

For the village of Sunnyside and others around the world, community quilts were their social media tools and resources. Neighbors would get together in between long days of planting, harvesting, and familial responsibilities to chat and share stories and news over pieces of fabric.

Local bars served the same purpose, along with food and drink, to create a family away from family where people could be “themselves” and share their thoughts with others, often encouraged by the spirits. [Read more…]