Monday, April 21, 2014

"Influence" Sites for Bloggers

(Okay, this is not just for bloggers, but for anyone on social networking sites.)

When I realized that some of my more popular posts here are the ones for reviewing products, I thought it might be a good idea to explore some of the sites made for that. Also, let's be real: I'd love not to have to spend so much money on products that I might be able to try out for free.

Anyway, I've been looking at some of the places online focused on product review. I've even signed up for some of them. Here's what I can tell you about my experience so far:
  1. Klout - while this is more of a site for measuring someone's "social influence," I joined because I think that it may help me get chosen to review products. PRO: gives me an idea of my personal online "klout." CONS: is a little intimidating for the first-time user; not very user-friendly right off the bat; is centered around popularity, which makes me feel both pleased and ashamed (it's like high school cliques meets social networking); I'm not sure yet how much clout my Klout score is having. Klout tells us to "be known for what we love," but it's really about be known for how many people know you. Not complaining yet. I'm going to work on learning how to better use the site first. By the way, this is me on Klout
  2. TapInfluence - is for "influencers" and "brands." I can't really tell you much about this one since, like with Klout, I think this one if mostly for folks with high numbers of social followers. [PROS: Interesting concept. CON: Not immediately user-friendly.]
  3. Izea  - similar to TapInfluence in some ways. You can sign up as either an advertiser or creator (influencer). As a creator, you bid on jobs as they are listed. I've bid on one opportunity and am still waiting for the outcome. Izea calls itself a "sponsorship marketplace." Best description is here.
  4. House Party/Chatterbox - Since I'm not interested in throwing house parties for products, I only interact with the Chatterbox part of this site. I think their are more House Party opps than there are for Chatterbox. I recently applied to be a "Chatterbox" (that's me!) for a product, but I am waiting to see if I am approved. This site seems like it's going to be a lot of fun. 
  5. SheSpeaks - this used to be one of my favorite WOM (word-of-mouth) sites... Then they started doing more stuff through Twitter parties instead of directly with individual members. I think they are still one of the best WOM sites, but I don't have a lot of time or patience for sitting in on Twitter parties. I can better promote a product by trying it and blogging (or Tweeting and G-Plus-ing) about it on my own schedule.
  6. BzzAgent - Along with #5, this was one of the first WOM sites I used. It's still a favorite, but there I haven't seen many opps (for myself) lately. They do have some great campaigns though.
  7. Sverve - I only mention this one because I have joined it. Thing is, I have no clue how to use it to any advantage. I'm going to have to take time soon to figure out how it works or if it's worth being involved with. If it weren't for a lovely person - Kim Lewis - endorsing me, I'd have no interaction there at all! LOL (By the way, thank you, Kim.)
There are many other sites like these that I attempted to try out that exclude me by my Alaska residence. Too bad. You'd think they would want to get the word out to the consumers up here.

I do enjoy participating with these types of WOM and influencer sites, but I offer a thought: you give up a lot of information when you join or fill out surveys. I know that privacy is a big issue these days. I think about the privacy issue myself, but for those of us who've spent so much time online, I think privacy is an illusion anyway.

I want to hear here (or on G+) about any other sites like the above.