Interesting Article about

November 14, 2005 · 0 comments

Today’s Boston Globe ran an article about BzzAgent, a site I’ve mentioned here many times and I enthusiastically support.
BzzAgent uses your demographic info to target you for specific “campaigns” in which you are given a free sample of a new product and are asked to try it out, offer it to other people, talk it up if you like it, and report back to the “Hive.” Not only do you get to try out new products, you earn points for your reports and you can cash those points out for prizes.
I’ve been with BzzAgent for two years now and have gotten some neat freebies out of it (like the 20Q handheld game and a Home Cafe Coffeemaker) and some lousy freebies out of it (the new Citrus Listerine PocketPaks…yucky). But it’s always fun to try out new stuff, and when I like something, I DO tell people…lots of people.
Today’s article talked about how the BzzAgent founder, Dave Balter, was able to use his BzzAgents to generate positive Amazon reviews for his book (he’s been sharing parts of it on the website plus he gave out some advance copies), while it was not enthusiastically received by professional reviewers. Dave addressed this on the BzzAgent Blog about a week ago.
The Globe article suggested that since BzzAgents don’t always identify themselves as such when they are talking about a product, that it’s somehow deceptive. I don’t buy that, personally, because BzzAgents are not encouraged in any way to push people to buy a product that they don’t believe in. I just filed a BzzReport for the abovementioned Listerine PocketPaks in which I stated that I hated the taste, but I offered one to someone without comment to see if it was just me, and they hated it, too. Companies need to know NEGATIVE reactions just as much as positive ones, and I hope my feedback helps the company realize those darned things are gross!
The Globe also gave some stats about BzzAgent: there are only about 117,000 BzzAgents (which really surprised me — it’s such a fun program) and they are run by a staff of 50.
Anyway… I enjoy BzzAgent and if you’d like a referral link to join, please email me.

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