The Hilarious Feminist Business Model Part 2: how much you get for affiliate marketing penis extensions

The Hilarious Feminist Business Model Part 2:
How much you get for affiliate marketing penis extensions

In my previous post, I outlined why the pick up artist has so much to offer a feminist in search of a lazy business opportunity on the net.

As part of my initial research, I visited Clixgalore. This is one of the marketplaces for affiliate marketing deal. Affiliate marketing is when you get paid commissions for sales made by another website, because the referring link was on your website and someone clicked on it and later bought the product.

Examples of commissions include $100 for referring a customer for a particular Vodaphone package, or 8% of sales for aromatherapy products, or 30% of sales for ‘natural male enhancement’ products.

So, not being someone to mess about, I hypothesise that the best business model is an apparently exclusive online club where men can buy special penis enhancements, learn scripts that will help you bed women and pretend to other men that they are high-powered executives who drive ferraris. A bit like the Australia Club but without the chandeliers.

Update: my Marketing Assistant (aka wordpress scheduler) accidentally posted this before it was finished. I will have to return to the issue in another post, which will be named The Hilarious Feminist Business Model Part 3:
How much you get for affiliate marketing aphrodisiacs and lady tracking devices.

Update 2: The Melbourne angle:

The Age, 28/08/2012:

“A company run from a Collingwood warehouse has been convicted and fined $21,500 for illicit dealings with products that offered enhanced sexual performance and pleasure.

Astrix Pty Ltd’s lotions, sprays and pills were advertised to delay ejaculation, induce, increase and maintain erections, enlarge penises and arouse women.

But a Melbourne court heard the expectations of customers would have been left unfulfilled because the harmless products — which included 1200 spray canisters of Indian God Lotion and liquid Black Arrow Spanish Fly — were “silly novelty items” suited for birthday presents and practical jokes that contained mostly water and caffeine.”

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/small-business/managing/firm-fined-for-bogus-sex-aids-20120827-24v7j.html#ixzz24mrMmzDc

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I thought Conservapedia was satire…OOPS

Uh. I just worked out that Conservapedia is for real. I thought it was satire.

For example, from the entry on femiImagenism, examples of what defines feminists:

  • shirk traditional gender activities, like baking
  • prefer that women wear pants rather than dresses, presumably because men do
  • object to other female-only names, such as “temptress”

You can see why I thought Conservapedia was just a sly, dry joke by someone with too much time on his or her hands. Oops.

Not everybody likes Klout

I have been experimenting with Klout and Empire Avenue for a few weeks now. It is no use being a communications professional in the modern world with out trying out new things to see how they work.

Empire Avenue is an amazing, distracting game which bolsters users’ reach and influence in social media, but it’s debatable whether its top players actually do or say anything to make profits outside of promoting. Empire Avenue and Klout (and the other new social media boosters). Some players are using it in a way which I would consider appopriate to social marketing: they use it, but they only use it to connect with and boost networks that are relevant to their customers and suppliers. I will do a more fulsome post about it it soon.

Quite a lot of people like Klout. It is an online social network measurement tool that plugs into Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and your blogs to show how many people are connected to you and how much they pass on your messages or ‘like’ things that you do.

Quite a few people do not like Klout. Even some people have have quite high scores, for example, a cartoon blog I like called xkcd. Their Klout score is 37.  Another example is web developer Tom Scott (Klout score 50), who was recently featured in Forbes for his witty and direct parody, Klouchebag.

Gathering from a recent Twitter search, there is also a proportion of people  who can see with their own two eyes how daggy it is, but can’t help liking it because they have high scores.

This is understandable, given that many of us creative types spend our lives trying to escape scoring etc and, when we do actually get a great score (eg my 100% for English in year 12, whinge) they say, well, what you do is an art/craft so I can’t see how that scoring could be accurate. This is my score at the moment, but if I went on holidays or stopped playing Empire Avenue, it would probably go down. Brands that are online identities, in addition, with multiple people managing the accounts, get to build their networks quite intensely and in a focused way, and so would probably not suffer if one person went on holidays.

The other thing that proves the Klout is a bit clunky is, my blog posts are not exactly focused. There’s a lot of social justice, a bit on entrepreneurship, quite a bit of feminism and so on, but given that I started the blogs to get my writing muscles nice and strong after a spell of intense editing, they aren’t exactly what you would call targeted.

My question is, how can a system that measures influence continue to be valid if the individuals and networks it measures operate outside the ‘like’, ‘follow’ world? There are quite a few very successful writers and other creative types I follow who just tweet fairly casually when they’ve finished a bit of work, and people visit their site. If the audience likes it, they tell them on twitter.

So, online network measurement games still measure things like how many people clicked on which link when and so on,  but they miss all the granular, qualitative stuff designed to fly under the radar for the simple reason that the people are thinking in a more sophisticated way that the system is. Ergo, it is not measuring true influence from creative types who don’t like Klout.

Therefore, it is also not accurately measuring the reach and influence of the big brands who like to quantify everything, because that measurement is a comparison with all other online network communications.

I’m not ready to draw conclusions yet.  I leave that up to xkcd for the moment: Klout.

Pick up artists and misogynists: the business opportunity

It has come to my attention that there is a movement afoot called Pick Up Artistry. It has been afoot for a while now, but there seems no shortage of members.

Apparently, with sufficient skill and paid-for advice, men can learn the magic words and actions that will instantly make any woman they like fall into their arms or open their legs.

Pick up artistry is a big earner in the US and has spread elsewhere. Basically, men take advice and ‘training’ from blogs and videos that sell sure-fire formulas that promise 100% success with 100% of the ladies 100% of the time. Or something like that. There are celebrity pick-up artists like Mystery, Neil Strauss and many more, who are the leaders of the movement and appear to be making the most money.

Pick Up Artist (PUA) programs typically sell for between $9.97 per month and $2997.00, and some of the customers are very hooked in, sometimes paying for multiple programs from multiple PUA idols.

In many cases, the Pick Up Artist is so skilled that he can do this even without having a good grasp of language or logic. For some interesting examples, see Dating Advise For Men.

Pick up artists TV show

Pick up artists TV show

There is even a TV show about it (see picture of spunks).

Or this pick up artist convention in California where, I suppose, the pick up artists practise on each other. Following on the success of the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, this event promises to be ‘The Most Historic Event in PUA History!’

This historic event only costs $749 (earlybird price) or $2,997. It includes sessions such as ‘What It Means To Be A Natural’ and ‘Excavate to Dig Down and Know Your Deepest Self’. I shit you not.

The thing is, I’m a feminist, and a marketer and a writer.

From the point of view of a marketer, there is something so enticing about a product or service that a customer is very ‘hooked into’. Customers spending large amounts of money for products which are hard to copy, which have low production costs, are total winners – as long as they’re not wrecking the environment and renting to shreds the fabric of society or just causing plain old pain to people.

From the point of view of a feminist, the whole pick up artist scene is either revolting or counter-productive, depending on how I’m looking at it at the time. Either it’s yet another instance of the war on women, whereby man becomes super-man and woman becomes super-objectified, or it’s another distraction for real men who really would like to know how to relate to women, but who live in a mass-media-mediated patriarchy and therefore would need the equivalent of winning the lottery to stumble upon the idea that love comes from getting to know a real person, male or female.

From the point of view of a feminist-writer, it’s HILARIOUS. A group of privileged, moneyed (relatively), self-centred people whose major downfall/achilles heel is that they need to spend all their waking time and spare money to manipulate another group of people (everyone else who is of a different type) in order to feel normal.

(Of course, the most popular way to feel normal in the Western world is to have a roof over one’s head, be free of violence and abuse, have enough food to eat and clean water, be able to regulate one’s body temperature, talk on the phone or the internet, and cuddle up the couch with a loved one or a favourite pet.. And feeling normal in poor countries equates to food, safety and hygiene).

Here is a choice selection of some of the funnier PUA comments on reddit:

For the past 4-5 years, I’ve been immersed in PUA and self actualization material. My life has improved in several ways as a result, but I have yet to have a wholesome sexual experience. (self.seduction)

I’m taking the No-Masturbation-Until-25-Approaches Challenge. I’ll keep the post updated with FRs.

I’m living with parents and won’t move out till next spring. The problem is my parents don’t let me out of the house other than for school or other things that are needed. I have zero experience with women, but it’s something I would like to work on. I don’t know whether to try to hit on girls now knowing it most likely won’t go farther even if we hit it off, or whether to just wait when I move out? Thoughts?

So, as you can see, it’s pretty funny stuff.

It’s also pretty lucrative.

I went to entrepreneur school for a while, and I have to say, having groups of cashed-up customers with a tangible, proven means of marketing to them is pretty attractive. I mean, earning yourself a nice new Mimco based on income from some mid-30’s loser who’s sitting in his bedroom at his mum’s place (using her broadband) is a pretty sweet idea.

ImageTwo questions:

1. What’s the business model? In particular, what business model would most suit their appetite for gaming (not gambling) in combination with their cash and their sense of privilege?

2. How do you ensure that the business does not end up disadvantaging the members of the boy-man’s family, or society generally? How do you build the business without intensifying or normalising patriarchal ideas?

Or do you just write the content to suit really, really stupid PUA gamers, knowing everyone else will see through it?

Great piece in Jezebel about rape culture

This article in Jezebel, about rape culture in the student community of Missoula, US, and the attitudes from local police that support it, was written thoughtfully and with effort put into the research. The reporter, Katie J M Baker, approached it in  adirect but nuanced way, and managed to disntinguish her own feelings and thoughts from the interview subjects. This is really hard to do when writing about justice and violence against women, particularly sexual assault.

Experiment with QR Codes #1

I created the following QR code at createqrcodes.com.au:

The text I entered was:

“This is a test. Haverin Books havers all over Healesville”.

For those of you who don’t have a QR code scanner, they are downloadable onto your phone and don’t cost anything. Check them out at Play Store (used to be Android Marketplace)

So now we know, unlike barcodes and ISBNs and stuff like that, QR codes are quick and easy to apply on the fly.

Being a lover of print publishing, I want my pubs to be in print. Particularly since the target markets are often on holidays when they buy, and although tablets an iPads are nice, you just don’t want them falling in a river or getting covered in salty sand.

So books and magazines are here to stay. But how to get that rich (and funny) experience of cruising from page to page, just drifting, or digger deeper and deeper into something? These things are web things.

There is good evidence that mobiles have overtaken computer-based access for internet browsing and all the other meta-activities that go on underneath of or on top of the connected world. And yes, people do take their phones on holidays.

An update on my experiment with Empire Avenue, and a new post about my experiment with Klout, will be posted ASAP.

Not sledging, not joking, not expression, not political point-scoring, plain old violence against women

It’s so much part of the landscape that it seems nobody at the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age or anywhere for that matter is calling out about it.

Why is it okay to for Grahame Morris to joke about kicking a woman to death? Why is that funny? Is it funny like the famous Alexander Downer line, ‘the things that batter’?

Why do we go along with the idea that it could, possibly, very likely, be just a bit of fun? For those of you who don’t understand we are calling you on your misogyny, here’s an update by Clementine Ford, just published today, just in time to help you figure out if us feminists really are being wowsers or sour bitches or have gone too far.

I say ‘gone too far’ is saying the Prime Minister should be kicked to death. Who among us would say Tony Abbott or Joe Hockey should be kicked to death?

The headlines in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald claim that Grahame Morris has apologised, so it looks like the story has had its day and everyone’s moving on. A thing that us women are always being told to do, whenever we complain about threats of violence, sexual assaults, etc etc.

The problem is, he hasn’t done anything of the sort. The person who apologised is David Speers, on Morris’ behalf. I can picture how that conversation went:

“Shit, mate, what did you say that for?”
“What? Well she does deserve a bloody big kicking”
“We know that, mate, but you just can’t say things like that”
“OK”

Blokes know it’s not a joke

Girls, don’t swallow that tripe about it just being a bit of fun. The blokes do actually know and understand the impact of their violence. They know it’s not funny. They take it really seriously, when we’re not talking about women.

Just have a look at the weekly AFL tribunal commentary if you’re in any doubt. For example, yesterday The Age was showing this graph. Note that almost 1,000 people had voted. There was extensive coverage of the minutae of striking charges, how much pressure was applied in the strike, who was standing where when it happened. Exhausting stuff.

The Australian also displayed a similar obsession.

But of course we don’t notice anything unusual about this, because it’s footy, and it’s normal. Just like wanting to kick a female political leader to death is normal.

PS Here is an article in Wendy Harmer’s The Hoopla about some of the worst comments about the Prime Minister.