SocialSpark: Candy Colored Shilling

ssz.jpgIZEA (formerly PayPerPost) has soft launched their new social network for “posties” Social Spark.

Social Spark brings the PayPerPost scheme into a candy colored social network. There’s little need to describe all the features as there’s nothing really innovative: think MySpace or Facebook but in bright colors. The key difference is the focus on shilling; center stage is offers for paid posting, including most popular offers and most recent. Each offer includes which members of PayPerPost/ SocialSpark recently visited it and posties can leave props for each offer.

One thing that did surprise me is that SocialSpark is also offering “sponsorship opportunities.” These would appear to be as they suggest, simple place a box on your site and get paid sponsorships that would be entirely legitimate and without moral qualms to most people.

The key difference to PayPerPost before it is that offers taken up in SocialSpark must include link=nofollow links, start with a disclosure, and should be neutral in tone: still shilling, but less evil.

The service is currently in closed alpha testing and running behind schedule (it was originally scheduled for a January launch) so perhaps this explains the complete lack of offers available on the site. Most of the paid opportunities come from IZEA itself and not third party advertisers.

SocialSpark isn’t my thing (nor Michael’s), but others may disagree. Screen shots as follows: