Thursday, December 25, 2014

Xiaxue V.S Gushcloud

The past 2 mornings, my Whatsapp was flooded with messages regarding the post on Xiaxue's Blog "The Big Gushcloud Exposé". I didn't fully agree with every point she posted but i was honestly shocked at some of her findings. I started having doubts about the company i was part of. As a Gushcloud influencer, i had to take their side on this and not just jump to the other side when shit hits the fan right? So despite it all, i chose to have #faithingushcloud and gave them the benefit of a doubt before any statement was released. Bearing in mind that XX took a year to gather evidences so i can't expect GC to churn out a rebuttal post in such a short period of time.

So here's the official response from Gushcloud if you are keen (link).

Here are some more articles to read on the whole saga...

KayKay's Post
Althea's Post
LimpehFT's Post
Lukeyishandome's Post
Grace's Post

One thing though, whichever side you are on is really up to you but if this doesn't involve you directly, don't need to have so much hate and be so mean? Chill....

I like what @Darryl_Yong wrote

(Read this from non-biased standpoint before commenting.) 
When two worlds collide, you can expect mass destruction on both sides. As with Apple and Samsung, the saga between @gushcloud_sg and XX has already seen casualties all around; mostly innocent ones. I might be an influencer under GC but I have and will always stand on my own ground, with my own understandings, to evaluate anything; so you can be assured of an objective post. 
Being very new to social media, I find that XX facts are spot-on with regards to research and background work. Though the tonality of the post seem very personal, it did create some questions in my head that I thought needed answers. Falsification of numbers, regardless of revenue or followers, and masking ads to deceive consumers are mitigating reasons to have this company closed for good. 
Vincent (CEO of GC) replied in a blogpost that I feel is substantial in answering those questions. In a nutshell, no man on earth is perfect. Especially not so for a young start-up company that is venturing into a new market. You can expect accounting mistakes, mis-quotes and misinformation. Everyone who has tried setting up their own business knows how hard it is to take that first step and keep walking without falling once in a while. But I believe, at the core of their mistakes, is a genuine error and nothing malicious. Not to hurt, deceive or malign anyone. I will not say I see them as a family like some GC bloggers feel, but I know that they are good people, trying to make an honest living, to fulfil their dreams and wishes for both company and clients. It’s as simple as that. 
When the dust settles and the truth comes clean, and should Gushcloud survive this ordeal, I’m sure they will not only gain back more trust from current supporters, but also rally and build new ones with their heightened credibility. Thus, this might actually be the best Christmas gift a company can have. 
What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Oh and about Yilin's incident, oh gosh please stop bashing her! She's a really nice girl. It's not correct lah, maybe this is a punishment but a bit too severe, no? Think about it, if you were her, and told to share about something good to your readers which will only take a few seconds and also get paid for doing it I think many wouldn't mind leh? Say real one, so many people in Singapore are so money-minded. Just look at all the bo liao people posting on Stomp just for $50 vouchers. Don't get me wrong, I don't agree and i don't think it's right but i feel that some people are really being way too mean to the poor girl. People make mistakes, give her a break. XX already exposed her and that to me is something embarrassing and as a blogger, it's a big punishment. Don't need ya'll to scold her anymore lah.

Now all bloggers can learn something from this, ALWAYS make sure you try the product first before doing ads and reviews. If it doesn't work for you, be honest and reject the job. I know it is difficult as a blogger to reject jobs from clients especially on months when you don't get a lot of assignments but you will lose credibility in time to come and nobody would trust the product you promote if you yourself don't believe in the product you advertise for.  

Next, i was a bit disappointed to read that GC inflates our numbers but then when i read Kaykay's post, i understood it a little more.

Honestly, i don't know my blog stats and when people ask me, i'll give them a rough estimate. But trust me when i say this, readership fluctuates like MAD all the time. Not everyone visits the same blog everyday. Unlike in the past, it was way more consistent as there was no Twitter and Instagram. But nowadays, people only go to the blog when the blogger mentions on Instagram/Twitter that they have a new post up.

So example, on a normal day when i do not have any new post up, i only have 4k unique hits. (eh eh figures i anyhow one hor don't use it against me) But if i post something on Instagram/Twitter directing people to my blog, i know i can get 10k hits. When clients want to engage me, i would give the latter number (double the number i get on normal days), because i know it is the number of readers i can get to read the post. Every blog has good months and bad months. Gushcloud did not give updated figures for the month but GC did not make up the initial numbers for sure. If KK did direct people to her blog all the time and had a lot of interesting posts that month, i believe she can easily get 10k hits/day. The banner itself isn't enough to determine KK's potential to get people to read her blog post. Nowadays, many clients request for us bloggers to do an Instagram post directing people to our Blog so when clients do that, the hits on the blog will definitely increase...but when there isn't a post/tweet directing people to the blog, not many people will bo tai bo ji go see the blog for fun one lah?

Remember i had a post on the announcement of my pregnancy which went viral? I think i had like over 30k unique hits on that one day. If a client wanted to engage me the following month and asked for my stats (and i'd give the stats of the month before), would i be lying if i sent a screenshot of the hits i had the month before? Then say if the client engages me and then that month we suddenly see a drop in the numbers, how leh? Considered cheating the client? Sometimes we have to be more understanding also la. As a blogger, we don't even know the things which are going to happen and what we are going to blog about. See ah, imagine a client placed a banner on my website on 1 Dec, and suddenly i blog about something like I GOT PREGNANT AGAIN and my blog hits sky rocketed, the client who has the banner up is damn lucky because more people would see the banner. Zhuan dao lor? I cannot possibly go tell the client "eh this month my post went viral and more people viewed my blog so i have to collect more money from you". Then those who placed a banner last month leh? Also paid the same amount but last month no viral news so lesser ppl saw the your banner. Not fair right...

But ok la, bloggers can learn another thing from this. If you want to charge people for placing ads on your blog, try your very best to maintain your numbers and not let your blog go too dead for too long. As a blogger, it is our responsibility to keep the blog alive. If we can't do it, then we don't deserve to make money from it.

If you look at things from both sides, it's really not so jialat la...

The past few days were tough for the people working in GC as well as the influencers under GC. Majority of the people in GC are how sweet and lovable, walao, you really think everyone in GC is fucked up and cunning just because of that one post? You think we are all Devils meh? You really think every single review we have posted is falsified meh? I know there are a lot of XX's fans out there, yes go ahead, love her with all your might! Loving her doesn't mean you have to hate us GC influencers though?

And seriously, think about it from a GC influencer's point of view. Especially bloggers who have been with GC for 3 years. In 3 years, we've build amazing friendships and great memories in the company. The people have taken really good care of us which is why we are still in the company. When shit hits the fan, and we walk away *just like that* after reading XX's post without hearing our company's explanation, wouldn't that make us shitty unappreciative people?