Social Spark!

I have a problem with Social Spark! Well, not really Social Spark itself but with the way assignments are given out. I’ve been with Social Spark (let’s just call them SS for short) for quite a while now, ever since the day they first launched their service.

And to be fair, I enjoyed doing work for them. I was happy with what they had to offer and I was happy with the way they offered it. True, I had to book assignments and then wait in queue to see if they would be given to me or not. More often than not, I would get the chance to do them.

Now, when I’m given an assignment, I don’t just simply do them. I try to relate that particular assignment to a real part of my life. After all it’s only fair to the advertiser since they’re paying me to do it. I don’t give them shoddy work and I made a little money from them.

But now, in fact the past couple of months, ever since they revamped their site with certain new features and updates, the assignments I get have practically dried up. Now, I have no issues with that cos the advertiser is not obligated to give me assignments just cos I booked them.

And on the very few occasions that I do get a reservation reserved email telling me that I have successfully obtain a reservation and that I have 12 hours to do it, I am of course ecstatic. But imagine to my utter disappointment, when I log into the assignment details, though the assignment is there for me to do, I cannot select a blog to do it on.

So, what do I do? I send a ticket to customer love and yes, they do reply but what I’m not satisfied is the reply given. Here, read are some of the things they had to say:

First, this may an issue with the way the Opp. is segmented. Basically what happens is that while you met the segmentation requirements of the Opp. when you queued for a reservation, you were right on the edge of being eligible.

By the time that you were ready to submit your post, enough blogs that more closely met the requirements had been added to the system so that your blog was no longer eligible and therefore not able to submit your post.

It can also be a simple reporting issue. When the system resets every midnight, it updates stats and rankings which in turn updates Opp. eligibility and availability. So, if there is ever a glitch in the script or your site is temporarily unavailable when the script runs, this will affect your Opps. for the next 24 hours.

Please remember that the system checks that you meet all the requirements when you add yourself to queue for a reservation, but the queue does NOT check whether or not you are still eligible, if you have already posted for the advertiser or if you can still post for the day when it sends out reservations. It only "knows" that there is a slot open and you are next in line.

I find that a little too bitter to swallow. I can understand if my blog doesn’t meet the qualifications. I can understand if I queue and don’t get the assignment but what irks me is that when I actually get the assignment, apparently I’m on the brink of qualification or there was an update from the time I got the reservation and the time I actually did the assignment which was still within the stipulated 12 hours.

If that is the case why even bother giving me 12 hours and even telling me not to forget to wash behind my ears even and then say that I don’t qualify cos after their internal update, my blog requirements don’t meet they approval. Come on you guys at SS, that’s not something I can buy.

Shouldn’t it be that once I am given the reservation (I stress the word ‘given’ here), whether my blog qualifies (which I think it does) or not within the stipulated 12 hours, I SHOULD be allowed to do the assignment. That’s what the 12 hour period is for, I presume. To give us bloggers a chance to look at the assignment and come up with a worthy enough post for the said assignment.

Imagine this scenario, what if I wrote the post but then, just as I am about to submit, I can’t select my blog cos within that 12 hour period there was an update at SS and I suddenly didn’t qualify anymore or maybe I was on the brink of qualification again. It can be quite disappointing when that happens. And it’s happened to me quite a lot.

As it is, I don’t really get all that many assignments from SS these days so whatever I do get, I jump at the chance to do them and when this happens, well, it sucks. Isn’t there some way you guys at SS can make this right? Take for instance your sister site, Pay Per Post. If you reserve an assignment there, as long as you do it within the stipulated 6 hours, the assignment is yours for the taking. There is no such thing as not being qualified once you reserve the assignment.

Why can’t SS work along those lines? Let me be frank. I like doing work for Social Spark. Especially so when you guys first launched. Things were so much simpler then. Look for assignment, book assignment and if you’re lucky, the assignment will be given to you and as long as I post it within the 12 hour time frame, all is fine.

I hope you guys don’t deactivate my account just cos I wrote a post here complaining about your system. But I cannot stop you if you want to do that anyway. Just consider this constructive criticism from one of your members who enjoy doing work for you. I thought you guys were really cool when you first launched but now, I’m not so sure.

While I do appreciate your replies to my ticket complaining about this, I just cannot buy all the reasons given and hope that my complain here does merit a little further looking into the way your system checks a bloggers qualifications before assigning an assignment to them so that once given, the said assignment should be able to be completed as long as it falls within the stipulated 12 hour time frame.

With that said and done, I hope things will improve for the better soon.

16 weird comments:

Mariuca said...

Wah like dat ah??? Well like I mentioned to u before, so far i only got 1 SS opp, can or not like dat??? After dat nada and now with my 0 PR lagi la quiet! But I'm ticked off with the Affiliate post I did for them, cause I know for sure someone bought an item from the AFF post i did and paid oredi, but I didn't get the so called commission, what's up with that????? Some more now they have this new rule, which I agree with u Spiffy, is plain ridic. Now I'm really not sure if I should continue waiting in line or just give them a miss altogether! :(:(:(

Spiff said...

Marzie - I actually used to enjoy doing work for them. But of late, I'm become frustrated with the way the opps are assigned and I'm not at all satisfied with their answer. I know a few others also with this problem judging from the forums I've been reading in and just like you, I wonder if I should just give them up entirely!

Mariuca said...

Dat's why la, make it harder for us to do opps, lose members oredi! Seriously, how can they cancel the given opp yes? They should only cancel if we don't deliver after the 12 hours. Don laik la SS! :(

I'm also not happy with the response u got!

Carri said...

Hi Spiff,

I completely understand your frustration with this. However, I just want to make sure that you understand that SS works an entirely different way than PPP when it comes to reservations.
In PPP, you take a reservation and must post it within 6 hours. This is because all Opps are set up with a finite amount of posts and once those posts are filled, the Opp closes.
In SS, Opps are set up with a daily budget, which means new posts will be added each day. Because of this, you have the added feature in SS of being able to add yourself to a reservation queue to be put in line to receive the next available spot.
The system checks that you are eligible for the Opp when you queue, BUT your reservation may not come up for a few days or a few weeks and, since stats and eligibility are refreshed each day, it is possible that an Opp that you were eligible for one day, you may not qualify for the next. You may also find that today you qualify for an opp that you did NOT qualify for yesterday.
The system is designed this way to ensure that the advertisers are getting exactly what they require on a daily basis. This makes the advertisers happy which entices them to spend more money and tell their colleagues about their good experience with SS, which benefits everyone.
The issue you experienced stems primarily from the fact that while the system checks your eligibility when you queue, it does NOT recheck your eligibility when you receive your reservation. All the reservation script knows is that you are next in line.
We could run a script that removed all bloggers from the reservation queue each day that no longer qualified for each Opp., but then this would be up to the bloggers themselves to keep re-adding themselves to the reservation queue as they requalfied.
You also left out of your post the portion of the response that referred to benching which actually accounts for most of these issues.
Many advertisers create multiple Opps and do choose to bench bloggers for a specified period of time after they complete an Opp with them, so that the same blogger cannot complete multiple Opps for one advertiser.
However, the bench does not go into effect until you have submitted the first post for the advertiser. So, even though you may have queued for 5 Opps from the same advertiser, once you post the first, you will not be able to post the other 4, even if you receive a reservation.
I hope this helps to clarify!
I realize that this system seems unfair to you, but it was actually specifically designed to give our bloggers as many chances to grab opportunities as possible and to keep our advertisers happy by providing them the best value for their dollars.
All the Best,
Carri Bright
Communications Lead
IZEA Customer Love

Rozella said...

Iya, me also a bit unhappy with SS oh. It's almost impossible to get an opp these days! Kesian my Paypal. So kosong. Hehehe

Spiff said...

Marzie - exactly my thoughts. I honestly don't think I'm the only one with this problem. What to do. I'll stick around with them. Who knows, maybe things will change :D

Spiff said...

Carri - First of all, thanks for dropping me a comment and explaining the situation. I appreciate it very much.

But I'm still a little dissatisfied with the way the system works because for me, I expect to be able to do the assignment once it's given to me.

But I guess there is not much I can do except to keep on trying my luck with reserving assignments.

Spiff said...

Rozella - Yeah, my Paypal also very empty these days ... What to do, have to just keep trying, that's all ... siggghhh ...

Mariuca said...

EH my PayPal oso empty ha ha ha!! Wah IZEA came specifically here to response to ur post Spiffy, good work!

Nessa said...

I think it's unethical of them to send us an email that we got a reservation, and then we get all excited over the it only to find our blog not qualified.. as they said, 'on the edge of'... bla, bla, bla...

Pisses me off BIG time!!

Nessa said...

Jawapan seja panjang tapi isi kosong. Markah diberi 0.5 over 100! Fail!! Social Sparkless betul... grrrr

Mariuca said...

HE he, Nessa!! I think I tak nak wait in line anymore, seriously...heartpain what if I get the reservasi and happily prepare the post only to find out that I'm no longer eligible. Don laik la! :(

Spiff said...

Marzie - LOL! Looks like all our PayPal pun empty these days ...

Yeah, I appreciate them for dropping by and trying to explain the situation though I'm still not satisfied with their answer yet.

Spiff said...

Nessa - I'm on the same page as you are with this. For me, once something is given to you, it should remain yours until you fail to complete it within a stipulated time, ya?

I think a lot of others probably suffer the same fate too ...

Spiff said...

Nessa - LOL! Social Sparkless, I like the name. How about Songeh Sangat? LOL!

Spiff said...

Marzie - Well, I'll still give them a look see every now and then. You know me la, desperate for assignment ... LOL!