BizOppers Review: Failed YourNight network relaunch
Despite predictions of 50 million members by November 2011 and having launched to continuous failure since its introduction back in November 2009, earlier this year founder Verne Packer shut down the social network YourNight.
The main reason?
In a letter sent out to YourNight members, Packer confessed that
we know that YN suffered greatly because of too much focus and attention on making money rather than building a huge member base of social users.
With that in mind, just a few short months later the BizOppers social network was announced and went into beta prelaunch. With a history of failure from being too reliant on making money off new memberships rather then providing value in a large memberbase to begin with, BizOppers had to overcome this challenge and evolve.
Partnered with the ‘Super Word of Mouth’ (SWOM) social network (effectively bringing in a reported 140,000+ members), BizOppers recently finished their beta launch and presumably are now in either prelaunch or launch.
Has Packer managed to shake off the recruitment stigma of YourNight with BizOppers and create a real social network that’s actually delivers worth and value to its members?
Let’s find out.
The BizOppers Compensation Plan
The BizOppers compensation plan revolves around a 3×10 forced matrix and features 7 ways to earn commissions. Commissions 1 and 2 are available to both Free and Gold members, whilst 3-7 are only available to paid up Gold members.
The commissions available under the BizOppers compensation plan are as follows;
1. $15 FastStart Bonus
For each new Gold member you refer to the BizOppers network, you are paid a once off FastStart commission of $15.
2. Recurring Gold Referral Commission
As long as the Gold referrals you personally bring to BizOppers continue to pay their membership fees, you also earn $2.50 a month in commission.
3. The 3×10 Forced Matrix
The longterm commission strategy of BizOppers revolved around a forced 3×10 matrix plan. What this means is that you start at the top and on your first level have three spots to fill with referrals.
Following on from this level, your second level then also has three new spots branching out from the existing three. It looks something like this;
This continues down ten levels and requires 88,572 members to fill. This is called a ‘completed matrix‘ and under the BizOppers plan, would pay you out $103,420 a month.
The commission payouts for the matrix are solely dependent on which levels you have filled and they are as follows;
Level 1: $2 per member (3 member slots to fill)
Level 2: $2.75 per member (9 member slots to fill)
Level 3: $1.25 per member (27 member slots to fill)
Level 4: $1.00 per member (81 member slots to fill)
Levels 5-9: 50c per member (a combined total of 29,403 member slots to fill)
Level 10: $1.50 per member (59,049 member slots to fill)
As far as I can see the matrix is affected by spillover meaning your member slots can get filled by your upline’s recruiting efforts.
4. The Gold Evangelist Bonus Pool
The Gold Evangelist pool is an incentive to existing Gold members to encourage free members to upgrade.
The pool is made up of 10% of the global Gold membership commissions paid out to Gold members, note that it is not made up of the membership fees.
To qualify for the Gold Evangelist Bonus Pool, BizOppers members must ‘connect‘ with existing free members by
send(ing) each of them at least one personal wall post message (not email) to help them upgrade to Gold.
Your message must be helpful and you must take care not to spam.
Your message may contain your testimonial on BizOppers, its benefits or just a friendly offer to help them use BizOppers – it must contain the word ‘Gold’ and must not contain any other links/URL.
How this is anything BUT spam I don’t know… in essence it’s BizOppers getting their members to pressure Free members to upgrade with a financial incentive.
Great for the company, but I imagine mighty annoying for those just wishing to remain Free members (do you really want to be spammed by people wanting to make a quick buck everytime they realise you aren’t a Gold member?)
For each Free member that upgrades to the Gold option within thirty days of you spamming them, you receive ten shares in the Gold Evangelist Pool. I assume multiple members spamming each receive a share so long as their spam qualifies within the thirty day upgrade period.
5. The Community Participation Bonus
In order to try and co-erce their members into social interaction, BizOppers have created what they’re calling ‘community points‘.
Community points are rewarded when BizOppers interact with the social network, but only in a positive manner.
Community points are awarded/taken away for various actions and they are as follows;
- receive a ‘Like’ vote +2 (+1 to voter)
- question is voted up +5 per vote
- answer is voted up +10 per vote
- video is voted up +5 per vote
- question/answer/video is voted down -2 (-1 to voter)
- post a testimonial (if accepted) video +100
- text +50
- win community chest (you get a small chance of this every time you vote or interact positively with others) between 5 – 100
- post a message with a link/URL in it -1 point
Hilariously BizOppers members are penalised for voting down something and publishing messages with links directing traffic outside the BizOppers network.
This is a rather pathetic attempt at social engineering and I imagine will do little to create a real social environment. All you’ll be left with is a group of artificial praise and encouragement (note there’s nothing wrong with praise and encouragement, but forcing it upon your members is a bit much).
6. Powerplay Pacesetter Bonus
Despite having a fancy name, the Powerplay Pacesetter bonus is essentially a commission to reward those who mass recruit in any given month.
The Powerplay Pacesetter bonus is made up of $1 for each paid up Gold member company wide. Members earn a share when they recruit 100 or more new Gold members in any given month.
Note that the Powerplay Pacesetter bonus is only open to BizOppers members who are at the 5 star rank level (more on the ranks later).
7. Matching Bonuses
For each of your referrals that go qualify above 4 stars, you become eligible for a matching bonus on their earnings.
The matching bonus is paid out on Faststart and recurring gold referral commissions and the percentage you receive depends on your personal star rank.
If you are at 1 star, you get nothing. 2 stars will earn you a 25% bonus, 3 stars 50% and 4 or 5 stars 100%.
Note that the matching bonus is only paid out for 32 weeks.
The Star Ranking system
In order to determine which levels of the compensation plan matrix you get paid out on, and to determine your matching bonus percentage, BizOppers operate on a star ranking system.
1 star – You are only paid out on levels 1-2 of the matrix and are not eligible for the matching or Pacesetter bonuses.
To reach the 1 star rank you need to have a Gold membership subscription.
2 stars – You are still only paid out levels 1-2 of the matrix but you are also eligible for a 25% matching bonus. You are not eligible for the Pacesetter bonus.
To reach the 2 star rank you must personally refer 1 Gold member.
3 stars – You are paid out levels 1-5 of the matrix and receive a 50% matching bonus. You are not eligible for the Pacesetter bonus.
To reach the 3 star rank you must personally refer 5 gold referrals.
4 stars – You are paid out on all levels of the matrix and are eligible for a 100% matching bonus. You are not eligible for the Pacesetter bonus.
To reach the 4 star rank you must personally refer 10 gold referrals.
5 stars – You are paid out on all levels of the matrix and are eligible for a 100% matching bonus. You are also eligible for the Pacesetter Bonus.
To reach the 5 star bonus you must refer 10 new gold referrals in any given month. This is a monthly requirement which must be met every calendar month. Failing to do so will drop you back to the 4 star level.
As you can see, bar the Community Participation Bonus, the BizOppers compensation plan is still heavily geared towards new member recruitment, and then getting those new members to upgrade to a Gold membership.
As Packer acknowledged with Yournight, the main problem with the network (as I predicted when I reviewed YourNight) was that it was simply made up of people looking to make money. As far as I can see this fundamental flaw with MLM social networks hasn’t been rectified with BizOppers and rewarding people with community points isn’t going to change it.
Especially when you’re trying to control the social aspect of the network. By not allowing its members to freely express themselves (within reason), BizOppers seeks to create a fake environment that I imagine will die out just like YourNight did.
Think about the type of people who are going to be joining BizOppers. If you didn’t have a business to promote and weren’t looking at generating leads, why on earth would you join the network?
Without a business to promote, unless you’re looking at playing the recruitment game there’s no need to upgrade to a Gold membership. This means that even if you did try and just participate in the social aspect of the site, you’re still going to be bombarded with people who realise you’re not a Gold member and want to make money off you upgrading.
In this sense to new members BizOppers starts to sound less like a social network and more like an annoyance.
This leaves us with members who are wither playing the recruitment game (which killed YourNight) or those promoting a business. If most people who join BizOppers already have a business, then who exactly are they pitching too?
The answer is those already in a business and what we end up with is a network designed to cannibalise itself.
Either way you look at it I don’t really see this lasting in the longterm. The reason Facebook works is that you’ve got a vast number of people to connect with who aren’t already in a business opportunity but who might be looking or interested.
By cutting off this significantly large proportion of members, how can social networks like BizOppers claim to offer a better user experience to its members?
The might not explicitly state this but they’re certainly more than willing to charge you for it.
Best of luck guys.