Monday, December 04, 2006

Thresher's Viral Voucher Could Cost Big Money this Christmas

UK wine merchant Thresher allowed their vouchers to go “wild”. The 40% discount voucher, which was seeded on the website of South African wine company Stormhoek and was downloaded more than 800,000 times prior to it hitting the mainstream news.

The offer was originally intended for Thresher’s suppliers and staff, according to one BBC report but proliferated virally by email, and blogging.

The influx of visitors brought their server crashing to its knees and the story was immediately covered by mainstream UK media. The media coverage appears to have been a disaster recovery strategy as they appear to be in fear of their bottom line profitability. While the raised brand awareness will be most welcome, its uncertain how much this will cost Thresher’s in lost revenue, due to the seasonal offer of 40% discounted drinks.

Ah well…. millions of pounds worth of free media publicity, just before Christmas is quite a result, especially given it all appears to have happened without the help of a viral advertising agency.

Let this be a reminder of the power of really simple viral marketing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

AdultTube / XTube - making it big!!

AdultTube / XTube appears to be making it big with multiple viral components used to blend modern social media optimisation (YouTube style viral widgetization) and good old fashioned webmaster affiliate incentives. These influencing factors plus erm.. natural human curiosity appear to be driving viral growth of adult social media site

Currently ranked as 1,163th most visited (

The alexa 'Daily Reach' graph below shows the consistent growth over the past 6 months and without much sign of slowing down. I expect this trend to continue, while sub 1000 postitions are becoming harder to achieve AdultTube/XTube has the viral model and user demand to keep running onwards and upwards. - bad review on let's see how it spreads

I came across a negative viral video posted by an unhappy customer Jimmybick who appears to be quite unhappy about his stay in Marrakech. One thing is for sure, bad reviews which make it to social media wont go away very easily.

This unhappy customer posted 3 videos of his bad holiday experience with

  1. Marrakech holiday nightmare -- shower
  2. Marrakech holiday nightmare -- phone
  3. Marrakech holiday nightmare -- hairdryer
Let's track the growth of a random travel related bad news viral on
  • Shower (2 page views - as of today)
  • Phone (26 page views - as of today)
  • Hairdryer (209 page views - as of today)
I'll keep returning to these YouTube videos and let you know how much it grows over the next year or two. I'm particularly interested to see if there's any consistent growth, either linear or geometric.

If would like to comment here, then please feel free. Meanwhile I'll be tracking the growth or decline in the spread of this particular holiday nightmare

Superbreak Feedburner Experiment

As a little experiment in getting pages ranked and indexed, I burned a feed using interview content tagged with the term Superbreak ( ensuring the Superbreak brand term was included in the feedburner URL.

Now…I’ll leave it to the spiders and we’ll see how it ranks.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Totally Viral Hits UK TV Screens Every Week Night 10.30pm on UKTV G2

Checking my email, I browsed through this weeks Popbitch to discover a new TV show Totally Viral. Although I've not seen it yet, judging by the information on their website, Totally Viral is a fusion of home made, video clip TV (see You've been framed) and user editorial (see

Totally Viral is the best of the web, found by you. Get involved and remember to watch the TV show every weeknight at 10.30pm on UKTV G2.
One thing I can now be sure of is that viral videos reaching mainstream audience via our TVs will give viral video producers a larger audence and provide businesses a better business case for exploiting social media and investing in social media optimisation.

At this point I'm interested to see how much of the editorial process is driven purely by users and how much of the descision making process is made by the shows producers? Could this be the first case of a spam opportunity (see gaming digg) reaching our TV screens and does this fusion indicate a new era in spam 2.0?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Four Step Web 2.0 Viral Strategy for Plant Lovers.

In the previous post, I mentioned an old saying "from tiny acorns, great oak trees grow." which took me back a one of the first part time jobs I worked when I was in my early teens.

I got a job working on a market garden centre growing various types of conifer. Now I'm not afraid of hard work, but I swear, this was truely back breaking. I'd spend all day bent over, carefully pulling up conifers and placing them neatly on a barrow to take away to be sold.

I can't remember the name of my old boss, but I clearly remember his wife, who would bring a cup of coffee around 11am and a cup mid afternoon. The reason I remember her so clearly was down to the fact, she could never remember who had sugar and who didn't, so her solution was to give everyone 2 heaped sugars and not stir it - If I wanted my coffee sweet, I'd stir it, and if not, I wouldn't. The system worked perfectly... unless I'd drink too far and... Yuck!!!!

But the reason I've mentioned it is simply this:- in that business as with any horticultural and indeed agricultural business cycle, there was never an option to "make immediate revenue" the simple fact was that a seed needed time to germinate and grow into a seedling and a seedling needs time to mature into the saleable product.

In market gardening it's very much a labour intensive business and the only other overhead or asset required is the land, and of course ideal growing conditions plus demand for the product.

Seeds are privided by nature, are there for free and so the analogy that a viral marketeer following this natural model seeks minimum or negligable media costs in the same way.

So here's how i see the 4 step social media strategy for plant lovers...
  1. Solicit user generate viral content where possible - keep production costs to a minimum.
  2. Seed & tag your user generated viral content appropriately - use the Web2.0 ecosystem (YouTube, Google Video, AdultTube - if appropriate)
  3. Nurture your user generated viral content - tell a few bloggers, issue a press release of two
  4. Back to step 1
I'm so convinced that viral social media is perfectly analogous to market gardening that the above 4 step strategy is all that's required (outside of actual social media optimisation) to grow in the medium to long term, "great oak trees".

To prove my conviction, I just created a new blog.

Web 2.0 Viral Marketing - is there a business case for social media optimisation?

Now that the web is no longer young and many would say it's... "in it's second iteration". We find ourselves in a situation where Web2.0 now provides the platform from which to seed and host a piece of media to massive, self organising communities using technology which has already being optmised such that much of the resistance to viral propagation has been removed.

Widgitization, social networks, and send to a friend, now offer us a proven method to captivate audiences with our message, host our message and spread our message. The process of widgetization provides a persistant viral platform. Which will (providing at worst, the widget is not removed, or at least see positive attrition in numbers) spread geometrically.

But enough theoretical bollocks for now - the big question is....

Is there a business case for social media, and social media optimisation (SMO) in the travel industry? This was the question put to me by Holidaybreak Chief Executive Carl Michel.

Firstly, it was agreed that there must be. Potentially infinite distribution at negligable cost suggestes a very strong business case exists but lets now put some figures to that...

Today I came across a viral marketing experiment which in it's top line figures suggested an aquisition cost of zero, however it failed to take into consideration the production costs of the viral videos - this in it's self was ranted about over at threadwatch.

The comparison between PPC and viral video was flawed. OK so the production costs weren't taken into consideration ($9600) and the actual cost per acquisition was $9600 to acquire 62 subscribers (rather than customers)

To quote the totally justifiable rant from Brian Turner...

Either I completely misread this, or Marketing Experiments - recently acquired by Marketing Sherpa - by got it completely wrong.

In a study into video as a viral marketing technique, they:

- spent $9600 creating 28 videos for YouTube, Google Video, etc
- which over 60 days received 324,190 views
- which results in 4,162 clickthroughs
- which converted at 1.49% to newsletter subscribers

The article then goes on to laud video viral marketing as a success, and that it beats PPC hands down in terms of acquisition cost.

After all, the acquisition costs for new subscribers via the videos was $0.

But, hang on, what about the $9600 cost of the videos?

Maybe I'm being dumb here, but by my calculator, 1.49% of 4,162 is 62.

Which is $10k to get 62 newsletter subscribers.

I can't see any reason how this can be lauded as a success.

Indeed this IS a justifiable rant, however (as I posted in the comments over at threadwatch) a persistant viral can take some time to take hold. Imagine if only one of the widgetized video clips finds its way into some seriously high traffic and is spread and blogged about daily for a couple of months the multiplication continues to take place - potentially indefinately. Yes it happens.

I recall, back in the day, launching a viral e-book (the old skool equivalent of a widget - I suppose)... The ebook spread and one day it found it's way onto a massive traffic source. It took over twelve months to happen and to be honest I'd forgotten about it.

Now let's travel back in time to just after the dawn of the web 1.0 era....

People knew that they needed a website, they knew it would somehow help their business, and in many cases the only measurable benefit was that it satisfied their ego - Yeh, I'm talking about the electrician "who got a website" and the plumber "who got a website".

Of course there were those who got a website which was developed around their marketing plan and provided a serious contribution to their marketing mix, but the amount of times I had to day... "Listen man! you don't need a website!" or "Hey.. when was the last time you decided to eat in a particular resaurant as a result of an Altavista search?"

I'm sure you get the picture. Well now back to present day, it's November 2006 (oh and I'm almost 33) the Web 2.0 era is well and truely underway. We're in the same situation as we were back in the good old days.

Everyone knows they need a social media strategy but cannot justify it. Just as they couldn't back in 1996.

From tiny acorns, great oak trees grow. was the phrase I used to use back then, and that saying applies more today than ever. Whether it's Web 1 or Web 2.. 3... or 4.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Avaweb's Gordon Langlands Interviewed

Another interview.. Travel super affiliate, Gordon "Avaweb" Langlands ( talks to me over at about his experiences as a travel super affiliate. This is part one of a two a part interview, so we kept the line of questioning for the newbie affiliate marketer. Part 2 will be up soon, with more advanced affilate marketing questions.

Nick Cust - Superbreak Managing Director Interviewed

Another in the series of interviews, this time it's Nick Cust, Superbreak's joint Managing Director, he's talks openly about his personal ambitions as well as his thoughts on disintermediation in the online travel game. Nick also talked about his favourite holiday location... you know i'd have never had him down as a Doors fan :)

Theatrebreak innovator interviewed over at

Theatrebreaks are the hot new travel deal. with high order value and relatively low supply travel affiliates are jumping on the theatrebreak bandwagon and there seems to be no stopping them. Last week I interviewed Ray Jones AKA Mr Theatrebreak over at and it was an interesting story he has to tell.. like the time he drank champagne out of the FA cup.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Viral Wizard Seth Godin's Squidoo Gains Google Trust

Seth Godin author of many marketing must reads, including Unleashing the Idea Virus (one of the first books/PDF's I read on the subject of viral marketing) has gained the trust of Google with his site

If you're not been there, is kind of a rev shared wikipedia. Rather than articles it allows users to create lenses. Which unlike Wikipedia, cannot be spammed by any random user/spammer.

Due to Seth's remarkable viral ability, the site is growing at an amazing rate and due to the size and organic growth of the site, many lenses are popping up in search results for the terms they're optimized for.

Make a lense for yourself here

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 vs Furl - hmmmm.. the jury's out

Until a few days ago, I've been a fan of Furl when it comes to social bookmarking, but I've recently started using (have first imported my bookmarks)

My bookmarks can be viewed at

I'm curious as to the creative ways to exploit such sites for viral/social and SEO potential.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Viral Clickbot Zombie Network - Not a Virus but a Trojan Distributed by P2P

Just to clarify, the virally distributed zombie network I blogged about in my last post, is not actually a virus but a trojan. As such is growth rate (spawn rate) is not as high as it would have been if it utilised a viral transfer mechanism.

Clickbot.A is distributed mostly via P2P networks, so be careful what you download especially when looking for cracked software or P2P porn - you have been warned!
The Clickbot.A mechanism consists of two parts. The first is an executable file that launches a dynamic link library on the system, which later deletes itself. The second is a component of Internet Explorer that notifies the attacker that computer is infected, even allowing the control components to be updated. The bot then registers in the database of the control system, checking that the creator has given authorization to start clicking, and if so, will request the list of addresses from which to click.

OK... so a distributed clickbot isn't going to compromise your computer, but if you're moving in shady circles like these, then expect worse than just clickbots. I speak from experience. I once tried to install a crack from e-mule and it destroyed my machine on a low level. It was the worst nightmare i've had personally and will a) never forget it and b) learn from playing around in dirty water.

My advice.... back up your data and if you need the software commercially, get a legit copy! and if you want to try it out use a legit trial copy.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Click Fraud - Virally Distributed ClickBot Zombie Network - Clickbot.a

Having been working for the past 6 months as a the search marketing executive for a travel company. I've spent the majority of my time managing the PPC adwords campaign, I've constantly noticed some rather unusual click activitiy especially for such competitive phrases as "hotels in manchester" similar derivities for prime destinations. In some instances I saw click though rates as high as 60% on certain days and for certain terms..

While my ad copy writing and testing skills are pretty hot (thanks to the time I spent learning the art from my mentors and old friends Mark Joyner and Dr Joe Vitale) I was unable to explain such freek anomalies on an increasingly day by day basis.

That inability to explain the unusual click behaviour all changed when I stumbled across the podcast show "SEO Rockstars". Having being out of the SEO game for a number of years, in favour of email and viral marketing (.... yes I was short sighted enough to believe that SEO was dead as far back as when paid inclusion and PPC came along) I learned about just how prolific click fraud had become thanks the the insight of Mr Greg Boser (aka WebGuerrilla)

Long story short, last week I recieved an email from my Adwords Rep regarded potential click fraud rebate....

Today I learned that....
PandaLabs has detected a network of computers infected with the bot Clickbot.A, which is being used to defraud ‘pay per click’ systems, registering clicks automatically and providing lucrative returns for the creators. According to the data collected so far, the scam is exploiting a global network comprising more than 34,000 zombie computers (those infected by the bot).
See the full article on what they have uncovered go to Help Net Security.

If you are concerned about Click Fraud, I'd strongly advise you listen to Greg and Darren discussing the click fraud on That's a Wrap following his participation on the click fraud panel at Search Engine Strategies (New York)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Viral Campaign. Mini Cooper - Best Viral Branding Campaign I've Seen

This has to be the smartest viral campaign I've ever come accross. Promoting the new mini cooper. It allows a totally personalized experience which is based on content submitted by the sender based on what you know of the recipient.

Name, where do the come from, whay they do for a living, how's his love life, how would I recognise him, what they do in their spair time, and biggest crime against mankind.

Here's the one I sent to my mate Steve

The production both audio and visual is fantastic. This has to set a new standard in viral advertising and branding. You can customise and send one to a friend from

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Catering Supplies in York - Viral Link Acquisition Challenge

Here's a challenge... I've been doing a little bit SEO for a york catering supplies company, so I started out by getting listed in a hand full of directories in the appropriate catering supplies catagories, and acquiring a few authority links, then get their pages correctly optimised for their keyword terms.

Being that they are local catering supplies company who I've known for some time now, I'd like to come up with a little something special in terms of a viral link strategy to help fast track their online catering business. So far 100% of their business is generated by adwords.

However, with catering equipments not being the sexiest product in the world. I'm finding it a little bit of a challenge coming up with a creative solution.

Any suggestions on this matter would be appreciated.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Viral Marketing Expert Paul Reilly (according to Google)

I was doing a little ego-surfing and noticed that I was ranking #2 on Google for ‘UK Viral Marketing Expert’ and #10 for ‘Viral Marketing Expert’ it lead my to question Google’s algorithm, since this is a relatively new site, I started to wonder whether Google associated my name “Paul Reilly” with the term “Viral Marketing Expert”

Historically, my old site “” ranked #1 for “Viral Marketing”, and there are many references to my name “Paul Reilly” in the context of being a “Viral Marketing Expert”

See here

.... until I torched it, and got blocked as a spammer, since those days I’ve cleaned up my act, and practice only, white hat, spam free techniques ;)

As I was saying… I wonder if Google is somehow associating my ‘Paul Reilly’ with the proximity text UK Viral Marketing Expert….

Any Ideas.. comment below.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Social Web - Transformation in progress (Pt 1)

I've been thinking rather a lot about viral marketing in today's Web 2 mediascape and it appears that in every successful Web 2 site there is at least one or more viral component, which is largely responsible for the site's success.

As we become better connected through social networks pertinent information is now more viral than ever, with ever decreasing resistance, thanks largely to an increase in points of connectivity and improved usability.

Now that anyone can blog their thoughts online or set up a webpage, the hive has increase exponentially in numbers, making it easier than ever to reach a tipping point.

A couple of years ago, I stated in an interview that I felt the world was turning into a super organism, and that in the future, the human race would become more like a coral reef, at least in it's sense of macro community. Since then social web has become what it is today, and we're begginning to see this transitional phase gather momentum.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Internet means end for media barons - Rupert Murdock gets it!

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Internet means end for media barons, says Murdoch: "'Societies or companies that expect a glorious past to shield them from the forces of change driven by advancing technology will fail and fall,'"

Rupert Murdock aged 75 - It's amazing how an old duffer like Rupert can get the picture, but so many descision makers in business fail to see the big picture.

What are the known triggers for sandboxing?

SEO Forum - View topic - What are the known triggers for sandboxing?: "what are the known factors/changes that result in sandboxing and the various conditions underwhich that happens"

Is the question I asked a week ago over at there have been a number of reply, if you've got any thoughts on this, then go over and have your say.

Off Topic Bastard, You'll Never be a Blogger

I've come to the conclusion that I'll never make a good blogger. I'm always off topic, talk about what ever interests me on a given day, and always stray from my specialist area..; Much like in my personal life, my Saggitarian personality leads me to find interest in whatever take my interest on a given day.

What's more, my contextual advertising (adsense at the top of this page) is always untargetted to this blog and rarely gets clicked. Need to learn a lesson from Jenstar about contextual advertising

Blog Metrics is Here Sign up over at

Performancing Metrics is Here! | Performancing Site: "Performancing Metrics is a professional grade blog statistics service aimed at professional bloggers. We wanted to produce something a little better, a little different for the professional blogger, and I think we have."

This looks like a great service and guess what, it kicks the ass out of Analytics for stability. Let's hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Search, great reading :) you'll love it!

Having just started reading “The Search” by John Battelle, it’s s great read so far with a full review on it’s way shortly. The Search documents the full history of search taking great care to tell the ‘behind the scenes story of the technology and business challenges faced by the pioneers of search notably Google, Yahoo, MSN, Lycos, Excite. Judging by what I’ve read so far, if you’ve not already read this, I recommend you do, it’s essential reading for any Internet marketer.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Firefox Extension - AllPeers P2P Client

TechCrunch: "Uk/Czech Republic based AllPeers, a yet to be launched firefox extension for the peer to peer sharing of files..."

Here's an extension which will spread like wild fire around the firefox community, I just read about it over at TechCrunch. I expect it will give Mozilla the juice it needs to make up market share, expecially in the UK. I'll be keeping a close eye on this and reporting more here soon.

I'm especially fond of P2P as a concept and a technology. I'd like to blog here about the ethics of file sharing, just to give you my personal point of view.

Monday, March 06, 2006

"All Marketers are Liars" - Seth Godin speaks at Google - Google Video

"All Marketers are Liars" - Seth Godin speaks at Google - Google Video: "'All Marketers are Liars' - Seth Godin speaks at Google"

The Godfather of permission marketing, and author of one of my favourite books "Unleashing the Idea Virus" talks at the Googleplex about marketing.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Web 2.0 the New Mega-Theme

The Next Net 25: 25 startups that are reinventing the web - Mar. 1, 2006: "There's so much happening that the buzzword recently employed to try to encapsulate the era -- 'Web 2.0' -- now seems hopelessly inadequate, defined and redefined into near meaninglessness by squadrons of aspiring entrepreneurs, marketers, and other fortune hunters."

Web 2.0 has become one of the fastest growing meme's I've seen. When I first heard about it from my good friend Mark Taylor it was still quite underground. When I first described Web2.0 to my boss he looked at me and said... "Web 2.0 is a conference.. according to my sources". It would appear that Web2.0 has mutated into a mega-theme and for many, a way of life.

Microsoft Giving Away Free USB Sticks

"Fill out a short form and Microsoft will give you a free 16MB USB drive loaded with information on Windows licensing."

I just saw this on threadwatch, and just had to fill out the forms. I'm just a sucker for a freebee



Thursday, February 23, 2006

Google Pages Goes Live

Cue millions of more shitty pages of content to index and plug adsense into. Google have launched Google pages, so I thought I'd give it a whirl and see what if can do.

My initial impression is that the interface seems quite intuative although extremely simplified, I think it will provide a great tool for spammers and kids who want to build their first website.

Here's my home page attempt



Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Inside My Viral Mind

Just added tailrank to filter my blog subscriptions and post them under my furl'd links based on authority priority,

Inside My Viral Mind

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Viral Blog Marketing and the Digg Effect

If you're planning on taking advantage of traffic and link juice from social bookmarking with either, Digg and Furl etc. You'll want to check this post out from

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