Do not waste your time.
Do not waste your money.
Do not use FastPitchNetworking dot com.
I admit that I might be gullible at times, so let my learned lesson be an experience that everyone can derive actionable intelligence from without experiencing – wasted time and money.
I found FastPitchNetworking in April 2008 and signed up. It looked like an interesting up and coming LinkedIn competitor with a marketing and web slant. I signed up for the $81 a quarter Platinum membership (hey – why not the best, right?) worked with it a little, then proceeded to forget about it. Ah, the beauty of PayPal and their subscriptions – the quarterly payment was a PayPal subscription. Well, the latest payment was sent automatically last week. When I got the payment email from PayPal I had to scratch my head to remember what that $81 was for. Oh yeah, that networking site.
So, I log in and not much has really changed in the last six months. You can submit your blog feed that is displayed in their blog section for all members (and the web searching public – which appealed to me), but you have manually submit it – it doesn’t check your feed daily or accept pings when you do make a new post. Okay, I can see – that will help encourage members to check in daily and manually update their blog feed – I will give them that.
I refreshed my blog feed and then noticed the following offer:
Hey, that sounds pretty cool. $40 to “alert” (aka SPAM) 100,000 members about my blog. I realized this would probably have an insanely low response rate, but I figured it was worth a shot to see if it would be a useful tool in the future. As you go through the process and commit to spending your $40 to promote your blog, they try to upsell you. Again, I cannot blame them – this is a business. Since I am already a Platinum member, I get three stars by my blog entries in the blog section. As part of the upsell, you can buy additional “stars” – $10 per. If you have a total of 10 stars, your blog does not roll off of the front page of the blog section for 30 days. Hmmmm… 30 days on the front page of a “high traffic” marketing and web savvy networking site? That sounds pretty good, sign me up for that also. I pitched in the extra money to give me a total of 10 stars.
Starting to feel a little excited, I made the payment. Not expecting the flood of visitors to take down my web server immediately, I went and had lunch. After lunch I checked the blog directory and didn’t see my blog. That is odd – maybe it takes a while and maybe they check for the payment to clear and all that good stuff. A couple hours later it does show up – and, wow, it has 10 stars! I immediately checked my Apache logs for traffic. I grepped for fastpitch – nothing. That is odd. So, I went back to my desktop and clicked on the link, went back to the server and – lo, there is a visitor from fastpitchnetworking. Of course that visitor was me. No odd redirects, I just need to look for fastpitch in the logs. No worries, the link will be there for 30 days.
I checked back later and didn’t see any additional visitors from fast pitch. Checked the blog directory and there was my link, but it had moved down the page. I still had way more stars than anyone else, so I wasn’t concerned – I would be on the page for 30 days, right?
Fast forward to today. Apache logs must be broken (or perhaps grep has stopped working), as there are only 9 total visitors from fast pitch. Less accurate, but more interesting to look at, I pulled up my Google Analytics:
Yikes. A grand total of NINE visitors. 100% bounce rate. At least they were all unique visitors. Average time on site was 00:00:00 – I didn’t know that was even possible.
Let me see here. $81 for Platinum membership. $40 for the special Inbox Promo to 100,000 members and all the stars for extra marketing goodness… That adds up to almost $200. $200 divided by 9 clicks is a hefty $22 per click.
Oh, and I just checked the blog directory. DeepMarket is no where to be found. I thought the ten gold stars (arrrg – maybe they needed to be platinum??) would keep me on the front page for 30 days? Or was it 30 hours? No, I am pretty sure it was 30 days…
Lesson learned. Platinum PayPal subscription canceled. Skip FastPitchNetworking.
(Perhaps I am doing it wrong – here are some blog posts about FastPitch. Let me know what I did wrong.)