As a member of Gather.com, The Monetizer sees all sorts of information passed on regarding various pay sites, Paypal, eBay and more. The recent buzz has been about Boomertowne.com. (See post: Boomertowne = Ghost Town?)
Well it now appears Boomertowne is shutdown. Becky Ford of CompareRewards.com contacted Boomertowne founder Herschel "Buzz" Peddicord, asking about the website's status and future plans. The following was his response to Becky:
RE: Saddened by the news about BT -- a response if you could, please?
Sunday, September 21, 2008 4:37 PM
From: "buzz peddicord"
Unfortunately illness, economic downturn, and mass cheating drove the company bankrupt. Several millions were lost by investors and even though we tried to sell and raise capitol, the lousy economy made that impossible. The investors including me lost millions of dollars trying to build a real community. When the economy went south companies quit advertising and income dropped to 10 percent of what it had reached. That combined with mass point cheating made it impossible to go on. No site that offers rewards will succeed as long as people devote so much time trying to beat the system. It tells you something about our society.
(Violin music plays)
So it appears Boomertowne may have gone under like many other businesses
struggling to survive in these rough economic times. However, I can definitely
make a case that most website-based businesses should have a leg up on
brick-and-mortart types. Boomertowne worked as an incentive-based social
media site geared towards the Boomer baby generation. It relied on the users to
generate ad revenue through thousands of page impressions and ad clicks. I
haven't looked into it fully, but they may have had a subscription-based dating
service as well. BT claims they lost advertiser sponsorship due to the economy,
but if this were true how do entrepreneurs like John Chow, Shoemoney and Darren Rowse continue to prosper? All 3 have indicated dips in income at times, but they continue to provide what people want, and continue to implement new moneymaking strategies.
As for people cheating Boomer's system, that's still a problem many social media and incentive-based sites must combat. Myspace and Facebook are the two biggest social media sites on the web and must constantly battle this. The difference may be that neither site really offers its members gift card rewards. It might have made sense for Boomertowne to safeguard its self against these problems before a single reward was even offered, but hindsight is everything. Perhaps there also lies an opportunity for some clever entrepreneurs. Create a reliable database tracking system or website software to prevent such cheating on websites. Offer it for free to the first few upstart social media sites you find, and then begin sales (and make sure The Monetizer receives royalties ;)
When all is said and done, Boomertowne clearly put all its eggs in one basket, and that basket broke.
Goodbye Boomertowne, it's been nice knowing ya!