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Inside Spymac Leapfrog - Yet Another Blunder
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Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:06 pm Reply and quote this post
This follows up our original article about Spymac Leapfrog and how we felt it was blunder.

Please read the original article here and disscuse it also there too.
--

After being the first website to show the general public what 'Spymac Leapfrog' looked like and sharing the user name and password (which we were then subsequently asked to be removed by Spymac.com) I thought after several months it would be wise to come back to Spymac and see the progression it has made. I've always taken it upon myself to visit classic.Spymac.com on a weekly and I must say it's great to see that the real community has stayed strong even though the management has turned it's back on it.

But what I really want to concentrate on is the progression of 'Spymac Leapfrog' or as it is now known as just plain Spymac (they seemed to have got rid of the Leapfrog pretty soon).

Since we last reported on Spymac Leapfrog nothing much in the design has changed, granted a few features have been added but that's about it. It's now porn free - which is nice too see - as it was riddled with adult images before hand. However the porn has been taken over by something much more sinister - the user 'socom12' a 'gansta' who (it looks like) is officially working for Spymac to promote it and also run it's Spymac: We Make Stars competition which is obviously playing on the fact that oh look you can make money on Spymac. When doing a bit more research into this socom12 character he and a number of his 'hommies' have posted videos of themselves rapping and swearing whilst big flashing banners are overlaid saying things like 'Get paid on Spymac' - I have not yet understood why Spymac has hired this 'socom12' to promote themselves all he seems capable of doing is swearing and rapping - great credentials on promoting what Spymac thinks is a web 2.0 community.

As I said before (see above this post) Spymac.com and all of it's sub domains seem to have been blocked by a large number of web filtering products - but not as one would expect under the 'social networking' label but as a provider of adult content. This rating was probably given to Spymac when they first allowed a multitude of adult content on their website as discussed here on iVirtua.

We we're also promised by Spymac that the community (forums) aspect of the websites would be integrated fully into Spymac Leapfrog - this has not been the case and now the real Spymac community can be found at the bottom of the page next to their copyright notice - nice integration Spymac – it's now relegated to the sub domain classic.Spymac.com.

The new Spymac.com community is obsessed with giving each other five stars - why? so they might have others rank them five stars to get to the top one hundredth place which according to Spymac is going to finish in three days times. I believe the prize for this is too win a lot of money - which Spymac obviously hopes will attract not only media attention but of course more members and of course more money. With Spymac.com now 'bilingual' they seem to have overlooked the fact that most of their staff do not speak the eighteen languages they provide their users with. Which seems a shame as I felt one of the websites positive sites aspects was the fact that it was open to a variety of people and not just those who speak English - this does not seemed to have worked.

In it's arsenal of tools to get more people to join Spymac.com it has recently brought out a feature called popularity - this basically shows you how many people outside of Spymac (not members) have viewed your publicly available content - they also provide you with a link which you can post into instant messaging programmes. Spymac wants users to post this everywhere - why? because if a member does this then it means more unique views from outsiders to Spymac and hopefully makes those users join Spymac once they find out they too can be 'turned into stars' oh and don't forget the money they could earn.

From a marketing standpoint Spymac has done very well - they've attracted the audience they wanted (although this was not the audience of past Spymac's versions) and got them to post the content to make themselves popular and of course to make themselves richer. This is possibly why they have the 'gansta' socom12 posting videos for them. But why on earth is Spymac still called Spymac? why not Spymacr.com or some other generic web 2.0 because it has absolutely nothing to do with Spymac and the originality it once had.

Moving onto the user interface of Spymac, nothing much has really changed apart from the now very annoying 'Top 100 - Vote Now On Spymac' pop-up which appears over the content you are trying to watch or listen to on Spymac - this happens every time you hover over the contents be it a video, picture or music. Spymac really wants to promote itself outside of Spymac, it is doing this through allowing users to embed content in their own website - however with it's heavy use of background images in it's video the vast majority of people are still going to be using youtube.com and even better blip.tv to show off their own content on their website/blog.

Spymac has become so obsessed with telling users about the fact that you can get money from uploading Spymac that it now has it's own little tab and shows you how much money you have
made and if not how you can make money which is all explained in it's help page. They even call the money in your virtual money 'Spybucks' and if you don't want to cash the money out you can buy File Sucker Pro, Profile Pro, Download Pro, Unlimited Collections and don't forget the full gold package "The ultimate way to pimp out your account". They used to offer a service like this (Spymac Disk) which was amazing innovating for the time - allowing users to upload files through FTP type transfers and being one of the first free mail providers that offered 1GB for free (that feature seems to have disappeared).

It seems Spymac wanted to really promote itself and did so through handing out hundreds of dollars out to people who gathered to watch a man in the old Spymac suite glide down from Orlando City Hall using a zip wire, whilst helped by the local SWAT team (great use of public money, I'm sure).

The real community which I myself was a proud member of seems to have fallen apart. The official word from Kevin April and the elusive management is that Spymac Classic will stay the same and nothing (not even minor bugs) will be fixed or repaired. And although the community remains active (of sorts) the amount of negative comments on the forum is sad to see, with complaints
made daily about the state classic.Spymac.com. Many of the old community have offered to help Spymac and make it into something that they would like, but as normal, the executive team at Spymac paid no attention to the community which first brought about their success. I can only pray that websites which have taken up Spymac's mantel including Macgui.com, Coffedaze.com and others will succeed and bring a new place were mac enthusiasts can visit to get the latest news and views on Apple Mac.

Before I end this article it seems so much hard work and emotion has been put into Spymac, when on the face of it is just a large collection of code, but those people who think that haven't been involved in a community (like Spymac - as it was) and haven't experienced the friendships made on those communities and the debate about politics contributed by members and the different views shared by the community. Since I have left Spymac.com I haven't really experienced a community like that somewhere were a close knit group of friends can go and discuss things that matter to them.

Contributed by William Tildesley, iVirtua Ultimate Contributor
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Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:54 am Reply and quote this post
I decided that I would go to the spymac community and ask for their input into the article. I hoped that they would provide some feedback but yet again they post nasty comments about iVirtua including comments like this:

Quote:

Sorry, I don't tend to frequent sites where the writer can't distinguish the difference between the words "your" and "you're".


and

Quote:

it's not even a good looking site


both of those comments were made by the same user: reinholder.

We also had a rather amusing comment from a Spymac Member Of The Month:

Quote:

the only thing around here is bashing of the site? and so of course you come here to do more of the same. Lovely. I could go on, but you're not worth it. good bye


You can read more on the Spymac.com website - we welcome you to join that community and disscuse the issue about Spymac Leapfrog.

Please note the website does contain some offensive material, including adult content.

Contributed by William Tildesley, iVirtua Ultimate Contributor
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Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:36 pm Reply and quote this post
I think this really sums up the Spymac management:



Found here: http://www.spymac.com/about/

Contributed by William Tildesley, iVirtua Ultimate Contributor
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Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:13 pm Reply and quote this post
William Tildesley wrote:
I decided that I would go to the spymaccommunity and ask for their input into the article. I hoped that theywould provide some feedback but yet again they post nasty commentsabout iVirtua including comments like this.


That's like writing a nasty article about George W. Bush, the US President, and showing it to him in person and asking him how he likes it.

Duh!

I've told you guys a few times before: forget about Spymac. Don't waste your time thinking about them. They don't matter. Because just as you can say nasty things about them, they can do it right back, and you get no where.

Contributed by turck_mm, iVirtua Leading Contributor
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Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:22 pm Reply and quote this post
I know, but what I don't get is they are one's complaining about spymac leapfrog and then as soon as we ask them for the input on the disscusion they 'bash' us.

Werid - but this was just an update - we won't be bothering them anymore.

Contributed by William Tildesley, iVirtua Ultimate Contributor
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Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:07 pm Reply and quote this post
I know; it's completely illogical. But that's what they're doing, so we should employ our best judgement and just let the issue drop.

Let me throw in a small observation, though: If LF is so popular, then look at the member count: it's about 1 Mil 35 K. The millionth signed up June 2006.

Just take that how you like.

Contributed by turck_mm, iVirtua Leading Contributor
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Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:01 pm Reply and quote this post
I remember when they had a massive spurt of growth - I joined a few years ago now - that's when it was really, really active.
Contributed by William Tildesley, iVirtua Ultimate Contributor
23597 iVirtua Loyalty Points • View ProfileSend Private MessageBack to Top

Thu Aug 30, 2007 5:21 pm Reply and quote this post
Signed up June 2004.

Good times.

There'll never be another site like it.

Contributed by turck_mm, iVirtua Leading Contributor
3049 iVirtua Loyalty Points • View ProfileSend Private MessageBack to Top

Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:05 am Reply and quote this post
Quote:
I've told you guys a few times before: forget about Spymac. Don't waste your time thinking about them. They don't matter.


You didn't tell will . Remember the views expressed by iVirtua's contributors are not necessarilly those of iVirtua blah blah...

This "follow-up" article is going nowhere, and it will end up doing more harm than good just as we are rebuilding our reputation. Posting over at Spymac [again] was almost certainly the wrong thing too do. Just as MacGUI are doing, we all know how much damage Spymac can cause not so much too the community itself but too opinions surrounding it on other sites, which is in it's own right something I wont tolerate.

I'm locking this topic, as I want to maintain good relations with any community on the internet, large or small.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
372659 iVirtua Loyalty Points • View ProfileSend Private MessageBack to Top

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