Mind Candy

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Why you aren’t missing anything by skipping Zurker

Posted by mandyf on February 11, 2012

Zurker – Have you taken the bait?

What if you got in on the ground floor of Facebook? MySpace sold for $580 million to Newscorp – imagine if you had shares in them! Wouldn’t you like to be an owner of a major social network that may be worth millions or even billions! If you’ve been reading stuff like that in your emails, on your Facebook wall, Twitter feed or anywhere you go online, you’ve been Zurkered! Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Zurker is setting itself up as a somewhat Facebook inspired social network. People can share posts with pictures, links and random musings. To that degree, it is just like Facebook, but that is also where the similarity ends. I got Zurkered – I learned the hard way. After a dozen or so requests to join Zurker, I gave in and said okay. I joined just to look around. I looked, I saw and then I realized I wanted to see no more.

The user interface is terrible. Navigating the site is a nightmare. Not everything seems to go exactly where it’s advertised to be. I really take issue with the idea that after taking the time to integrate my friend lists from all over the interwebz that Zurker gives my imported list the finger, maybe both, and starts shoving suggestions down my throat for people I never met, don’t want to meet and could care less about to be my new best friends! How insulting! How the hell do they know who I like more than I do?

I just went to my account, since they won’t let me close it, and checked who my friends were there as maybe someone somehow friended me. I do know of 6 of people on my friend list. Seeing as over 1,000 names were imported, and no less than 50 of them are people that spammed the crap out of me to go join, how is it I can only find 6 of them? They swear they have an account. I can use their wallet name to search for them and their profile name and either way Zurker doesn’t know who they are. Instead they match me up with – and this is no joke”

A Catholic priest from Australia
A self promoting Jamaican rapper (or whatever it is called) that has a shirt on in his pic that reads “No Fag Zone”
A Christian housewife that says “The Lord led me to Zurker to reach you all.”
Oh – maybe my favorite – A guy holding a Santorum 2012 sign.

Anyone that has spent maybe…45 seconds on my FB wall knows that the odds are I would not be super keen pals with those people. They may be nice people – I hope they are – but in general, Catholic priests, homophobes and anyone that can support Santorum are people more likely to get my foot so far up their ass the water on my knee quenches their thirst than they are a friend request. Just on GP alone.

The invites to build up “shares” – seriously? I started reading the TOS and to be honest, what a ripoff! Invites only count in  so many narrow ways that they can negate tons of them on nothing more than whimsy almost.

I want to share a bit from some Zurker cheerleader named Don Dousharm on “Shares” because I find this kind of whimsical imagination in an adult amusing.

“Currently, vShares are priced at $1.00. Zurker will be incorporated as a company when 1,000,000 vShares have been allocated. At that juncture, the value of a vShare should be about ten times as much, as successful startups with more than 500,000 users can easily gain a valuation of $5+ million.
If Zurker were to continue to grow and attain a valuation of $50 billion like Facebook, each vShare would be worth $50,000. Of course, it’s unwise to assume that Zurker will attain the same level of valuation as the current market leader.

Bebo was sold to AOL for a more down-to-earth $800 million. At that level of valuation, each vShare would be worth $800. MySpace was sold to News Corporation for $580 million – about $580 per vShare.

The above estimates are based on capital gains. If Zurker were never to sell out – and a user base of owner-investors would probably oppose selling out to a large corporation – the value of vShares would be determined by the earnings of the company and the dividends paid quarterly. If Zurker earns a net profit of $100 million, then each vShare would entitle the owner to a pretax income of $100. If you own 10 vShares now, that would translate to an income of $1,000 per quarter.”

I have problems with this because:

– Zurker does not have to actually issue any voting shares to anyone that has these “vShares” Contrary to the rumor going around, the “V” stands for VIRTUAL – no voting.

– Since Zurker will almost certainly never issue voting shares to people just for signing up, they don’t have to listen to the desires of the “shareholders” when it comes to making decisions.

– Yeah, the numbers Dousharm tosses around look wildly impressive, but how many social networks have reached those levels? How many made it to even $100 million? $50 million? $10 million? Not a hell of a lot. If it was that easy, we’d all be millionaires.

– What if they don’t allocate 1,000,000 shares? Then what? And even if they do, who says those vShares will be worth 10 times what they were issued at? Who is independently auditing the operation to reach that conclusion? Hell, since they are just “virtual shares” they can say they are worth a million each – and if you find anyone willing to pay that for them – grab it with both hands. These aren’t shares being sold on an actual exchange – be very clear about that. I can sell “fShares” (f for Fake) in my blog and tell you they are worth whatever the hell I feel like – but that doesn’t mean they are worth the paper they are on.

If you think inviting 10 people to register for Zurker under your invite code is going to turn into $1,000 each quarter in some magical dividend payout – bless your heart.

As a site, the functionality of Zurker pretty much blows. Let’s not sugarcoat it. In time, it may get better assuming it survives. There may be a day when vShares are worth something- but don’t go into it thinking this is your path to retirement. Think of it like buying Farmville bucks or something. Maybe you’ll get something for them someday – maybe not.

The point being is to be realistic. Understand how rare it actually is to get a startup off the ground and then get it to be worth serious money. If you’re willing to do their promotional work for them in exchange for magic vShares, that’s cool. Ask yourself this though – do you honestly expect to get anything back from Zurker? If they don’t give you real money for your shares are they going to promote your content or business? Are they going to make your online experience better? What are you really getting out of spamming everyone you ever met to get them on Zurker?

I hate to tarnish the shine for anyone that is head over heels for Zurker, I just can’t see it working or being worth my time to promote for them. They can’t even reasonably guess what people would make good online friends for me.

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18 Responses to “Why you aren’t missing anything by skipping Zurker”

  1. Ok Zurker I’m calling BS

    There are just so many things that point to this being either very poorly though out or a scam.

    ex nihilo nihil fit…Nothing comes from nothing.

    the only way for Zurker to afford to give money to shareholders who never invested to to have a Huge amount of liquidity.That will take years if ever.

    I am sure Zurker dreams of becoming the next Facebook. There is only one problem. This is already a Facebook. At this point it will be next to imposable for any upstart to chip away even the smallest in-row into that market space. IMHO

  2. mandyf said

    I couldn’t agree more. Too many things don’t add up for this to work. Maybe they can pay off their virtual shares in virtual money.

  3. ipomaven said

    Thanks for sharing your opinion and will proceed with caution.

  4. good read amanda – totally agree on the UI – a real MESS

  5. […] Why you aren’t missing anything by skipping Zurker « Mind Candy. […]

  6. Deja moo! (been wanting to to use that since I saw it on FB).

    Hi, Amanda. Glad you articulated your comment on FB yesterday into a full blown essay on the subject of being ‘Zurkered!’ Thoroughly enjoyed this post. Not to be a sexist boor, but this just proves my theory — women generally have a more accurate BS detector than men. 🙂

  7. mandyf said

    Thanks Emmanuel. I have to give you partial credit for this post because until you started the Facebook thread, I was just sitting on this miniature rant and stewing. It felt good to get out!

  8. Me too. I could not find even one thing that could be interesting for me to invest my time in it.

  9. Gregory Jackson here:

    Amanda, appreciate you sharing your candid analysis. Have had several invites but my investigation and your personal testimony put me on the sidelines for this one.

    Thanks for sharing once again.

    Gregory Jackson

  10. Like you, I joined because of a friend… I could not find how to upload a pic?? That is very basic!

    It does blow, IMHO Maybe it will improve? It would have to!
    And fast!

    Thx for the heads up Mandy!

  11. ridexc said

    Frankly, I have more than enough social media networks to worry about now, so Zurker sounded like just one more platform I would have had to learn. Appreciate your doing the legwork to confirm what was for me just a suspicion, and kudos for exposing its soft underbelly. But you know, even if it looked like it was truly going to be the next big thing, I doubt I would be able to find the time to add it to my routine …. sheesh, I haven’t even really figured out my Google+ and Pinterest accounts yet.

  12. How many commentors here are from other social networks? Actually I find it easier than when I first joined facebook. It exploded with 700 new members today. The owners say it is a startup with risks associated with startups, but they have a track record with other websites.

    You can always join free and you do not have to invest. No one can invest more than 500 vshares.

    No one has a crystal ball, so it depends on the added features.

    I am disclosing that at the time of this writing, I have 64 vshares. Maybe I will get more, maybe not. I would hope the posters on this comment board would disclose their associations. Otherwise, their comments are fairly worthless, especially the guy who says Zurker is a scam. He cannot know that. It is impossible to know that.

    Again, it is a risk, but a small one for a big payoff. Just follow along on the site’s US popularity on Alexa, as well as how the site is brought along. Not one positive comment out of the first eleven. Pretty fishy if you ask me.

    If this is not posted, I will blog about it Mandy.

  13. mandyf said

    Trying to blackmail someone into posting your comment? Is that how it works? Here’s your comment, just so everyone can see what kind of bully you are. Where is what makes zurker good in your comment? What makes it better than what is available? What makes it different aside from fantasy shares? Not one reason why Zurker works in it. That’s what’s fishy – no one has a reason why zurker is good.

  14. mandyf said

    And by the way – I was an early adopter on zurker, check it once a week just to see if it gets better and it is no better than the first day. That’s my affiliation to it. Why don’t you blog that? Why don’t you blog there is a large percentage of people that think zurker is a waste – and yeah they have tried it? Are you willing to do that? If not, your comment is meaningless tripe.

  15. Just took a look at Surker I mean ZurkerSeems that it is a Multi Level Pyramid Scheme with no stated goal or plan to do anything with the revenue generated to better society……Your Primary goal seems to be collect members and their data based on the ploy of “V” shares….As soon as I opened a page to the site i was greeted with the following SPAM of an Zurker ad “TIME LEFT23:48:48Now is Your Chance!
    For a brief 24-hour period after joining Zurker, get two vSharesfor each friend you invite to Zurker (that’s DOUBLE the usual rate!). vShares are stakes of ownership in Zurker. To invite your friends, go to the

    Oh and as any investors knows your “vShares” are not actual stakes in Zurker….If they are they could you be transparent and link to an actual share holders table to show who are the actual share/equity holders in in at least on of the Zurker county franchises….also your “Open” Book is laughable….you do seem to publish transactions…but you have knowing left out the most important information….”Who” has invested or paid funds into Zurker and for what purpose….

    I have been involved in developing consumer tech for over 15 years and I know that it does not have to be this way.
    I believe that a company can be profitabel and at the same time return and create billions in revenues that can be used to make lasting Social Change.
    The “Community” that have allowed our value to be extracted by Twitter, Facebook and others so that they can generate billions deserve better than to be treated like products that are sold to the highest bidders. The Communities that add the value should be treated with respect.
    I have been attempting to develop technology with the idea that the “Community” that creates and adds value should come “First” and that most of the revenues generated returned to the community and also be used to create lasting social change. http://www.kleemi.com is an attempt to brings this dream into reality. Kleemi is in an early beta but at this point still offers cutting edge search, a news reader, and a micro blog service. In the coming weeks we will make some major announcements about some of our new service that will turn the pyramid right side up.

  16. mandyf said

    You got me curious William, I’ll be watching what happens with Kleemi – and if it looks good I will say it does. if it has some areas that don’t seem kosher I’ll ask about them and give you a chance to clarify it. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of it all.

  17. Except that Kleemie.com has folded.. Or at least it has gone underground….. 80(
    Nice article here Mandyf. I often find the comments as interesting as the articles themselves in these situations. it is interesting to wonder who has vested interests in what….
    Knowing that nothing ever is what it seems I joined Zurker yesterday following a enchanted link from an article about it which allowed me access and presumably a nugget to the member. So with runes in hand I set forth on a quest to this promising land to seek an alternative to the info nazi FB has become and possible fortune to boot.
    Having worked the runic spell and entered the creaking door in the cliff I entered this new kingdom..
    I was a bit nonplussed it has to be said by the look of the thing, all scripted furnishings and basic lettered curtains but then again it is early days and we are so Facebooked up now that anything else that isn’t flashing illuminations and fairground clatter will look odd and disappointingly bland. Though it is partly because of that I am seeking some form of sanctuary.
    And so there I was, the nervous yet curious wanderer in another new cyber land. The fabled republic of Zurker…
    There was a howl from the distant hills and rustle in the undergrowth. Before I could draw my catapult, and I mean minutes here, I was pounced on by little beasties that leapt out from behind the trees, bowls in hand begging me to add them to my currently empty tribe hoard. I think that is what they were doing. I was using an alias, a particularly fuzzy one too, so there was no reason at all why these denizens should be remotely interested in my presence other than a worrying hysterical hope of being furnished somehow with previously promised golden nuggets. And the names. Like mine gleaned from the library of silly names.
    My sword Scamgobbler glowed a pale blue and I swear I heard a whispered riddle… And the strange smell of rotting fish….
    At least there is a weapon that comes with the software, an ignore nob which I duly pressed four or five times fending off these attackers only to be shot at with cyber arrows from even more. And there are tribes of them in there all ready and slavering for new meat…
    I will have to sort out how often my little door gets knocked on now and I have already changed the email addy to something suitably inane so I can live on in this world and ignore the drooling from in that one.
    Really…. Looking deeper I found a little engine that was greased, oiled and ready to puff. Zurker bars or whatever they call it. Your greasy pole to riches. Put money in here it said, 1 Euro gets you one gold nugget, gather a nation of your own, willing adherents can be found under every stone and behind every sodding tree, hang about for as long as and gain a pension.

    I think not chaps. I am grateful for this excellent article and the comments it has attracted as we need discussion and the voice of reason to whistle through the steaming branches when it comes to na na land.
    One thing, would each and every contributer to this discussion come clean here and say which vested interest they represent I wonder?
    I have none, just a desire to communicate with my darlings without worrying the PTB will one day lock me up for some critical comment I made after a party sometime in darkest 2006… FB really worries me now with the graph thing it is introducing.
    I think King Zukerburg has been got at by the Necromancers. …. run for the hills… er perhaps not…

  18. vshal071 said

    I am using zurker from past 7 days regularly. I gives it more than 2hrs/day. And no it has nothing to impress me, i m not being rude but i m just explaining my experience, that there are just bunch of insane/neek or whatever you call those creatures who are just begging for you to invest and screaming that its better than facebook and blah blah blah. I am unable to understand that if they are claiming that it is better than other social sites then which kind of social platform asks for money? Just for the sake of making the users owners? if yes, Then how the hell it is any different from any business scheme? Why it is lacking features of a social platform? like there is not any informative profile page , They just shows people’s Vshares and zurks(no of posts) and their status(Agent, pure(which are premium by the way.)) and obviously it looks like and business platform for money making rather than social platform.

    Man the designer of the idea is amazingly smart to motivate users to make posts, Like what happens in other social sites are like you post yoru pics, tags friends, what you like, what you do etc but in zurker no body talks about their social life, Its the system that threats/motivates :p people to posts by aloowing(traping) them to earn Vshares/zen if they post funny stuffs and all that.

    In 7 days i have met several peoples who are regular users and fan of zurker, and amazingly it has turned out to me co-incidently that no body wants to talk about friends and family, all they bitch about is why facebook/youtube/google is bad and why zurker is king/
    i mean, common man you promised me it is an social platform????????????????????

    The zurker’s logic has completely brain washed the brain of its users successfully.
    I m no expert but can easily conclude that this scam will be written in golden words in history.

    And thanks Mandyf for the post. I was searching unbiased review on zurker from a long time. What ever blog i previously found about zurker claims that ” Its not a scam, and it never will be.” and at the end they have provided the referral link. lol.

    Please dont invest for any kind of retarded VShares while you can buy Real Shares.

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