Wenyard, Empire Avenue On Steroids Or Pyramid Scheme?
Usually one learns of a new innovation, invention, social media breakthroughs from techie news sites like Spot, AllThingsDigital. Mashable, and others. Word traveling fast in real-time is then amplified by all the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, for starters) and if it's really 'disruptive' it will begin to blanket our zeitgeist. This is then followed by the business trades and legacy publishers elaborating on the shiny new thing's various iterations over time.
At the onset, appropriate keyword searches will surface the story on the first page of Google News, later followed by Google's PageRank logging them into into its general SERPs, according to its trustworthiness, popularity, G+ Author Rank, etc.
When a news story of this sort sounds like it has the potential of being ground-breaking, but does not follow the above-mentioned normal flow pattern -- it often creates a seed of doubt -- as to why it hasn't been vetted by these accepted distribution channels. Could it just be hype? A PR stunt or a contrivance manufactured by marketers to appear greater than what it is? Wenyard could be such a story.
Like Rippln that came before, Wenyard appears to be evoking interest vis a vis early adopters who are eager to become its first sword bearers and feudal lords. Like Ripplin, Wenyard appears to be dependent on these advocates to spread the word amongst the masses. While you can't find any news outlets talking about Wenyard anywhere, you will find tons of these early registrants posting blogs and producing YouTube videos to promote and build their individual feifdoms.
So is Wenyard just another MLM (multi-level marketing) or pyramid selling scheme? Well, it does seem to fit that pro forma. It does promote leaders to be compensated not only for their wise investments but also the investments of others they are able to bring into their fold.
Differing from the widely popular online social network Empire Avenue, the new wrinkle with Wenyard however is its tie to a virtual stock market called NASGO, where Wenyard players can buy/sell stocks in virtual companies listed on this online exchange. Important to be aware that while this is an opportunity for the converts to practice their investment skills -- all the stocks in this market are fictitious.
So where's the rub? Well, for one, you have to invest a hefty upfront registration fee, called a "Start Package,' that ranges in cost from €95 to €795. You then make money marketing the game to others or by trading your virtual currency called WFO's (Wenyard Future Options) for real cash - where all earnings -- according to the promos -- are available instantly in real-time.
You can see from the package breakdown, that the 'powers-to-be' are prompting registrants to gravitate up to the ExecutiveBroker level, since they'll triple what they paid in WFO's.
The site owners also make it very easy for you to create your own promotional blog to kick-start your very own proselytizing process.
As a result, with a branded Wenyard website, joiners appear more like they are members of the original start-up team versus early adopters. During its beta period, termed its: "100-Day Exclusive Expansion Period," pioneer members also receive all kinds of discounts and promotional offerings to get a jump on potentially amassing an early fortune in advance of those that follow. It's hard to determine how many have set up shop at this juncture, but one blog indicated 20,000 strong had stormed the Wenyard gates in the first month.
However, as they say, the proof's not just in the pudding, the proof's in the return on your investment. In all due fairness, I have put out an interview request to Wenyard - hoping to speak to one of the founders to add his or her feedback to today's post - but as of this posting have not received a reply.
For those that have succeeded with other MLM network opportunities, you might want to kick the tires on this one and take it out for a spin.
However, when you do, you might want to question why their virtual stock investments are tied to real-life events (e.g. if you were to purchase bamboo stock out of the Philippines before the typhoon, apparently you would have lost money as a result of the natural disaster?) But more importantly, you might want to check this advisory and query why this company lists Scottsdale, Arizona as its city of origin, Malta as its website location, will only accept Euros for payment and play off of servers that "hide their identity."
With all investment opportunities, there is an element of risk. Speculation is part and parcel of the game, not only in the virtual world but also in the real world. With Wenyard like other gambles, I'm going to take a "sit-and-hold 'em" position - I need to understand more about the players at this table, before I go "all in."
However, I'm always open to being proven wrong. So perhaps a few of those 20,000 pioneers can provide us all with a little more input, to convince us, this investment isn't all hat and no cattle, or better yet, is more bear than bull!
By the way, the acronym WENYARD apparently stands for "World Economic Network Yard," but NASGO has me baffled? Possibly "National Association of Speculation Game Online? Strange, but there's no Google Search that will presently give you the answer?