Yuwie has added a new feature, called Shop.
It’s basically a tab where you can buy items online from Amazon.com, Walmart, and others. Yuwie gets a commission when you shop through those links, and those commissions add to the amount paid per 1,000 page views for the month.
This added feature shows that the Yuwie admins don’t understand their target market. The early adopters of Yuwie are not the people who like to use sites like MySpace, but the people who want to make money online free. The same sorts of people who would do offers at Cash Crate or click ads at Clix Sense.
Those sorts of people are fairly sophisticated, compared to the average person who isn’t into making money online but just wants to socialize and make a little on the side. They’ll realize that, while they could buy through Yuwie’s links, they will get only a very small portion of the commission back out again. They’ll also realize that they could open up a My Power Mall or a Big Crumbs store, do the same shopping, and get a much larger commission out for themselves.
Yuwie seems to be expecting members to voluntarily lose money in order to support the site. While that might work if Yuwie had been building a strong sense of community all along, the addition of interstitial ads, and the fairly arbitrary enforcement of their “no advertising” policy, have left Yuwie members with no real loyalty to the site.
Yuwie could have added a paid offers section, paid the normal sort of commission directly to the person who did the offer, and allowed Yuwie’s part of the commission to add to the amount paid per page view every month. That would have done quite well, as people would get paid what they could get paid at Cash Crate for the offer, and then also had a higher Yuwie check due to increasing Yuwie’s profits.
Properly understanding your user base is critical for any membership site. Failing to understand your user base leads to putting forth time and effort developing content nobody really needs or wants.