I’ve Tried That Investigates: iJango.com

It’s “the center of the online universe,” proclaims its Web page at nowijango.com

That’s a pretty big claim, even for your Googles, your Yahoos! and your Ivetriedthats.

But coming from a company that hasn’t even officially launched yet, it’s, well, laughable. Kind of like the chihuahua with an attitude that screeches and yaps at the big dogs on the other side of the fence. “Yip! Yip! Yip! Come on over here and see if I don’t tear your ugly heads off your mangy shoulders! Arf! Arf! Arf!

(True tangent: My in-laws used to have a hihuahua-Pomeranian mix. Mitzi. One day during dinner we heard her start to squeal in the back yard. We rushed out, sure that she was being dismembered by the little brat who lived next door. But there was Mitzi, screaming bloody murder, pinned to the ground by (I kid you not)…a rabbit.)

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against marketing slogans or tag lines. “We lose money so you don’t have to” ring any bells? But your marketing slogan should have some footing in the reality-based world.

Is IJango.com a Scam?

It’s too early to tell. And honestly, I don’t think so. But here’s what we now know that it is: A network marketing company (yes, an MLM) that claims that you can earn money just by doing what you always do online and recruiting other people to do the same.

When you become an “Independent Representative,” you are set up with an iJango “portal,” which is kind of like a home page for all your online activity. Your shopping, searches, social networking, and everything else is done within the iJango portal.

iJango gets paid a commission for all your purchases and traffic and then pays you and your downline (ah, how I hate that term) a percentage.

That’s it in a nutshell. I won’t go into the compensation plan, which I have read twice and still don’t understand. I do understand this, though: To get started with your magical portal to Nirvana, you will have to pay a refundable $50 “application fee.” But if you really want to get serious about your ijango business, you’ll have to pay $149 to become a “Director,” and $19.95 per month thereafter for your “back office maintenance fee.”

The intro video uses all the MLM industry buzzwords, including these perennial favorites:

  • “Work for yourself but not by yourself!”
  • “Our success depends on your success!”
  • “Building wealth depends on being in the right place, at the right time, with the right opportunity!”
  • [An interchangeable schlocky quote, dubiously attributed to Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, or other rich dude.]

I’m Not Impressed Yet

Nothing here looks new. We’ve seen the model where you supposedly get paid for doing what you were going to do anyway (Amway, My Power Mall). And we’ve seen the promotional videos of people who are “so excited to get started” and who say “it’s a no brainer.”

But nothing in the promo materials tells me that it will work. Here’s why, and all MLMs I’ve ever seen have the same weakness:

People that you recruit to be in your downline will be all jazzed and will say things like “no brainer” and “I’m so excited” to perfectly nice friends and family. They will change their habits for a time.

But people who are not in the MLM won’t change their habits just so you can become rich.

From what I understand, you have to recruit 20 customers who are not Independent Representatives. That means you have to convince 20 people to use your iJango portal as the gateway for everything they do online. But why would they? What’s in it for them other than a customizable home page, which they can get many other ways? They might tell you they’ll do it, but they won’t.

Maybe your mother will do it to help you out, but don’t count on it. Not if your mother is as technically inept as mine.

Bottom line, I don’t think Cameron Sharp or Steve Smith (from Excel Communications) are trying to rip you off. But I do think they’ll make plenty of money from people who sign up, even if those who sign up never make a dime.

Want to Make Money from iJango?

Then, here. I’ll give you a free business idea. Pay a licensing fee to Cameron Sharp so that you can print up t-shirts and coffee mugs with clever slogans on them and sell them at iJango conventions to iJango reps with permasmiles are so excited. I’ll give you some for free to get you started:
Do you jango?
Who needs coffee? Ijango.
You can’t handle the jango!
I jangoed all night with a hot chick in Belize
If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the jango.
iJango. It’s like Amway but with clicks.
iJango. Not a single vampire.

Don’t Work for ShortTask.com

There have been a few programs popping up lately that offer to pay people to complete small mundane tasks. For example, you might get paid to post a comment on a blog, or write an article, or get in contact with people.

The most reputable program around is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program, but there are some new programs opening up, like ShortTask.

What is ShortTask?

When I first stumbled upon the website, I thought that this was surely going to a great way for you guys to make money online. You complete a few small tasks, accumulate money, then get paid. I even sent an email over to our good friend Eddy at http://www.workathomenoscams.com/ to cover ShortTask as well. Shortly after sending that message, everything went downhill and I quickly apologized for my email.

I started glancing through the available tasks. There were a few high-paying tasks available. For example, you could round up a few resumes and earn $5.00 or write a 300-word review for $3.00. The pay wasn’t impressive, but for someone who has time to kill and desperately needs money, working at ShortTask could make all the difference. It was around this time that I found out you needed to have accumulated $50 in order to get paid. This was warning number one. If you were completing work, why couldn’t you get paid immediately for the work you performed? It would take quite some time to earn enough money to cash out.

I started digging through the tasks a bit more and it quickly became clear that there was no way in hell I was going to give this a positive review. It seems that the best paying jobs were put up front to entice you to join ShortTask and perform work. However, dive a few pages deep and you’ll find tasks for no more than 5 cents per hour! Five measly freakin’ cents.

You’re better off wandering the streets looking for loose change! I was mad when I saw the five cents per hour tasks, but I was furious to see another task offering to pay $0.02 for an hours work. TWO PENNIES. TWO MEASLY STINKING PENNIES. Are you kidding me? No one is that desperate.

Once the initial outrage subdued, I wanted to find out more information on who was running ShortTask. I stumbled upon quite possibly one of the best online smackdowns I’ve ever read at “SHORTTASK.COM IS THE NEWEST SCAM WEBSITE BY ANDREW HARRISON BARNES”.

I found out that the person running ShortTask.com was Andrew Harrison Barnes. A short time ago, Mr. Barnes was banned from Amazon’s mechanical turk program for life for paying people to spam the web for him. With nowhere else to go he founded ShortTask so he could continue to pay people a pathetic amount of money to post false endorsements for his various spam websites. The following is an excerpt from the post above and I highly suggest you read it all the way through.

The main purpose of Barnes’ “tasks” on ShortTask is to get people to post false endorsements of his scam websites. By doing so, it causes postings on other blogs and websites to fall down in the search engine listings related to him, thereby making him and his scam sites seem legit. Therefore, when someone tries to look up relevant info on Barnes or his scam sites, the first thing that comes up is the numerous more current postings of him which are no doubt positive, since he is offering to pay individuals to post them.

Many of the names of the individuals making positive comments about Barnes are false names and aliases and in fact posted by Barnes himself. In fact, many of the names of the so-called “employees” or “representatives” of Barnes’ companies are made up.

They are, in fact, Barnes himself. Andrew Harris Barnes is low class and low rent. He has created a sophisticated facade of himself on the internet by using aliases to pretend he has so many employees and properties and business locations. The truth is that Barnes uses answering services in almost every city in which he claims to do business. He owns little to no property. Even the buildings placed on his websites can be found in stock photo images of buildings or are addresses to buildings which he does not own and holds no leases. Didn’t I tell you he was prolific?

The Bottom Line

Stay far away from ShortTask. The pay is awful and the “work” you complete could potentially land you in a lot of trouble. If you are interested in making money completing tasks, then sign up for Swagbucks. The company is reputable and it’s a good way to earn a little extra side cash in your down time.

Have you had any experience with ShortTask, Barnes, or Mechanical Turk? If so, leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.