JibberJobber Needs YOU to Solve Their Branding Problem

Addendum: Please do read the comment trail here. Jason has visited to share some comments and I have responded. I hope others will join in the discussion, but either way, what’s there is worth reading and adds value to the original post.

Additional update: Jason has posted new information about the contest.JibberJobber Wants You to Create a New Brand for Them

www.inkthinkerblog.com — JibberJobber has a branding problem. Apparently they also have a cashflow problem, because they’re asking the blogging community at large to give them a solid value proposition rather than hiring someone to do it. It’s an interesting concept, I must admit, and their Jason Alba is pretty frank about how desperately they need our help:

Last week I got an excellent e-mail that had me ROFL. The timing couldn’t have been better, as I have already had this contest in mind. Here’s the e-mail:

Dude – What does this site do? You need to put the value proposition on the front page, in as few words as possible, so I don’t have confusion as my first emotion upon visiting. At the very least, the About Us should start with that. Later, you can get to the whole “I was born the son of a sharecropper, blah blah” I *think* you have interesting stuff: let me know it for sure, right away. OK, now, I’ll go back to the beginning and try to figure it out :-) -Dave

Dude. Called on the carpet. Again.

For all the blog posts I’ve written on personal branding, elevator pitches, bragging and the like, I’ve grossly ignored the essential branding message.

And Dave hit it on the head.

Well, at least they’re honest!

And there is a prize package of cash and gifts. But when I think about how much money JibberJobber is going to make on their new value proposition one people know what the heck it is they actually do and want to pay them for it and compare it with the “at least $600” they’re offering in prize money (in conjunction with a premium JJ membership worth $495, which, seeing as how no one seems to know clearly what they do, I may not actually want since I don’t know if it’s useful to me), I’m unimpressed.

Well, no, I take that back. I’m actually very impressed, because they’re using a contest to get something that would otherwise cost them a lot more money. But that doesn’t mean I think you should participate. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t, but I’m telling you that I don’t advise it. Here’s why:

  • The prize does not come close to matching the value of what JibberJobber will be getting.
  • Selection criteria for the winner are sketchy at best.
  • Jason can use ANY branding statements submitted in his materials regardless of who wins, so you could not win and not get the cash and JibberJobber can still use it. Forever. For free.

Red flags, anyone?

I will not be participating in the JibberJobber value proposition and branding contest. Will you? Why or why not? Leave a comment.

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6 comments… add one
  • Jason Alba Feb 5, 2008

    Wow, I didn’t expect to get slammed, or called out for throwing a sloppy contest.

    There are a few weeks before it’s all over, and there is clearly planning to be done before it all plays out.

    But I *announced* it today. Got the ball rolling.

    Nonetheless, thanks for discouraging your readers from contributing.

    I’m not impressed.

  • admin Feb 5, 2008

    Well, Jason, there are three bright notes here:

    1 – There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    2 – There’s no reason you can’t change my mind.

    3 – I’m no BoingBoing, so my readership isn’t exactly staggering. And of those who do read the blog, some people think I’m a moron and do the exact opposite of what I recommend. Between them and the bajillion other people who are going to see the contest and NOT read this post, I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

    Dude, it’s not personal. I quite like you, in fact. But this isn’t about you. It’s about the contest, and I can’t get behind any contest that is going to use the non-winning entries at will. I’m not saying it’s uncommon, but it is definitely not writer friendly. Everyone who enters your contest is going to lose the right to their own work forever with no compensation except for the person who wins the grand prize, and I don’t feel that that person will be compensated appropriately with the current prize package.

    You can and should run your contest as you see fit. And I do give you major props for creative problem solving. But I still don’t like your contest, and that’s okay.

    kk

  • Diane Feb 6, 2008

    I never enter anything or send anything where I give up my rights to it without compensation.

    Gee, you missed out on getting my unique mix of BA in Creative Writing backed by a top-20 school MBA. I actually understood all those things you need! A business writer to be paid $600 – Kristen, is there any guarantee that ANYone will get paid, or did they have their lawyer-student friends figure a way to wiggle out of that as well? I thought I’d heard of Jibber Jobber before. I guess if they’re not really making an honest mistake here, I won’t be doing any business with them…whatever it is they do (think they wax surfboards?)

  • admin Feb 6, 2008

    Diane, I agree — entering a contest that takes your work whether you win or not is not something I would do.

    But there’s no evidence or implication anywhere that they’re being deceptive. On the contrary, Jason has been extremely forthright about his intentions and I have no reason to doubt that he will give the winners every single thing they have promised.

    Let’s be cautious about throwing around accusations here. Writer-unfriendly contest? Okay. Scam? That’s crossing into very uncomfortable, potentially libelous, and decidedly defamatory waters, and I think it would be a very bad idea for anyone to make that move. So let’s keep the speculation to a minimum.

    JJ is a career website that’s been around for about 2 years, but no, I’m not exactly sure what they do (which I suspect is the whole reason for the contest in the first place). Here’s what the about page says, in part:

    So what is JibberJobber? Is it a job search tool? Is it a networking tool? It is more like a personal relationship manager that allows you to do everything you need to do to manage a job search and optimize your network relationships – for the duration of your career!

    I still don’t really know what that means in practical terms, but I can confidently say that it has nothing to do with surfboards — unless, of course, someone who uses JibberJobber happens to own a surf shop.

    kk

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