More Blingo Thoughts

I’ve been so impressed with Blingo, that I’ve been telling all my friends about it. One of my buddies immediately was turned off by the “free iPod” approach. It’s a great point that I wonder if Blingo considered – “Free iPod” equals sham at this point, thanks to all the Free iPod scams.

So I started digging around the Blingo site to make sure that the site was legit.

Will Blingo keep my personal information private?
Yes, we only use personal information to send prizes to winners. We never sell your personal information to anyone and we never send promotional emails.

For more information, please see our detailed privacy policy.

Privacy Policy (snippet)
Blingo may share aggregate information with advertisers, business partners, sponsors, and other third parties. We will not share personally identifiable information with third parties without your express consent. For example, we may disclose how frequently the average Blingo user visits Blingo or which other query words are most often used with the query word “camera.” We will release specific personal information about you if required to do so in order to comply with any valid legal process such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order, or to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims.

The real key, however, is not what they’re not doing, but what they are doing.

How can Blingo afford to give away prizes?
Just like other popular search engines, we charge advertisers for placing sponsored links on our site. These links are always clearly identified and separated from search results.

They are more blatant about their placement of their sponsored links than Google.

The amazing power of this concept is that the cooler they make the site, and the more prizes they give out, the funner the site becomes. Google is great to use, but I don’t think a claim can be made that its search is “fun”. But take the Google functionality, wrap a layer of enjoyment around it, and sprinkle in the chance of prizes for you and your friends for doing nothing abnormal.

There’s a great many people, myself included, who are slapping their heads and shaming themselves for having not thought of it themselves. it’s going to be interesting to watch how well they do… and how long it takes the hucksters to copy the idea.