Tag Archives: social media

Is NiteFlirt Really Playing Fair With Their Latest Play Fair Linking Policy?

In the August edition of NiteFlirt‘s FlirtBuzz newsletter, there was an update regarding Play Fair, the phone sex platform’s department which enforces the NiteFlirt Member Agreement and NiteFlirt’s policies. Along with encouraging Flirts (& other members) to bully and report their fellow phone sex operators (as if more of that was actually needed!), the important part here really is about the linking policy.

Competitive Services

Your listings cannot contain links that connect to competing services in any way, even if the competing service is two clicks away (i.e., the page you link to cannot link to a page that links to a competitor). This includes your personal websites, your twitter pages, or any other page you are linked to, including “friends of” pages on your own personal websites. Watch out for this as it’s the major reason Play Fair will end up pulling listings down. Play Fair never wants to pull your listings for any reason at all. Please help them in staying vigilant and hopefully we can achieve this together!

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I’ll repeat it in bold: Your listings cannot contain links that connect to competing services in any way, even if the competing service is two clicks away (i.e., the page you link to cannot link to a page that links to a competitor). And, per NF’s polcies, “NiteFlirt considers the following to be competitive services: phone calls, Webcam, tributes/donations, recorded content, and content exchanged via email, such as photos.” Though at times it has been unclear if this competition is striclty alternatives for a specific Flirt (i.e. Flirt SuzieQ has linkage at her site to SuzieQ at NF and MPS) or if it is simply any other service period (i.e. Flirt SuzieQ has links to MPS girl MonicaMoans). Play Fair has taken action in both directions, which adds to the confusion.

In any case, this newsletter posting is quite different from the policies written on the NF site itself.

For example, the NF Social Media Policy states:

For Twitter, this means that you don’t mention or link to any pages that mention our competition in your Twitter bio.

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Here “our competition” would seem to mean any links to any phone sex, webcam, or other site that competes with NF in any way. And notice how the update in the August newsletter doesn’t state “bio” only, leaving that to mean anything on the Twitter page or feed.

And here’s the current (if even more meandering and ambiguous) NF policy about personal websites — which the new “two clicks” policy seems to easily refute (bold added by me for emphasis & easy comparison):

We do our best to allow Members freedom to run their own business while also enforcing our policies. We do not want to restrict Flirts, especially those with an established business outside of NiteFlirt, by not permitting them to do link exchanges and such on their personal sites. Therefore, we do not monitor banner ads on personal sites. However, banner ads to direct competitors will not be permitted. A site that only points to banners and does not provide any additional information about the Flirt will not be permitted. But as long as the banners are simply that – banners – and not other ways to contact or pay that Flirt, we allow it. Personal Websites is perhaps the most subjective policy we have and the hardest thing to regulate. We want you to point to your site to entice callers to call you, but we can’t allow Flirts to send our customers to their sites so they can be paid outside of NiteFlirt. It is true that a customer could come to NiteFlirt and find themselves on another site all together. This is true about most sites in the Adult Industry. If we were to prevent banner ads on personal sites, it would deter people from posting their personal sites which we feel often entices customers to place calls.

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While NF talks about how important it is for Flirts to gain the attention of potential callers, and stay connected with current clients, it’s pretty clear to me with this new policy that any links to any competition are perceived as a threat and reason enough for Play Fair to pull phone sex listings. With this “two clicks away” policy, even a Flirt replying to a client’s tweet could be costly — because who knows who else that client may tweet with or link to?

It really does beg the question, “Do they understand how social media and even the Internet itself works?”

The amount of policing involved in such a policy — as in policing one’s own listings and sites, not policing other PSOs — is so absurdly huge that in doing so who would have the time to be on the telephone serving callers?

NF itself skirts dangerously close to breaking their own rules. For example, the official NF blog recently covered the AutoBlow2 male masturbator and in doing so, linked to SuperCompressor‘s review. (A better review here, in case you are interested.)

While the SuperCompressor site does bandy the phrase “phone sex” about, they don’t seem to outright link to any phone sex services — even on the “vice” pages. I don’t suppose they accept any advertising from PSOs either; they only seem to go as far into “sex” with their advertising as “dating”. But, I don’t know, wouldn’t the Mixxxer app be a competing service? (I bet if you linked to it, it would be!) Anyway, SuperCompressor reviewed that app too.

Both SuperCompressor articles were written by Jeremy Glass — whose Twitter account is linked to from the articles (that would be link number two, in this “two clicks away” policy). Glass has over 1000 followers on his rather active Twitter account. The activity includes Twitter conversations with porn star Allie Haze who has 117K followers she converses with. …Pretty sure somewhere in those numbers of adult folks, there’s a link going to a phone sex site or a porn star with a phone sex service.

This isn’t a one time thing with NF’s blog either. Another example: At the end of July, the NF blog dished vibrator history, linking to this article at BroBible. BroBible also talks about phone sex, but seems to steer clear of such advertising. (Not that I asked; their demo is males aged 18- to 34-year-old — which is so not where the real money is in the phone sex business.) But again, they are having plenty of sex talk with their large number of Twitter followers (103K). Not to mention the fact that the folks behind the sex toys and other adult products, who may not necessarily be followers or the followed, do like to interact, retweet, share, etc. back & forth with the product reviewers and website social media accounts to make the most of a review or promotion. Surely there are PSOs in their midst.

All this only serves my point: Who wants to police all that? (Not me.) And just how many clicks away can you actually control anymore? (Answer: None.)

This “two clicks away” policy is why, those who have asked and read about this in the NF forums, the official NF Tumblr does not (and should not, in order to be compliant with it;s own policies) display (link to) the the other Tumblr blogs they follow or posts that they “heart” or “like” — because they do not want to have to police those links, where they are linking, etc. It would be a bitch.

Some argue that at least NF is allowing some links out. That, they say, is “more fair” than MPS and other phone sex platform sites which now have strict “no outbound links at all” policies. But is it really fair to allow phone sex operators to place outbound links when they have no power over the actions and links of who they are linking to — especially when NF has invited & encouraged users of the platform site to police and report one another?

Yes, yes, I get that the phone sex platform sites do not want independent PSOs leaking traffic to a competitor; and it is their right to put into place such policies and controls. But fundamentally, this NF policy is a “no outbound links” policy and the safest thing to do is to see it as such and behave accordingly. If only NF would state it thus, we’d have a lot less pulled listings and a lot less NF members policing of one another.

The Problem With NiteFlirt Social Shouts

NiteFlirt has just launched Social Shouts, a way to “broadcast important NiteFlirt-related updates to your social media followers and customers.”

Simply link your social media profiles with your NiteFlirt account and select the events that will trigger posts, such as availability changes and new content additions! And you can customize your posts to make them uniquely you and more appealing to your customers.

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Once you set the feature up, it still isn’t a whole lot easier than just making the posts or tweets yourself — unless, of course, you stick with the pre-filled varieties NF offers, which cannot be edited. Out of ease or pure laziness, I guess a lot of Flirts are doing this anyway. Too many, because look at my recent dashboard action at Tumblr and Twitter, respectively. (Note: I am not trying to embarrass anyone, so I have removed any identifying information.)

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Enter the world of boring and annoying spam.

How in the world are you supposed to stand out — especially in an industry that’s supposed to be as personalized as phone sex — when you are literally saying the same thing as everyone else?!

Worse than that, using this automated interface misses out on some key points involved in using social media. I’m not going to give you an entire lesson on social media (not for free anyway; I may just write a white paper on it at some point), but I will tell you that automated, repetitive posts are the opposite of social.

And one more thing while I am feeling generous… In terms of effectiveness for your phone sex business, Social Shouts is missing a key feature: The use of hashtags.

While NF has built-in a hashtag to suit themselves, i.e. #NiteFlirt, this isn’t very helpful for you.

One, such a corporate hashtag is neither conversational nor impactful. It’s not like #NiteFlirt ever trends. While not very targeted, the generic #PhoneSex would be more helpful than this corporate hashtag. At the most basic level, if people already know about NF, they will be going to the site itself not Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook. Unless, of course, they are talking about the site when it is down… But how does that help you as a PSO?

Two, while this NF hashtag may offer some benefits for NF, it does absolutely nothing to build your brand.

Think about your goals before you use this new feature.

At least this new feature is aptly named. “Social Shouts” is just that, shouting in places were people are. Try that at Wal-Mart or a rock concert and see what it gets you.