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Is this the CRAZIEST Extension Ever?

Is this the CRAZIEST Extension Ever?

I generally love the work that comes out of the doors of JoomlArt. They’re one of the oldest and best known developers of quality Joomla templates and extensions. Three of their recent extensions made my Fourteen Fabulous February Freebies, so it’s fair to say I’m a fan. But I’m not so sure about their latest offering.

On the surface, JA Social Locker is a clever idea, although the principal is not new. It allows a site owner to display a certain amount of content, but in order to view the rest of the content, the reader needs to perform an action. In this case the required action is to share the content via a social network. Is that clever or stupid?

a1sx2_Thumbnail1_ja-social-locker-module.png

Actually I think it’s both. It’s clever because it will achieve its aim - getting more exposure, followers and ultimately customers. According to JoomlArt, when they tested it, they received 10,000 clicks and this dropped off dramatically when they disabled the extension.

It’s also stupid. I always like to create the same experience online as you would receive offline. If a customer is familiar with an organisation, it’s not unreasonable to ask them for a recommendation. But to insist on it is another matter. And how can you expect a stranger to recommend you if they are yet to experience your products or services? The result might be that you’re doing more harm than good. Many readers will be hesitant to hit that share button and miss out on whatever it is you’re promoting. This is discussed further in a free ebook from Short Stack - Why Every Business Needs to Stop Obsessing About Facebook Likes - which ironically requires you to opt-in to download it. Although this is written in the context of Facebook likes, the principles outlined in chapter one are relevant to this situation too.

Am I a Hypocrite?

But Rich, isn’t this exactly what you do with your training?

Previously? Yes. Now? Not really.

When I took over Build a Joomla Website the model for the Joomla version 1.0 course was that visitors could opt-in to receive the first 3 lessons for free and then they were sent a bunch of emails encouraging them to upgrade to the full course. Now the full Joomla 3 course (The Basics) is available for free without the need to opt-in at all. However there is an option to receive a companion workbook which is only available via an opt-in.

There were several reasons why I changed this model, but ultimately it all comes down to revenue. Once the course was completely free, and I mean all of it - not just a few teaser videos, it was easy for others to recommend it. I published the course at YouTube which also resulted in a lot of referred traffic. Some customers have been kind enough to recommend the course to others in a good old fashioned word of mouth kind of way. Although I must admit that sometimes you do need to encourage your audience to spread the word (hint, hint). The bottom line? This approach ultimately makes more money.

You can’t sell anything - especially online - unless your prospects knows you, likes you and trusts you. The same applies for a recommendation and that’s why JA Social Locker should be used with care. What do you think? Is this an ingenious way of gaining likes, or does it do more harm than good? Please comment below.

Disclaimer: some links above are affiliate links. If you click through and ultimately make a purchase, I might receive a commission.

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Comments 8

Guest - Anne on Thursday, 19 June 2014 22:18

I totally agree. I used to sign up to get information and have stopped since so many times the content I received was not really all that valuable. And, I NEVER will click social media to get something. As a matter of fact, I passed up the example you included a few months ago.

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I totally agree. I used to sign up to get information and have stopped since so many times the content I received was not really all that valuable. And, I NEVER will click social media to get something. As a matter of fact, I passed up the example you included a few months ago.
Kevin Morrison on Friday, 20 June 2014 06:45

I wont click a link to share or endorse anything just to view it. I will not install anything on my sites that force a like to view. I think this is hands down the worst idea yet, but from the standpoint of Joomlart creating it I think it works. There are so many people desperate to be seen that they will stoop to this level and I cannot blame the developer for taking advantage of this. As they say "A Fool is Easily Parted from His Money"!

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I wont click a link to share or endorse anything just to view it. I will not install anything on my sites that force a like to view. I think this is hands down the worst idea yet, but from the standpoint of Joomlart creating it I think it works. There are so many people desperate to be seen that they will stoop to this level and I cannot blame the developer for taking advantage of this. As they say "A Fool is Easily Parted from His Money"!
john sitjar on Monday, 23 June 2014 13:11

good day sir pearce do you have a tutorial on joomla and virtuemart thanks

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good day sir pearce do you have a tutorial on joomla and virtuemart thanks
Kevin Morrison on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:46

You need more than a tutorial for VM John. Actually a prayer would serve you better...:D

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You need more than a tutorial for VM John. Actually a prayer would serve you better...:D
Richard Pearce on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 12:20

No. I've never been a big fan of Virtuemart.

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No. I've never been a big fan of Virtuemart.
maggie on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 16:04

I personally wouldn't use the *social locker* as it offends me deeply, and I'm using joomlart's templates haha ... but my understanding of social media means it will probably be successful.
Also I like to thanks a lot for your tutorials...we're new to Joomla. We normally run wordpress sites and joomla has been/is a steep learning curve rand you videos have been a great help, thank you.

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I personally wouldn't use the *social locker* as it offends me deeply, and I'm using joomlart's templates haha ... but my understanding of social media means it will probably be successful. Also I like to thanks a lot for your tutorials...we're new to Joomla. We normally run wordpress sites and joomla has been/is a steep learning curve rand you videos have been a great help, thank you.
Neil Robertson on Sunday, 14 September 2014 21:14

I'm reluctant to use anything on my own website that I'd find annoying while visiting someone elses website.

It looks like this technique gets results though, in the same way that pop-ups are annoying but can get results if implemented well.

I recently discovered https://buzzsumo.com which, for any given topic, shows what has been shared the most across several social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus etc. Submitting "joomla templates" as an example, I was surprised to see a template company I had never heard of dominating the top positions. When I went to the template company website and tried to download one of their "free" templates, I was prompted to share before I could initiate a download.

Visitors are forced to share the page before being able to download the template.

In this particular case, I chose to decline the offer, but it obviously works judging by the results in BuzzSumo.

0
I'm reluctant to use anything on my own website that I'd find annoying while visiting someone elses website. It looks like this technique gets results though, in the same way that pop-ups are annoying but can get results if implemented well. I recently discovered https://buzzsumo.com which, for any given topic, shows what has been shared the most across several social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus etc. Submitting "joomla templates" as an example, I was surprised to see a template company I had never heard of dominating the top positions. When I went to the template company website and tried to download one of their "free" templates, I was prompted to share before I could initiate a download. Visitors are forced to share the page before being able to download the template. In this particular case, I chose to decline the offer, but it obviously works judging by the results in BuzzSumo.
Melmere on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 10:47

I will often give an Anon like or plus up to something that seemed ok, even if just for the effort someone took to create and upload. I'd have to actually dislike it not to. To me it is like a polite thank you.

But I never do to in my social network in case it is a dud and I dupe people who trust me. Nor will I often sign up for things with my email or follow with twitter and so on for fear of spam or trolling.

On earning money on the net. The only time I will give a shout out is when I believe in something or for charities I give to.

I rarely have paid for anything online, except donations to charity and physical things I have bought via the net. I get everything I need on uTube, (where I found these lessons). For example, past two projects, ( both learned 100% on uTube and a few forums ) were garden composting and building a serious game computer from the empty case up. The next will be CMS and plumbing a bathroom. It's all there in full detail one can start as a total novice. I think though I am an old fashioned user of the net and these days people will not do the hunting and research for info which I love to do as I always crave a good learning curve.

All this now said, I've make a point of recommending these sources of info, and am also often asked my opinion from people I know or am just in networks with. Some know I learned & accomplished various things from scratch just with uTube, or just generally trust my sources. I've earned trust by only recommending things I believe in or know enough about.

I think good word of mouth is a very good form of currency for all involved.

0
I will often give an [u]Anon[/u] like or plus up to something that seemed ok, even if just for the effort someone took to create and upload. I'd have to actually dislike it not to. To me it is like a polite thank you. But I never do to in my social network in case it is a dud and I dupe people who trust me. Nor will I often sign up for things with my email or follow with twitter and so on for fear of spam or trolling. On earning money on the net. The only time I will give a shout out is when I believe in something or for charities I give to. I rarely have paid for anything online, except donations to charity and physical things I have bought via the net. I get everything I need on uTube, (where I found these lessons). For example, past two projects, ( both learned 100% on uTube and a few forums ) were garden composting and building a serious game computer from the empty case up. The next will be CMS and plumbing a bathroom. It's all there in full detail one can start as a total novice. I think though I am an old fashioned user of the net and these days people will not do the hunting and research for info which I love to do as I always crave a good learning curve. All this now said, I've make a point of recommending these sources of info, and am also often asked my opinion from people I know or am just in networks with. Some know I learned & accomplished various things from scratch just with uTube, or just generally trust my sources. I've earned trust by only recommending things I believe in or know enough about. I think good word of mouth is a very good form of currency for all involved.

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