Saturday, December 29, 2007


Original Source

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Alticor has hastily announced the sale of its interest in Alticor claims it has sold its investment in Fanista to Power of Entertainment. Alticor claims that Power of Entertainment is the company that built and continues to run Fanista. A Google search of Power of Entertainment does not turn up any results as it is apparently too early for even Alticor's media department to have released their onslaught of press releases. Some obvious questions come to mind. Who owns Power of Entertainment? Why was Power of Entertainment never mentioned in any of the earlier press releases? What prompted this sale? If this was Alticor's intentions all along, why all the heavy press releases boasting the Amway name? I could go on and on.

A Quixtar email claims that "Alticor's involvement in Fanista was designed to bring us insights into the social networking phenomenon and how to marry e-commerce with online communities." How much could they have possibly learned in the approximately 30 days since Fanista launched? One conclusion could be that Fanista is a total flop. This would seem the likeliest conclusion. Earlier Quixtar claimed that they allowed IBOs to belong to both Quixtar and Fanista. This was an obvious violation of their non-compete clause. If their position was somehow that it was okay since Alticor owned both companies how can that continue after the reported sale of Fanista?

The Fanista unloading shows that Alticor is a company without direction. Alticor's claim that this was done to bring innovation to the Quixtar business is laughable. Money spent supposedly learning about Fanista would have been better spent addressing the ridiculous pricing current IBOs continue to endure. Alticor continues to fail to raise itself to "what's important next" thinking. If the Fanista experience was designed to enhance Quixtar why would Quixtar hide it from the IBOAI board? This is yet that latest example why AAQ's institutionalized dishonesty will be it's undoing.

December 28, 2007


To FC, IBOAI Board, Qualified Diamonds and above, and Qualified Platinums and above

Dear IBO Leader:

Last month we informed you of the launch of a company supported by Alticor Corporate Enterprises called Fanista. Today, we are sharing with you the news that Alticor is no longer an investor in Fanista, as its interest has been purchased by Power of Entertainment, the company that built and is running the Fanista website.

Alticor’s involvement in Fanista was designed to bring us insights into the social networking phenomenon and how to marry e-commerce with online communities. Our experience with Fanista is just one example of our commitment to bringing innovation to our business. We are pleased that we were able to exit this investment opportunity this early, and we are excited about Fanista’s future.

Innovation remains our goal, and we'll continue to explore opportunities to gain insights that will make the AMWAY®/QUIXTAR® business stronger, and in particular, bring consumer learnings from other channels in the marketplace into our core direct selling businesses.


Jim Payne
Executive Vice President

Bill Payne
Chief of Staff

Posted by The IBO Rebellion at 2:35 AM

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

TEAM: Quixtar Website Visits Down

Original Source
Reference to Original Source

Here is a snapshot of the Daily Unique Visitors to from June through November of 2007 as reported by (thanks to q-less for pointing this out).

I couldn't find similar data for the 2006, so I don't know if this is seasonally normal for Quixtar. I know in the group I was in, they did a big push in October, November and December for Christmas shopping from Quixtar.

q-less notes that the pattern changes pretty dramatically in October and November. No more end of month spikes. To misquote the poem: This is how the month ends. This is how the month ends. This is how the month ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper. It looks like Quixtar is dealing with "Hollow Months."

Notice that September still has a spike at the end. I don't know about other teams, but my mentor was telling me to keep going and was still encouraging me with Quixtar. It wasn't until after I noticed several big Team leaders were resigning Quixtar and I approached him and talked about me possibly leaving Quixtar that he told me he had resigned Quixtar. As far as my leaders, they didn't push me to leave Quixtar. In fact, they never even brought it up.

Below is a live updating version of the same graph (as the months go by, it will automatically be updated with the latest information. It will be interesting to watch over the coming months.

QUIXTAR: Peak Web Traffic, Mixed Blessings

Original Source

Peak Web Traffic, Mixed Blessings
Posted by Steve Cole on Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas is a great time of year. Although for some IT departments on the web, it can certainly come with mixed feelings....

For any parents with little kids, you would most likely know about Webkinz. Cute little stuffed animals that you can also register on in a virtual world and play games. Well, all 3 of my kids love these stuffed animals. They are always really excited to register them on the website. Once they are registered, they receive all the virtual frills and features that go along with owning a Webkinz.

Unfortunately for my kids, the Webkinz website seems to have fallen victim to the mad rush. Multitudes of kids trying to register and play with their new Christmas presents. For the last 2 days, we have had a hard time getting into the website without an error (usually 500 error) . I assume most of the problems were a result of the higher traffic volumes they are experiencing. It was apparent that the IT staff was trying hard to figure out where all the bugs were occurring. At times I could see debug tracing (used for troubleshooting) turned on, in what was likely an attempt to try and understand the problems. I felt bad for the IT staff members who were clearly working during the holiday trying to fix the website. I could certainly relate.

It looks like Webkinz ran into a problem we had to solve years ago. For Quixtar, we have 12 days out of the year, end of month, where the traffic volume on the Internet surges to peaks 3-4 times higher than any other day of the month. In the early years after 1999, end of month was very painful, both for IBOs and Quixtar IT staff. That was a tough lesson to learn. However as a result of the early years, we have stepped up to the challenge and we are doing rather well these days. We have spent a lot of time and money building a robust website that could manage those couple of high volume days every year. The Webkinz website likely also only has a couple days out of the year (Dec 25, 26, 27... :) ...where demand is at its all time high. I wish them luck as they tackle their current issues. I suspect that next Christmas the experience on will improve over this year's Christmas holiday as they ferret out their problems.

A number of Quixtar IT staff will be working through the evening and until the early morning hours this Monday, December 31 to do what we can to make sure your website experience is a good one at end of month. Even though, December is rarely one of our largest end of months...too much competition for New Years parties...we'll still be there to monitor the site. So thanks to those in Quixtar IT who will be working at the office into the New Year to support the business!

This will likely be my last post for 2007, so I would also like to wish you all a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

NEWS: Amway admits that the FTC is soft on multi-level marketing ethics

Original Source

Amway admits that the FTC is soft on multi-level marketing ethics
Posted Dec 1st 2007 3:40PM by Zac Bissonnette

Back in July, I wrote about network marketing giant Amway/Quixtar's self-imposed 120-day moratorium on recruiting in the United Kingdom, a response to a Department of Trade and Industry complaint against the company. Many critics charge that Amway is operating a thinly-veiled pyramid scheme, based on the same principles as the chain letter.

Well earlier in November, Amway blogged about its plans to return to the region, posting a memo that had been sent to directors and employees, and also forwarded to many of the company's United Kingdom distributors.

Here's where it gets interesting. Many people, myself included, have charged that the FTC is not doing enough to crack down on multi-level marketing companies using false and misleading recruiting tactics. based on the text of the memo, Amway seems to agree:

"The fact is, in the wake of this sobering experience, every one of us -- employees, IBOs, and others -- should renew our commitment to hold ourselves to the highest standards of behavior. The marketplace -- and in the UK, the government -- has made it clear that they expect no less. And when falling short of those standards exposes our company to such grave risk, there can no longer be any such thing as 'business as usual.'" (emphasis added)

In other words, the government of United Kingdom has made it clear that it will hold Amway to the highest standards of behavior -- but the United States has not followed the lead.

Perhaps Amway's massive political contributions have had something to do with that. it's a shame that our elected officials are putting the interests of special interest groups ahead of those of consumers. That's just business as usual in the land of the free, home of the brave.