Lasoo Launched Bargain Sharing Site – u.Lasoo
Lasoo.com.au, backed by an ASX listed company, has launched a new social sharing site — u.Lasoo. The basic principle is simple — you register, you submit deals, you vote for the submissions you like, and you comment on them. Yes, just like OzBargain and a growing number of independent bargain sharing sites in Australia.
There are two main things that are new on u.Lasoo but not available on OzBargain and other sites —
Integration with the main Lasoo site, where visitors can post items directly from inside the catalogue. Even a visitor can do that.
Members can earn money from their Google AdSense account. If you have a publisher ID, you can paste in and Google Ads with your publisher ID will be shown on the deals that you have posted.
I think (2) and the very idea of “making money online” can be quite attractive. From their FAQ page it is a bit ambiguous — of course as a publisher you are getting 100% of Google AdSense revenue that goes into your account. However I guess they meant to say that your ads will get 100% exposure, i.e. they will not rotate with their own ads, like many other profit-sharing sites (like RetailMeNot who does 50%). But don’t quote me that on.
Good idea? Maybe. Maybe not.
Like Angus has said in his LifeHacker post, you might not earn a lot of money from it. But I guess a lot is rather subjective. It might mean $10/month to some (like most sites running AdSense). Meanwhile someone might want to be the next Markus Frind earning 5 figures per day. But hey, anything is better than nothing!
However, the “revenue generation device”, i.e. Google AdSense, is not available to everyone. In order to have an AdSense account, you must have an established website that Google is happy for you to monetise. So at the end the site might be dominated by website owners as they have higher incentive to post.
But it is not my biggest problem with running an AdSense profit-sharing site. My biggest problem is — click frauds. Once you let people providing their own publisher code, there bound to be someone who wants to speed up the money-earning process by clicking on his own ads. Well, that’s Google’s problem, and they are usually pretty good at catching this kind of fraudulent activities — and they will ban the account for life. Now, Google also detects repeat offenders by association (so they can’t get back into the system), and sharing the same site as other banned accounts might just be enough to trigger the alarm — it’s not the kind of risk that I would like to take.
Well. Some people might think I am spreading FUD here because Lasoo has suddenly turned from a sponsor (they bought quite a bit of placement ads on OzBargain via AdSense) to a competitor. I guess it’s true — I am freaking out! Well, not really but I know Lasoo’s marketing budget is infinitely bigger than OzBargain (well, anything divided by 0 is infinity). They have got a great looking site. And they have more friends on Facebook than OzBargain (c’mon, show your support here!) OzBargain still has advantage in features and community, but both can be fixed with $$$.
We’ll see. The bargain sharing space in Australia might be very different 12 months from now.
Update — Ray asked “Are they running a script or in-house developed?”
I had a look at their site structure and I think u.Lasoo is running a modified version of Kigg, is a “Digg like application developed with ASP.NET MVC Framework, LINQ to SQL and ASP.NET AJAX”. Obviously they have done up the template, added the integration with their catalogue system, etc. Always a good idea to check existing scripts if you want the speed to market.
I also suspect that this Newcastle company developed u.Lasoo.