& The Rise of the Tastemaker

My award for favorite website this week definitely has to go to

For those unfamiliar with the platform, Fiverr was launched in February 2010 by Israeli Internet entrepreneurs Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger. The concept is simple – Fiverr is an online marketplace where users can buy/sell products and services (described as “gigs”) for a mere $5. Given their inexpensive pricetags, gigs are rather simplistic. Need a 30-second video testimonial for your website? Someone will do it for $5. Need a voiceover for your commercial? $5. Want a 30-minute language lesson via Skype? $5.

And then there are those gigs that certainly test the boundaries of what a human being is willing to subject him/herself to for that image of Abraham Lincoln in their wallet.

Case in point: Need a 30-second video of a creepy middle aged woman dressed as an embarrassingly stereotypical hippie obnoxiously yelling into a camera to help promote your business? As I write this, a total of 92 people have purchased this service. That $460. Just. Wow.


But hey, you get what you pay for. And if you are the type that is comfortable making an absolute fool of yourself on the Internet for a little extra spending money – more power to ya!

I’ve had some time to explore the depths of Fiverr and the various gigs it’s users have cleverly constructed. Based on what I have seen, what interests me the most are not the rediculous testimonial videos from costumed buffoons and celebrity impersonators – but rather the rise in social media tastemakers, willing to showcase your online presence via their noteably-sized and well-engaged social networks. Want to get your business some word-of-mouth promotion? Why not pay $5 to someone with 10,000 Twitter followers and 2,000 Facebook friends to promote your web address across his/her social channels?

Over the past few years, tastemaker engagement has grown exceedingly popular among social media strategists – and rightfully so. You want to throw an awesome house party next weekend and convince everyone at your school to come? How do you do it? You make sure to invite the popular kids, get them excited, and encourage them to tell ALL their friends. Boom! Your party is a success!

Or they will tell you to go to hell. Or that your party sounds lame. Or…sorry I had a tough time in school.

But are we ready to PAY the cool kids to tell their friends about our party?

Mainstream social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) have certainly been around long enough for tastemakers to craft substantial communities, at least from a numbers standpoint. Hiring these folks as guerrilla promoters sure sounds compelling to me, however I would imagine it is far too early to gauge it’s cost-effectiveness.

And let us not forget the point-of-view of that tastemaker’s audience. A social media trendsetter might be happy to get paid to promote others’ products and businesses – but that does NOT mean their followers are comfortable with blatant advertisement bombardment.

What do YOU think of Fiverr? How much would you pay someone with a large social media following to talk about your website?

And to the tastemakers: What’s more important – getting paid to promote, or keeping your image “commercial-free”?


2 thoughts on “ & The Rise of the Tastemaker

  1. Have to agree with you some of the gigs can do more damage then good, since it’s so cheap, sellers don’t bother about the quality of the work. I believe there are good quality gigs available, just have to spend more time searching for them.

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