The Big Gushcloud Exposé


I've been meaning to write this but I've waited more than 1 year to slowly gather all the evidence I need. Finally, here's the result.

This entry is very long. Maybe it will be boring to anyone who isn't a blogger or an advertiser because there are a lot of numbers and it's pretty darn wordy. But everyone should love a good exposé, right?

Here's the background story.


http://gushcloud.com/


What is Gushcloud? If you don't already know, they are kinda like a rival company to Nuffnang, dealing with bloggers, social media, youtube etc.
Now everyone knows my loyalty to Nuffnang. I've been with Nuffnang since its infancy and the boss, Ming, is my good friend. Not everyone knows this either but I was offered a very small amount of shares when I first joined. Some other popular bloggers also were. Start ups offering shares to get people to join them is common practice. However, I don't get dividends. I don't get any say in how the company is run.

Why am I telling you this? Because you have every reason to think I have an ulterior motive for writing this - an unflattering blog entry about a rival company who promotes rival bloggers taking a share of the online advertising pie.

But if you trust me - and I hope you do because I've spent a decade trying to be as honest a blogger as possible - then I hope you believe I only wrote this because I believe lies and immoral practices should be exposed, not for my personal monetary benefit. If you know me, I can't be fucked about earning more money. If I did, I'd be much much richer than I am currently. What I care about is exposing the TRUTH.


So let's start the story from the beginning.


In March 2014 I wrote about on my Dayre about Nuffnang's 7th birthday. I included a paragraph like this:




Now I never mentioned Gushcloud in this btw. There are more than one social media company that starts with G.

The next day, Gushcloud founder Vincent Ha called Boss Ming and blabbered on about suing me. How does he know whether I'm referring to him? Guilty conscience?

Perhaps his company is founded by his love for blowing gushes of hot air but no lawyer's letter came. Instead, he wrote this blog entry

It's boring, preachy and full of back-handed compliments about Gushcloud. Roll my fucking eyes. Don't bother to read it because I will summarize the only important parts below.

I went about gathering evidence. 

First, I created a fake company called SG Private Trainers and created a cute little website for them. You can see my work of art here!!


LOL The random people in the site are the results of me googling "fitness instructor" in Getty images and doing creative cropping. And the business owner's name is Doug Chu S.L., which is an anagram of Gushcloud!! Creative not?!! Can you guess the other anagrams on the site??



 I'm so funny and witty cannot tahan


I used this fake company to buy ads, both banner and instagram, from Gushcloud.

Then, I also went to buy the Financial Reports for Gushcloud for year 2011, 2012 and 2013. They are readily available in ACRA for anyone to buy for $50 each. It's public records.

(Click to see 2011, 2012, 2013)


Ok, let's see the results.


He called me a liar. I'll prove him wrong.




Merry Christmas Gushcloud. :)











Quote from Vincent's blog post




Here's the proof that BOTH statements are UNTRUE and potentially misleading.

Article on The Straits Times on 20th November 2012. CLICK TO READ

Too long didn't read? Here's the important paragraph:



(Churp Churp is sister company of Nuffnang)

Yup, they definitely DID report their earnings on newspaper.

Monthly revenue $170,000?


How much, in actual fact, was Gushcloud's average revenue per month for 2012?



$33,000.

Or $396,005 a year.

How do I know? From the aforementioned Gushcloud financial report of 2012:




Gushcloud had a total revenue (note: not profit, it just means purely what they earned without taking away expenses or the cost of the services) of $396,005. After adding in all their expenses, they have a comprehensive loss of $984,876.


If a company gets $170,000 revenue per month according to Vincent, in a year it will earn slightly more than $2 million.


That's a real yearly revenue of $396,005 to $2 million, does that sound like inflated earnings to you??


Let's just give them the benefit of doubt. They said that their revenue went up and that in February it was only $25,000/mth. Let's imagine that only in November, when this article is published, did their revenue suddenly become $170,000/mth. From January to October it was $25,000.

($25k X 10months) + ($170k X 2months) = $590,000


Tadah, STILL seems like inflation to me!!!


Unless, somehow, Gushcloud's Annual Report isn't accurate, or Straits Times reporter Melissa Sim is misreporting, it seems logical to conclude that Gushcloud DID inflate its earnings on newspapers.



NEXT!












In case you are confused, let me first explain about masking ads.

There is even a term for this dishonest practice, and it's called Astrosurfing. You can read all about it here.


An example of Astrosurfing. Is this ethical?

When a blogger pretends he found xxx product by himself and decides to write a smashing review about it when it's actually paid, that's called astrosurfing - or masking ads. It's dishonest for a blogger to pretend that something they are paid for to advertise was their honest true opinion when it isn't. It's cheating the consumer.

Just like when you flip 8 Days magazine and they give a review of the best chicken rice in Singapore... What if money is exchanged and it's actually a paid review? Or if someone is paid to say a competitor's brand is lousy? Don't you think you deserve to know?

Not that all paid advertorials must automatically be rubbish. In fact, advertorials can very well be sincere and truthful. That's up to the blogger. But at the very least, say you are paid to whore out a product when you ARE paid.

Astrosurfing is ILLEGAL in the States, the UK and Australia. It appears that in Singapore there is no such law yet. However, such a practice is obviously unethical.

Are bloggers or their management companies such mercenaries that even putting an honest "sponsored post" is too much to ask for?



Here's an email written from co-founder of Gushcloud, Althea Lim, to their Gushcloud blogger Eric Lim in 2011:

(Eric forwarded the email to Miyake long ago, who sent it to me)




Twice it was emphasized that Eric is not to expose the ad as paid. 

Does it look like it's a contract to mask an ad? Maybe not in the traditional contract sense but it's still a written contract if it's an agreement in an email.


In case you are wondering, Gushcloud used to be under Barnett Group. And Althea, Freda and Fai (CC-ed) are all still working with Gushcloud till today.

But this happened in 2011.

Maybe somewhere along the way they changed and suddenly became more honest people.


I needed to check if they are still doing this in 2014.

How? Remember my fake company SG Private Trainers? I used that to buy an instagram ad from Gushcloud.

Shockingly enough they fell for it...

Here's part of the email I sent to them:



Wisely, Fai never did reply me explicitly saying they are ok with masking ads, but cannot sure say cannot right?


Second email:




And here's Yilin's instagram ad ($300), in which she pretended to find Sg private trainers all by herself from a banner. She is completely lying! Tadah, caught red-handed Gushcloud! Sneaky sneaky!





Mai geh siao leh


Not only did she not mention it's a paid ad, she pretended that she stumbled upon the client by herself.

It's one thing to mask an ad but it's another to lie? I cannot believe Gushcloud actually agreed to do this.
 

SO. Gushcloud makes their bloggers mask ads? What do you think?

Do they give their bloggers contracts to ask them to mask ads? If no, how else do they get these bloggers to not write that it's an ad to fulfill their promises to clients? That I'll like to know.

p/s: In case you are wondering I have no idea who this Yilin Goh person is and just randomly chose her among Gushcloud's portfolio of bloggers. Suay lor who ask her to be so dishonest.

#toobad #toughtogainbackyourreaderstrust
#hopeitsworthit #hashtagsarefunevenwhentheydontwork






Let's go to the next point.









No Vincent Ha quote on this one but it is OBVIOUSLY very unethical to inflate a blogger's page views to clients.

I've heard from the grapevine that Gushcloud inflates their bloggers' numbers to get clients to pay more but I had no proof, so I wanted to find out myself. How?

I used Doug Chu S.L to enquire about banner ads from Gushcloud.

They sent me their bloggers' page views. I must say I am very impressed! Most of them are so popular!!




Added the little rainbow strip, hopefully can cover the smell of bullshit.


Right... If you have no idea who these people are, you probably share my disbelief of the stats. Honestly, it's not like the numbers are very impressive. It's just that these bloggers aren't.

(At my peak, I could get up to 70k page views per day.  I don't count it in months because the number is just ridiculous: 2.1million. Now, even though my blog is half dead, I still get 6k a day. Postnote: now back to 63485 unique visitors on 23rd Dec when post is publishd!)

I didn't believe these numbers, so I decided to go ahead and buy some banner ads. Since my cash flow is finite, I couldn't buy ads with all of these bloggers. I chose three. Their pictures got a little "X" so you can put faces to the names.


  • Yan Kay Kay: 150k-200k page views per month = 5,000 per day

  • Eric Lim: 30-35k page views per month = 1,000 per day

  • Asyiha Ams: 40k-50k page views per month = 1,500 per day


My programmer friend then did 3 tracking links for me. 

What this means is that the bloggers will put a html code on their sidebars and not only will the banner image appear, the code will also track the number of unique hits, page views, geographic location of the viewers and how long they stay on the page for etc.

This is common enough industry practice for advertisers, but since I foresaw that Gushcloud may be inaccurate and misleading about their bloggers' stats, they might not allow the tracking link. But to my shock they allowed it. O_O

I guess they never thought that a small fry like Doug Chu S.L. will do anything to them. LOL!


Kay Kay's banner ad was bought through Gushcloud at $1,000. (BTW I find that super exorbitant!)


AFTER ONE MONTH OF TRACKING:





KUA KUA KUA........

150,000 versus 28,823!!!


REALLY GUSHCLOUD??

I expected disparity, but not THIS much. They actually blew up the amount by FIVE FREAKING TIMES!!! Actual views is only 20% of what they claimed her views was.

Since I paid $1,000 for 150k views, should I get back a refund of $800 or what???


Maybe this is a one time error by Gushcloud. Let's see other bloggers!


Gushcloud claimed that Eric Lim's blog boast 30,000 views a month.


Then they had the audacity to try to charge me $300 for a banner ad from him.


I didn't wanna pay that so I approached him myself and asked for his stats and cost. He charged me $100 and told me (albeit back in March when I started the sleuthing) that his monthly views was 21,300.

So I bought a banner ad with him with my friend's Ripple's Etsy shop as the client.

After 1 month of tracking, the REAL stats:



OK SERIOUSLY WTF...


30,000 versus 3,174!!



This is I also feel sibeh lau kui for him. The daily unique hits can't even exceed 100, which is so embarrassing. You cannot possibly call yourself a blogger and charge money for ads with that kind of stats.

Even worse than Yan Kay Kay, Eric's actual monthly page views of 3,174 was only about 10% of the 30,000 page views that Gushcloud claimed!!

Ok, maybe these two are a farce. Maybe the rest of Gushcloud's given blogger stats are accurate.

Gushcloud tried to charge me a whooping $500 for a banner ad with Asyiha Ams whom I didn't even know existed before my detective work. (And god is her name hard to spell)

Obviously I'm unwilling to pay the $500 so I approached Asyiha myself.

Before I bought the ad I (also known as Nicole lol) asked her how many daily page views she has.
 


I got a shock. She actually doubled what Gushcloud said her views are.. On a good day that is. Maybe this blogger is actually popular!! Must be I'm old already lah I don't know who the youngster bloggers are.

But good thing about her is that her banner ad is reasonable at $80 per month. Thank you ah Ashiya helped me save $420. Gushcloud you gotta do something about your bloggers cutting you out yo!


ACTUAL VIEWS:




WHAT IS THIS SHIT???


45,000 versus 5,684!


Her lowest daily unique was only a measly 65 visitors a day. I cannot believe that she herself said she had 2,500 per day? That's how far from the truth?


And these ah mao ah kow quack "professional" bloggers and dishonest agencies out there claiming to have such high stats and cheating advertiser's money. Makes me so angry!!!



PS: After a month of banner ads with the three of them plus 1 instagram post from Yilin, I had 3 email inquiries about SG Private Trainers. Whims and Fancy had a grand total of 6 extra hits on their website. I would have to say this is $1480 well spent. NOT.


























Ok check I will!

Now this is harder. There is no concrete way to prove someone bought fake youtube views or fake youtube subscribers. There are, however, some telltale signs, you can read this article if you want to know more.

A little bit more about fake youtube views, subscribes, likes, comments... everything on youtube can be faked nowadays... FOR DIRT CHEAP!! (Ok only dislikes cannot buy)


Example of a fake youtube stats ad:



You can get 20,000 views for just $5 wtf!! For just a very affordable $250 you can get a video that has 1 million views!!

And btw although these websites may claim the million views are "real human views", they aren't, not in the sense you think anyway. It could be bots, or insert-poor-but-overpopulated country citizens clicking their day away mindlessly. They are not watching the video. So when I say "fake stats", I mean that the video is popular because you buy a set amount of popularity, not because it's interesting.

Anyway, recently Gushcloud collaborated with Yan Kay Kay on a Youtube channel called Babe of all Trades. The Channel is owned by Gush Studios.

The videos exploded with inexplicable popularity. 

People started telling me the statistics cannot possibly be real. If it is true that Gushcloud bought fake statistics for the channel, the reason is simple enough. You can charge clients a lot to be featured in a popular youtube channel. And unlike that of blogs, the views, likes and comments are open. You can't lie about the stats, so you have to earn them, or buy them. It's so cheap to buy anyway.

Her statistics were locked, so I had no choice but to personally track the statistics everyday.  

For months, I had a friend who works a deskbound job help me track her views, likes and subscribers everyday on the dot at 11am.


As I said, there is no way to prove that someone buys youtube statistics. I can only show you what I found and have you make your own smart conclusion.


First, let's look at the basic numbers.






So. She has a lot less subscribers than me. And let me just buay paiseh-ly say this. She is a lot less popular too. Especially since my videos are all of Dash and he is... well... popular.

And yet, look at the views... I put my videos and hers side by side according to when they were published.


If you look at the views on her videos vs mine, you will realise that the older videos actually mostly have more views than mine.

But yet, my new videos always get way more hits then hers initially. It is just that after time, her views still keep increasing steadily and mine taper off.

Why?

This is absolutely normal for all videos: When they are freshly launched, they get a lot of views via their subscribers and via the channel owners pushing the video on social media.


After that most people who want to watch it have watched it, and the views taper off. This is universally true except for freak videos that go viral. Most of my videos get about 200-400 views per day the after few weeks.


I don't want to bore you with numbers so I'll just attached the very numerical excel sheet of her views and likes/dislikes HERE. People who like numbers can go look at it.

(PRINTSCREEN OF RECORDED STATS)

Up till today, the 5 month old Episode 1 STILL gets about a thousand views a day. Can you believe it?


Let's look at the views for my video and Babe of all Trade's episode 3 since they were published around same time.




Within the first few days of publishing, my video hit 80,000 views. As you can see, Babe of all Trades ep 3 took a month to get there. The was virtually no initial spike that and the increment is very steady throughout.

You can see from this graph why a lot of her videos are more popular than mine... Because the views remain almost the same everyday while mine taper off.

Most videos don't have views that go a straight line like that, that's just not normal!

Then on 13 October, something weird happened...

The Likes increased steadily by exactly 10 per day!


Wah so uniform!! *claps*

Then on 21st and 22nd November...

SUDDENLY THE VIEWS FOR 
EPISODE 2 AND 3 PLUMMETED.





As you can see, from having about a steady 400-500 views per day for Episode 2, suddenly the views dipped to 52.

Episode 3 was having a steady run of about 1,000 views per day, and suddenly it doubled, then dropped to 123 only.



Yet, the likes remained pretty consistent, no big changes. There was no dislikes at all during that period.

If you ask me - and this is purely my guess - I think the fake views merchant had a glitch on those two days, and the system went down so the numbers there more or less reflect the REAL views, which seem believable.

System maybe compensated by doubling the usual fake views the day before or the day after.

I don't think this is a youtube glitch because the rest of the videos didn't have these drastic dips. And if it's the fake views merchant having a glitch, why didn't it affect the rest of the videos too? Maybe they bought fake stats from different merchants and episode 2 and 3 were from the same merchant. Who knows?

Anyway, as I said it is impossible to prove that youtube statistics are fake. All I can do is point out what stinks of foul play, and let you decide for yourself.

If you look at the stats, you can also see these weird surges in the views - and they don't happen on new video days or when Kaykay blogs/instagrams about the channel.


Maybe someone can explain to me why the numbers so odd...


















I also want to go over other interesting points in their financial reports!!



1) They have a QUALIFIED OPINION

Having a qualified opinion is BAD. Basically, it means that an auditor looked through the accounts, and decided that they cannot stand behind the numbers.

Why does Gushcloud have a Qualified Opinion on their Annual reports?

To paraphase the report in 2012:


  • They supposedly spent $233,444 in operating expenses which are unaccountable for.

  • They supposedly paid $150,252 to GushAd users which they didn't have supporting documents for other than bank transfer statements.


Let's look at the Financial Health of the company:



It's interesting to note that as of the end of 2013 (2014 report not out yet), Gushcloud only has $16,215 in their bank. This amount is very little, imagine they have barely enough next month to pay their staff their salaries!

And as of Dec 2013, the company had a total net liability of $692,268.


Next let's look at the profits and losses:


It is also interesting to note that in 2013 the company did better than it did in 2012.

Here's what I managed to understand from the numbers... In 2012, Gushcloud was aggressively trying to recruit influencers. You can see that the sales numbers are very low compared to the cost of services.

Meaning, for example, they sell an ad for a blogger that cost $100, they take only a 10% cut and give the blogger $90.

That simply doesn't create a profit earning business. After lessing off all expenses including things like staff salaries and office space rental, they are left with a loss of $991,759.


But I suppose it's a good strategy to attract influencers to sign because if you give them more money, all the more they are happy! I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do because you are giving them promises you cannot fulfill... Unless your end game is to spend all your investors' money and give to bloggers?



I know the financial bits very boring so a lot of you fading off 
and starting to play soda crush but bear with me. Here's a weird
photo of Vincent Ha doing a jumpshot.




In 2013 they did more sales and paid off a total of $420,565 to their influencers, which includes Gush Ad users.

However, lessing the expenses, they were left with only $56,216 for their profits, which honestly is quite sad for a company their size.

But this chart is the most interesting of all:




This is the amount of money that Gushcloud still owes their influencers and third party vendors. Why so much? Maybe because with only $16,215 in cash in their bank, it is hard to pay them.





or those thinking of joining


After this post, it is easy to see why advertisers and PR agencies should think twice about working with companies that inflate their numbers, sometimes up to 90%, just to earn a quick buck.

But what does it mean to bloggers and influencers on social media?

I used to dislike all Gushcloud bloggers because I automatically assumed that everyone under them must automatically be in on their... unconventional... ways and agree to using such methods.

But after speaking to some of them, I realised that this isn't true. The bloggers and youtubers signed under them are mostly quite young - flattered to be cherry-picked to be signed, hungry for fame, naive, meek and hoping they can be the next big blogger to be sponsored a car (haha see previous post).

Most importantly of all, they don't know the law.

After, in my opinion, rather one-sided contracts are signed, they think that they are locked in... Whatever your agency asks you to do, you must. They own you. And it's very easy to threaten them with lawsuits, empty or otherwise, because most young kids have no legal counsel of their own to know better.


You've seen the money that Gushcloud owes their bloggers. They will possibly argue that perhaps the money was still with them because bloggers sometimes only withdraw money in a lump sum instead of regularly.

But I've heard from different sources of big name Gushcloud influencers that Gushcloud would owe them payment, for months on end.

I only know what I heard. I don't have access to their bank accounts so I don't know if this is 100% true. But I cannot think why they would lie. Perhaps, those who are or were owed money can back me up after the post is up. And this story tallies with the financial reports.
 

This year, Gushcloud renovated their office. 

They went to source for sponsors. OK SERIOUSLY WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO EVEN GET SPONSORED??? Hello you are not an influencer???

 People nowadays so shameless...



Anyway, two of the sponsors also sponsored my home renovations long ago.

According to one of them, Gushcloud offered up posts from 3 influencers. To my horror, one of the influencers they proposed was their Accounts Manager Freda Poh. WTF??? She isn't even a blogger?? I mean, she blogs, but she isn't doing this for a livelihood and most certainly isn't popular enough to get sponsored things in exchange for her shoutouts!

The two other proposed bloggers - one of them did up a blog entry and the other posted an instagram post.

Since I enquired with both these bloggers and have their price list, I found out that the combined cost of what they did for the sponsor was only $450. I couldn't find Freda's post. The sponsor gave thousands in renovation work in exchange for something worth $450.

I don't know why they agreed to sponsor, but if the bloggers' statistics (including Freda lol) are once again inflated, I don't doubt it sounded like a good deal.

I just cannot believe that a company would skim off their renovation expenses by so buay paiseh-ly making use their bloggers to blog about it.

It's so disgusting. Then the free stuff they kio!!! Fuck lah maybe the staplers and printing ink and toilet paper in their office also sponsored one. I would be SOOOO grossed out if Nuffnang did this to me!!! Thank god they don't do such things!!

I don't know if the bloggers are paid. My guess is no. Even if they are, why the hell should Gushcloud be the ones getting the freebies? That should belong to the bloggers!

Anyway, if you are a Gushcloud blogger and they ask you to do something for a favour, can you say no? If you aren't on good terms with them they just won't push you in future lor. You don't help them they don't help you, right? Once again, my own speculation. Gushcloud could be very impartial and fair for all I know.

At the end of the day, the thing I think is the worst thing for Gushcloud influencers is that if the company does things like asking you to mask ads or inflates your stats on your behalf, it affects your credibility.



When you are caught masking ads, your followers think of you as dishonest. You can't gain that trust back, and it's so embarrassing if you are exposed.

True, just because a blogger is asked to mask an ad doesn't mean he or she has to do it. But it's easy enough to convince a young blogger that it's standard industry practice and everyone else is doing it. (FYI, not true)

When your stats are inflated, clients who have worked with you get high expectations of your results. If it doesn't tally, they simply will never work with you again, even if you leave Gushcloud in future.



So now I don't dislike Gushcloud influencers anymore. I just feel very sorry for them. Sure, some of the bloggers may share the same business strategies as their agency, but I'm guessing that a lot are simply caught in an unpleasant situation.


Goodness knows what I'll do if I were a Gushcloud influencer... I guess I'll quickly withdraw my money now and hope I get paid. Then end my contract (if you are not being properly remunerated for your work, it's enough basis to leave them) and publicly announce I'm not associated with them anymore?


If you are a Gushcloud influencer and you need legal counsel, help, or is owed money, email me. xiaxue@gmail.com






After this entry I hope everyone can see why I feel deeply passionate about what Gushcloud is doing to my industry. Online advertising is taking over traditional advertising by storm. Many advertisers are rushing into it without real knowledge of the players in the industry.

It's so easy for Gushcloud to win over a client from their competitors by inflating their bloggers' stats and boasting how their bloggers are more popular, more effective. They can say whatever they want about their bloggers' pageviews and add a zero to it. After the client pays a bomb for a blog advertorial, they still don't know that the stats are fake.

The same goes for buying fake stats to inflate youtube views. Since a video on Yan Kay Kay's youtube channel gets more views than my channel or even clicknetwork's guide to life videos (rolls eyes*), they can technically charge a client the same price as I do.

But if the stats are fake and client doesn't get any results, wouldn't he think that any youtube channel on par in popularity also isn't effective? Clients can't tell the views are bought because there is no concrete way to tell.

All they know is that online advertising isn't effective. They decide never to engage bloggers again, thinking it doesn't work. And if they got misled by blogging agencies for stats, who is to say other agencies won't cheat them?

Is this fair to the rest of us in the industry who are honest?

Is it fair to the rest of us who actually worked hard to get where we are??

I'll most possibly get a lawyer's letter after writing this. Maybe you noticed that I kept the post more factual than emotional like my usual posts... I have to when the adversaries are so litigious. There's so much more I know and want to say, but with timid witnesses and no solid evidence I can't. I've kept quiet for too long, scared, like others I know of who don't want legal consequences even if they are telling the truth. But fuck that, I'm going ahead because this is information that should be shared. People should know. Others may not have courage, but I'll try to. Because standing up to bullies is the right thing to do.

If you know anyone in the industry, be it in advertising or blogging or even just companies who engage social media influencers, please do share this post with them.

Update: Yilin Goh has since apologized graciously for masking her ad.

Comments

miryuu said…
My God. I am so in awe of you right now. Amazing detective work + the guts to put your money where your mouth is (not) to gather evidence! Love you so much.
Anonymous said…
Good job !
Chloe said…
I've never like any of the Gushcloud influencers, the entire group of them are trying so damn hard to portray an image as if they're really cool, but when I ask around my friends they barely know any of them at all?? Probably only Euniceannabel because of the small commotion over instagram some time ago. IF not for you, I don't think she would be able to get the amount of attention so quickly.

But I'm glad for this post because, their dishonesty is finally exposed! Million thumbs up for this post Xiaxue!
Robert Parr said…
You're so petty.
Anonymous said…
Can share the tracking code you placed on their site?
BIG THUMBS UP! I was hesitating to make this comment but honestly can't help it, THIS IS GREAT STUFF MAN! I read all the details on this post and I really think you can do like part-time detective job man! Indeed you are my best fav blogger!
Anonymous said…
Hi Xiaxue, it's no mistake that you are the blogger Queen in Singapore:) I've been your fan since 2008 and it's my first time writing to you because I feel that I have to after reading this post. You didn't have to reveal them at all knowing the consequences that you might need to face. But you did it anyway! It was really very courageous of you and it teaches the very basic values of human being which is being honest. Thank you xiaxue! :)
Anonymous said…
Good post. Just wondering if they would/could sue you for setting up a fake company (i.e. the SG Private Trainers).
Wilson Ng said…
I don't usually comment here but it is so unethical buying likes and inflating traffic. I wonder what happened when their clients read your post. (shared it btw)

They have an office in Malaysia too and wonder if they do the same here?

Nope, I am not with Nuffnang.

Wilson
Kiev said…
I have been looking at gushcloud for the longest time. I am not from Singapore, from the neighbouring country though. Earlier I was thinking bout their business model but thankfully you have already broken it down for me.

I enjoy this good read on a Tuesday morning. Thank you.
Mabel said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
I admire your bravery in writing this post. If these are true, I can't still believe it.
Anonymous said…
It's "astroturfing", right? Just wanna make sure we're thinking about the same practice...
Jamil said…
Yes! Finally!
Anonymous said…
So GLAD you wrote this entry. Whenever I come across a gushcloud 'influencers' ads, i get so irked out because they do not inform people that it is an ad. It is not ethical.
Tony said…
Woah, can't believe that even my lousy blog has higher traffic than these fellows you tracked.
Andrea said…
I was sort of hoping that I would not reach the end of the post because it was so FRICKIN AWESOME. I'm no blogger nor am I an influencer on social media, but you are a role model to me to earn money the right way when I enter the marketplace in the future. So, thank you XX :)

From: A loyal reader since she was 11 :)
Anonymous said…
Vincent Ha's page link is said to be a bad gateway. =(
Anonymous said…
Wow! Salute Xiaxue. I believe u!
Kaila Yu said…
Great article I imagine its on par with that of an high level investigative reporter. I'm surprised that the Gushcloud founder would foolish enough to argue back in a blog post knowing that you can always back up your opinions with facts. The graphics in this blog post are so entertaining on top of it.

BTW is everyone working at Gushcloud is a teenager, they all look so young from their photos? Man who am I kidding,

Why doesn't Nuffnang have a branch in Los Angeles?! I would love to sign up or work at the company.
KY said…
Love this type of investigative work, brilliant!

I've actually met Althea in Sg. on some other capacity before though I must say I didn't get any negative vibe or indication on how they conduct business.

Good work!
Anonymous said…
Hi. I think a lot of people do this. Faking youtube views and all. In fact a lot celebrities do that. While studying in a local poly, I took an advertising mod and this is what our lecturer taught us. The students are actually the ones liking and viewing the advertising project from a real client. So yeah......

She said if you think all the 'reviews' in the newspaper isn't paid. You must be kidding.
Hey Xia Xue, just a small typo - it's astroturfing and not astrosurfing :)

cheers.
Anonymous said…
wow.. this is some brilliant investigation done. Gushcloud can't hide anymore.
Anonymous said…
this is like a christmas gift from u to social media and other online advertisers! thanks :)
Anonymous said…
You should exposed Eunice Annabel and Naomi Neo too. They are so called the TOP influencers lol pui
Fred said…
Ethan C. Liu spells out UNETHICAL while Melezze B spells out EMBEZZLE. No clue what Atvin Chen spells out though...
Shawnee said…
Sounds just like a lot of the shady YouTube networks that contact me on a daily basis. I even had one say they would rip my videos and monetize them so they would make money off me if I joined or not. It's like these networks are mafia members.
Michelle said…
Impressive XiaXue!!! I hate people masking ads. I used to find out a weibo influencer / instagram influencer actually get paid for a well known advertiser but she never mention she collaborate with them!! Every of her fans just think it is merely sharing. 😡
Sara said…
YOU GO GIRL!!!
Anonymous said…
reading this post like watching 宫心计... now we understand this industry better!
Anonymous said…
this doug chu jin shuai wor
Anonymous said…
this financial statement caught my eye, the firm’s defensive interval ratio is less than 1 day, so I thought it would be interesting to do a brief analysis,
-the company has been funding a net liability through equity… using investor’s funds to borrow money instead of generating assets
-from 2012 to 2013: revenue increased 2.5x, receivables increased 3x. cash outflow from operating activities is negative mostly due to large accounts receivable. Hence, red flag for aggressive revenue recognition and earnings management
-all fixed assets are depreciated using 3 years of useful lives, another sign of earnings management, i.e. to lower future expenses as assets can not be valued at negative, or to recognize future gains from future revaluation
-currency translation reserve was responsible for over 30% of reduction in accumulated losses since inception. From the balance sheet, gains from currency translation reserve is due to large increases in its net liability position (assuming translation using current rate method since functional currency is SGD) during 2013 and the appreciation of SGD against USD (parent currency). That means 30% of firm’s total comprehensive gain is unsustainable. Also interesting to note that translation losses were not recognized in 2012 when the SGD depreciated against USD
note 11 and 12, seems like the firm had managed operating costs through cutting salaries and bonuses from 2012 to 2013
SalvadorDali said…
hey girlfriend,

well done... yes they are now backed into a corner ... highly unethical... must be so much work to dig up dirt, you write very well and should have a great career in investigative journalism... thats why I gave up on ads on my blog after a while...

cheers,

Salvador Dali
Malaysia Finance Blogspot
Unknown said…
Yeah that was long. @_@/
Dwi Christanti said…
Hi,

i went to gushcloud.com and found that super big company like Citi Bank, Tiger Air, even Coca Cola and Microsoft are their clients. Do you think they make a fake campaign to boost their brand? or they also being deceived?

Thanks!
Anonymous said…
I trust u, im not into so much bloggers n stuff. 我不是 por you.i jus like ure 直率ess. I do follow you as well because I love dash.

If I am a company I want people who helps to promote my products I wan legit people to do it.

But I also hope people who is reading this post shares the same sentiments.


Good luck and 你要小心。evil ppl alot in this trade.


Unknown said…
I am shocked! O_O
Jasline said…
Hi, I used to be with Blogger and noted that Blogger stats are terribly inaccurate - I compared my stats with Statcounter and noted that Blogger stats are horribly inflated (my Jul stats on Blogger stated 300k, but Statcounter only registered 9k of pageloads).

This is because Blogger stats include all the spam stats and bot stats and there was no way to remove them. (http://bloggerhow.com/blogger/why-blogger-stats-is-not-correct-and-how-to-correct-it/)

If those bloggers are on the Blogger platform and rely only on Blogger stats without other 3rd party stats counter, maybe they do think that their stats are real, and that was probably the stats that they reported when an advertiser approach them.

Anyway, I'm no longer on Blogger because besides the inaccurate stats, the SEO is horrid. But I'm just sharing this because bloggers may not even know that they are reporting inaccurate stats. (:
Anonymous said…
They lost almost a million dollars yet they're still wasting their money buying fake viewers. Round of applause for them.
Unknown said…
Best blog post I've read in 2014 . period
Anonymous said…
Thank you
Anonymous said…
Interesting read!
It is really unethical of bloggers to overstate their views, super dishonest and ripping off their buyers. No difference from a scammer.

I think i can understand for those new bloggers/wannabe like yilin (never heard of until today) who mask their ads since they might not understand how things should run.They will just do as they're told instead of saying no. It is not that big of a deal to me. But their reviews should be REAL!!
Many bloggers influence they readers when they recommend a product most of us believe it or cave in.
But I am already immune to this since there are so many similar ads from the people i automatically know that they are being paid to said it's good, not paid to review. Many of them already lose their credibility this way, wonder if they noticed.

Anyway, very amazed you are devoted to exposing this company, did research and everything. I don't believe it is easy to do so. have been anticipating a good read from you for a long while!

Anonymous said…
What you say sounds pretty legit. it's my first time reading your blog but i must say it is pretty comprehensive! :) I do feel sorry for that blogger though. She seems pretty young and may not, like you say, fully understand her consequences and her rights to the "contract". It would be nice if you could censor her name for your own protection as well! Just went to see her instagram. Too many hate comments. :( Apart from that, nice detective work! Enjoyed reading it! And lovely baby you've got!
Anonymous said…
That is one dope headband XD. Just came here to say that.
Angelica M. said…
Hahah Xiaxue, you do have a lot of time on hand! Well, I liked this post a lot :D
Lan Nhi said…
Oh gosh, that's horrible! How can a company just because of money cheat on their clients aso. I'm glad you played master detective for us haha.
Love your blog and writings. <3
Cecilia said…
Haha you're so sneaky!! Well done Xiaxue!
Anonymous said…
#respect
#goodresearch
#mrspeterpan
Anonymous said…
Also xiaxue, u might also wanna add another chapter.

certain "influencers" in gushcloud are pushed more than the others. Eunniceanabel is one of them. she is always given much more oppounities then the rest.. why? because she is FAI's girlfriend.
So is Yilin Goh, her boyfriend is someone inside of the glushcloud team... she has SO little followers and appeal, yet she still gets ssponseres and events to attend. !
alittle heads up, something juicy to write about
gilda revasseur said…
ahahahaha. i'm not a regular reader of yours but i have to say, well done. if what you say is true, then yeah the public should know. and spending a whole year and all that money to dig this out, you are on a shi1fu4 level of master detective!!! hilarious!
Dave Lucas said…
Sherlock Holmes with a pretty face! Merry Xmas!
AZRI said…
Nice move, im from Malaysia and in 2012 gushcloud simply steal all of my earnings withourt valid reason. Paiseyy
Anonymous said…
Wow you're really brave to have done this!! And smart as well :) Makes me proud of be a fan!
Anonymous said…
Have you received their lawyer's letter yet?
Anonymous said…
Why no one comment.. I'm really impressed with the pictures and figures! *claps until hand red* for this 100% effort post!
Anonymous said…
Hi!! I know someone who interned at gushcloud. I interviewed her when she applied to work at my company.

apparently she co-wrote the bloggers' ads!!!!!!!

basically these bloggers get ads and they write a draft

the interns will "correct" the ads, eg for grammar or to rephrase

QUOTED VERBATIM/ in abovementioned intern's own words:
she practically "wrote the whole thing la"
had to rewrite because "their english sucks"
it was "as if i wrote the whole thing"
"the ads all not real one"

please do take this with a pinch of salt. she may have exaggerated the falseness of the ads.

however, that was indeed her job scope. it was told to her by the manager??? person who interviewed her for the internship.
i asked if she should be divulging such info... and she said the interviewer told her all of that that so "it should be safe for public".

i lol-ed


i still have this applicant's data (name/ number etc) in my database. it would however, be inappropriate for me to reveal her information of course so i cannot provide concrete evidence.
Anonymous said…
Bravo, Xiaxue. You are the voice of reason and the moral conscience of Singapore's increasingly ambiguous business world. Love your investigative post. Hope to see more of such brilliant works! Your avid fan always, V
Anonymous said…
Awesome exposé!
Anonymous said…
The instagram post still thriving on the other blogger profile. Waiting for here to delete it.
Anonymous said…
Stirring shit, but stirring it for the right reasons. Good job well done Xia Xue!
Anonymous said…
Good findings!
Cole said…
Hey Xiaxue! I'm your fan and I find you really cool. (Y) *Thumbs up*
Unknown said…
Xiaxue, you really are my favourite blogger of all time! Great job!
Blvck said…
This is disgusting. I cannot believe Gushcloud is doing this. I'm glad I'm with Nuffnang too! This is an amazing expose btw, just like all of your other ones (esp Plasticzilla). Even if you do get sued, I believe you'll power through it unscathed.
Anonymous said…
Good for you to stand up for what's right.
Anonymous said…
Great job!
Anonymous said…
Xia xue, YOU GO GIRL! BRING DOWN THESE UNETHICAL PEEPS
Anonymous said…
GO XIAXUE! #FAITHINXIAXUE
Wow I thought people were scared of legal consequence of writing a comment lol. BUT WOW, I'M GENUINELY IMPRESSED. Especially by the last bit where you offer to help people who has no access to legal counsel. And who's gonna say bright haired people are bimbos.
Anonymous said…
I feel so angry that these clients who pay for advertising are being cheated. Especially the small businesses who don't have a lot of money to spend on advertising! I have lost all respect for those bloggers who stand by this. Unfollowing KK. It takes courage to be an honest blogger and turn down an opportunity to make $.
Anonymous said…
Good analytical thinking. Surprise me that a blogger can have such wide knowledge on company research. Wish u all the best.
Anonymous said…
#faithinxiaxue
#GUSHCLOUDFAIL
Anonymous said…
Ahaha! You're so heroic!
My Anime said…
Nice discovery, however the youtube likes and view is not that cheap. Fiverr service varies also. Thus that part might not be true.

It cost slightly more. But the rest discovery are quite detailed.
Samuel said…
tbh i have never ever read any of your blog post before but i high commend you on this expose. well done and I totally support you in exposing the truth.to all those who thinks she has nothing better to do, you have to learn that when something isn't right, you have a choice to make a stand and fight it or ignore it. i'm glad you are using your influence to do the right thing despite the potential hassle it may cause.
andreaaa (: said…
Atvin chen spells out vincent ha! :)
andreaaa (: said…
Atvin chen spells out vincent ha! :)
Lisa said…
YES!! I became a fan of yours when you did the Peter something something post where that one guy pretended to have a girlfriend and you actually found out that he was faking her himself, having created a fake girlfriend-account and whatnot. Even then I thought "That girl is clever and witty!" .. this post is so well researched. You really did a good job going through all the numbers and facts.

I wouldn't know they could sue you for just stating obvious facts and I sure hope they can't do that.

Love how much work and research you put into this post! How freaky is that company, wow!
Anonymous said…
Hi xiaxue, i'm worried for you and dash. aren't you afraid that they might do something to you or your son if you continue to piss people off in the long term?
Anime said…
A lot of stats and pictures etc. Very well written, not sure what will happen, but thanks to bring more drama to our boring life. And the very sad fact that many IT company do such stuff.
Foosh said…
Atvin Chen = Vincent Ha
(:
Anonymous said…
A while ago I was doing some research on which phone to get and a blogger from GC was promoting the LG G3 (saying how good it was and it's comparable to an iPhone because if not she wouldn't even think about using it) and didn't specify it was an ad or sponsored or anything. I thought it was genuinely her own experience and review until I saw that she was using an iPhone instead, and I've never seen her use the LG G3 (judging from her Instagram photos) and that there were other bloggers from GC who "just happened to get the same phone" and wrote about it. Never trusting them again.
Anonymous said…
Good job!
나니 said…
Dude, you are legit, lol. This article is super interesting! In my blog's "peak time" (sad sad statistics, let me tell you) I topped an 'astounding' 11,000 hits per month. Maybe I should charge $450 for lens reviews, too ; D haha. Thanks for sharing, Wendy!
Anonymous said…
I'm happy to be a fan of one helluva honest blogger. Love your bluntness as always. Cheers to your sleuthing. Keep kicking ass!
Anonymous said…
I'm kinda on the fence on whether to believe this as absolute truth or plain bullshit. But you seem to have really done your homework on Gushcloud and their stats. If it is true, then I'm lost for words, truly. I can sense the legal drama coming, goodluck
Anonymous said…
Santa better give you the eyes you want for Christmas because after all of the work you did here, FOR A YEAR at that, you deserve to be at the top of his nice list.
Anonymous said…
real ppl have real jobs n real issues to deal wif...some spg hv juz too much free time to go arnd cow peh here cow peh there...
Anonymous said…
nice post.. i guess kay kay is feeling so weird and awkward now since u guys used to be super close and even kissed xDD haha. :)
Tiffany said…
Great post! Can you please reveal what the other anagrams are? So far I've got

1) Atvin Chen = Vincent Ha
2) Melezze B = Embezzle
3) Ethan C. Liu = Althea??
Anonymous said…
Hi xiaxue i am really impressed with how you managed to gather all these info!!
But just one small little qn...
I thot you and kaykay were gd frens and did the kissing a girl guide to life ep?
Is it you two drifted apart or it's just that you are using her as an eg to expose gushcloud?
Anonymous said…
A very polarising blog entry. I was in the digital marketing industry for a while, and I have to admit that I am not surprised. My suspicion: most of the bloggers you refer to are only guilty of ignorance, and probably mean well. I suspect that their numbers are naturally inflated by 1/ the platform they use and 2/ their representing company "massaging" the numbers too. Note: this is why an increasing number of companies pay per actual unique Singapore visitor, as measured by a tracker. The company you report on seems to be in trouble, and fighting for its survival, taking desperate measures to keep their head above water. My conclusion: GC is desperate and acting accordingly; the bloggers are probably unaware of what is going on, or do not understand the consequences of what they do, or are simply coerced into inaction. Good investigative work on your side; I am impressed that you have actually decided to take a financial hit to achieve your goals; it feels like you have a very emotional reason to go after them. If there was one improvement I would suggest, it would be the emotional detachment that is necessary to be credible. With emotional attachment comes all kind of behaviours (selected information bias, negative lens view on any comment or action, etc..) that do not help credible investigative work. Sorry for the long comment, here is a sexy potato. https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5006/5235621169_608cc25c34_z.jpg
Anonymous said…
Vincent ha?
Anonymous said…
You've really proven yourself as the top blogger in Singapore! Great expose of GushCloud, hopefully advertisers will wake up their idea and use a more ethical means to advertise for their brand. Good job once again XX
Anonymous said…
"For months, I had a friend who works a deskbound job help me track her views, likes and subscribers everyday on the dot at 11am."

Your friend gets paid from her/his company to surf the internet?
Anonymous said…
You can consider being a private detective
Anonymous said…
Dear Xue, its courageous of you to expose their unethical ops but its not just them, many others do the same. You just have to be careful of the people you will deal with. 人爬得越高, 敌人越多。 总之万事小心。
kOhAku & FooDy said…
Best blog post I've read in 2014 . period
kOhAku & FooDy said…
Best blog post I've read in 2014 . Meet xiaxue before on the street, very friendly and approachable to take picture with.
w said…
Watching bloggers defend dishonesty has really pissed me off so much. I don't understand how despite your words at the end - "Is this fair to the rest of us in the industry who are honest? Is it fair to the rest of us who actually worked hard to get where we are??", bloggers can say "But then again, you can't blame them because who doesn't like to earn easy money?" on their blog.

And there are also others who make it seem that lying is okay since "(most) bloggers have no intention to cause harm to their readers".

Integrity is the one thing that I value the most and the intention to cause harm is completely irrelevant to me. Seeing people trivialising lying hurts me, and especially so since their words actually reach a big (?) group of people. Do people really not treasure integrity?????

I read about this saga because I was looking for drama and entertainment, I didn't expect to be so outraged by the words I have read. Thinking about the number of people who share the same sentiments as the two sentences I quoted above really made me want to puke.

I don't care so much about the companies or bloggers involved but I want to thank you so much for standing up for the TRUTH all the time. I can't stand it that bloggers see you as trying to hurt others. I hope that one day they can see that the you are standing up for a real cause which is HAVING INTEGRITY.
Anonymous said…
I just love how ballsy you are. Way to go, Xiaxue! Utmost respect!
Anonymous said…
Well done. I am not a frequenter of your blog but must say that this is the best piece of work you have put up there for a while.

C
shawn said…
i like the way you stand up for what you believe in. truth will prevail.
Anonymous said…
they work like CityHarvest hor?
Anonymous said…
Blogger queen is back <33

P.S. I actually like your more "emotional" posts :( like posts where you just go rambo lol
Anonymous said…
Hi Xiaxue, My salute to you. You are certainly a very thorough person. CID would have benefited if you had worked for them. For years I have been browsing your blog on and off and find you to be very creative and honest in your reviews. I applaud your hard work.
Unknown said…
Read through everything including that kife's blog. another childish baseless rebuttance. #faithinxiaxue
YEY YOU!!!

Awesome detective work XX!
Anonymous said…
I never liked Gushcloud/ Gush cloud bloggers (was tempted to join before deleting my blog), they just seem to fake and full of themselves.

And I think you should just be a part-time detective, haha. You're a freaking genius.
Anonymous said…
https://althealimlim.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/my-personal-statement/

you need to see this xx! lol
Anonymous said…
I actually purchased a skincare product Kay Kay RAVED LIKE A MIRACLE about. I tried it on and didn't work for me. Oh she didn't bother to state SPONSORED POST on that instagram pic of hers: http://instagram.com/p/VvhDEPQIOu/
She only indicate it on her blog which can be quite misleading for those who don't read her blog or notice the title of her post.

Can't believe my stupidity. After that, I realised that she raved just about anything and everything else. Lesson learnt!
Good job on the reveal. I never heard of Gushcloud either till the "wanna be on top" Instagram post by Eunice which is also known through you. 100 something views is just like my own lousy blog view but I only get a few cents lol
Wont this hurt the bloggers under GushCloud? Then they later don't get paid cause Gushcloud goes down, and then no one trust them anymore. Damn sad leh.
Jeremy said…
I think these type of things have always been going on in the media world, and xiaxue has exposed just a little small part of it, brave on her part. Brillant xiaxue, really admire your bravery and your detective work, and backing up with facts. There was always something fishy about gushcloud, they act like they are pretty big influencers but the problem is no one actually know who they are. Very unethical methods, but i'm sure they are not the only ones, thank you for always standing up for what you believe in and being true to yourself no matter what the haters might say, keep it up!
Ann said…
RIP Gushcloud
Anonymous said…
#gushcloudfail
Vivian tmh said…
So far gushcloud seems to be very guilty of the incidents.

As far as 24th December 2014, 1700 (malaysian time), they (their influencers and staff) did not address the issues of:

1. yilin goh's instagram ad for doug chu.
2. the renovations for their officers and asking their influencers to blog for the renovation sponsors.
3. gushcloud inflating their earnings to look good.

the issues they've addressed are:
1. youtube, youtube, youtube.
wow! kaykay and althea are super defensive about this. they provided so so sooooooo many graphs, charts and youtube analytics and what not to prove that they did not buy their youtube followers. Check out althea's evidence here: https://vulcanpost.com/120381/gushcloud-althea-lim-response-xiaxue/
Check out kaykay's response to the youtube scandal here:
http://www.kaykay.sg/2014/12/my-response/

okay, from what I understand, althea and kay kay are trying to be point out ONE THING that xiaxue is most unclear about, and plans to use it as an exit strategy to this whole scandal. However, as honest as you are with your youtube views, there is still no doubt that you cheat your readers with masked ads (ahem yilin goh).

2. the email between althea and eric lim
omg i think it's total bs. they explicitly told eric, 'Don't write it like an advertisement', 'blog about the event (not like an ad)'. holy shit. kaykay and eric lim both said that it's a way of expressing how eric should NOT write it like a hard-sell advert. I admit, it's quite smart to put it in that way. BUT COMMON SENSE PLEASE! When you tell people don't hard-sell a product, you won't say, 'don't write it like an ad'. Holy shit. don't hard-sell then just say don't hard sell lah! Where got this bullshit of 'don't write it' this way or that way? OBVIOUSLY, this is hiding an advertisement. You ARE supposed to write it LIKE AN AD. Just not the hard-sell kind. SMH. These people can really twist their words. Anyways, no need to say so much. Yilin Goh's instagram proves that they will have their influencers hide ads if clients request for it. hahaha.

3. The blog stats
Xiaxue is seriously smart for using three different influencers to prove her point. The thing is, kay kay rebutted that, her blogs CAN reach up to 5k a day if she hypes it up with instagram or other social media platforms. The thing is, you never ever told Doug chu aka your client aka xiaxue that you NEED to hype it up to make it up to 5k. Soooooooo, you, or gushcloud, or both, are twisting your words and technically you ARE inflating the blog hits for the clients to see. I think, if you want to be totally truthful, you NEED to tell your clients that there is a need to hype up in other platforms from the same influencer so that the blog hits can reach up to that number. Okay lor, you don't mention that. so now you in deep shit by the tracker html code. ha! truth is exposed mothafucka!


Disclaimer: All the things I said above are what I THINK. It doesn't mean that I'm trying to defame a company or anyone. It's all my own personal opinion and it doesn't mean that all the things I said above are true.

#faithinxiaxue
Anonymous said…
Superb job, the facts were laid out so nicely that flamers can't flame. Take that fakers!

The best comeback that they can come up with is 'you nothing better to do is it'. Which I agree haha :P
Anonymous said…
An interesting read. Some readers posted comments criticizing Xiaxue's article for being bo liao. To these readers I would say, if that were true, what are you doing reading and commenting on it???
Anonymous said…
I know more gross facts about gc. But HAD to remain anonymous to prevent troubles. What I can say is, xiaxue's statement are all VALID. I knew it since last year. #FaithInXiaxue
Cindy Khor said…
1st of all, I want to thank you for taking the time, money, effort and courage to draft this post. It certainly benefit us readers as well as all the bloggers out there.

I really want to know what happen next in this saga (alright, I know I shouldn't make this into some sort of dram but I just can't help getting drawn into it. I am certainly Team XiaXue and Team #faithinxiaxue so I do hope your audience and the bloggers from Gushcloud can understand your "yong xin liang ku".

I'm seeing GC bloggers getting attacked on their social media and instantly feel sorry for them. But seriously, they still side GC so I tok back my pity. Sigh...

Do keep us posted on anything about this matter and we'll always stand by your side de XX.

HINTS OF PEPPERMINT
Anonymous said…
Wow. You are just amazing. I love on how you are doing this not for your own benefit, but for the good of the whole blogger community. A lot of people are behind you on this. #FaithinXiaxue
Anonymous said…
u go girl!!! like your guts!
Anonymous said…
A and V came to me to ask for free stuff for their renovation in a barter exchange for marketing. But I hesitated as I found them fishy and had completely no clue as to what they do despite them saying alot of words. Long story short, they weren't willing to pay cash for the products they needed for their new office.
A big kudos to you Xiaxue.
Anonymous said…
you are the hero of our nation. expose such bugs who cheat our money.
Anonymous said…
first time reading your blog, and i think its an excellent job! at least us readers get to know the truth and we won't get tricked by their scheming tricks. btw, great dectective work :)
wickedcheese said…
So there is a term for this and it's called Astrosurfing! LOL. Learnt something new today. No wonder I always felt this "compare to brand X" thing was really dodgy, and I just ended up going for products that had real reviews from US bloggers, since astrosurfing is illegal over there.

Your entry took me 2 days to read though. I read the first half yesterday before my office xmas party (LOL!) and finished the other half today while on leave. But it was super insightful, thorough and really confirms why I never even bothered with reading these GC blogs and was never really interested in them. TBH, I always felt the bloggers there were either air-headed skanks and himbos with nothing interesting to bring to the table. They're like not cool to me la. Looks like they're not only that, but they also work for a company who runs on unethical values, with zero integrity and no substance. And good on you for feeling sorry for them, cause I don't even feel sorry for them hahahahah #okcan #GoodonyouXiaXue
flvrries said…
Honestly, I'll give you a huge thumbs up on the research stuff. I like how you pointed out your points. Proud to be part of Nuffnang.
Anonymous said…
Hmm good investigation. Just one thing, how did you get their Google analytics stats? It's supposed to be private information which even Google don't provide. Did they give it to you?
Anonymous said…
"Allow me to refresh your memory how what happened between SGgag and I. That happened because I wrongly accused them of buying followers on twitter. They really had fake accounts following them but I guess they weren't aware cause they probably didn't buy the followers. Someone else did. Perhaps that happened to me and a couple of other bloggers too. We don't know who so kindly spend their cash on fake followers for us and we will never know their intentions but that's about it."

LOL WTF WHO IS THIS BITCH TRYING TO FOOL MEH
Anonymous said…
Are you Batman?
Anonymous said…
*Grabs popcorn while waiting for a rebuttal post to be put up by Xiaxue*
Anonymous said…
Thank you XX, you did a great and wonderful job in exposing advertising black sheep. They thought they own social media and cheated the advertisers. Your work is greatly appreciated and please let us know how can we further help to shut them down.
Anonymous said…
Hi Chloe, we have the same sentiment. I have bad feelings with those #gcshit influencer, thinking they are celebrities but actually just a bunch of ignorant flies.
Anonymous said…
Amazing as always. You are still Blogger Queen and always will be! Thank you for the expose, it is most helpful to potential advertisers.
Joy said…
A very well written blog entry, good job on exposing them! *thumbs up!*((:
Anonymous said…
this is why i love xiaxue.
Anonymous said…
Hi there, I'm a supervisor in a prominent media agency with three years experience in Malaysia and one year experience in New York.

I will speak for point 2 & 3 based on my expertise.

Point 2: astrosurfing.

It seems the service you wrote on is their social sharing service, not a blog review. It's like nuff nang bloggers and churp churp. They are different. The way chrupers write their post and share the links do not sound like ads with disclaimers as well, btw....

Point 3: inflated stats.

This is my expertise. What your programmer did was merely generate a click tag. A click tag does not show you impression level data, that means you will not know how many have seen your ad or the blogger's page. You will only see the CLICKS. Not unless your programmer used a third party ad server, you still do not know how many have been to the blogger's site and seen your ad.

That said, so what is it you are looking at?? The screenshot looks like a Google Analytics dashboard... You will not get this unless the blogger gave u his GA login... Which pageviews number you are seeing is YOUR website. There are ways to link ad server data to your GA login, so you can see how many pageviews resulted from that click from someone's blog... But then again, this is still YOUR pageview, NOT the pageviews on the blogger's blog. Do you understand? Sorry, sometimes I get a little heated up when people think they can learn, summarize, and replicate our years of experience so easily.

As for the fake you tube views, I think Althea has done a good job in debunking your investigation.

Ps: this is my personal view. I do not represent my employer. Pls feel free to search me up on linked in and facebook: Jamie Khoo
Yi Cong said…
I'm impressed. Go get em!
Anonymous said…
I was never a XX fan, thot you are kind of airy and puffy. However I must eat my own words as this article swayed me to your camp. I will get looking fwd to more good reads. You go girl!!!
Anonymous said…
Enjoyed the article greatly, but as a reader of your blog since a long way back I must say choosing Eric and Kay Kay to 'feature' seems a little petty!
CZ said…
I see you have put in a lot of effort into this! Although I'm no expert when it comes to the law related to advertising, marketing and contract, but it seems that providing figures that misleads others into paying and using their services is not legal.

Whether having to reveal the nature of a post (Sponsored or authentic) is ehtical and legal is still a developing area in Singapore if I'm not mistaken?

I'm sure consumers and small businesses will benefit from the cases you have mentioned above...

I also believe that marketing can be done well and honestly... Those who market their products properly will ultimately gain authentic trust, sales figures and success.
Anonymous said…
they merely just accepted a client request on a way to advertise the products more efficiently, nothing dirty or wrong here... And i see it purely just a smart way to advertise. Almost all advertisors do the same as well. Nothing dirty or despicable about it..
Kim said…
I read the post from A to Z. though it's so wordy I didn't believe I finish reading it lol. it's interesting to read something like this, by the way... I've also read some post that is made by G company individual persona to stand up againts this post.

cheers and merry xmas
LC said…
Honestly, GC's blogger stats ARE indeed skewed because not only did they simply pick the month with the highest pageviews, they also passed pageviews off as 'Blogger following'. If you know a thing or two about online marketing, there's a difference between pageviews and users.

LOL at all these people trying to defend GC.
Anonymous said…
Atvin Chen is an anagram for Vincent Ha.
Lin said…
Hi Xiaxue,

Vincent Ha has responded and refuted your accusations.

https://faithingushcloud.wordpress.com/

So are you going to apologize now?
Anonymous said…
I am so impressed by you xiaxue. Thanks for educating blind reader like me. They sucks. Your guts and courage is really a tumb up. I am at ur side.
Anonymous said…
Sick of the Gushcloud bloggers, I knew the reviews they did are probably 90% fake cos I've been cheated in buying a product they "raved" so much about for a steep price, but didn't work.

KayKay damn disgusting please, I read her response and all I want to say to her is, please fill up the empty space in your skull with dung, at least can fertilise the cells.
The others who posted a "response" also sounds equally dumb. Some insist their english is not good, how disappointed they are in their "ex-friends" and tries to victimise themselves further. It's like move on already wtf who are you trying to cheat here?

Anonymous said…
All hail the queen!!!
Kaibaby said…
Bob's Burgers said it best: "Alright, girls!! Go girls!!" This was fantastic.
Anonymous said…
I always thought Yan Kay Kay and Eric Lim are Nuffnang influencers? what happened? Xia Xue was close friend to Kay Kay last time too. Maybe that explains why Kay Kay disappeared from Chick vs Dick :(
Anonymous said…
Awesome
Anonymous said…
Awesome
Anonymous said…
BEST POST OF THE YEAR, Thanks for letting us know the truth. Merry Xmas!
Anonymous said…
I went over to her blog to see if she said anything... and her blog post it talked about that pet campaign... I remember when it happened years ago and commented on it on her blog saying:

I remember the dollhouse sponsor, and when you two had an argument over it. apparently xiaxue was asked to be sponsored with them and you pretended to have stumbled upon it, did not explicitly say you were sponsored by them at all whilst promoting them.

But her blog basically admits to it being sponsered. I remember her denying she was sponsored as well. So my comment is "awaiting moderation" and some other girl posted after me, her comment is published. She is very avoidant about the truth, even lies in her truth post regarding gushcloud. Simply cannot respect her.
Anonymous said…
So what's the whole point of this blog entry again? Such pretty(fake) face with bad attitude. You need plastic surgery for your attitude.
Anonymous said…
great job sherlock! I'm very impressed and I'm behind you in this cause! Merry xmas!
Judit said…
u r amazing! btw does anybody know where the Fuck off band is from? it's fav
Anonymous said…
blah
Anonymous said…
Vincent Ha!
This is hilarious. Great job Xia Xue!
elly tan said…
Doug Chu S L gushcloud
Ethan C Liu unethical
Atvin Chen vincent ha
Melezze B embezzle
Xiaxue this blog post was amazing! Your insight as an influencer and research on this topic make this a very thought provoking article. Great job!
Anonymous said…
Thanks for a great entertainment this xmas. you truly live up to your name as a blogger (as you've blogged), influencer (*cough* because of you, i gave those people you've linked to readership hits -_-") and entertainer.
Anonymous said…
Xiaxue,

Aren't you on the "day" tab on viewer stats for those 3 bloggers instead of "month"?
Anonymous said…
Xia Xue can you and the sexy girls you mention in your blog post go naked? I need emergency masturbation
Anonymous said…
OMG XIAXUE, YOU'RE SO AWESOME! no wonder you're the queen blogger in SG!!!!!! CHEERS FOR YOU!
Unknown said…
得理须饶人, 处世退一步, 便是进一步。
L said…
Reading your blog for the first time, thumbs up for the awesome effort to reveal all these shit to public. They certainly deserve highlights like these so that people don't fall into their traps anymore.
Anonymous said…
I am thinking YKK has been acting so fragile and fake humble. She is afraid of you. I think of cos, she doesnt have the power for now thus she acted the fragile way and seems like you have been bullying her? that is making me really grossed out towards YKK. She acted like she is a victim, when infact IF she has more power, she is a bully too .. heard about her negative side from makeup artiste, photographer. after all YKK is not so "simple".
G said…
I have so much respect for you for doing this. It was an incredibly brave move, but brilliantly thought out and super duper smart. You should be proud :)
Unknown said…
Wow, awesome work! Best wishes from Switzerland. I'll read you in the future!
Anonymous said…
Hi Xiaxue, I never liked reading blog posts but I guess this is the best one I've ever read. I am friends with many people in gushcloud but I cannot wait for the day that they fall. Great job and I admire your courage, you are fucking awesome.
Anonymous said…
Always find you a very honest and straight up lady from the start! Good post!
my melody said…
Vincent Ha's post was removed. Not sure when he removed it but thank god that you did a screenshot. It's so obvious to see who is having more concrete evidence.

Good luck.
Congrats xiaxue!! your work is amazing!! n thanks for saving the online industry from all these culprits...
Sandy K said…
I actually can't view Vincent Ha's blog entry that you posted. He deleted them perhaps? Feeling guilty? I've followed you for a few years now and I love your honesty actually. hahaha. shows that you are actually genuine enough to fuck others upside down. I've followed timothy tiah as well and I believe he does his business the same principal as you - based on honesty. Same goes to how he deals with his family matters. Haha. He simply can't stand injustice anyway. Therefore, you are very lucky to be in the Nuffnang family and also vice versa. Keep up the good work and Dash is a darling!

Much love from Malaysia! <3
Anonymous said…
i dont know wat to say Xiaxue

talented and great efforts but dont you think ure way too harsh? Even if you wnt to tell the world whatever thing abt Gushcloud, why do u need to be so harsh with the bloggers? especially ur friend Kaykay

Like Kenneth Teo said there '得理须饶人, 处世退一步, 便是进一步'
Anonymous said…
Atvin Chen spells out vincent ha lol
Anonymous said…
Really well written blog post. I believe that the timing of this post during Christmas may be caused by attack by YKK on XX's instagram followers on twitter first while the latter did not even provoke YKK on the followers count. Based on the blogpost, suspicion is casted on many points but mainly on the business ethics and the attitude of the company, which has shown itself to be ridiculous by trending the stupid hashtag #faithingushcloud when nothing was really accounted for. (what makes them think a hashtag can work in? it's not like a cause or something. You are asking us to believe in something blindly.)

The following posts by various bloggers, were poorly covered as an attempt to reconnect to consumers by tapping on the fanbase of the GC bloggers, if there was a fanbase to begin with. But the most ridiculous post would be agreed to be that written by Althea Lim, who wanted XX to prove that XX was not wrong in her post by suing her. Whoa, hold it there man. Lady's brains aren't jingling well in this festive season.

However, we cannot ignore the fact that there might be some GC bloggers whose efforts and attitude in blogger has been great and is therefore wrongly accused in this saga. This is like believing that there is nice Japanese soldiers during the WW2, that is if we chose to believe if there were any, really.
Anonymous said…
I really thank you (and your friends who helped you with the investigations) for making me and the internet community for raising awareness on online advertising, which had been increasingly popular. Even though YKK has her fair share of evidence, I believe yours is more concrete and consistent by comparing with much more bloggers. From my perspective, you fully deserve the support from your fans and hope you persevere from all the criticism that lies ahead from the post.
I really, really hope you stand to gain from this!
Anonymous said…
Good job Wendy. I salute u for standing up for justice. They r a bunch of losers& cowards.
Unknown said…
Hi Xiaxue,

I dont know if you will ever come across reading this comment but, I really think you deserve a lot of respect. Just like you, I exposed people too on Carousell etc. Your talent should be known worldwide.:)) But I sincerely hope that you will live a long period of time and continue to surprise all of us like this again :)). I really enjoyed my time being your fan!
Thanks for your time!
#FaithInXiaxue
Anonymous said…
http://faithingushcloud.tumblr.com

They are so fake!
elcube said…
Wow u r smart and full of guts!
Ruthie said…
i trusted Yan Kay Kay but i guess not aft what happen these few days..
Anonymous said…
i think u are amazing:))
Anonymous said…
Nice work!!!! 👍👍👍👍 takes balls to post this
Anonymous said…
Vincent Ha
Anonymous said…
love this post a lot. got so excited as the story went on; though $1k gone at least we all know the truth, thank you very much for being sincere and putting so much effort and money into this
Anonymous said…
love this post a lot. got so excited as the story went on; though $1k gone at least we all know the truth, thank you very much for being sincere and putting so much effort and money into this
Anonymous said…
wondering what the big hooha regarding gushcloud is about, and i must say you have impressive detective skills and this was a comprehensive and well structured read. and yes .. now i feel sleepy.
Lexi said…
I knew this would be a good read ^_^ I will just say: you are right that dishonesty hurts EVERYONE in the online influencing industry! I often see bloggers/youtubers who are signed with networks that I KNOW are shady...I have other blogs and a channel and have been doing this since 2009 for profit (2003 for free haha) and I've been approached by these networks with awful contracts...sad to see influencers be scammed and feel like they are trapped. I hope others come forward to back your story!
Anonymous said…
Wow. I'm one of your IG followers and was pretty angry that you were on there talking about this situation. All I was thinking is this is like a high school drama, which brought me to your blog. So glad I came! This puts things into perspective. I am glad that you are exposing the truth about unethical practices,ss they seem to be more prevalent these days. Great investigating skills! Keep up the good work!!! With respect sometimes_life_happens~
Anonymous said…
Have worked with Jeneen Goh via Skin Inc as a potential partner before. Don't like her working style, and how she tries to aggressively push for a potential partner to accept her business proposals via her pushy ways. I mean, like please, the company I work with has way more customers than the one she work for leh.

She even bitched to my boss I rejected her business proposal because she knows my boss. I rejected on the grounds because her business proposal was shitty and didn't make sense for the interest of the company I work for leh leh, not because it was personal. Why so petty one. Stupid woman. Still dare to call other people petty. Look at herself lah. Try to mess with my rice bowl by complaining to my boss about me leh. Personal or not.

Lucky my boss know I am not rubbish like her ok.

She anyhow seed her own friends with already good skin to support Skin Inc on social media. Anyhow one can. No personal morals NVM. Business and marketing practice also buang. Like that how to be simi marketing manager or simi sai brand manager for Skin Inc.

Also worked with GC bloggers and XX for my company before. We have our own tracking system even though GC don't have it in place. The thing I can say? XX blog ads sell loh. The half past six GC bloggers post don't even have hits leh can. I mean, that has got to say something right? Advertisers like us look at results, not numbers of followers, likes and comments on IG posts lah. The truth is XX ads got high return to our marketing investment loh. You can quote me on that XX. Just cannot tell you who I work for. LOL!
Anonymous said…
Good job!!!:) well done xiaxue! #faithinxiaxue
Anonymous said…
Truly the best blogger in Singapore. People will follow and support you even when you become auntie or ah ma. Can't say the say for GC influencers though.. They are so boring. That's why they have an expiry date to their career.
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