Thank you for your continuous support and love. As we are rolling out the Panta Rhei upgrade, I want to take a moment to talk about privacy issues, and what we are doing and planning on doing on that front. Since it’s quite a boring topic, I’ll try to make it fun (and short)! 😸
Let's get down to business.
- Removal of third-party tracking technologies entirely (yes, no Google Analytics or anything that resembles that).
- Removal of some hidden global third-party cookies: things like Cloudflare.
- Switching to no-cookie settings if it’s possible: such as the no-cookie embedding mode of YouTube video. HOWEVER, that will still serve cookies. I am inclined to soon switch to self-hosting all videos (already started on some!). Again, disable third-party cookies in your browser and trust me you won’t miss out on anything.
- “In-sourcing”: instead of resorting to third-party help, which inevitably adds to dependencies and, more importantly, makes things more unpredictable, we are moving more things in-house to be more compliant with our own policies that prioritize privacy and security.
What about data
The main purpose of this article is to explain to you how we handle the data collected from you during your time with us, through the website or the extension. We’ll review that by feature —
Main site (heymoffas.com the Brahms χ terminal)
- Your login (so that next time you don’t have to go through Robbie’s orientation again)
And that’s it, as of now. Ha! I must be really sadistic or something (to myself). Wait, what about web analytics?
Here’s the thing. Of course, we track click and search traffic, but it’s not pinned back to you. It’s going to be analyzed as from some anonymous user based on session ID, which will later be replaced by Robbie ID as Robbie develops further.
What about dear Robbie?
Robbie records your activity and stores that information LOCALLY in your browser storage (you can see them if you go inspect the storage section in your browser). Every time you get a Robbie, he’s working for you. It does take a while to get used to the idea that something is working on the user side, but by design Robbie is your little soldier and he takes that for granted!
If you have an account with us and adopt a Robbie, that association is registered with us. At the moment, we are not syncing your local data with server due to purely technical reasons. Yes, it, in fact, is really easy to implement, but I don’t want to do the easy way and depart from my own privacy protocols. A special encryption scheme will have to be used because eventually all your data should be stored in a decentralized way. I discussed this hold-up in my nauseating blog post about Lova if anyone is interested.
Community site (heymoffas.com/community and others*)
Community site was originally built on UNA. Although I have every intention to completely rebuild it to match the main site logic and visuals, I find it low on my to-do list. Basically, we just have to stick with it for a little longer. On a side note, UNA is a reliable framework. If anyone wants to start a small community site for their own group, I highly recommend it. You can host it yourself if you are on a budget. That saves lots of money.
Community site follows industry standards, minus the tracking part. If you make a post, it’s on our server. If you reply to a comment, it’s on our server. I am actually crazy enough to think that also can be changed (and should be), but that implementation will wait on better technologies (for us, it’s Lova, which was discussed in that blog post I mentioned earlier). To be fair, it’s not like it cannot be done already, but the performance is going to be a nightmare.
One thing I feel obligated to bring attention to is the end-to-end encryption for chat, which is the only module that E2EE is suitable for. I am working on it and will report back once it’s ready. In the meantime, if you really want to have a secure chat, do not use our chat app for that. Use anything built on Signal. You can download one at: https://signal.org/download/. Our chat app is there for things like a quick discussion on which dress to buy.
For more details, you can always go to the two policy statements we mentioned above.
The final part of the Universe that we are going to look at is the Extension. Basically, the extension is Lova. So, again, if anyone is interested in knowing more about her, or at least who she’s named after, you can go take a peek at this post.
The extension packs lots of features already. There’s only one more major feature, Cartwheel, to be added. A little preview: does it bother you that nowadays you cannot even read anything without subscribing to an entire publication? I fully support the protection of intellectual property, but people should have good access to knowledge and information. Monetizing intellectual property to that level is simply discriminatory. The people in a less fortunate financial situation ends up knowing less, which arguably keeps them from improving their life through knowledge. Cartwheel is going to be an attempt at the problem, but we also have to respect the laws and do it the right way, the ethical way.
Let’s look at the existing features. In general, if a feature requires social connections (e.g., Cartpool with a friend, hollers, Vibin’), the data will be sent back to the server via API. Again, that can be different when Lova takes the next big step. Other standalone features, such as bookmarks (saving to favorites), are stored locally. Their data can be erased easily from the browser or using the extension sign-out button. We do not track your online activity and have not started any deeper-level processing. Once Robbie gets a better learning algorithm (powered by GEN), we will likely start doing that. In such case, users will be notified and so will Google. It’s worth mentioning that extensions are quite secure applications as the extension codes are exposed and anyone can get access to the codes.
Without security, there will be no privacy to start with. We screen IPs to detect malicious/unauthorized visits. If you have any concern, you may use a proxy or get a VPN to protect yourself.
Do I think someone is going to read this? No, but it is my duty to explain it. When we put something together for anyone to interact with, we have an obligation to offer our explanation on how it works and why we think it is the best we can do to make it work. We can be inferior or dumb, but we shall never be dishonest. Transparency is important and should be the only goal of the tech community to strive for.
One last personal recommendation — yes, get a VPN if you could afford one and ALWAYS look for the tiny DO NOT SELL MY PERSONAL DATA links in the footer.
Edit 4/11/22: added notes on cybersecurity
We've been talking about this! Consumer activism in the age of the Internet. Here is a quick tutorial.
Support for consumer activism is a big part of the latest Panta Rhei upgrade. It symbolizes consumer empowerment and emphasizes the importance of corporate social responsibilities. In this tutorial, we will learn how to take advantage of this new feature to take a stand for something you care about in the age of e-commerce (because holding a banner in front of a supermarket is probably not enough anymore). It’s worth mentioning that this feature was rushed out and introduced earlier than originally planned due to the war in Ukraine. We feel this is the best (and likely the only effective) way for us to do something slightly meaningful. For the same reason, we are also preparing to publish the extension in the European markets.
Aware Program (Lova)
We built the consumer activism feature into Aware, part of Lova, which we will introduce another time. It can be accessed from the main view in the extension.
From the Aware window, you can choose cases to subscribe to. Cases are lists of information that are constructed around specific topics or themes. Some cases are labeled explicitly as boycott or support material while others can be neutral and generic information. At the moment, in order to prevent abuse, only members with high clearance can publish their own lists (with explanations). However, we do welcome all members to submit ideas for Brahms to incorporate them into the database. We are also working on a better algorithm to generate fact-based lists that support multi-degree connections (e.g., a subsidiary of a subsidiary of something you love or hate).
After you subscribe to a case, your extension will notify you whenever you come across something on the Internet that meets the criteria (you’ll see a fist emoji ✊). For now, we are only scanning heading sections of webpages (in most cases, these are the product titles). As Robbie gets smarter, we are expecting to expand the scope. The matching will not be 100% as some brand names are not uniquely identifiable and website designs vary from one to another.
Let's see how it works in action. For example, we want to see how Poland Spring, a Nestle company, is doing on Amazon.
Great - we already see the fists rising up. Now we go into individual pages, where our feature works the best since most websites do not use h1 or h2 tags for list item titles (Amazon here is an exception).
What does this fist do? Ha, it does a little more than just “being there” and showing some spirit. First, hover on the fist and we will show you why you are seeing this badge (hey, because you subscribe to the Nestle case! That's the whole point of calling this feature "aware" - people often lose track of who's who and what's what).
Click on the fist and find out what it actually does (graphic content warning ⚠️ #nsfw lol).
The two buttons are pretty self-explanatory. Choose your response and act on it. By the way, we will give a couple more emoji options in the next update.
After you express yourself, the response is recorded and a signature will be sent to our public registry (please note that the response box will show up only once per refresh). To protect your privacy, by default, the signature to be used is your Robbie’s uid/alias. If you want to put your name on it, sure, change it in the panel (click the button that says "Switch to XXX"). Only one signature per user is recognized per URL.
While most activities are done through the extension and, soon, the mobile apps, we do have a place for your activism on the main website. Although the Square is designed to also feature other types of events, it is reserved now for the Aware program because of the aforementioned reason. 🌻
Use keyboard or mouse wheel to navigate. Press Enter or click on a file to go to its profile page. You can see the signatures here and each signature also links back to the page where it is left. As more signatures come in, we will upgrade the visual effects to reflect volumes on brand pages. These individual profiles can also contain detailed information regarding the reasons for boycott/support/awareness and display a report generated by the Mill.
Your voice matters. We want to help you amplify that.
Whether they are from MOFFAS (a Cartpool event URL or a Phi Bloc link) or external sources, you might have a few links and codes across the Internet that you want to get more traffic to or, simply put, more clicks for. In this Best Practice post, we will discuss how to get more of those "clicks" or impressions, in general. You can experiment with our ClicKey campaigns, which use genuine clicks as metrics to measure performance. We also hope that you find it useful out of MOFFAS too - if you get better, we can all get better, together.
The social media struggle
Of course, social media is going to be at the top of the list. Honestly, it probably is at the top of many lists related to marketing these days. However, like we mentioned in our blog post before, the invasion of bots is making it very difficult for real people to stand out, ironically. I’ve even seen “PG-17” bots ranked ahead of major celebrities in comment sections. The platforms won’t have an effective solution any time soon, if ever, so if making use of the replies and comments sections of popular social media posts is your main approach, as many do, the struggle is real. It is probably only going to get worse from here - more crowded space, more bots, more tricky algorithms, more scammers, etc.
The spammer alert
Another popular method is to go with the good ol' person-to-person or person-to-group chat (nowadays) route, i.e., send it to friends, family, associates, etc. Does it work? Yeah, I think it works and, honestly, I think it’s more effective than posting it on social media timelines and praying for someone to get interested, as long as the relationship you have with your audience is an authentic one. My mom is a fervent Groupon-ish shopping addict. One of the things she has to do to win a better discount is to have other people retweet that product page (a link apparently) for her. It’s never an issue - she always hits her target when she really wants something, because of the numerous group chats she is active in daily, filled with her family members, dog friends and cat friends. I double as a family member AND a cat friend, by the way.
However, the interpersonal marketing approach comes with its own problems too. Targets are always limited, and after a while, it gets a bit awkward to always send over these things to certain people. If it’s a social circle, you sure do not want to seem transactional or, even worse, “desperate.” My mom is not a digital marketer and does not profit directly from doing what she does occasionally. Efficient (and very likable) as she is, she still feels like she has to say sorry sometimes for bothering others. It’s normal. Quota is going to run out at some point.
OK, try these
So what’s the best practice then? Actually, that does not exist, at all, in my very humble opinion. The truth is: it will be completely different from one person to another, depending on a variety of factors, from your personality, social circle, to the technologies you are most comfortable with and adept at. Any universal strategies and techniques? Maybe. Let’s go through them quickly and, hopefully, you can get a couple ideas here and there.
Me, myself and I
I will always highlight this whenever we talk about growing your own “brand.” No matter which campaign you get to work on, with us or with another platform/brand, the first and most important thing should always be about you and your brand, not the campaign target. Campaigns come and go; some last longer than the others, but they all end. Your “brand” stays forever with you and no computer scripts can ever truly replace it.
What’s this brand then, you might wonder? Well, it is the same thing as any other brand in the world, CocaCola, Zara, Walmart, etc. It represents you, your ethics, your taste, your integrity and your passion. It is unique because there's only one You in this whole world, throughout a million years. For example, my mom is well known in her own community for being a pet mom. She has four cats 🐈 and a dog 🐶 , all healthy, spunky and full of life. She posts pictures about them and mentions them all the time. When she recommends a new type of dog food, people naturally respond to that. If she really monetizes that, she probably can easily pocket a hundred dollars just being her normal self (not an influencer or anything, the relationships are all real). She can achieve that because within her own group, her brand is a caring and responsible dog mom with a good heart.
Therefore, a good first step will be to figure out who you are and who you want to be, and enjoy being that person and the journey of being better at being that person. If you love fashion, then you should build a brand around fashion 👠. If you love cars, don’t hold back - it’s fantastic. Talk about your passion, on the Internet or in real life. Read books and magazines; get more educated and knowledgeable about these topics. Every effort is going to count. Use social media genuinely (be yourself and that’s it) and understand how it works. There are many great articles on the Internet that teach you about developing influence and, of course, you are always welcome to come here to learn a thing or two. We’ll suggest that you use a social media management tool, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, both of which offer a free plan, to boost performance and efficiency. Admittedly, social media softwares are indeed quite expensive these days, not that individual/freelancer friendly. There are a few companies that do give you a free trial. If you are intrigued and wonder what advanced tools they have in their arsenal, you may want to try it first in the trial.
Another thing we want to encourage you to do is to have a personal blog (of course, a site will be even better - you rockstar). We put out a post just about this yesterday. Check it for a refresher and we’ll skip it here. Once you get your own space secured, your online presence instantly gets elevated to a different dimension. Place the URL to your blog (site) in your social media account biography section, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. You can also try Sky and put multiple links, including the one to your blog, in your bio altogether. That way, you have a much fuller and more professional-looking profile on the Internet. Sky is free to use and packs some cool features in its tiny body. The biggest difference between Sky and other in-bio link service providers is the native support for our in-house events and campaigns. You can push your Cartpool, Phi and other MOFFAS biz directly to Sky through Skylight. Other than that, we provide basic analytics that others may charge for (just sayin’ 😺 ).
We will look at more technical stuff in the Part II, out tomorrow, such as how to use the free tools provided by MOFFAS to automatically and quietly publish your “news” to your audience, and the best way to engage people using both technologies and conventional wisdom. Sounds spicy! See you then.
Photo by Mikael Blomkvist from Pexels
For each campaign, the campaign sponsor (the brand) can recruit people to join their campaign directly. When you receive such a link, congratulations - you can skip the line.
If you prefer to learn from a tutorial video, click to jump to the end of the post.
Click "Get my reward link" on the page. It will take you to the marketplace page for this campaign.
If you are not signed in, click sign in.
If you don't have an account with us, take a minute to sign up! You'll need a personal account to be a Mofficer. Organization accounts are for our partners.
If you are not a Mofficer at the moment, you will still need to enroll in the Phi program first.
Please read the Phi program terms carefully and act accordingly. If you have questions, contact us any time. 👇
Click join and you will get your origin Bloc generated for you.
For ClicKey campaigns:
The link enclosed is your unique Phi Bloc Link ("PBL"). When someone clicks on your PBL, we will log it for processing. If it is a valid click, then you will get the reward posted to your Beyto account immediately.
Now with your own link, what's the next step?
MOFFAS advocates transparency. Since Phi involves issuing monetary rewards to participants, we feel obligated to make the process and data public (sans private information, of course). We are hoping that measures like this can help us further build trust in our community and, more importantly, bring confidence and pride to our members.
How to get to the Log:
Go to https://heymoffas.com/public-logs
Or use the public menu in your site navigation bar - select "Logs"
What's in there?
For now, it shows all the data we received in the Phi programs, both raw and processed. The below screen capture gives a basic idea - what the data is for, processing status, campaign information, and IP (hashed to protect privacy).
The Logs will become even more important when we have special events running that give out high-value rewards.
Have any questions? Drop a question below.
Wishlist is a low-key feature embedded in the organic social networking module of MOFFAS, ψ (Psi), to provide social networking-powered bookmarking service. It can be managed and accessed via the extension.
Wishlist is closely related to its sibling feature, Vibin', a social mood system, as well as the Cartpool module. It is considered a matchmaker and canvassing tool for Cartpool.
Wishlist is easy and intuitive to use. Locally, it works like a bookmarking tool.
Open the social box, click the . It is saved.
So what happens next?
The item is saved to your own list. Go to your Trunk and open the Wishlist panel.
When your friend is on the same page, they will know that it is in your Wishlist too, indicating the possibility of a Cartpool event.
Wishlist data will be included in the big data report anonymously. It is to help us research the general trend and consumer behavior as well as improve our products. If you are a Mofficer, you will be provided with an anonymous big data report on your followers (identities hidden), as business intelligence, when it becomes available.
DO NOT use Wishlist if you do not want it shared with your friends and included in the big data report, anonymously.
Header image by Avery Evans on Unsplash
In the last post, we started the discussion on how to market affiliate links better. To sum it up quickly - the most important thing is to establish your own brand and “authority” on the Wild Wild Web. Find your passion, get educated and be a nice person - the best skill is your knowledge and the best target audience always starts with the people around you. Set up your personal blog/site for an isolated space dedicated entirely to yourself. Have that blog address included everywhere. You may use an in-bio link service, like our Sky, to organize and display your important content. Now, you can also bind your blog address in Moffice settings. You will understand why when our next Phi program launches.
In this post, we will focus on the “tools” that can help you market your links better. If you haven’t, you might seriously consider giving Hootsuite and Buffer a try. They both offer free versions, a good start for individual users.
Learn a bit more about “the web”
Affiliate marketers count on the Internet and web applications to do business. In real life, it won’t always be so easy like my mom and her chat groups. If you want a career out of this, it’s a good idea to learn some basics about the technologies underneath. Here are a few categories I’d personally suggest that you get familiar with (and they are NOT difficult):
- Basic understanding of big data: What’s trending? What are people buying? What does this chart mean?
- Google is your best friend. Use Google Trends to find keywords and Google Analytics to track blog/website performance, if applicable. Google also supports advanced search functionalities, such as search for images, prices, social media, similar sites, etc. Read about it in detail on Google.
- Learn more about SEO. SEO is actually the simplest one here, although definitely not the easiest. For you to improve your SEO for your site/page, the keyword is still “links.” How many backlinks do you have? How good are those pages that link back to you? Our next Phi program is going to help you with that and then make profits off that boost together.
- Try a bot. This might seem to come out of left field, but I think you should consider it. There are a number of service providers that offer custom bot services, i.e., you give them account name and criteria, and they run it on their server. Just google “free social media bots” and select one for some limited experience. The reason behind this suggestion is to help you understand how affiliate marketing operates. Technology reduces complex matter that human beings are too smart not to overcomplicate, hence the efficiency. Through the “eyes” of technology, affiliate marketing is probably no more than a script to “find people and tell them about it, using an optimal algorithm.” In the future series, I will introduce some extremely simple scripts for social media promotion bots. You can easily try it at home on your own computer. Welcome to the age of the geek!
Make use of Trove
Although we made a short tutorial about Trove, it’s still not getting the attention it deserves for how much it can do. You can read about Trove in WikiCenter. Here, I am going to use an example to demonstrate its use case.
Let’s suppose that you are a busy and driven affiliate marketer that works with numerous platforms and independent brands. You will have a list of affiliate links, codes and coupons. Right now you have them organized in an excel sheet or a Google Doc sheet so that you can share with your partners. I’ll assume that’s the standard setup. What Trove does is to modernize that setup. Go to your Moffice, open Trove, add those links to your collection and select how you want to share them, with friends or followers, or rather keep them to yourself. And then the links will be saved to your Trove and, at the same time, pushed to that of the people you’ve chosen to share with (of course, they need to have an account with MOFFAS - taking a moment to mention again that MOFFAS is a platform for all, not just marketers). It’s different than posting on Timelines and lasting for two seconds, because Trove is a designated and manageable space for external links/codes. Sounds useful? That’s not all. With our browser extension (and in the future, our apps), the power of Trove extends beyond this domain. Your links are directly accessible from the extension wherever you are. If you share an affiliate link amazinglipsticks.com/mylips123 with Jane and Jane goes to amazinglipsticks.com, she will see a popup saying she has an affiliate link from you.
Think about Honey or Rakuten… but YOU are Honey and YOU are Rakuten!
Want to learn more about how to boost your affiliate marketing career? Join MOFFAS and become a Mofficer today. The next decade is going to witness drastic (and brutal) industry shake-ups across the board. Machines and automation are going to take lots of jobs away from human beings. What can we do? The rising of Mofficers, a unique hybrid of lifestyle consultant, influencer, marketer and community liaison, is our humble answer to that challenge. Together, we can build a community that only thrive in times of change like that.
No membership fee or anything, simply come with your wisdom, passion and determination to be part of a force that might, one day, change the world.
Some members have mentioned to us that there are too many buttons in Moffice and sometimes they feel confused. In this tutorial video series, we will show you what each section of Moffice does and how they all work together to maximize your efficiency.
You can always access your Moffice directly from your home page.
Bloc is a key concept of Phi. For that reason, we made a special tutorial just to explore the Bloc section of Moffice. Jump in!
Sometimes, you might wonder what a Bloc is about and people that do not know about MOFFAS might have doubts about a Phi link you send over (virus? bad agent?). That's why we always want to make it extra transparent. Other than adding a "?view=1" directly to the URL, you can also use the Bloc Checker to pull up the Bloc profile page. Enter the full URL or simply the Bloc Key, whichever is more convenient.
You may access Bloc Checker from the Help submenu, the homepage as well as the Login form (for visitors).
Every MOFFAS member has their MXP, a metric system we use to track and quantify a member's activities, achievements and progress within the MOFFAS system. The higher one's MXP is, the better access he or she will have to our products and services across the board. In this article, we will explain this Seniority Rule in more detail (especially its application in Phi programs) and introduce a few ways to boost your MXP.
When a Phi campaign is created, it will be assigned a clearance level requirement. For example, if a campaign requires clearance level 3, then members with level 2 and below won't be able to participate in it or, are largely limited, at least. For most ClicKey campaigns, the clearance level requirement is automatically set to the lowest by default for maximum reach and exposure. For other type of campaigns, though, especially the ones that involve one single payout of a high amount, for example, a bounty event, the access will be limited as the system or the campaign sponsor sees fit. The clearance structure plays a critical role, along with our encryption module, to keep part of or, the full, campaign private and secure, with flexible visibility and data transferability.
Higher MXP upgrades a member's clearance level. When two Mofficers have the same clearance level are compared, the system favors the one with the higher MXP. When they also share the same MXP figure, the system favors the one with the earlier enrollment date with us.
MXP in ClicKey
As we mentioned above, most, if not all, ClicKey campaigns require the lowest clearance level, i.e., the member's clearance level is disregarded in these cases. Then does one's MXP affect their access to the campaign then? The answer is yes, loud and clear.
Unless the member is invited directly by the campaign sponsor (the party that's putting out the campaign and paying) and able to skip the waiting line, he or she can only initiate an Origin Bloc after the campaign is made accessible to them. This access date/time depends on the member's MXP (percentile). Members of a higher percentile enjoy a considerable lead of hours over those of lower ones. For instance, John is a 98% percentile Mofficer and thus has a 6-hour earlier access time than Jenny, whose MXP ranks her at 50% percentile, to a standard ClicKey campaign.
How to check MXP and percentile
MXP and percentile information can be accessed in the Reports tab of a member's Moffice.
How to gain MXP
We've established the importance of MXP - then what are some of the better ways to improve it? It really goes back to the question how the MXP is calculated. Although the system self-adjusts the value of different activities from time to time, the main factors that reward MXP are, in general, as follows:
The use of the extension
Social features such as Holler, Mention, etc. through the extension
Cartpool event participation and administration
- Phi program traffic (even when the data is not good for a campaign reward, it is acknowledged by the system and reflected in MXP)
Photo by Paula Brustur on Unsplash