26 Jun Jellyfish launches comparative shopping website
Madison, Wis. – Following a flurry of discussion in the blogosphere, a new comparison shopping Website that boasts “Robin Hood-like” features has been released in Madison for public beta testing, with a permanent launch expected this fall.
The site, Jellyfish.com, is designed to be more “transparent” and more efficient at linking consumers and sellers than the search engines from Google, Yahoo!, or MSN, and accomplish this by adding a twist on the standard online advertising mechanisms.
Jellyfish promises to share at least half of the advertising revenue generated from each sale with members. With pay-per-click advertising, the servers receive a commission for clicks. When Jellyfish receives a purchase, half of that commission is placed in a member PayPal account or is mailed as a check.
The creators of Jellyfish expect this “value-per-action” model to spur retailers on the site to compete for top search rankings by increasing the amount of cash back provided to end consumers. Consequently, this consumer centric shopping search engine intends to capitalize on the growing “attention economy” of the Internet.
“We think the Jellyfish.com model represents the future of online advertising,” said Mark McGuire, president of Jellyfish. “For advertising to survive in a world where the consumer has ultimate control, it must be directly valuable.”
Membership for the site is free and Jellyfish guarantees no interruptive advertising like banners, sponsored text links, and pop-ups.
Bloggers weigh in
Jellyfish.com was launched with an official companion Jellyfish blog and links to other discussions hosting supportive, questioning, and critical commentary.
“The blogosphere really helps level the playing field and allows interesting ideas to percolate to the surface, regardless of whether those ideas come from Silicon Valley or Madison, Wisconsin,” wrote McGuire in his June 20 blog entry.
Some bloggers are incredulous, or are already familiar with the idea. “This isn’t new,” points out a blogger named Andrew. “Greasypalm.co.uk and others have been doing cashback incentive sites for years.”
“Transparency is the mantra of many new companies trying to unseat incumbents in their respective spheres,” noted Greg Sterling of Screenwerk.
SearchEngineLowDown.com, sponsored by Ask.com, posted an interview with McGuire prior to the release of the beta site in which many of the limitations and features of Jellyfish are discussed along with the challenges of building the site.
“One of the hardest things thus far was finding a good brand. Have you tried to register a domain name lately?” McGuire asked the interviewer.
“The really interesting thing about the Internet in general, and search in particular, is the way attention can be captured, measured, and sold to the highest bidder,” McGuire continued. “We plan to allow the existing advertising system to set a value on buying attention, but we have come up with a new kind of search marketplace where that value will be more equitably allocated among the advertiser, us, and the end consumer.”
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