Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Anatomy of a Blogging Frenzy
Yesterday, whilst I was sitting at my desk, working and feeling lousy from a "common" cold, the "behind the scenes world" at Flyertalk and Twitter were aflutter. Apparently, there was some discussion on a Flyertalk thread of a new offer for a Platinum American Express with a 100,000 point sign up bonus out there (this is huge - usually the sign up bonus for the Platinum Card is only 25,000 points). The posts were cryptic and soon the thread was locked. The hushed, disguised conversations continued in Twitter. Oh, the suspense... Only someone who really followed the "players" could have been tipped off that there was some new deal in the air. Those same people searched the internet and discovered that the offer was already being discussed in a popular public forum. They knew that the cat would be out of the hat very soon. It was only a matter of time. A matter of time.
So, one blogger - a relative newcomer to the travel blogging world (but already admired by those who knew his writing) broke the deal in a blog post. The 100K offer could only be obtained by going through a website called CreditCards.com, and Travel Summary had just gotten the affiliate link for that website that morning. Is that karma or what?
Just before his blog piece broke, at about 6pm, when I was getting ready to leave work, I got an email from a friend telling me of this deal. At first, I brushed it off - it seems like monthly, there are targeted 100K offers. I did a quick look around the internet, and saw the post just written by Travel Summary. This piqued my interest. I followed the instructions, and, sure enough, I was led to a 100K American Express Offer. I filled out the forms online, and immediately followed up with a call to Amex. I spoke to the nicest rep imaginable, in New Delhi, and she told me that I was approved and congratulated me umpteen times. I left work after 7pm.
I got home and opted NOT to blog about this great offer. It had already been said quite elegantly by Travel Summary, right? But I did call and email friends and family, and was pleased that some actually took advantage of the offer. Dreams of more travels danced in my head like sugarplum fairies.... !
The evening was interesting. As I watched Twitter and the blogs, one after another blog post rolled out announcing the fabulous deal. Can you spell "VIAL"? The initial posts credited Travel Summary, but somehow it morphed so credit was given to the better-known bloggers. The later posts were not in vain though - while clearly everyone wanted to get into the game, many of the later posts provided details as well as new insights on the features and benefits of a Platinum American Express Card, and others discussed some other credit card offers that CreditCards.com had and seemed to get lost in the shuffle.
Now it is tomorrow and the offer is still available. In case anyone is interested, take a look at Travel Summary's post. You can also look at the post by The Points Guy (great detail on what the card offers!), View from the Wing, Mommy Points, Points Miles and Martinis (and just about every blogger at Boarding Area), Million Mile Secrets, Dan's Deals, Points to Point B and so many others. Each of the bloggers has his or her own perspective and audience of readers, and is excited to share the deal and gain the loyalty.
It will be interesting to see how today unfolds.
Update: 17 hours after the offer was blogged about, it is gone