If you haven’t heard by now the Facebook page for “the Crock Pot Girls” has grown enormously over the last couple weeks. I mean CRAZY growth, unheard of growth…. spammy growth. I first heard of the site when I noticed several of my friends had “liked” the page in my Facebook stream. One of my friends that I noticed liked it I happened to be chatting with on Skype at the very moment. When I clicked over to the page and saw how many fans they had (at the time it was probably around 700,000) I was curious… so I asked my friends that my Facebook stream had TOLD me liked the page, what they liked so much about it. I got a resounding crickets chirping and a big fat “What? Who??” They had no idea what I was even talking about and had never even visited the site. Then I click over to the Facebook page again, and even though my stream had said several of my friends had liked the page, only 1 of my friends was actually listed as liking it. Things that made me go hmmm. Now every time I look at the posts over on the Crock Pot Girls Facebook page I have to put some protective eyewear on, for fear that my eyes will roll right out of my head. Let me list the many many issues I have with the site.
1. The black hat bot tactics to gain likes. In the “early” days of the page, as in a few days ago, whenever you would click on someone’s profile that had posted something on the wall of the page there would be nothing there. No other posts besides the post on the CPG wall. So I’m supposed to believe they up and joined Facebook just to be part of this “amazing” page?? The other part of the black hat technique is the one I can’t quite figure out how they pulled off, and that is the one that listed several of my friends liking the site on my own stream that didn’t really like the site. Someone on their wall posted a comment asking how people heard of the site. Almost every answer was “I saw that several of my friends had liked them so I checked it out”. If they hadn’t figured out a way to display that my friends had liked them when my friends had actually never heard of them, that needs to be brought to the attention of Facebook.
2. There is NO Content! The CPG themselves have put up ONE very poorly made video. Their website BARELY works, and there’s almost nothing there. So what is there to like? There are people that do super high quality informative videos like Project22Six and Digitwirl that have BARELY any likes at all (comparatively speaking). This is high quality content to actually like. What does this site have to offer that you can’t get in a better form or in better quality elsewhere?
3. If you really like Crock-Pots go to the REAL Crock-Pot site! People are justifying that they like the site because there are so many new recipes for them to try. The recipes on that page do not have ratings or pictures, or even categories. If you are looking for Crock-Pot recipes (which don’t even get me started that what the girl’s site should really be called is Slow Cooker Girls since Crock-Pot is a registered trademark name, and there will be a cease and desist letter heading down to those girls lickety split I guarantee it) the real Crock-Pot Facebook page has easy to navigate recipes and ratings all within the Facebook page itself! Why would you need this frantic site with recipes that really may or may not work that are impossible to find… again I ask… WHAT IS THERE TO LIKE THERE? If you are really obsessed with your Crock-Pot, wouldn’t it just make more sense to LIKE the real Crock-Pot page?
4. People are lazy – So every time I check out what people are posting on the CPG page, so I can try and figure out what there is to like about it. I see CRAZY comments like, “you guys should do an iphone app”. If you took about 2 seconds to look you’d see about 50 iphone apps dedicated to Crock-Pot recipes, INCLUDING an official app from Rival (the makers of Crock-Pot) themselves! So what do you need an app from this page for? Not to mention, THERE IS NO CONTENT to make an app of! Except the somewhat tried recipes of the “people” who post on the CPG page. Then there’s the “you should have a food network show!” FOR WHAT?? A horrible looking website? A poorly created video? THAT deserves a show?
So people ask me or others that are upset with the site…. why do you care? It’s not harming you. No, not directly, but it’s just like currency, when the value of the dollar is diminished, costs increase for everything. If the value of a true fan on Facebook can also be diminished it doesn’t give the people who legitimately grow their social media presence much of a fighting chance. Do yourself a favor and check out people who are doing it legitimately, and working hard to find you recipes you can actually use, instead of following the crowd and liking something with nothing to offer, and no real work put into it. Great links…
**UPDATE** 11/7/2011 – First, the “girls” have made the decision to change their name from the Crock Pot Girls to the Crockin’ Girls. This has made their RABID fans declare war on Rival, the makers of Crock-Pot. Even though girls have never stated that Rival is the one that requested them to change their name. Rival themselves even had to put out a message on Facebook stating that they did NOT ask the girls to change their name, due to the fans attacking them on their Facebook page.
I requested several times on the Girls’ Facebook page that they please clarify to their fans that Rival was NOT the people who told them to change their name, but my requests have gone ignored, and their fans continue to attack and bash Rival and the Crock-Pot registered trademark.
Second, I don’t believe in deleting comments, even comments that are extremely rude to myself and my readers. If you feel the need to post your opinions, you are free to do so, just as I’m free to post my opinions on my own blog, but let me clarify some things…
No, I am not jealous. I am not a “foodie”, I can barely cook. If I had “come up with this idea” (which is definitely NOT a new idea as there is a Facebook page that has been around for a year prior to the Crockin’ Girls starting their page called Crock Pot Recipe Exchange which was started with the exact same purpose), I would not have started it even if I knew I could get a “million likes”. It’s not something I’m interested in talking about and therefore would not have done so. If they had an AMAZING website, and fantastic photos and content like some of the other food blogs out there, then yes I may be a little jealous because someone else is working hard and doing a fantastic job out of it. THIS? Nothing to be jealous of. I am proud of the growth and community I have built on my own. The right way.
No, my life is not consumed by this. I do have a life and I don’t spend my entire day thinking about/writing about this. I wrote ONE post about this social media anomaly. It’s hardly something I would say takes my entire time and therefore I have “nothing better to do” than to criticize a site I feel uses less than organic methods to gain their followers. If you spent a second to check around my site, you would see that I use my time to try and educate women on technology that could help make their day and life easier. Poke around and you may just learn a thing or two that will help you in your life.
Lastly, when I was researching this back when it all started, I did find further evidence of the black hat techniques that I discussed earlier, but I’m done trying to educate people that refuse to listen. If you want to find out the truth, you can always ask.
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com