The Brain Tree, a recently launched startup, based in Raleigh, has caught our attention with a pretentious press release title: New Raleigh Startup TheBraintree.com Offers Unique Networking as the “Facebook for Research.” If one thing, the company managed to make us click on their link, to see the innovation that could.
According to their own landing page, The Brain Tree is “a meeting ground–where those seeking smart, sharp and reliable research are connected to experts who deliver it across a staggering array of research categories.”
But while Facebook is a free network, where information is exchanged at no cost, The Brain Tree is, in fact, a market place. In their own words, “it starts with a simple log in, and an even simpler bidding process.”
While we have no issue with the brilliant business model, we take issue in using Facebook to hook us in – as you should too. The fact of the matter is that The Brain Tree has nothing to do whatsoever with Facebook. It is, to put it simply, just a crowdsourcing-meets-eBay site, where anyone can ask a Ph.d to do research for their topics and offer ridiculous compensation. Excuse the French here, but no Ph.d. should ever consider spending hours and hours to research and write a paper for a $100 budget. But that’s another story.
The title of the press release is misleading – this is the only problem with the whole release, and a probable cause why this communique will not convert as The Brain Tree expects. The users don’t like to be “lured in.”
However, there’s value in this approach – a smart PR strategy that could be adopted by companies truly based on a Facebook model. So far, The Brain Tree’s PR campaign failed to convince us of the purpose of the site. We understand crowdsourcing. We seriously do. But we don’t understand how the site is anything like Facebook. Any ideas?
Lets hope their PR firm, Bateman Group can help them figure it out.