If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering what happened to Superpoints. I’m hoping that I can shed some light on that, where we are now, and where I hope we’re headed.
Before I get into the details, I want to assure you that if you had a real account when the site was taken down with points in it, you still have those points. Also, no redemption values have been changed, so you can use you points for basically the same rewards as before. If you had duplicate accounts, or false information in your account, then you might not have an account anymore. More on that…
Around the end of February we started noticing an increasing amount of fraud in the system. We consider fraud as anyone with multiple accounts, false information in their accounts, or pretty much any activity that an honest person would consider cheating. All along we’d been warned about “freebie trolls” (by friends and competitors alike) but up until this point I thought we had an effective mechanism to find the fraud and take appropriate action. Also, I thought that because the Superpoints Network had reached a certain size, that our members would help us police rogue accounts and users. It turned out I was wrong.
By the end of March, the “bots” and systemic fraud had reached a fever pitch and I had to make some tough decisions. Every fake account, fake button click, or fake reward redemption effects the whole system because of how accounts are linked, and how points are distributed up and down user trees (connections). Basically, the more it happens, the harder it is to clean up.
At the same time, we were dealing with some organizational changes, which left us understaffed, which made it even more difficult to stay on top of the fraud problem. So I decided to take the site “down”. Taking the site down was the only way I knew stop all user activity, which would give us some time to regroup and “clean house”. I figured we’d be back up in no time. It turns out it was a bigger project than I thought.
It’s important to note that this was done quickly and without warning because we had to act fast, and because we didn’t want to notify the fraudsters of our intentions. And since I figured we’d be back in action quickly, I didn’t think it would be a big deal.
Two-plus months later, and the site still says “Please Stand By”. If you’re still standing by, I thank you. Hopefully when you see the changes we’re working on you’ll think it’s been worth it (people with old accounts will have a particular advantage in the new system).
One of the reasons it’s been taking so long to get back up is that while we were cleaning up bad accounts, it became apparent that after 3+ years of writing code (that’s writing the programs that make the site tick), we found other areas that could use some love too. Also, there were some features I wanted to implement that weren’t convenient while we were “live” so I decided to take this unique opportunity to add them now. We’re working hard to bring the site back as soon as possible, better than ever, so we never have to go through this again.
Thank you for your patience. I hope you’ll give us a shot again when we’re back in action soon. I have removed the definitive re-launch date from the site because the process is fluid but I’m shooting to have the new core features up just after the July 4th weekend . I’ll continue to post updates here, and in future posts I’ll present some of the new features and solicit comments. Of course, we’ll also post our definitive “go live” date when we have it, and I’ll also send out an email to everyone a few days beforehand.
So with that, please stay tuned… I’m going to try very hard to win you back.
Ryan & The Superpoints Team