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The Bubblews Experience in Hindsight

Bubblews is Dead

There is no doubt that Bubblews is now dead. Some are willing to let it rest in peace. Some who feel they have been cheated wish they could find a way to get what they were promised and denied. Some are threatening to sue, but it’s hard to get anything from someone who is broke. Many are complaining that they had no notice of the site’s closing and have lost work they had not backed up. Me? I’m sorry I lost almost $50 (one missing payment and the balance in my bank when the site closed, but my overall feeling is one of relief. The wondering is over. The other shoe has dropped.

Bubblews is not the first site to close during the last two years. Many were shocked when Squidoo closed in August, 2014. Squidoo did give notice and made arrangements for members to move their work automatically to HubPages. They were warned to make back-up copies of work they wanted to move elsewhere. No one was happy Squidoo closed, but at least they had fair warning.

Zujava closed shortly afterwards. It, too, gave notice so that members could back up  their work to facilitate moving it. Then Seekyt sold out to new owners who made drastic changes in the way they paid and finally stopped any revenue sharing at all, choosing instead to pay up front for work they wanted. I haven’t yet had time to deal with the three posts I still have there. But I have made copies.

I was caught off-guard by what happened on those sites, and others have been adversely affected when sites I had never decided to join closed suddenly, stiffing their writers. The closing of Bubblews, however, should not have caught anyone who was paying attention off-guard. There were plenty of warnings that Bubblews was not going to make it. They say we see best in hindsight, so I’ll share some of the hints I picked up that gave me adequate warning. If you look back, maybe you will see them, too. Maybe we can all learn something  from this.

Cash CowBefore I joined Bubblews, the friend who told me about it said up front that they paid well, but would never be able to keep paying such high rates. His advice was to ‘milk it while you can.” So I never expected it to remain the cash cow it was at the beginning.

It was obvious from the beginning that the owners were not writers and did not know what kind of platform and editor writers needed. Highest on my wish list was a decent editor that would let me use bold and italics and punctuate properly without breaking something in the program. When the promise of the wonderful, awesome update in July 2014 was made, I hoped it was the editor that would be fixed. When instead that update butchered all my photo essays and then the administrators took away the ability to edit them so they would at least make sense again, I knew the programmers either had no idea what they were doing, or that they did not care at all about how the site looked or how their writers would feel  about having their work ruined. I was pretty sure then that the site would not last.

In the background were always the voices of those who were missing payments, claiming they had followed all the rules. At first I thought those people might be rule-breakers who just wouldn’t admit it — until one of my own payments went missing. After that I knew things were not being run well — even if my missing payment did  happen during a time when the site was down. When we redeemed,  there was no way — even with a screen shot of the bank page – that one could prove the date of redemption and the amount. It was a wait and see game as we watched for that confirming email in our mailbox from PayPal. No other site that I know of operated that way. On most other sites, you could check to see when a payment was due, and you knew approximately when the payment would be made.

Dice

Another Bubblews policy I saw as a sign of trouble was that of voiding an entire redemption because of a violation in one post. In most cases, the writer didn’t ever learn what the violation was or in which post. I knew that I was gambling with my time and energy to continue to  write there, but the payoff was still  good when I won, and I won most of the time. I did  become more cautious, though. After I had redeemed, I stopped posting until my payment email came. That’s one reason I didn’t lose hundreds of dollars. I made sure I’d never lose more than the amount of one minimum redemption of between $50 and $65.

When we all got the bad news about redemptions that would not be paid and lower rates for the future and all the rest that I can’t remember now, I knew the site was finished. Those of us who  didn’t leave immediately either weren’t there for the money or just enjoyed the communications for their own sake. I wrote what I expected to be my last post to my friends with the reasons I was leaving and to let them know where they could find me. The plan was to leave that up for a month and not post anymore. I did make one more post to respond to one of Arvind’s last announcements, and then I pretty much went silent unless I was responding to a post someone else had linked to and I wanted to help them with my comment.

Bubblews was a wild ride. I enjoyed it while it lasted. By the middle of July 2014 I knew it couldn’t stay alive. By the end of last year I knew it was almost dead. The last throes took longer than I expected, but it’s now dead and pretty well buried. All that remains are the memories, the friends I made there who I see in other places, and the things I bought with my earnings. I am not in mourning.

Would I do it all again? I think I would. The only  thing I would do  differently is to make actual complete web page copies from my browser of all my photo essays so I could see which photos I used and where I put them. I have text copies of all the posts except the last two posts — my Swan Song and my response to Arvind. I figured they would be of no value to repost anywhere else.

bubblews-train

 

Did you ride on the Bubblews train? If so, would you get on  that train again? Is there anything you would have done differently on the ride?

 


21 Comments

  1. I tried Bubblews as well, but what I didn’t like, besides the interface, was the heaps of rubbish articles that was produced there. I stopped after my first 50 dollars, it didn’t feel good. Thank you for your open and honest review article about bubblews.

    • If you look carefully, there’s some rubbish here, too. They just aren’t as obvious and you only see it when you are in the process of seeing which people’s friend requests to accept. I may never get to $50 here, but at least I can do most of what I’d like to on my blogs without the fear of breaking some unknown rule and forfeiting a redemption. I think Bubblews tried to keep people in the loop by making them afraid they would never be paid if they left or quit writing.

      • A very good article, Barbara. That was exactly the reason I stayed on – but my earnings remained at $46.89 for about eight months, regardless of what I did, so, after 2 or 3 years, I never got paid. I did sort of heed the warnings but didn’t back up much of my work – I can forego the money, but I think it would have been more reasonable of them to give people a chance to do a back-up – I’m sure that could have been possible

  2. It’s sad when you see sites you’ve enjoyed shut down. Especially without warning. It’s also sad to see writers being treated badly and unfairly. I wish these places would think a little more of others rather than simply the bottom line in their pocket books.

  3. Yep, I hopped on board after my friends reported some earning opportunities there. I even made some new friends from all over the world. While it lasted, it was nice getting the pay, but the aggravation as it started to crumble, wasn’t worth staying.
    Wish I’d been more consistent in saving my posts. Some would be useful for my blog or Hubpage articles and some for my personal journal. Oh well…

  4. Yes, I have ride that train Bubblews. At last, the end has come though there was no warning. It was good while it last and I have found friends there. I hope I can see those friends again online. I am careful now and backup my writings.

  5. I have to say that bubble was the first place I ever earned money on line by writing about…. nothing. I just got my last payment in Oct. after 100 days waiting. I will credit the site with me opening up and learning that I knew how to write better than I thought, even if I am just a story teller of life.

    • I tried to write about something besides breakfast during the days before the horrid update. Some could have been (and in hindsight should have been) hubs. Maybe some of them will become hubs. Like you, though, I’m primarily a storyteller of life. I happen to think every life story has some chapters that should be told.

  6. I learnt not to trust Bubblews in 2013 and have kept copies of everything I published since then. Now I need to look back through them and see what I can reuse.

  7. I was caught off guard when Bubblews just offered a brief message and was no more. This happens. A lot of sites have suffered a demise. We may never know when this sort of thing will occur.

  8. You know, the funny thing with me. Let me start off this way, you know that I always said I would stay there until the end, and I did. Now, back to that funny thing. I was online on Bubblews that morning. I commented on a few posts and stopped to get me a cup of coffee. When I got back, I refreshed the page and BAM, the site was gone. Did I lose any content? Nope. I always save copies of my content. I learned that long ago. Did I feel bad, Yes, for maybe a few minutes. Even though I was one of the loyal members, I know the writing was on the wall.

    I also found out that many bubblers migrated to MyLot which I am glad about because I was friends with them on Bubblews. I saw a handful join Persona Paper. Not many. That site also I am starting to feel uneasy about. I know they are not doing well financially and the owners have regular lives, with regular jobs. I stay there, again, for the friends I made. I am mostly full-time on MyLot now. I like it here, but find it somewhat confusing still. I get the blog thing, but the forum, the wall, it is just too much at one time.

    Do I miss Bubblews, like you I am actually relieved that they are gone.

  9. Loved your article, Barbara. Thank you very much for posting. I’ve spotted a few others on your page that I need to look at.

    Regarding Bubblews, I’m a little taken aback that people didn’t back up their work. I always ensure I do, no matter what the situation is. But that’s not to say Bubblews was blame free in all of this. Quite frankly, I feel they treated they loyal members with contempt!

  10. I had no idea that Zujava also went down. Too bad 🙁 All the good sites go down, but I think that most of the things online have expiration date. We must use it while we can.

  11. Re-Quoting one of your lines:

    Another Bubblews policy I saw as a sign of trouble was that of voiding …………………………. In most cases, the writer didn’t ever learn what the violation was or in which post. ”

    This was in a way scandulous. This way one could not have been sure whether one had violated rightly or wrongly and whether the criteria of violation was valid or not.
    And the genuine writers like your truly too had to bear such acts.
    And the upgrades worsened the situation, like the one they did again in July 2015.

    • Everything you say is true. I never did think voiding a whole redemption for a single violation that might have been to a rule not clearly stated was right. Persona Paper lets you know about any issues when you try to cash out and there is a violation or something like a photo credit you left out. Then you have 48 hours after being notified to fix it. I believe this is much more reasonable.

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