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Wikinut Has Changed its Terms



You can't even earn peanuts at Wikinut anymore.
You can’t even earn peanuts at Wikinut anymore.

Wikinut Will No Longer Pay Writers

I have not paid much attention to my three articles (nuts) on Wikinut in some time because Wikinut really wasn’t paying enough to merit my spending time writing there. I had signed up after Bubblews started to go downhill and some of my online friends were writing there and seemed to like it.  I didn’t really like having to have all my articles approved by a moderator before I  could post, and I didn’t like the way  they paid, so I was never enthusiastic enough about the site to post much. I pretty much let my posts sit there and occasionally I promoted them.

Today when I opened my Facebook group The Writer’s Door, the group owner had posted an announcement from the Wikinut site. The meat of it is that after December 10, 2015, they will no longer share revenues with writers. They will only provide a free publishing forum so members can continue to be read. They will pay members who have earned enough to be paid the December 10 payment. One last payment in will be made in January. From today on there will be no more money earned for page views and user activity. New sign-ups will also  be suspended while the site is updated to reflect the changes in the terms.

What You Can Do with Your Wikinut Account

Current members are offered three options. First, they can continue to write without expecting to earn anything for it. Second,  they  can stop writing new content, but leave their content up for people to read. The last option is to delete one’s account and one’s profile and pages. I have chosen the last option.

The owners of Wikinut say they’ve been forced to make this decision because the site was never profitable and because the financial incentive of revenue sharing caused the usual suspects to defraud the site with fraudulent clicks on ads. Too many people were also using ad blockers. You can read the rest of the details in the Wikinut Statement.

This announcement follows one by Seekyt recently that they have changed their payment plan to direct pay to approved writers instead of any kind of revenue sharing. Several other revenue sharing sites have also closed completely in the past few months. It appears this is the direction content writing sites are going. If you have not backed up your work on any sites you publish on, this is the time to do it.

What the Future Holds

If you have depended upon these sites for income, I think you can expect them to produce less in the future. Even those that remain like HubPages are not paying as well as they used to. I think whatever future there is for writing online  for income is in freelancing or in owning and writing on your own sites. I’m not even sure we’ll be able to count on free hosting from Blogger or WordPress.com indefinitely. I don’t think we can depend on any site to be here forever.

What are you doing to prepare for having sites you write on shut down? Wikinut, Zujava, and Squidoo gave notice. Bubblews and some other sites did not. The handwriting is on the wall. How will you get ready for the inevitable? Or do you think I’m  wrong?

 



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?

 

All About Groups on BlogJob

Groups Are a Great Way to Get to Know Other Members So You Can Help Each Other

BlogJob Group Members Help Each Other
BlogJob Group Members Help Each Other

If you recently joined BlogJob, you’ve probably been invited to join one or more groups. Maybe you have even started your own group. Groups are a wonderful way for those of us using BlogJob to get together and talk about a common interest. To help make the site function well for everyone, I have some suggestions for both those starting groups and using groups.

Should You Start a Group?

Before you start a group, click on the forums button at the top of whatever page you are on. This is especially important if you just have a question to ask. The place to ask it is in one of those forums. If you don’t see your question in one of them, start a new topic in the appropriate forum. Don’t rush to start a new group to ask a question like ‘How do I change the default tagline in my blog.” Those kinds of questions can be asked in the Website Design forum. There is also a Support Forum for questions about how the site works, payment, etc. Ask simple questions in the forums.

If you start a group just to ask a question, once it’s answered, there’s nothing left to discuss in your group and it will be dead. Groups are all about discussing subjects many people are interested in. If you start a group just to ask one question, many people will think you are just trying to get points. Your group will also die soon because there will be nothing to talk about anymore.

If you would like to get many members with a common interest together to discuss many aspects of that interest, it’s appropriate to start a group. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found a good way to search for the existence of groups already formed here. I’d love to have a list of all public groups available so that all people with the same interest could join one large group that is more active. If you suspect a number of your friends share your interest, it might pay to start the group and invite them.

How to Manage a Group You Created

Starting a group and inviting people to join is just a beginning. The directions on how to set up your group are under the rewards tab. Some group leaders think that after they set a group up, their responsibilities are over. That’s simply not true if you want your group to thrive.

A group needs an active leader to keep the group healthy. One way to do this is to take leadership. Open the group forum. Start a few question topics. Use the group home page to link to new forum topics so that people will participate. Check your group for new activity at least every two days to respond to new questions and comments. Allow members to invite others to become members. The more people you have in a group the better the discussions will be.

How to Use Groups

Use BlogJob Groups wisely.
Use BlogJob Groups wisely.

Groups are a great way to get to know other BlogJob members with similar interests. Don’t join groups just to get points. Join groups with topics you are really interested in and then check them often and interact. See if there is a new topic in the forum. Maybe you could even start one and then announce it on the home page so other members will notice. Your group creator may not know how to use the forum yet. Help out. The more you are able to interact in the forum and encourage others to do so, the more points everyone will earn.

I would recommend that you only join groups with creators who have demonstrated they are active in participating in the discussions on people’s walls and in some of the established forums. Join just a few groups at first. After all, ten is plenty to help you make friends and get participation points if the groups are active.

I belong to 67 groups now and many of them were mistakes to join. I’d leave them, but I lose points if I do. If you reject an invitation for an iffy group, you will probably get another invitation later. You don’t have to decide immediately to accept or reject. Take some time to think it over. You won’t be sorry. I think 25 groups is a good number to ensure you always have an interesting topic to talk about.

Whether you create groups or join the groups of others, take an active part and have a good time. You will be helping each other meet your goals here while you learn from  each other.

 

Making Friends and Getting Followers At BlogJob and Other Writing Sites

Making Friends When You Are A Newbie on BlogJob

How to Make Friends in Online Writing Communities
How to Make Friends in Online Writing Communities

Everyone wants to make friends on a new site. That’s the first thing many people think about when they join. Just as in real life, online friends are the relationships that help you succeed in your writing life and on any given site. It would seem, then, that making as many friends as possible as soon as possible is good stategy. You should plan that strategy carefully.

There are many styles of making friends and accepting friend requests. Some people join a site and start sending friend requests to every name they see before they do anything else. I don’t think that’s a good idea. Many people are like me and only accept friend requests when they think  they will want to interact with that potential friend and read his writing. The only way to judge that is to have something to read. When I go to a potential friend’s wall, I want to see more than a row of “X and Y are now friends.” I want to see some activity in groups besides just starting or joining them. I want to see if you have set up a blogging site yet and posted to it so I can sample one of your posts. I want to see if your blogs will be on any subjects I’m interested in.

My Strategy for Making Online Friends in Writing Communities

Face on WallHere’s a stategy I recommend to newbies on any social site where one wants to become connected to others.

  • Send friend requests only to people who already know you from another site until you’ve posted something to read that tells people more about you.
  • Be sure you post your photo before trying to make friends. Otherwise it seems you aren’t serious about being active.
  • Post an update on your wall to introduce yourself. In it you might want to list the sites where you have been and your user names there so that old friends from other sites will recognize you. Mention the interests you will be likely to write about. You might want to mention whether you are young or old and your marital status or information about your family or job. Maybe you could mention a bit about where you live — urban or rural area, big city or small town. This gives potential friends an idea of what they may have in common with you.
  • Join a few existing groups and be active.
  • Send friend requests to people you see posting and commenting in groups and forums if you feel a connection with them. If in doubt, check their walls to see what’s there.  Respond to what they’ve posted on their walls. That gets you noticed in a positive way. Read a blog post they’ve written and comment. That will really get you noticed in a positive way, as long as your comment is thoughtful and not spammy.
  • Check the walls of people who send you friend requests before accepting if you haven’t noticed them being active. See the last dates of their activity. If it’s more than a week ago and they don’t have blogs, they may not be planning to hang around. People often have good reasons for an extended absence of a week or more when they are normally active, but if a person joins, makes a few friends and joins a few groups and doesn’t post much in those groups, chances are that person will drops out soon and the relationship won’t help either of you in the long run.

Maintaining Online Friendships

Share What Friends Write
Share What Friends Write

Once you have started making friends, pay attention to them. Try to visit the walls of at least three active friends a day and read their blog posts and updates. If they are good for a general audience you connect with on social media, share their work. You can see which friends have the most recent activity by looking under the ad under the points history on your wall, profile and invitation pages. Try to visit one or more of your groups every day and try to post or respond to something in them. Visit groups you have started every day to make sure they stay active.

If you do these things, you will soon have more geniune friends in writing communities than you can keep up with. Do the best you can to help others succeed, and they will help you, too. That’s how social networks and writing sites are supposed to work.

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