Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fun Times at Epinions

Well, the last few days have certainly been fun at Epinions.  And they’ve shown why socialism will never work as well.

For months, they’ve been telling us that they were going to change how the money they pay us, called Income Share or IS, is distributed.  It was going to reward active reviewers.  They were also going to change payment methods over to Paypal, a move I was not remotely interested in but I have no choice since I want to still keep getting paid.

So the money was pushed through last week, but there were bugs and other issues with it.  But people were seeing a wild swing in money.  Some were talking about the best IS they’d ever seen.  Others were talking about wild drops.

And that’s when people started to notice that there was a cut off date beyond which their reviews didn’t earn them any money.  When staff confirmed that yesterday, that’s when things really started to get exciting.

Seems they’d determined that only reviews written in the last five years deserve IS.  Doesn’t matter how many hits you get or how much your review brings in – it is now dead unless you wrote it in the last 5 years.

Now, I can see how some reviews wouldn’t really be relevant any more past that date.  But most of mine still are.  A movie, book, or CD doesn’t really change from one year to the next.  Furthermore, some of my reviews on rare items still get big hits and bigger IS.  Yes, I’m one of those very upset by the change.

Fortunately, the multitude of posts seem to be heard.  They are discussing what will happen going forward.  However, I am taking no chances.  I’m setting up a reviewing blog and becoming an Amazon affiliate.  Hopefully, I can add a bit more to my reviewing income if not supplement what I will lose as my Epinions review start to expire.  And yes, I will be taking them down as they expire.  If I want to post something for free, I can do that at Amazon.

Of course, if Epinions reverses itself, I’ll keep my reviews up there.  But I am creating this review blog regardless since the work involved in transferring them all will only get worse as the reviews pile up.

Now I’ll need to build a readership for that blog, something I’ve never quite managed here.  Hopefully, I can do that, or all this work will be for nothing.

I’ve actually started on the blog.  I’m calling it Carstairs Considers….  Unfortunately, I didn’t come up with the name, but I love it.  Thanks to Holly for suggesting it.

So what does this say about socialism and capitalism?  Well, those of us who were doing well and stand to lose much are taking down content or threatening to take down content if Epinions doesn’t reverse itself.  Those who don’t have as many reviews and were helped by this change are praising it.  And yes, some of those upset by the change are liberals who have no problems taking from the rich to give to the poor via taxes until it is their income that is affected.  Obviously, I’m in the group that will take down reviews that have “expired” if Epinions doesn’t reverse itself.  Why should I let them earn money to give to someone other than me?  That very idea makes no sense at all.  However, I’m still going to post reviews there and earn money until they expire.  Why not?  By the time they expire, I’ll already have them on my blog, so it will be no problem to delete them and move on.

Really, this reminds me of the attitude I felt from Amazon a few years back when they changed their review rankings.  It became all about “What have you done for me lately?”  That’s what Epinions is saying, too.  They want fresh content.  They’ve made that clear in other areas recently as well.  The newest review is on the top no matter what it is rated, which means some of my reviews are buried.  And don’t even get me started on the search engine and lack of listings for reviews.  That’s really frustrating.

Still, I’m hoping that Epinions sees the light and works out another way to distribute IS.  The thought of taking down all my hard work makes me sad.  But there is no way I’m letting them have it for free.

No comments: