This morning I received an e-mail from Allvoices about a change in their terms of service. Allvoices, if you are unfamiliar with them, is a content farm site similar to Examiner.com. As you can imagine, content farms like these have been hit hard by Panda and they are all struggling to survive in the new Google world.
Allvoices is clearly struggling, because they sent out an e-mail today basically telling their users to piss off. Here’s the full e-mail:
Allvoices began as a way for citizen journalists to share their stories with a global audience. Our goal of giving everyone access to their own personal megaphone was cutting edge and changed the way people interact with events in their lives and the global community.
Over the years, we’ve continued to push the envelope and evolve. We’ve developed a unique array of tools writers have used to share their stories with the world, and we’ve introduced industry-leading writer payments and features.
As has been noted in previous community-wide emails, Allvoices will continue to evolve. The world of digital media is constantly changing and, in order to stay at the forefront, we need to change with it.
We’re very excited to announce that we will be launching a completely redesigned Allvoices.com on August 18, 2014. The new Allvoices.com will look a lot different. Not only will the visual design of the site change, but the community and the way we pay writers will change as well.
On August 18, 2014, we will be terminating the Allvoices Incentive Program (http://www.allvoices.com/incentive). At that time, we will add your August earnings to your balance as of July 31. If you qualify for payment according to the Terms of the Incentive Program, you will receive that payment. After that we will no longer be paying writers based on page views.
When the new Allvoices.com launches August 18, existing users will have to apply and be selected by the Allvoices team in order to continue contributing on Allvoices. As part of this process, your existing content will be removed from Allvoices on August 18. You will still have access to all of your content until August 18, so please copy or back up any content you would like to save by then. If you need help with this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your contribution to Allvoices. Please let us know if you have any questions.
The Allvoices Team
It’s quite long and wordy, but the TLDR version would probably read:
Hey guys! We’re coming out with a cool new design on August 18! It’s going to look a lot different!
BTW, we will be terminating the incentives program, along with your account, and deleting all your content. You have 10 days to back it up if you want. If you want to keep writing for Allvoices (for free, no incentives) you will need to re-apply and be selected by the Allvoices team.
Have a nice day!
The Allvoices Team
Sounds like a great deal, right? I guess the moral of the story is to not trust your content on 3rd party sites like these (Squidoo also recently made some pretty restrictive changes) because they can decide to change their terms on a whim, delete your content, and stop paying you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.