Wednesday, February 26, 2014

And So Ends Epinions

Over 14 years ago, I threw myself into that wave that swept through the SAHM world like a tsunami.  I mopped up in ways that still boggle my mind--two pairs of free Asics (retail 120 a pop), amazing free clothes for my then toddler, free makeup, free money (yes, free money!  Just open a checking account and they give you a hundred bucks!), free magazines, free books, free medicines, free toiletries, free meals, free videos and games.  I became something of an authority on how to get stuff worth having for free in the blossoming shopping realm.

One of those "how to mop up on the interwebs" deals?  A new writing site called "Epinions."  I came into it early--it was brand new.  And those first few months were heady.  Some months I was cashing out twice, 800 or so dollars a shot.  Yes, you read that right--some months, I made over 1,600 dollars.  Just writing product reviews and parenting advice pieces.

Of course, it couldn't hold.  There was only so long the site could pay like that until it dropped to ten cents a hit.  And then a penny a hit.  The place slid into a morass of "rating circles" and spam reviews consisting of "lalalalalalalalalala" to fill the minimum word requirement.  And the masturbatory "look how cool I am, I'm an ARTIST" types and their idiot hangers-on, of course. No site is complete without the troll contingent.

Then the pay dropped off even further, and most of the spammers and rating circle jerks (see how I did that?) went away.  The self-indulgent artistes wandered away, too, to start (and sink) their own rip-off site.  And those of us who stayed?

Did some really good work.

While the money never did pick up, it was always a nice perk each month to get that check.  Sometimes I'd let it ride for a while and have enough for a nice treat--like a three week luxury car rental for a vacation or a fun weekend trip somewhere.  Often, that check was the difference between a bill getting paid and not.  Sometimes it was milk and bread in the fridge.

And now it's gone.

It was a long time coming, really--the moment ebay entered the picture and took over Epinions, we all knew.  Once you become a small sliver in a huge organization, your days of being the main focus are over.  We all knew we weren't important.  And ebay jerked us around enthusiastically.


Anyway, practical upshot?  I have 700 product and travel reviews that won't be earning me money anymore.  I can't even delete them from Epinions.  Instead of seeing some sort of financial boost or recovery this year, my family is down around $275 a month.  More, if you count the wingnuts slashing hubby's transit benefit.  I'm going to look into posting my reviews elsewhere, but fact is, I have now become completely dead weight.  Damn.

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