PDA

View Full Version : Mass Media Networks



mobycat6
12-16-2004, 02:14 AM
Hi all,

New to freelancing, and came across this site earlier today.

www.massmedianetworks.com (http://www.massmedianetworks.com)

Just curious if anyone has any experience with sending them any content, and if it's legit?

Thanks.

ChunkyC
12-16-2004, 03:18 AM
Hi moby.

This sounds like a thread for the Bewares and Background Checks forum. I'll move it over there, you'll probably get a lot more feedback.

mobycat6
12-16-2004, 03:25 AM
Thanks, realized after I posted would be better there.

Narchy
12-16-2004, 11:58 PM
I looked the site over a bit and there was one thing that really made me sit back and re-read a few times.

If you read their agreement, they tell you that they can alter, change, edit, blah blah blah, without notice and, immediately afterwards, makes a statement about how the account holder is liable for any cost, fines, etc.

Kind of makes you wonder, if they do something to alter your content and break copywrite, etc., if you're going to get stuck with the lawsuit. Might not be what they mean, but that did make me twitch.

Also noticed that they said something about withholding taxes and they do want all your info, including social security number. Granted, that's typical of any job, though it still makes me a little jumpy, considering we really don't know anything about them.

Another thing to bear in mind is that they are Canadian-based, so money exchange rates are bound to be a bit of an issue as well, for Americans, etc.

Just my $.02 and funky observations/paranoia.

HapiSofi
12-17-2004, 11:12 AM
No. Bad. Don't sign any agreements. Don't fill out any forms. This isn't freelancing, and these guys are not on the up-and-up.

Yog, back me up on this. Have a look at that website.

James D Macdonald
12-17-2004, 01:20 PM
Yog, back me up on this. Have a look at that website.

Are you sure some dimbulb won't come flaming out of the woodwork to threaten me with lawyers for giving my opinion without ever having done business with these guys, or knowing anything about what wonderful people they really are and how they like puppies?

You want my opinion?

This one has a bit of a smell to it.

Find a market for your articles that'll cut you a check in advance.

Here's one of their article sites:

http://www.massmedianetworks.com/articles/short_stories_and_articles/index.html

HapiSofi
12-18-2004, 02:23 AM
I think it has more than a bit of a smell to it. It could be that I'm misidentifying the phylogeny of a scam, but Mass Media Networks looks to me like a new variant in the fecund and inadequately mapped cluster of related scams that promise you can Make Money Fast by:

writing free articles (http://www.brisney.com/how-to-write-free-articles.htm)
writing about your hobby (http://www.anthologiesonline.com/make_money_writing_about_your_ho.htm)
writing reports (http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/8081/68675)
writing articles and (http://www.johncolanzi.com/confessions.html') publishing them (http://www.johncolanzi.com/confessions.html)
publishing other people's reports (http://www.webtdcenter.com/book/bk01038a.shtml)
publishing other people's articles about publishing other people's articles (http://about-the-web.com/shtml/reports/writing.shtml)
publishing and selling your own booklets (http://www.homeworking.com/library/write3.htm)
publishing an ezine (http://developers.evrsoft.com/article/internet-marketing/online-business/how-to-make-money-online-with-internet-publishing.shtml)
really publishing an ezine (http://www.team-schuman.com/ezine.html)
publishing an ezine as an adjunct to other schemes (http://www.websmart-marketing.com/publish-ezine.html)
publishing undefined things that will somehow make you very rich (http://www.garyascott.com/courses/publishing.html)
becoming a pushbutton publisher (http://www.pushbuttonpublishing.com/)

The basic unit of exchange is the short nonfiction article, interchangeably referred to as a report, article, or pamphlet, or as ezine content.

The underlying forms of the fraud are some combination of "You write short nonfiction articles on spec, and we make a lot of money for you by selling them to people," and "We have this huge accumulation of short nonfiction articles, which we'll sell you (cheap!) so you can make money by republishing them and selling them to people." Occasionally the offer is to make you a pushbutton publisher overnight by selling you a huge library of public domain texts.

MMN leans toward the "you write free articles" side of the scam. I presume they're making their money off the advertising.

Many of the statements on their main page are not true. All of them are calculated to make pretty pictures appear in a wishful writer's head. I get no whiff of real commercial journalism going on there.

More specifically:

>> Mass Media Networks is the world's first portal
>> that allows content providers to earn revenues
>> from their works without the need of web
>> publishing resources.

The first if you don't count venues that simply pay freelance writers for their work.

This is going to sound weird, but bear with me: MMN's deal is just like bad self-publishing, only they do it for you.

>> MMN's Content Affiliate Program (CAP) allows
>> artists, writers and all content providers to have
>> their works published and matched with revenue
>> generating ads.

It isn't much of a service. You send them your content, they put it up on a dead-simple webpage, and if your work generates enough site traffic, you get a share of the ad revenue. This is classic rent-seeking behavior. MMN does minimal work, takes no risks, controls the venue and interactions, and takes the first cut of any income.

If you just want to put your articles up on a website and sell ads, get a weblogging package and use that. Put up undated articles instead of dated weblog posts. If you get enough site traffic to warrant it, go to BlogAds. They're extremely easy to deal with.

Next we have a run-on sentence that's like a magician's sleight of hand maneuver:

>> There are millions of artists, writers, and other
>> content producers in the world with undiscovered
>> talent,

Hopes and dreams, man. Hopes and dreams.

>> because even large publishing companies do
>> not have the resources to evaluate and publish
>> content

Evaluating and publishing content is exactly what publishing companies do, no matter their size. It's half of the basic publishing thing. The other half is packaging, distributing, and selling content.

A publishing company that doesn't have the resources to evaluate content isn't a publisher; it's a printer. One that doesn't have the resources to publish content has gone out of business.

>> without large cash investments

Some cash investment, at any rate. If your content doesn't warrant any cash investment at all, what they're saying is that it's not publishable.

This is one of those moments when we all recite in unison, "The is no substitute for writing works that people want to buy and read. If you can do that, you will get published. If you can't, no half-baked quasi-publishing scheme will do you a bit of good."

>> and most
>> artists are good at what they do, but do not have
>> the expertise or resources to publish their own
>> works.

Artists don't have the expertise or the resources to self-publish their own works, that is. But if all you're talking about is posting articles to the web and selling ads, most writers can manage that much. Just look at some of the dimbulbs who maintain weblogs.

>> CAP provides a solution by matching all content
>> with revenue generating advertisements and then
>> paying artists based on how much revenue was
>> produced from their works.

If you have the site traffic to get ads at all, matching it with content is no big deal, and I'd far rather deal with ad brokers directly.

>> We guarantee that no
>> talent will be left undiscovered due to lack of
>> publishing resources.

I believe that roughly translates as, "We'll take anyone's writing, no matter how bad it is." This makes MMN/CAP an even worse deal than I'd initially thought. If you have sufficiently attractive content, outside sources may link to your articles specifically; but if MMN/CAP also displays a lot of badly-written trash, nobody's going to find you by browsing their site.

Here we come to another sleight-of-hand sentence:

>> CAP gives artists the ability to focus on
>> producing content

We return here to the "We self-publish your work for you" theme; and once again, the real way to achieve this is to sell your work to a real publisher. They'll give you money upfront, and do all the work themselves.

>> so creative energies can be
>> fully rewarded -

That's just floating there between two other clauses, unsupported by any causal links. The message is, "This will somehow bring in money commensurate with the amount of work it took you to write the articles."

>> MMN pays the artist a generous
>> share of all revenues earned on websites where the
>> artist's work is displayed.

Rent-seeking behavior, I say again. MMN is not a value-added proposition for the writer.

Also: are we taking about gross revenue or net revenue? If the latter, you could be looking at the "no movie ever makes a profit" school of accounting.

>> The artist or writer simply creates a free account
>> with CAP and submits content. Mass Media Networks
>> then publishes ALL submitted content and generates
>> exposure.

If they publish "ALL submitted content," generating exposure is going to be quite a challenge. The reading public is not going to wade through slush, not when there's so much free good reading out there.

>> MMN then uses it's exclusive technology to track
>> exactly how much money was generated from
>> publishing the artist's work. The better the
>> content, the more eyeballs will view it, and the
>> more money it will earn.

That apostrophe irritates me.

I doubt MMN's technology is all that exclusive. There are a bunch of standard packages that'll do that. On the other hand, it could be that their technology is exclusive precisely because they don't want to use a standard package.

This site is bad news. If anyone's not convinced, I can discuss MMN's Terms of Use (http://www.massmedianetworks.com/index.php?sector=termsofuse) page, which begins:
THE FOLLOWING DESCRIBES THE TERMS UNDER WHICH YOU MAY BECOME AND BE AN AFFILIATE UNDER MASS MEDIA NETWORKS

The websites (the “Mass Media Networks Websites”) located at massmedianetworks.com are owned and operated by Mass Media Networks, an Alberta corporation.

AMENDMENTS

Mass Media Networks may amend this Agreement at any time by posting a new agreement on its website as well as by posting notice that the Agreement has been modified on the front page of its website or by sending notice of the amendment to the email address that you provide to Mass Media Networks, whether or not you actually receive that email.I wouldn't buy a pack of gum under an agreement like that.

Summary: Bad. Very bad. Break off contact, warn your friends.

mobycat6
12-21-2004, 04:42 AM
Thanks, confirmed the doubts. Appreciate all the detailed info and feedback.

Happy Holidays.

MC

James D Macdonald
12-21-2004, 09:16 PM
In the sample article site I gave, an article on reading comprehension, the carefully selected ad was for maternity clothing in plus sizes.

Please notice too that the title of the page was %KEYWORD%, which makes me suspect that they aren't too familiar with their own software package.

You earn a percentage of all ad revenues over $100.

If you sign up another writer, you get 10% of his revenue.

I suspect that this is another artifact of Google. MMN puts out huge quantities of text, with a random ad on each page. Google indexes 'em, and random people searching on various terms find the pages. Some percentage of those random surfers click on the ads. MMN keeps the first $100 from each one.

Under "How Much Can I Make?" MMN says: The amount of money you can earn from CAP is unlimited and will depend on the quality of the work you submit - the beter [sic] it is, the more money you will make. Many MMN affiliates are earning thousands of $ per month!

Many? Yeah? Name two. Heck, name one.


Mass Media Networks provides experts who will match your written work, on any subject with advertisers who will pay when surfers visit the page that your work is published on, You need only to submit your work and we will handle the rest.

I wonder if their experts proofread their own pages? (Personal for MMN: "nomatter" is two words.)

So:

A better deal would be for you to post your articles on your own web page (most internet accounts come with some amount of web space attached), find your own banner advertisers, and keep 100% of the income from those ads.

vstrauss
12-22-2004, 12:19 AM
Anyone remember the late, unlamented Themestream? Writers posted articles (no editorial screening whatever, except maybe for porn), and earned money on the number of clicks their articles got. This was supposed to be defrayed through online ad revenue, but we all know where that dotcom business model went. Themestream didn't get the revenue, couldn't pay its contributors, and closed its doors.

That's what this reminds me of.

- Victoria

James D Macdonald
12-22-2004, 04:05 AM
Themestream, Writtenbyme, the Vines ... the good ideas just never go away, do they?

HapiSofi
12-25-2004, 11:38 PM
It's the Reports scam. That one's been around since the days of hot type, maybe longer. For all I know, it started as a scam to get people to write ballads and broadsheets.

CaoPaux
08-05-2005, 12:47 AM
Still scammy?

http://www.massmedianetworks.com/

CaoPaux
10-03-2007, 12:02 AM
Moot. Gone as of May 2006.