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
writing about your hobby
writing articles and publishing them
publishing other people's reports
publishing other people's articles about publishing other people's articles
publishing and selling your own booklets
publishing an ezine
really publishing an ezine
publishing an ezine as an adjunct to other schemes
publishing undefined things that will somehow make you very rich
becoming a pushbutton publisher
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.
>> 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
Hopes and dreams, man. Hopes and dreams.
>> because even large publishing companies do
>> not have the resources to evaluate and publish
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
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
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.
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.
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.