Is Still A Black Hole?

Once upon a time, almost a year ago (which is eons in Internet time), AOL launched a freelance content generating engine called Seed. It worked in a way similar to competitors like Demand Studios: assignments would be posted to an online bulletin board to be snatched up by hungry wordsmiths. (Considering that the pay, while higher than that at similar sites, is still pretty low, “hungry” may be literal as well as metaphorical.)

And the complaints almost immediately started.

“[My submissions] have all been sitting for 13 days with no response. I feel like I submitted the articles into a black hole, lol,” wrote one frustrated submitter.

And then there was this mess, when AOL CEO Tim Armstrong decided five hours before the launch of a big site that it needed to be totally redone, partially because tons of their freelance contributors missed their deadlines.

Okay, but that was very early on in the thing’s infancy, really. Those issues have been ironed out.


Perhaps not, a tipster tells us.

This tipster, who by day is a “freelance financial writer with pretty solid employment” decided to see if Seed was worth it. She submitted a number of articles and was told that an editor would respond within 5-7 business days.

That was in mid-October.

She sent an e-mail to Seed and got the following response:
“The editors’ review deadline for the first 4 contents are clearly past due, so we will follow up with our editors to make sure they review this content and give you an answer as soon as possible.”

Still nothing, until yesterday when a Seed employee told her that it wasn’t just her, it was multiple people who’d been waiting for ages.

An AOL spokeswoman confirmed that “a small number of assignments had been held up and not replied to in a timely manner. We have now made a change” that they’re sure will speed things along.

But all the held-up assignments should have been cleared out of the system by now, she added, so for our tipster to still be waiting, that means there’s another problem.

Here’s a screenshot from the tipster’s dashboard from this morning. Click it to enlarge, then look in the lower right to see the articles that are just…..sitting.

Any other Seed writers out there having problems with article approval?

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