Is A ‘Black Hole,’ But One With Reporters

Aol’s, the Demand Studios-ish content-creation machine that was announced earlier this year, is already accepting submissions, and reactions are mixed.

Silicon Alley Insider found a forum post on Associated Content (which also has a similar business model) discussing the pros and cons of the new system.

Pros include high pay and easy-to-find free photos; cons include confusing guidelines and (so far) slow response time. “[My submissions] have all been sitting for 13 days with no response. I feel like I submitted the articles into a black hole, lol,” said one freelancer.

We found another forum with writers discussing the new venture:

What it comes down to for me is, I see endless incentive for them to opt for limited-exclusive rights, and basically no incentive for them to pay out upfront for exclusive rights.

And this also touches on something I mentioned in the Facebook discussion… the way they’ve structured the rights is a bit off to me.

If they buy an article for exclusive rights, the writer gets the upfront pay, which so far seems to range from $25 to several hundred dollars. The writer loses all rights to the content.

If they buy an article for limited-exclusive rights, the writer gets a few cents to a few dollars in most instances, but still loses all rights to the content.

The only differentiation between the two rights is in how many sites AOL is allowed to use the article on. But from the writer’s point of view, there will in most cases be an enormous discrepancy in pay, but all rights are still forfeited.

And again, the main problem is that writers are not provided the opportunity to accept or reject an offer for revenue share.

Some writers also claim they’ve received their first credits (but not payouts) from the site.

The other difference between and other content sites? Many article assignments on require actual, original reporting.

Pulitzer-bait this stuff isn’t, to be sure, but original reporting tied to the same easy-in, do-as-much-or-as-little-as-you-want content management system? Not bad, really.

Would you consider writing for Seed? Or does it strike you as more of the same?