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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Is AOL's Everything Its Cracked Up To Be?

Question: AOL is tauting it's "new" journalism platform Seed as if it's the second coming or something. Are they really hiring 3000+ freelance writers and journalists? Is it everything its cracked up to be?

Answer Marc Charles:

The best way to find out if AOL's Seed is legitimate is to sign up and try it out. 

In my opinion its' mostly an easy way for them to get cheap content.

Yes......I signed up for the program to see if it works. My first impression is not great.

First of all you have to sign up with your real pen names or pseudonyms. That's a joke. I've been writing under a pseudonym for more than 22 years.

But that's a minor point.

The major problem is when you submit an article for "approval" it takes forever. Then, when the article is "rejected" they do not offer any suggestions, comments, insight....nothing.

The so-called Seed customer service told me "Yeah, that's a problem. But we can't provide any feedback at this time -- Seed Customer Service".

Come on. 

AOL is supposed to be remaking the world as we know it. Tim Armstrong, the CEO, is tech savvy and a former Google senior manager. So they should "get it". 

But instead it's the same old corporate mumbo jumbo.

Seed may be the greatest platform since the "blog".

But in my opinion there are much better and lucrative ways to make extra money as a freelance writer. One way is by going direct to publishers who need relevant content. 

Well....I'll clarify.....publishers with a track record of paying writers on time.

That's it.

Seed is worth a try but in my book its a joke. Thousands of writers providing millions of pages of content for pennies on the dollar....that is the REAL AOL/Seed business model.

If you've had a different experience I would love to hear about it.


Marc Charles

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