After the now infamous New Year's post posted by the CEO, Arvind Dixit, which told members that redemptions before a certain date would be erased, and any pending payments after that date would have a new pay structure applied retroactively, thereby dramatically slashing payments due, it became clear that the pay structure Bubblews was using was flawed.
Bubblews never had the ability to pay its members one penny per like, one penny per view, and one penny per comment from day one.
Instead of changing their pay structure, the owners of the site, I think, simply made active decisions about who would get paid. The fact was that the owners of the site were getting some media attention, and their site was booming with new signups every day. It is my opinion that the owners of the site believed that the money would eventually work itself out.
In some ways what Bubblews was doing was closely related to a Ponzi scheme. The difference was that they were not relying on new members to supply money, per se, but content.
So who got paid? Members who provided richer content, and who were relatively active on the site,
|Arvind Dixit, CEO of Bubblews|
What happened to the money?
Just like in a Ponzi scheme where new money pays old investors, the money that was not paid to less contributive members was funneled into the accounts of those who provided richer content and who were more active. Again, to keep them writing and keep them onboard.
I was one of those members, having been paid every single redemption I ever made, aside from the final payment which had been slashed due to the retroactive pay structure being applied to it. In fact, if you go back and review many of the posts by members during times when there were severe complaints about payments you begin to notice a trend.
Those who were saying they were missing payments had less rich content. Those who wrote posts saying they could not understand the complaints, and who said they were being paid, and defended the site were typically those who had richer content.
It helps to confirm for me what was going on. It helps to make it clear that the owners of the site were actively deciding who got paid and who did not based on what they felt was "best for the site," and I think overall, "best for their bottom line."
What is sums up for me is that Bubblews was never truly able to manage itself, and was a scam from day one. Only it wasn't apparent to everyone since probably half the members were getting paid. To me there really is no other explanation as to why there was so much inconsistency in how redemptions worked for some, and not for others.
The smart members, the ones who were the rich content providers, mostly left the site after the New Year's post. And the site is now basically a shell without a body. Can Bubblews recover? I have a hard time believing that it will since the Internet is such an easy place for people to talk about their experiences there, and share their opinions about the site, which when it comes to the smart members, is all bad press. The bad press always outweighed the good press, and these days the bad press has grown to a point that it buries any good press there could have been. Bubblews is dead.