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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2014, 04:21 PM
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Default Warning signs at Textbroker

For those writing for Textbroker, there are some warning signs popping up.

Quote:
2014 Ratings Cleanse
Hello Authors,

We have heard your feedback about the length of time in between ratings, and in an effort to expedite future ratings, our Quality Assurance team took the difficult step of rating all articles accepted before December 1 neutrally. We realize you may have been waiting for a long period of time for new ratings, but this action will ensure we are looking at only your most recent work while simultaneously lowering the number of articles to rate in our system, meaning that we will be able to rate future work much more quickly.

For those of you who have improved your writing since your last review, we will be able to see this much sooner and promote you in the very near future! In the event you received all neutral ratings and have not written for us since December 1, and you believe your most recent writing is deserving of a rating adjustment, we are happy to take a special look at your work. You either can complete five new articles and then send us an email that you want a special review, or let us know if you want us to go back to review your five most recent articles before December 1.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year, and we thank you for sharing your talents at Textbroker!

Best Regards,

Your Textbroker Service Team.
This is not a good sign. usually, when I worked in corporate America, this sort of thign indicates major, structural issues higher up.

To be blunt, rating the articles is not a favor. It's part of their damned job. It's vital for the writers and clients. And just fluffing this off after several months of very inconsistent ratings makes it plain that they have some big problems, QA and reliability wise with their editorial staff.

And that will, if not rectified and rectified fast have an impact on TB's ability to provide its clients with the services they want. All of the freelancers who work for TB should keep an eye out on this, especially if this is followed by a failure to increase the speed of the rating process.

So make damned certain y'all have other revenue streams.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2014, 04:56 PM
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Hmm. That's not really what I got from it. My assumption was that they have gotten behind for one reason or another (lack of eds, the holidays, whatever) and want a clean slate.

Some people are always complaining. Some talk about how they don't want to be rated for articles that they wrote months ago, so what is the problem?

I don't think the sky is falling just yet.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:07 PM
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There has been a noticeable difference in TB in certain ways since Christina Zila left. The sudden acceptance of the singular "they" comes to mind... but I just don't see this as a particularly bad move. People have been complaining for months about the slow ratings; this just seems like a way to clear out the backlog and give the eds a fresh start.

Something happened at TB some time ago. There have been signs here and there...could be just that someone else is still settling into Christina's old job.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:25 PM
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I hope you're right. But the problem is, at least in my experience, this indicates a certain amount of flailing. The last time I worked in a business that had a similar amount of flailing it ended with a Friday "we thank you for your employment, please clear out all personal items by Monday" note.

The big test will be if we see more prompt reviews after this. If this happens and people are *still* waiting for reviews for two and three months, then it indicates serious structural issues.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:50 PM
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The eds are $11 an hour employees at the very bottom of TB's food chain. This isn't much of thing, in my opinion.

What's interesting, though, is that they've obviously screwed up some people's pay...that's more of a sign of instability than the ratings deal.

Apparently, they overpaid some writers and will be taking the overpayment out of this week's earnings.

Last edited by Miss Aurora; 01-03-2014 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:52 PM
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Wow. Didn't see that. Ype, that's not just a sign of instability that's something that can get you into some pretty serious legal issues if it isn't fixed.

Be honest, I'm not overly happy about this-- TB was my first gig, and until about 2 months ago I'd have recommended them to anyone else. Now, not so much. I guess it's just another warning that the freelance business means you've gotta be as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:43 PM
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I don't think that TB is going to crash and burn anytime soon, but it certainly has changed.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:03 AM
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I doubt it will crash and burn-- the great content mill extinction event was triggered by Google's updates and to be honest, TB really isn't vulnerable to that.

What I DO wonder is if they underestimated some of their operating costs, given that TB is one of the more inexpensive groups out there. I've worked more than a few small businesses and while they're not the same, it's often easy to find that you've put yourself in a temporary or long-term bind if you underestimate the cost of services vs. what you charge for them.

Alternately, you're right-- it could just be that they're seeing some major turn over and adjustments. I have to admit, I'm not as bothered by it as I would have been two years ago, but it will be interesting to see if these changes even out, or if things continue to shift around, which could indicate major structural problems.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:00 PM
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I think it's interesting that TB listens to writers on that one complaint and not any of the other major complaints. My big complaint right now is why managed clients don't follow the same three day auto accept feature that other clients do. I'm on several managed teams, and all of those teams typically accept work within a week or less, and it's usually around three days or less. I have close to $1,000 worth of work just sitting with one specific team. I did three articles when I first joined the team to make sure I did things right, and those were approved within a few days. The rest of the articles now date back to before Christmas. I understand that managed clients maybe have more things they want, but it still shouldn't take that long to approve an article or send it back to a writer.

As for everything else, it seems like people almost want them to fail. Every few weeks, someone pops up with some new complaint that seems to signal the end of Textbroker. There aren't enough articles, they hire too many writers, there are too many team orders and not enough clients, etc. I haven't had any problem finding articles on there, and my team work is usually pretty steady. I don't really see the site disappearing anytime soon.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2014, 01:42 PM
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I have to admit that it's annoying when TB says in its newsletter that it's "always actively seeking new writers" and there are six articles on the board.

They opened up a couple of new offices overseas recently, so the company is probably doing pretty well overall.

Personally, I'm steering clear of most managed teams until and unless they streamline the payment process; the way it is now just doesn't work with my income-generating system. They work great for some people, though, but I got burned by one a few months back and don't want to take that chance again.

Last edited by Miss Aurora; 01-05-2014 at 01:53 PM.
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