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Are You Helping Virily to Survive?

Many Sites Last Three Years or Less

Many of my friends here I first met on Bubblews, Tsu, or myLot. Of these, only myLot is still around. Have you ever wondered why? MyLot only rewards people for contributing value to the site, and they don’t tell you what they consider valuable enough to pay for except that you get paid there only when others interact with you. If you start an interesting discussion that makes people want to read and comment on it, you earn. You could write a thousand words, but would earn nothing if no one commented on it. There aren’t any rules about post length or comment length, but people earn for their efforts and the site is still earning enough to pay them.

Meanwhile, Bubblews and Tsu and numerous blogging sites are gone or no longer pay those who write on them. They all had numerous rules, but people found ways to get around them by gaming the system. The moderators couldn’t keep up with all the violations. We could still argue about the honesty of the Bubblews owner, but I think those who found ways to game the system also helped prevent the site from earning enough to keep paying people for participation. Tsu had a different payment scheme and had essentially a multi-level marketing plan where those who joined first earned from everything those who joined under them did. Those in the downlines got paid less for the same effort expended that those above them. I never thought it was fair, and I and many others stopped being active long before the site died.

What both sites had in common, though, were those who didn’t follow the rules. On Tsu, plagiarism was rampant. People stole photos illegally off the web and used them as their own to earn. They did not credit their sources and tried to earn from the work of others.

Plagiarism was also a big problem on Bubblews. So was spinning content.  People also violated rules with comments. They left generic comments with the added note to “Please read and comment on my posts.” I won’t go into the other ways people cheated, since I don’t  want to give those who want to game the system any ideas they may not have had yet.

Part of the reason the rule violators hurt a site is because they make it less attractive to advertisers. Sites can’t pay people unless they earn money, so they need enough interesting original content to bring people to the site from the outside. Google pays more for clicks from people in some countries than in others. So it seems members from the USA, the United Kingdom, and other prosperous countries bring in more revenue that those in less prosperous countries. When a site’s members are mostly from countries that don’t earn much from advertisers, the site needs original content of high quality to bring people from outside the site in. Virily has to get more views from non-members who will see the ads.

Virily Needs to Make Money in Order to Pay its Members

One of our members (tasartcraft) generated quite a discussion of why it’s OK sometimes to not follow the intent of the Virily’s guidelines. The guidelines are in place to make this site  attractive to advertisers. I disagree with some of @tasartcraft‘s opinions.   I believe the way to show genuine appreciation for content someone has written is to actually read it and then, if you have something to say, to upvote and/or make an original comment of twenty characters, most of which should be actual words — not filler punctuation. That’s what the guidelines attempt to promote.

I personally think it would be better for the site’s  earnings not to pay anyone for making a comment. That might mean that people really will be expressing appreciation with their comments or actually saying something they care about instead of commenting just to earn more. If a member has nothing to say, why not just upvote the post or photo and not comment? That shows appreciation and stays within the guidelines. Or, if we no longer got paid for making comments, the length shouldn’t matter. I know it’s hard to make an original comment when all you want to do is let someone know their photo is lovely.

It’s the intent of site owners to have people actually read content — not just open it. Yet I see that when I open a post, I immediately get a notification that I got a Viril for  reading it. Google wants people to at least have a page open for a few seconds — long enough to read at least a paragraph.

For this site to make money, a few things have to happen. Members can’t  control all of them. The site has to work properly and members need to see information on what each kind of post requires and how to properly use each post format. Only site owners can provide this.  They can also change what they give Virils for so that members won’t get Virils for actions that don’t actually help the site.

People who violate the guidelines or their intent don’t earn the most money for the site but they earn the most money from the site. Those who post quality content consistently, post their own/or attributed photos they have permission to use, and make original comments, help the site earn money. But this takes time and they may earn less than those who do as little as they can to get paid. This may discourage those who contribute most to the site’s ability to make money, since they see others make much more money by doing the very minimum necessary to get paid. Some follow their example, and some leave Virily and spend their time at sites that are more established or they work on their own blogs. I know many who posted quality content who don’t still post, but only come to comment.

Killing the Goose that Laid Golden Eggs

Aesop tells the story of a goose who laid a golden egg for its owners each day.  The owners got very rich, but then they got greedy. They wanted to get richer faster. They killed the goose to get all the eggs inside at once. But after they killed the goose, there were no golden eggs inside. The goose was gone and they had nothing.

Virily doesn’t exactly lay us a golden egg each day, and no one will ever get rich here. But some people earn enough to keep them writing here. Some people earn enough to actually reach a payout. I think most of them follow the spirit of the guidelines, not just the letter. Most don’t take shortcuts or game the system, even though they are just as busy as those who justify being busy as an excuse for taking shortcuts.

I sincerely hope hope Virily stays around for a long time, but I expect if it continues to reward those who find ways to get around the guidelines and make excuses for it, Virily will disappear like Tsu and Bubblews and many other sites did. The moral of Aesop’s story about the goose is “Too much greed results in nothing.” It’s not wrong to want to earn, but how you do it may determine how long the site will survive.

You may be unintentionally doing things that hurt the site. If you take shortcuts, only you know your motivation. I’m cautioning people, not accusing anyone. Let’s keep the site healthy.

Are you feeding the goose and waiting for the eggs over time? Or are you helping to kill it with your efforts to get around the guidelines to earn more quickly? Which will gain you most over the long haul?


What do you think?

16 Points


  1. I’m sorry you took offense where I meant none. I simply wanted to credit you for motivating me to write this. I’m going to respond to all your comments in this reply. I have no inside track to the minds of the creators. I guess you must know them and their intentions much better than I do. I have never met or had any private communication with them. Evidently you have, since you seem to know so much about what they intended.

    I don’t make any rules. You know that. What I think no one has to agree with or conform to. I have simply expressed an opinion different than yours based on what happened to other sites that had the same kind of policies and rewards as this one.

    My guess as to some of the reasons the owners have things as they are and haven’t changed them is that there were unintended consequences to their policies or some glitches in their software that need to be fixed. It takes time to change things and figure out how to make things work as you intended.

    I don’t remember saying any of the articles here are plagiarized. I said some members were coping the comments of others on the same post.

    We disagree on some things. Time alone will tell who is right. I hope you are.

    • Again. We are both just expressing our opinions and neither of us can be sure we are right. We have taken the same data, the same facts, mixed it, perhaps, with a history of writing on other sites and watching them come and go or have to close down for financial reasons; we have come to different conclusions. As I said, I hope yours are right. I’d rather be wrong.

      Perhaps I should not have mentioned you. I thought perhaps that mention might get more traffic to your post and it was only fair for me to say that my post was a response to yours. Remember what you yourself said in a comment above: “ALL ARTICLES are -PREAPPROVED- and CHECKED before publishing…” The administrators read my post before it was published, just as they read yours. They haven’t said either of us was wrong. They probably see our discussions as generating more comments for both of us and a healthy debate.

      What I wrote was not an attack on you. It was a disagreement about something neither of us knows for sure — the intent of the site guidelines– the spirit behind them. I wanted people to see your post in order to understand what I was responding to. Let the readers judge the merits of what each of us said.

      I’m sure both us want this site to succeed and neither of us would intentionally do anything to make it unsuccessful. We just have different opinions of what adds value to the site. I believe the intent of the administrators was to encourage members to interact with posts. I believe they wanted to discourage comments of one to three words by setting a minimum number of characters. So they programmed the software not to accept comments with less characters.

      I believe they intended those characters to be all words with only one character of end punctuation. You think adding extra punctuation to get enough characters is fine because the software lets you do it. I believe it accepts those comments because a human isn’t reading them who can tell the difference and that the site doesn’t have enough money to develop software that can tell the difference or hire humans to read all the comments.

      You apparently believe that if the software lets you do something, the site owners intended that it should be done. I believe differently so I use all words in my comments, although I may have made an exception on one of your posts, since you believe it’s fine.

      I agree that coming up with enough words on individual photos is sometimes really tough. If I can’t come up with them, I just upvote the photo rather than adding extra punctuation to a comment that I don’t believe adds any value just because I can. I’m sure you believe the post author is happy with any comment because virils will be given for any comment accepted. I would also get virils for making such a comment. I’m more concerned with what I believe helps the site be successful. If the site is not successful, none of our virils will be worth anything.

      I have never implied that you have plagiarized any content. I only said that some have copied all or part of someone else’s comment on the same post. I never said you did that. For the record I will state I’ve never seen you do that.

  2. I write comments on posts which I find interesting. As you said in your post, we can upvote if we don’t have something constructive to say. But, it is hard to keep the site working nowadays. I have been on many sites (just like you Barbara, and that is how we actually met), and most of these sites are gone. Why? Because, there are always people who want to bypass the system in order to earn a lot of money in short period of time. We all love to earn money, but let us do that in a fair way.

  3. As the others have said, great article and you explained it so well. I agree with you on all points. I enjoy the interaction of reading and commenting on subjects I like or am interested in. I almost always use my own photos, if not I will list the source. Thanks for this pose Barbara.

  4. I completely agree what you said about comments. That is why I write comments very rarely, only if the topic is interesting to me and I have what to say, not just a few the same words all the time: how it’s beautiful, how it’s great, how it’s nice… In my opinion, comments should not be added for the purpose to earn few points more. Better we should focus on quality content and bring members from outside the site, it will have bigger value for the site itself and for members.

  5. Hmm… I really wish Virily to go a long way…
    Too many sites stop paying while some turn scam …

    Barbara, thanks for these great info! Now we all know what we must do to help Virily!!

  6. I agree! Great article and very well-written, Barbara! If I get busy, as I have these past couple of months, I leave and come back. I don’t log on daily to steal from the site. I have been a freelancer for many years now. When my online income is slow coming, I pick up the slack by cleaning for local homeowners. It pays the bills! The one problem that I do have with Virily is that it is constantly sluggish and can take all day just to go through notifications, because the site does not load properly. I wish they would iron these things out for us so that we can work along without all the frustrations. Many Blessings to you and all, Barbara <3

    • I agree. I’d do more here if I didn’t have to wait days for articles to be approved and if comment boxes didn’t load so slowly.

      It sounds like you are a responsible Virily member who contributes quality to the site and doesn’t take advantage “shortcuts” to earn Virils. Blessings on you.

      • Absolutely! I had to leave for a while to take care of everything else in my world. My cleaning business took off in a huge way with the dawning of the new tourist season here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. We’re a ghost town all winter, but summertime brings the mob lol

        I thought, being as I was gone for two months, some things would have been fixed by now; but I’m finding that that was only wishful thinking… I still can’t respond to comments on my photos AND, now, I can’t even comment on anyone else’s photos!

        It’s great to see you again, Barbara! Many Blessings to you and yours! <3

  7. I completely agree! The value of a site like this is keeping a site like this around. When Niume crumbled and fell it was painful (first they stopped paying, then because of an accident they closed the site forever).

    The value of sites like this and others is the value of the community. I have met (online) people that I enjoy reading their stuff, and comment and share with them because they are interesting people!

    • I agree. I loved Niume because of the flexibility of its interface and the opportunity to meet new people and interact with old friends met on other sites informally. Although Virily’s editing interface is more complicated and the site is often slow, it’s as close to Niume as we can get right now and many of the same people are here. So the sharing and interaction continue, and I’d hate to see that disappear.

  8. This was a great article, clearly explaining what we should be about. I hope it generates meaningful discussion and real work to help this site become vibrant. Thanks Barbara.

  9. Very interesting and valid points, Barbara!
    The only similar site I have been on was Niume and I never thought that you can really make money from sites like these. I’m personally here because I like sharing, learning and meeting new people. The rules are quite loose and we don’t have to be professional writers, artists or even native English speakers, so maybe some of us are not providing the best content possible, but this is up to the admins to decide. I understand that this might be frustrating for people who are professionals, but I am sure that they’ll be able to find a better opportunity somewhere else. Unfortunately, whatever the rules are, some people will always find a shortcut. I hope that the site will stay around because I am having a good time here.

    • I loved Niume and was sorry to see it go under. I like sites where I can do a photo essay on any topic without the kinds of rules the “real” writing sites like HubPages have. I come here to relax and share with friends and make new ones. I do also like the opportunity to earn a few pennies as I do it. But when sites can’t make money they go under, and they have guidelines for content and rules for how they pay in order to help them pay for what makes money. Since we enjoy being here, we should do all we can to help the site as well as ourselves, because if the site fails, we will no longer make any money here.

  10. Very in-depth analysis of other closed sites. I liked the characteristic for the virily. Let’s hope your post will be reviewed and read by many participants. And so support each other and keep the site. Let me give the Golden hen as an example. I know better to take the honey with the small spoon, not the ladle.