2013, Baskets of Eggs, and Yahoo

So 2013 is right around the corner, and I'm going to be making huge changes. This year, I did a lot with Yahoo Contributor Network, but I'm not sure they are going to play a significant role in my income stream in the coming year. I have more eggs in my basket now that are potentially more lucrative and have steadier work. I'm not so in love with any one company that if something better comes along, I'd screw myself over just to be loyal. So it is with Yahoo.

I'm debating whether to even write my last two Featured Contributor articles for Yahoo Contributor Network. For those of you who aren't familiar, they discontinued that program very suddenly last month, but let it stay through the end of December. I used to write those articles every month so I wouldn't be kicked out of the FC program, even if I didn't have time to do them. This month, I just don't want to. I've made less then $15 on page views so far in December, because honestly, I wanted to see what would happen if I DIDN'T write for a month. I've only done two articles this month and only had one small feature, which made me much less than a feature usually does. 

I'm very discouraged right now about what's going on there, and the lack of transparency about whether the beats are going to still be there or not. I went through this with Mahalo, BrightHub, Suite101 and Demand Studios. We didn't know what was going on until one day they finally admitted they weren't going to need us anymore. I am getting the same vibe now.

Seriously, I don't know what my future with Yahoo will be. I am not feeling optimistic. I'm tired of companies trying to put a positive spin on things to keep you hanging on, then just dump you like a load of cow dung when it's over. I thought with Yahoo, that would never happen, but then they got a new CEO.

I don't know her, but I know she is from Google, and that is the LEAST transparent company in the world. I still use their products, because they're free and they rock, but I am wary of them ever since they screwed me out of my very first ever $100 Adsense payment by declaring me a "threat to their community" and stopping payment on my check, which cost me money I never recouped. I did get the $100 repaid, but only after harassing them night and day for 3 months and writing a blog post every day stating that they still hadn't given me my money. I got my account back, supposedly, but never could sign in.

So this new leader Yahoo has cut her business teeth in that environment, where if you aren't #1, you're a loser, and the company can do anything they want to anyone with no regard to the damage they are doing. An environment where they can take away part of your livelihood with accusations of the most heinous things with no proof and to which you have no recourse. A company that has no contact links, but sites that lead you around in circles trying to get to a place to make a complaint -- which never gets answered. A company with a facility on the grounds of the NSA and whose owners park their personal jets at a NASA facility. In my experience, the child of this type of parent doesn't usually stray too far from their teachings. So I'm not very trusting of her.

After being screwed over by so many companies after Panda, I have learned to recognize the most subtle of signs that things are not going well. They take things away from you slowly. First, it was dropping payment on beats from $10 to $8 on some topics. Then it was no guaranteed payments, but editors deciding what your beat article was worth (the least I've been offered is $5, which I turned down). Now it's no more FC program and all they will say about beats is that they are reviewed at the end of the year.

I'm not one of those people who writes all day long for AC. I don't have time. I have to make a living, and I have to know how much I'm going to make. I don't have a second source of income to fall back on that allows mine to fluctuate with the whims of the internet. I'm not criticizing those more fortunate who can write if and when they please, I'm just saying that's not me. So I'm rethinking a lot of things in my work life, and I don't yet know where Yahoo will fit in...if at all. While YCN is alive and kicking, I'll always knock out a couple of articles a month, just for fun, but as for being a top contributor and cheerleader, I don't think so. I'm not seeing a lot to cheer about anymore.