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Summary:

The pay-per-post online information site Helium has raised the ire of some of its authors after proposing a new payment system. The company wants existing writers to rate more articles by requiring that they provide feedback before getting paid, and also seeks to keep writers active […]

The pay-per-post online information site Helium has raised the ire of some of its authors after proposing a new payment system. The company wants existing writers to rate more articles by requiring that they provide feedback before getting paid, and also seeks to keep writers active by freezing their earnings if they are not active for a period of six months or more. If they’re inactive for 18 months or more, they lose their earnings altogether.

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By Stacey Higginbotham

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  1. The inactivity clause has always been a part of the user agreement, this is nothing new and has nothing to do with the proposal.

    The proposal was worded incorrectly in the email that was sent to members and as a result has caused an uproar because of a misunderstanding.

    The proposal, as it has been ironed out in the thread you linked to, is for Helium to take the money from the inactive and abandoned accounts (which is minimal amounts in these accounts) and redistributed them to active members.

    Activity on Helium has always been defined as writing, rating or inviting a writer. If a member does not come back to their account within a six month period (180 days) and do one of these activities, then their account goes into a suspended mode. During this time there account is still active on the site, but their earnings have been frozen. If they return at some point after the 180 days of inactivity, before an additional 365 days, their account will be unsuspended and they will begin earning again. However, the earnings they lost while their account was in suspension mode is not returned to them (per the user agreement that everyone signed when they signed up for the site.)

    If a member goes beyond the 365 additional days past the 180 days, equaling 18 months of inactivity, their account is considered abandoned and canceled. This is also in the user agreement.

    What the proposal to do is, with the money from suspended and abandoned accounts, to redistribute the money to active members as a sort of bonus for being active, rather than just absorbing the money into the Helium profit.

    The rating star part of the proposal is this: For active members to cash out it will require the $25 in your account plus one rating star. At the moment to cash out at Helium you must have a minimum of $25 in your account. They are simply proposing to add the requirement of a single rating star to cash out. This can be done in one day if need be or spread out a few rates every other day…or like 7 -10 a week done in one sitting. It shouldn’t take very long to get through a few rates, I can do about 50 an hour…having done hundreds in a day…I know it is not hard to earn a rating star…normally I have five.

    The problem is that people misunderstood the email that was sent to them by Helium. You do not need a rating start to earn ad sharing revenue, you only need it to cash out. And the two things (earning extra from abandoned accounts and the required rating star to cash out) are separate from each other. You do not need a rating star to be considered active, you just need to either write, rate, or invite a writer within a six month period to be considered active.

    Hopefully this misinformation about the proposal will stop being spread once everyone understandings that the email was just not clear on the idea.

    Jennifer
    Helium Member – Volunteer Relationship Channel Steward and New Member Guide.

  2. So they can lose their earnings. A terrible decision.

  3. I agree that it would be a public relations mistake for Helium to not pay out earnings over $25 if any reasonable way can be found to pay. However, if an inactive member can’t be located, or if their earnings are less than $25, Helium should keep the money and distribute it any way they see fit.

    I am also blogging about Helium (Marketplace in particular) at http://wordsforartormoney.wordpress.com/

  4. Helium is a scam.

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