USAVOICE - The Fun Continues

It's becoming very apparent that USAVOICE is nothing but linkbait on a large scale. It has been 15 days since "employees" of USAVOICE were supposed to be paid for their journalism efforts. This marks the second month in a row that no one has been paid according to the contract each employee signed.

As we have reported before, employees are paid based on the amount of click-through advertising the site receives. However, a new development in the on-going scam has suddenly surfaced, giving USAVOICE administrators yet another excuse for exploiting the people that provide their content and drive their traffic.

Deborah Smith has been a "special correspondent" and our inside source for the goings-on with USAVOICE for a couple of months now. When it looked like she wasn't going to get paid for the second time in a row, she resigned from her position as an editor and wrote an article here at the Morgue about it. The following is her follow up report she originally posted in the comment section of one of our articles:

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The following quote is from Ed-in-Chief Rick's response to another USAVoice reporter on Oct. 23 about why no one received pay for September on Oct. 10:
"The company did not generate any Advertising Revenue for the month of September 2006. Though stories were read, and ads were clicked, no one participated in the advertisements deals, offers, etc, therefore resulting in a no - revenue month."
My reporters and I never received an explanation directly from Rick, but the lack of response after Oct. 10 had led many to decide that they would finish up their articles and wait to start anything new. After Nov. 10 several Columbus reporters emailed official resignations to Rick but never received acknowledgement. Their Back Offices were eventually closed but their names, mailing addresses, email addresses and phone numbers remain in my Manage Reporters folder in my Back Office. As of Nov. 25 this office remains accessible even though I emailed an official resignation on Nov. 15. I am unable to delete the contact info although I was able to delete these reporters' stories, at their request.

One of my reporters just emailed me that she has been offered my position as editor but declined it. I do not know if anyone else on the team has been or will be approached, but since all are aware of the compensation concerns, I think any current team members contacted will be able to make a decision that best suits him or her. I noticed today that two new names have been added to the Hire Reporters folder in my Back Office. I emailed them that I had resigned because of lack of communication and pay but and that I would let the editor-in-chief know if they wanted to pursue a position as reporter. I also provided a link to the article I published here Nov. 15 "USAVoice Steals Dreams." In all, eight potential reporters' contact info appeared in my Back Office after concerns about pay surfaced, so USAVoice is pursuing new staffers while ignoring the requests for information from those they hired previously.
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So the business continues to lure people in to provide content to the website, while the admins continue to dangle the carrot of money in front of their journalists heads.

Stay with us here at Media Morgue as we continue to uncover more about this company.


For a list of the various articles written about USAVOICE here at the Morgue, click here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

11/26 Former editor Deborah Smith here with an update:

Received this info in a forwarded email from a USAVoice colleague that quotes Ed-in-Chief Rick as saying:
"...We have offices in Washington, D.C. and in Orlando, FL. We are soon opening a West Coast office as well, most likely by December 2006..."
Also:
"...We have communicated that in the month of September the company earned zero dollars in revenue. Therefore, no one was paid. Was I happy with that? No. Did I have control over it? No. Is there a way to improve our revenue? We continue to strive to communicate with the best advertisers...
October revenue was more positive, and we're still working on calculating pay."

Does that mean USAVoice financially is doing so well that they can open a third office AND pay for the October submissions (mindful that the scheduled pay day was Nov. 10)!? December holds great promise for USAVoice - apparently. I, for one, am not holding my breath. I think my wishful thinking will be limited to shaking the presents under the tree and trying to catch a glimpse of Santa.

Anonymous said...

Deborah here again. Forgot to add this comment from Rick in the above-quoted email:
"...As far as contact information, I feel it best to provide you our legal contact moving forward. Our Legal Counsel is Alex Finch, and he can be reached at ALEX.FINCH@usavoice.org."
I hope he has someone to help him answer the flood of emails he will be receiving.

Anonymous said...

Former editor says:
I am STILL waiting to hear from Rick about the numerous emails regarding management practices including pay that I have sent to him before and after my resignation Nov. 15. I can see that the USA Voice corporate staff has removed negative comments published on the USA Voice site by others and has sent letters demanding retractions for unflattering video comments, but I have not received a single letter, email or phone call regarding anything I have written about USA Voice. I stand by everything I have said: I was not paid for work completed since the end of August when I took the position of editor. My reporters have not been paid for articles completed in September and October. No one at USA Voice has explained to us why we were were not paid on Nov. 10 (today is Dec. 1). No one acknowledged the list of suggestions I sent that would improve the appearance and content of USA Voice by following basic journalistic practices regarding datelines, attribution and photo copyrights. Despite my request, Rick never acknowledged my resignation. Another member of my team was offered and declined my position. Contact information continues to be gathered for potential reporters, and editors and reporters were contacted about other USA Voice positions while employed by USA Voice.
USA Voice says it takes offense at the word scam. I take offense at not being treated more respectfully by an employer. What word - in your opinion - describes such practices? I will let you decide.

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