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In what is the upset of the year, Examiner.com has just cut the pay for slide show views. The result is going to cost writers hundreds if not thousands of dollars collectively on work that was previously contracted and is already published. Examiner's announcement that it will drastically reduce the flat rate pay per photo view, has caused a gut level reaction. This pay cut has caused a backlash from writers on the site. Some vowed to stop leave the site and others have vowed to simply stop publishing the time slide shows altogether.Some writers are regrouping and formulating a plan for their writing efforts. Much of the anger seems to be focused on the elimination of the local incentive previously given writers. The announcement gave writers only a few days notice with an effective date of May 19th for pay changes.
Examiner over the past few months had just ramped up the popular slide show feature by asking authors to add photos. There was an increase in publishing slide shows and Examiner promoted them on the websites feature pages. Several special requests were sent out to produce photo slide shows on popular topics. In fact just three days ago on Wednesday - Examiner asked writers to include a slide show with articles on celebrity IQ. Even now the photo slide shows are featured at the top right of articles - encouraging people to click away to the slide show.
Of course the new changes are for the flat rate and authors will earn a small stipend for creating up to 7 slide shows. This stipend replaces the old Examiner local pay incentive. An observation that those cheating the system (see earlier post) have profited unfairly from the previous pay rates. Examiner has not yet mentioned cleanup of cheaters as a motive for reducing pay. In fact the site states the photos do not bring in enough revenue to compensate at the rate previously dispersed, despite the overwhelming amount of ads on articles and slide show photos.
Authors are furious and many feel betrayed by these new changes. We predict the flare up will be short term as people struggle to continue competing in this highly competitive field. Of course this action could lead to authors joining in on the Pay the Writer! campaign - recently spearheaded by the National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981 to promote fair pay for all freelance online writers.