A Selective History of Social Blogging Sites
The first social blogging site I joined was Bubblews. It lasted for almost three years. It was very popular and established writers from well-known sites like HubPages devoted less time to writing for them because they were making more on Bubblews. This left HubPages weaker, and many people, including me, found it hard to just jump back in at HubPages after Bubblews stopped paying.
Social blogging was easy, fun, and struck a chord for those of us who wanted to connect as people rather than just share information. Since the fall of Bubblews, people began looking for another social blogging site. Many went back to myLot, which had changed ownership and gone back to paying members. It is a simple forum, but its new format also makes it ideal for social blogging. This got friends connected again, but social bloggers wanted something a bit different.
Many of those looking discovered BlogJob. BlogJob seemed to combine the best features of Bubblews and myLot. I have reviewed the state of BlogJob in Transition here. Some people are still hanging on, but few are very active anymore. Once again the search is on for a new site. This week I’ve joined two new sites very similar to BlogJob.
UPDATE, July 15, 2017
Blogbourne will be closing when its hosting expires in October, 2017. Literacy Base has improved since I first posted this review. Keep that in mind when you read the rest of this post.
Literacy Base and BlogBourne — What They Have in Common
- They are both a lot like BlogJob. They offer free hosting for social bloggers and they provide groups and forums for member interaction outside the blogs. Unlike BlogJob, though, one cannot have an independent WordPress Blog on either site such as BlogJob members have.
- They are owned or administrated by people whose first language is not English. This means some of the site documentation has errors in standard English.
- They both offer some form of compensation to those active on the sites
- Both will pay members through PayPal. Literacy Base also pays through Payoneer.
- Both provide members with referral links to share their articles and to recruit new members.
- Both sites are currently experiencing growing pains and may go offline from time to time as they work out bugs. BlogBourne officially launched August 1, 2016.
How Literacy Base and BlogBourne Differ: Payment
- BlogBourne splits site earnings with members, keeping 50% for site expenses and dividing the rest to to determine the value of a coin. This system is similar to the one Persona Paper was using. Literacy Base pays specific cash amounts for specific tasks like commenting or writing posts. The value of a BlogBourne coin fluctuates and is posted every month.
- BlogBourne will be paying seven days after a person orders payment, but the payments won’t be issued the first time until two months after the site’s launch. BlogBourne payment amounts range from $5 to $100. Literacy Base pays on the tenth day of the month after a person has earned $10.
- BlogBourne currently offers the same amount of coins for any post. Literacy Base at its own discretion pays more for higher quality interactions and longer posts.
- Literacy Base currently has placed no limits on how much a member can earn in a day. BlogBourne has a limit of three posts per day and varying limits for other activities one can earn for.
How Literacy Base and BlogBourne Differ: Editors and Posting
- On Literacy Base your blog post has to be approved before it will post. That can take up to 24 hours. If more people become active, that might increase the approval time. Moderators also look over what you post on BlogBourne until a member is white-listed for immediate posting. Moderators let members know if changes need to be made and offer help before a post is approved for posting.
- On Literacy Base your post must be at least 300 words long. On BlogBourne, it has to be 400 words.
- Evidently on Literacy Base you can’t save drafts(even though it looks like you should be able to). It’s best to write your post in a word processor and paste it in before submitting. You can save your drafts in BlogBourne. You can edit and delete posts there, too, but if you delete a post you will lose any coins associated with it. I always advise writing in a word processor first anyway. It gives you a backup copy and protects you if the site goes offline while you are typing. A screen shot of the BlogBourne editor is below.
Notice that you can edit the HTML in the BlogBourne editor (see arrow) and that there are additional fields you can’t see below where the screen shot ends. Now compare with the Literacy Base Editor (below).
You can see that the BlogBourne editor has more options than that of Literacy Base and more closely resembles a WordPress interface. Neither editor has a drop-down menu for header text, but the BlogBourne editor allows you to change the font and text size.
Other Differences between Literacy Base and BlogBourne
- Navigation is easier on BlogBourne. I discuss this in more detail in Five Reasons Why I Joined BlogBourne.
- You may use an affiliate link in a BlogBourne post, but not in a Literacy Base post. Notice I said a link.
- Literacy Base only allows links to site sources that support the information in your post.
- It is easier for people to find your work on BlogBourne and your profile looks nicer.
- Literacy Base has a more cluttered design that distracts from reading the posts. Check My Uninvited Guest on Literacy Base and compare it to the link in the first point in this heading from BlogBourne
- BlogBourne has a very motivating Leaderboard for those of us who are competitive. It lists members by number of coins they’ve earned with highest earners at the top.
- Literacy Base has been around since some time in 2014. They opened their Facebook Page in November 2014. BlogBourne launched on August 1, 2016.
- Literacy Base has made improvements in their site. Blogbourne will be closing in October, 2017.
Will These Sites Survive? Should I Join?
I’m afraid only time will tell that. I don’t mind pioneering a bit. I was one of the first on Bubblews and although I didn’t expect it to last as long as it did, I made some good money there. I’m glad I decided to risk it.
I do like social blogging, but I believe BlogJob won’t last much longer. I haven’t left, but I am moving some posts to my own sites. BlogBourne and Literacy Base are the most similar sites to BlogJob that I’ve joined. I happen to prefer BlogBourne, but it doesn’t have as much history yet to evaluate how it will do. I believe BlogBourne has a more realistic business plan since it can adjust the value of its coins to fit the income the site produces. You will need to weigh the pros and cons for yourself. You may want to join both.
BlogBourne realized many of its members write English as a second language and that even some who write it as a first language sometimes need help. Administrators write many posts to help these members develop better writing skills so that their posts may be approved faster.
Recently Blogbourne started a buddy system where less proficient writers can work with accomplished writers to improve their work. As a result, the quality of posts on the site has improved and this should help the site survive.
If you enjoy social blogging and you have time for two more sites, join both and try them out. Join before you look around so that if you want to comment on a post, you will earn points or coins for it. If you don’t like the site, you don’t have to be very active. I joined Literacy Base because I had friends who posted there and I was going to comment anyway. I figured I might as well earn something for it. I joined BlogBourne for much the same reason, but when I got there, I really liked it.
I would suggest you join one or both sites, but don’t write any photo essays that would be hard to move later on. Read the terms of service for each site carefully before joining. They are called FAQ on Literacy Base.
I’ve been around the social blogging block a few times and gotten burned, just like many of you. My sixth sense tells me that I probably should invest more time into BlogBourne than Literacy Base. My common sense tells me I should really invest the most time into my own blogs.
If you think this post will help someone else who is trying to decide, please share it. The image below is just right for Pinterest.