When I first heard about MyLot, I had to wonder about a message board that paid people to post intelligent discussions. I wondered exactly how they determined what was intelligent. Did some staff member briefly skim through all of your posts and decide? I wondered about how much they would pay and how this was determined. Would this even work out to minimum wage? And why would intelligent people want to “work” for less than minimum wage? I wondered if this message board would be like one of the few excellent boards I am a member of, or like one of the many message boards with several meaningless posts in chatspeak. I set out to find out.
I joined MyLot directly, no referral links for me. Although, apparently people can make good money from getting others to join and post. When I joined about a month ago, I had no idea what to expect. I signed up and checked out the rules. Before trying to come up with an intelligent discussion myself, I decided I would look around. I was shocked by all of the chatspeak I was seeing. I hate chatspeak and cannot easily read it. I type very quickly and would rather just type out the words than wasting time thing about how to shorten them. The abundance of chatspeak lead me to believe the place was overrun by teenagers. Before trying to decipher one of these discussions in order to post a reply, I decided to see how MyLot pays people. They pay through PayPal or some weird place known as iKobo (which as MyLot rumor has it, they’re dumping). But that wasn’t the thing I wanted to know. I wanted to know how they decided what you’d make. Their site did not mention that kind of information anywhere. So I was left to guess and to start posting.
So my posting journey began. I figured if I was going to learn about MyLot, I was going to have to reply to a few discussions and start a few discussions of my own as well. I was immediately extremely annoyed by all of the stupid discussions. How many times do people need to know your favorite color? How exactly is a discussion about whether you wear jeans or cotton pants an intelligent discussion? And what about those discussions that had such bad grammar that there was no hope of even remotely understanding them? I spent about 2 hours that first night searching for good discussions. I didn’t really find any, but I did reply to quite a few posts anyway as long as they required more than just a one word answer. The next morning, I checked my earnings and had made a whopping 13 cents! Whoohoo! Oh yeah, 6.5 cents an hour is my kind of idea of a good paying place.
After awhile, MyLot announced that the earnings algorithm was changed. Supposedly, higher quality posts and discussions would now receive more money. One word answers were not good enough. Speaking in chatspeak was not as good as using correct spelling. But still, no actual word about how the earnings are calculated was given. However, I did notice an immediate decline in the use of chatspeak. I also noticed that a lot of members left once they received their lowered earnings. Apparently, a lot of chatters were just making money off short responses and stupid questions.
I found a few really excellent discussions and also received a couple great responses to my discussions. However, I thought that the unpaid members of some boards are often far better at engaging in intelligent discussion. Paying members for using your message board did not seem to be working well. Instead of attracting people who would have intelligent questions and intelligent responses, the idea of a paying message board seemed to attract many teens using chatspeak instead. A lot of people where there just for the money and planned to make much more than they realistically should have expected. Some members actually called the place a “word at home opportunity.” To me, making a few cents per hour does not even qualify as being a job. I post on good message boards for free, but you cannot buy my discussions if the rest of the message board is not going to be a good board.
Even though I discovered I was not going to make much money out of this message board, I stayed for the few intelligent discussions there. I also stayed to see if they really would pay. After a couple hundred posts, I did manage to reach the $10 payout. And I can say that at least they do actually pay. However, I still stick to my old message boards for important questions that I really need intelligent answers to. I don’t believe that high quality message board members can be bought. Paying people to have intelligent discussions apparently doesn’t work.