Launched in 2006, BlogCharm promised to pay bloggers for blogging at the site, another variation on the blog network theme. Bloggers were paid on a straight 50% rev share based on revenue made against their content from a mixture of CPM ads and Adsense units.
According to a BlogCharm member who contacted TechCrunch, they have been waiting months to be paid, and despite sending multiple emails have never received a response. A quick search of the BlogExplosion forums finds more members who have never been paid, with payments due since December 2006. There’s no shortage of people outside of the BlogExplosion forums who have bad things to say about BlogCharm as well; WebUpon reported in June 2007 that “Blogcharm does not pay,” and PaidOpps simply suggested that BlogCharm was a scam.
Ownership of the site isn’t immediately clear. BlogCharm has a powered by Blog Explosion badge on it, there are no contact details aside from an online form located on Blogexplosion and the registration details for the site are hidden by a private proxy service. Blog Explosion on the other hand is registered to West Hollywood based Live Universe and sits on the same server as BlogCharm so it would be reasonable to suggest that Live Universe may well be the owner of both sites. Having said that BlogCharm (along with Blog Explosion) has changed hands at least once, having sold in June 2006 for a reported “six figure” sum, then at least according to the BlogExplosion forums, someone called Chris was tasked with “fixing” BlogExplosion (and we’d presume the other related sites) in November this year. Whether Chris is a new owner or simply an employee given management of the site was not detailed, indeed there was no details other than a name and a promise to fix the mess.
Live Universe was founded by Brad Greenspan, best known as one of the founders of MySpace and in more recent years for his opposition to News Corps acquisition of MySpace. Live Universe runs sites including LiveVideo.com, a top 1000 site online (according to Alexa), BlinkYou.com, Lyrics Download and acquired Flurl.com in October 2006.
I can’t say for certain that the buck stops with Live Universe due to the shaky ownership history of BlogCharm and Blog Explosion; whether they purchased the site in June 2006 or have only just purchased it now, or even offloaded it (based on the Chris comments) is not clear, but at some stage or another (presuming the registration details are legitimate) Live Universe may have been involved with the site and bloggers weren’t paid. We’ve asked Live Universe for comment and if they respond we’ll happily update the post, but ultimately someone must take responsibility for BlogCharm. The site is still taking new members today; I found bloggers writing about joining the site on the promise of getting paid in the last few weeks. Given that the site has failed to pay its members in the past, at the very least new membership applications should cease until such time that the outstanding payments are made, or if they are not to be forthcoming the site shut completely and creditors paid from any sale.