Posts mean prizes. That’s how ViewsHound, a new soon to launch crowd-sourced news site from the team behind digital publishing platform Publisha, is pitching its wares. It hopes that volunteers will be enticed to contribute by the chance to win cash for the best articles, photos and cartoons posted to the site.
Once ViewsHound launches on the 2nd of May, a prize pot of $120 will be up for grabs every day, split into $50, $30 and $20 prizes for the best posts, along with $10 for the photo of the day. In addition, there’s a “pre-launch prize fund” of $1,000 for material contributed before the actual launch.
As for what type of content they’re looking for, ViewsHound says that the focus will be on opinion and comment pieces, with Editor-in-Chief Ian Howlett hopeful that “many journalistic careers can be launched and sustained” by the site.
That said, it all sounds a little gimmicky to me as the motivation to write for free is often more about reaching an audience and the creative process itself. “Everyone who contributes can link their articles back to their blog and benefit from Viewshound’s traffic”, notes Howlett, although the site doesn’t have any traffic yet, of course.
And should ViewsHound begin to generate traffic and with it revenue or, eventually, exit, those volunteer writers who haven’t won cash prizes might well come to resent the lack of monetary reward or stop contributing to the site. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that has happened.
Perhaps a better model would be simply to share revenue from the start, similar to Blottr.