Sunday, February 12, 2012

Is Xomba in a death spiral?

Just a couple years ago, I came across a website called Xomba. It was something like social bookmarking meets random web content with a revenue share pay structure. The site had a very crass spammy profile and look but it provided an easy place to bookmark and backlink web content that you had on other sites.

In the "old days," Xomba also had a hopping community with tons of commenting, voting and interaction. It was a really interesting site to network with other writers.

And best of all, Google ate it up. My old content on Xomba used to place consistently in the top few search results and I was momentarily blessed with organic searches to my content on that site.

Today, Xomba has a much cleaner look. It's not spammy, it's snazzy. The site has a really nice flow for generating content and is fairly easy to navigate.

Unfortunately, that's where the positive changes to Xomba end.
As a part of the redesign, Xomba changed its TOS and percent pay out dropping its revenue share to 60 percent. During the change, the site also purged a lot of content. All that remains of my old work on Xomba are two short bookmarks.

The changes to the site also affected its community in another more serious way. The once bustling network of writers on the site is no more. Xomba is empty. No comments. No active discussions. The featured writers and featured articles haven't changed in more than a week.

Therein may lie the positive side. With just a handful of writers actively posting to the site, my content for the fitness category remains unchallenged. Over the last 4 days I've been able to completely take over the recent articles list on the entry page for a category that should be competitive. Articles that I wrote several days ago are still on the site's list for all of the most recent articles.

This means that there's a greater chance that my work will be seen for those who stumble onto the site, and that's a good thing, but it also kind of scares me. Is Xomba in that much trouble? Has there been a mass exodus for something other than annoyance with the new TOS?

While I'm nervous about the stability of the site in the near term, I am continuing to post to the site on the off chance that it will make a comeback. If it does, I'll be in a good position with tons of booklinks and content pointing from that site to other content I have scattered around the web. At the same time, I'll be collecting a small part of my revenue share for ads displayed on the site.

What's the pay like on Xomba right now? I'll reserve judgement for the next couple of months, but if I were asked today, it's pitiful. Over the last week I've made exactly $0.01 with 73 reads on 16 articles. The site has generated zero direct referral traffic to my content on other sites that I'm tracking. Either that means I'm a crappy at generating a profit from web content or that Xomba has lost its juice.

To check out my work on Xomba, click here.