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Does On Topic Media have no shame?

May 12, 2011

Does On Topic Media have no shame?

Here is an example of On Topic Media’s latest job advertisement as advertised on Seek.com.au:

Ref: http://www.seek.com.au/Job/review-fun-leisure-activities-for-weekendnotes-com/in/sydney/19731662

Review Fun Leisure Activites for WeekendNotes.com – On Topic Media PTY LTD

Review Fun Leisure Activites for WeekendNotes.com

WeekendNotes is an email newsletter which gives readers ideas for fun and interesting things to do in their city.

Click Here to view the WeekendNotes Sydney website.

We are looking for entertaining writers to review fun things to do in Sydney.

For examples of the kind of articles we are looking for see the WeekendNotes Sydney Archive and the WeekendNotes Melbourne Archive.

Writers are paid $3.30 to $30 upfront per review which should take around from 10 to 90 minutes to write.

Productive and popular writers should earn around $20 per hour in upfront payments.

For more more information read the WeekendNotes Writer FAQ.

To apply follow the instructions on the FAQ, or send an example WeekendNotes article to apps@weekendnotes.com. Do not click on the Seek “apply” button.

Application articles should be between 150 and 400 words long.

Articles should be both entertaining and informative, and written in a relaxed informal style. Choosing an interesting idea for something to do is just as important as good writing.

We are looking for things which can be done on any weekend in Sydney such as a good picnic spot or restaurant review, as well as upcoming events.

———————


After using a similar tactic some years ago for their Orble.com blog site On Topic Media hire very few people at all. Writers were lured with an ad placed in seek.com.au offering cash for submitted articles. There were the usual promises of an easy job that should take only half an hour a day and the possibility of being a paid writer. Yet how many people were actually paid?

The site grew from a few hundred writers to a few thousand where the only payment going to any of the writers was via Google Adword accounts that the writers had to set up themselves.

You do not have to be a genius to work out that very few people made more than a dollar a day. In short if money and a fair wage was your motivation to work for On Topic Media then you were duped.

Why is On Topic Media still using this lure for the naive and unsuspecting? How many people will donate their time to a time wasting venture that basically does not even pay for the internet connect needed to upload to their site.

Worse still writers find that there is little honour in the writing fraternity and no protection from stalkers and cyber bullying that was routine practice on Orble.com. A situation that was so toxic that one writer was temporarily banned for complaining about his wife’s photo being subjected to racial slur. The cup of ethics does not flow over from the owners of On Topic Media.

Now we have this ad slipped into website of Seek.com.au posing as a legitimate role for some aspiring writer. With the track record of Orble.com to look back on, one can only image what horror will spring forth from this latest recruitment drive. If you can call it that.

Update:

It seems that Ontopic Media have no shame at all:

here is their latest ad on the Seek New Zealand website

http://www.seek.co.nz/Job/review-fun-leisure-activities-for-weekendnotes-com/in/perth-perth/22073198#

Persistent little blighters.

Update 2:

Here is another viewpoint of Ontopic Media and its CEO:

http://indolentdandy.net/fitzroyalty/2009/06/12/three-thousand-and-other-social-media-parasites/

 

 

20 Comments leave one →
  1. similimodo permalink
    May 13, 2011 5:37 am

    “Productive and popular writers should earn around $20 per hour in upfront payments.”

    They should, but don’t. And won’t.

    The ad should read: Would you like to earn $2.20/hr for writing? That’s how much On Topic Media pays if we publish 90 minutes of your work. For those of you who don’t get published, try On Topic Media’s Orble blogsite, and write for free.

    Orble’s also an On Topic Media scam. I set it up using the same type of ads and conned a lot of people into joining thinking they were going to get paid to write.

    I had to stop the ‘be paid for writing’ Orble ads because a few people on the site were on to me, and I don’t want to go to jail for fraud.

    JD.

    Like

  2. January 9, 2012 9:26 pm

    I have no idea about this other OnTopic media site, but I’ve been able to earn more than $20 an hour from WeekendNotes so far. Please don’t judge before you try it:) It’s actually kept me afloat during difficult uni periods.

    Like

    • March 24, 2012 11:34 am

      Belated reply.
      Thanks for comments Miss*Maz Serena R.

      “Please don’t judge before you try”

      It is because I do have a deep experience with Ontopic Media and its CEO that I am in excellent possition to judge.
      $20 per hour does not sound like the award wage for a writer. I could be wrong.

      Like

  3. January 11, 2013 2:55 pm

    Hate to break it to you, but $20/hr is well above award.
    I also write for http://www.weekendnotes.com and have found those who run it to be respectful and helpful (as well as paying what they say they will).

    It’s certainly not something to do if you want to get rich quick, but it pays more than maccas, for doing something that I truly enjoy.

    Like

    • January 11, 2013 8:01 pm

      Rachael,
      I wish you ever luck with your future.

      Quote:
      City: Melbourne
      “I’m a uni student, and love to write. Check out my blog at: http://www.chroniclesofeverything.com
      I’m happy to mentor you if you want to start writing for weekend notes yourself. Please follow the link below: http://live.weekendnotes.com/apply/226288

      Addendum:
      From the Ontopic Media website:
      “The average payment is around $8 per article, per year. However it’s common to make upwards of $40 for a popular article.”

      $8.00 a per article, per year. When do I quit Maccas?

      Like

  4. September 16, 2013 12:46 pm

    Hi MyApologetics.
    I randomly found your blog again and saw that you had replied to me:)
    Yes, that excerpt is from my profile. I’m not sure if you had a point with it? I am a student, I do like writing, and I do have a blog. I’m also happy to help people if they want to start writing with weekend notes.

    If you’re over 21 at macca’s you get paid $14.83/per hour (or you did a year or so ago). If you’re younger, you can be paid as little as $7 an hour when you’re starting out. Payments for weekend notes are regardless of age.

    I can write an article for weekend notes in less than half an hour, so as far as I can see, it’s better paid. Personally, I average more than $8/article. It’s determined by the number of readers you get. I’ve not been writing for a year yet and have already gotten more. Probably my best earning single article has earnt $39 (in 8 months) plus an initial $5 editors bonus.

    Writing online like this is definitely not for everyone, and you do need to be able to write quality articles quickly, following the requirements of the site.

    However, to call it shameful and implying it’s a scam is a bit much when there are real scam websites out there that make you pay to join (joining weekend notes is free), and then don’t pay you anything at all for your work. There are also sites that rely on you getting your own advertisers, or don’t promote your articles.

    Personally, I think Weekend Notes does a good thing for writers. I’d of course like to be paid more, and equally, it doesn’t pay enough for really high quality articles or any true investigative journalism, but it doesn’t pretend to.
    That’s just my opinion. You are welcome to disapprove of Weekend Notes of course, but a balanced view with appropriate research is required.

    PS. I have no idea how ethical or not Orble was-I’ve never been involved with that site at all. I also mean no offence to maccas, people who work there, or eat there. I personally would prefer to write than make burgers for those wages. That doesn’t mean everyone should or could.

    Like

    • September 16, 2013 10:21 pm

      Rachael Koch,
      It has been nearly 9 months for your rather verbose reply.
      9 months. I could have had another kid in that time.
      I am not worried about where you have been for 9 months but what on earth made you come back?

      If you are happy writing for On-Topic Media then good luck to you.

      However the information that I put in my post that was created way back in May 2011 stands as it was written.

      My ethical objection to a company that places job ads that do not exist also stands.

      Needless to say On Topic Media is not a company that will be getting my endorsement.

      Like

      • September 12, 2015 1:31 pm

        Hi there, it’s Maz Serena Rockers here from above. The reason it takes so long to reply to you is because we do not get notified of your replies. Or maybe if we do, it gets filtered to spam.

        I found your website again by chance today and I’d like to clarify something for you. I wrote my post when I was studying my undergraduate degree. Without that same CEO’s reference, I would not have the same job that I do today. In fact, he was my reference twice. He got nothing out of being my reference and could easily have said no, but he did not.

        I have earned money from my WN articles and guess what – it keeps flowing in, as promised. The benefit for me is that if I am too busy studying my masters and working full time, I still have a job with WN whenever I want it.

        So please think before you post such rubbish. I will be eternally grateful to WN because it got me through some difficult times financially.

        The issue that you keep addressing is to do with the entitled nature of your demand. You want someone to take a risk, invest their funds in your work and HOPE that it gets readership. That’s not how the world works, sweetie. Stop being so entitled. Stop expecting an hourly rate. Nobody owes it to you to invest in you. If you’re such an amazing writer, write a book. Self-publish and then market it. Don’t expect that to happen on someone else’s dime.

        You can probably see that in the last 3.5 years I’ve hardened. Maybe it’s time that you do some growing up, change your attitude and harden up too. Maybe you should do something of value that brings positivity into the world just like WN has for many young writers, and just like its CEO has for me and my career in a completely different field.

        Like

  5. September 13, 2015 4:04 pm

    Miss*Maz Serena R. (@Meowsha)

    I see that you have taken an obsessive interest in my post from 2011. More power to you.

    However:
    What percentage of writers make good money?

    Scrub that.
    What percentage of writers on On Topic make any money from their writing?

    If the answer is less 100% then the ad that was placed on seek in 2011 is extremely misleading. (I suspect deliberately so).

    I do have a few concerns about the nastiness of your reply:

    “That’s not how the world works, sweetie”.
    My response: Sweetie? No, nothing condescending about referring to people as sweetie. Nothing at all.

    “Stop being so entitled.”
    My response: Wow Dr Jon CEO advertises unpaid work on an employment site but fails to mention that it is largely unpaid work. Yet Dr Jon gets paid per click on the google adwords whether writer is paid or not.

    “Stop expecting an hourly rate.”
    My response: Full disclosure should have declared that employees should have no expectation of being paid. To hide this fact is deceptive behaviour and misleading advertising.

    “Nobody owes it to you to invest in you.”
    My response: If some mow your law they expect payment. Otherwise tell them upfront.

    “If you’re such an amazing writer, write a book.”
    My response: Irrelevant to the whole issue. How do know your that I haven’t.

    “Self-publish and then market it.”
    My response: Ditto for the previous answer.

    “Don’t expect that to happen on someone else’s dime.”
    The irrelevant statements just keep coming.

    “Maybe it’s time that you do some growing up, change your attitude and harden up too”
    My response: I wrote this post in 2011. It is 2015 and you are still harping on it. Perhaps you should take your own advice and “Harden up Princess”

    So much self righteousness in someone who writes a blog about food.

    However if you want be a groupie for Dr Jon then good for you. But for goodness sake try to be slightly intellectually honest in your replies. Condescension only works when your achievements are something to boast about. Unfortunately ‘Food Blogger with a day job’ does not quite impress me.

    Finally. Perhaps if Dr Jon CEO wants to make a point about this blog he should do so himself and address the actual substance of the post I wrote. His groupie is making a mess of it.

    Like

    • September 26, 2015 1:29 pm

      What a lunatic, you’re writing replies to yourself from multiple usernames… I don’t really care for impressing you, I’m not a food blogger with a day job. I have a lucrative career in finance and I am about to start my own business, none of which would have been possible without Jon who helped me get my first job at a major bank. Since then, I’ve been promoted 6 times in the past 3 years. I understand your jealousy; if my time was spent writing some bitching blog about someone else’s business, I would feel jealous of everyone else’s achievements as well.

      Please see my responses to your crine below:
      “I see that you have taken an obsessive interest in my post from 2011. More power to you.”

      I was actually searching for information about On Topic Media because I wanted to see if the person who helped me was doing well. Alas, I found your rubbish by accident, was surprised and wanted to re-read my own posts. Needless to say, I was shocked to have found that you replied.

      “However:
      What percentage of writers make good money?
      Scrub that.
      What percentage of writers on On Topic make any money from their writing?
      If the answer is less 100% then the ad that was placed on seek in 2011 is extremely misleading. (I suspect deliberately so).”

      Define “good” money. What percentage of writers get paid a all anyway? How much do you get paid for your business-killing blog? WN actually pays. I haven’t written an article for a long time and guess what, I still get monthly paychecks. As someone who doesn’t have a proper profession (whining/bitching business killer doesn’t count), I’m sure you’ve never heard of having a passive income. Although, maybe you do, maybe that’s why you’re an entitled unemployed mooch.

      “I do have a few concerns about the nastiness of your reply:
      “That’s not how the world works, sweetie”.
      My response: Sweetie? No, nothing condescending about referring to people as sweetie. Nothing at all.
      “Stop being so entitled.”
      My response: Wow Dr Jon CEO advertises unpaid work on an employment site but fails to mention that it is largely unpaid work. Yet Dr Jon gets paid per click on the google adwords whether writer is paid or not.”

      It isn’t unpaid work. You do get paid. I still receive a passive income from my articles from many years ago. Maybe your articles were just too shit to publish and that’s why you don’t get an income.

      ““Stop expecting an hourly rate.”
      My response: Full disclosure should have declared that employees should have no expectation of being paid. To hide this fact is deceptive behaviour and misleading advertising.”

      They do have full disclosure, read the writer FAQ. Or are you that illiterate?

      ““Nobody owes it to you to invest in you.”
      My response: If some mow your law they expect payment. Otherwise tell them upfront.”

      They DO pay.

      ““If you’re such an amazing writer, write a book.”
      My response: Irrelevant to the whole issue. How do know your that I haven’t.”
      “Self-publish and then market it.”
      My response: Ditto for the previous answer.”

      If you weren’t a loser, you wouldn’t be so defensive. I know you haven’t written a book because that would be an achievement. If you’d have achieved anything, you would not keep bitching about a company paying you less than what you think you’re worth. If you were worth anything, you would never have responded to my post. You’re just a bitter loser who has achieved nothing.

      “”Don’t expect that to happen on someone else’s dime.”
      The irrelevant statements just keep coming.”

      We both know that my statements are not irrelevant or you wouldn’t be responding to each one of them with such pain. The truth hurts you. Just admit that you’re an entitled little brat who thinks that you should be allowed to sprout rubbish on someone else’s dime. You don’t deserve anything.

      ““Maybe it’s time that you do some growing up, change your attitude and harden up too”
      My response: I wrote this post in 2011. It is 2015 and you are still harping on it. Perhaps you should take your own advice and “Harden up Princess””

      Yet, here you are replying, still harassing anyone who dares to defend someone who did something positive for them. If you’ve grown up so much, why don’t you prove it by admitting that you’re wrong? Why don’t you shut up and start focusing on improving yourself instead of putting everyone else down? The FIRST thing you did was try and put down my achievements in your post.

      “So much self righteousness in someone who writes a blog about food.”

      Yes, because writing about food is such a crime. Instead, we should all just focus our writing on trying to destroy other people’s businesses. Oh wait, then I’d just be you (and I’m pretty sure I’d kill myself if I was in such an unfortunate predicament).

      “However if you want be a groupie for Dr Jon then good for you. But for goodness sake try to be slightly intellectually honest in your replies. Condescension only works when your achievements are something to boast about. Unfortunately ‘Food Blogger with a day job’ does not quite impress me.”

      Again, you prove that you’re a loser by putting down what you perceive as my achievements. Did it ever occur to you that food blogging is a fun hobby? Some of us have careers and that’s far more than what anyone can say about you.

      “Finally. Perhaps if Dr Jon CEO wants to make a point about this blog he should do so himself and address the actual substance of the post I wrote. His groupie is making a mess of it.”

      He’s not a loser. Your blog post doesn’t hurt him. It never has. Ultimately though, there is no “actual substance” in your post to address. I’m not a groupie, I have a partner and unlike your kind, I don’t cheat. You should really just pipe down, sweetie. Take your pathetic post down. Admit defeat. EVERYONE gets paid to write for WeekendNotes. You really shouldn’t slander other people’s businesses though. I might inform On Topic Media that they’re being slandered and defamed. Maybe they can sue you for the damage you might have caused with your lies.

      Good luck with everything, I hope that you sort your life out for your own good. On another note, you should also go to the following website and get some help for your deep-seeded insecurities and vulnerabilities, as making fake accounts and slandering people is not healthy:

      https://www.lifeline.org.au/

      Like

      • September 26, 2015 4:51 pm

        Miss* (whatever you are on, the dose should be increased)

        Gave up reading your reply after the first line because you don’t seem to have any social skills what-so-ever.

        Accusing me of having multiple accounts is just a bold face lie and it is not the kind of abuse that I tollerate on my site twice.

        (BTW I have left your rant up for comedic reasons only)

        Like

  6. September 14, 2015 1:21 am

    what happened to On Topic Media… I think they still exist, but they shut down all the Orble.com blogs… any info? Are they HQed in Sydney Aus??

    Like

    • September 14, 2015 8:31 am

      howiecopywriter

      Thanks for your comments.
      You may right about the Orble domain. The site is no longer responding.
      They were working from Sydney last I checked.

      Like

  7. September 14, 2015 1:21 am

    please notify me

    Like

  8. September 14, 2015 10:15 am

    Just found out the story. On Topic Media is the current form of Orble.com and the online persona of one Jon Deutscher of the Sydney area of New South Wales. Registrant Name: Jon Deutscher
    Registrant Organization: On Topic Media PTY LTD
    Registrant Street: 1 Coronation Ave
    Registrant City: Eastwood
    Registrant State/Province: New South Wales
    Registrant Postal Code: 2122
    Registrant Country: Australia
    Registrant Phone: +61.416755615
    Registrant Email: jon@orble.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 14, 2015 11:28 am

      That is pretty much how I remember it.
      Dr Jon Deutscher and his various aliases ran the office.
      Orble was just a tiny entity that started off with some good writers who eventually left after it started to implode.

      Liked by 1 person

    • September 26, 2015 1:30 pm

      Good for you, stalker!

      Like

      • September 26, 2015 4:41 pm

        Miss*Mazz (anon etc)

        Stalker!? Hmmm?
        Publicly listed business on a publically listed DNS.

        I get the feeling that you have no actual point. Just a lot of deep anger and frustration with your own lack of success.

        Like

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