Newsvine is going beta. But beta isn't necessarily better. Many old-time viners believe that beta is worse. I have read several articles that describe the new "improved" Newsvine Beta. People are worried about losing their friends. They are pissed about being limited to fifteen "Nations" instead of being members of dozens of groups. And many don't like the way their new column pages look either. It's heart breaking because so many viners love Newsvine.
But I am going to stay on the vine until it rots. I can't afford to get all of my tattoos removed. When I'm the last rotten tomato on the vine; I will use personal attacks and CoH violations against myself just to see what the moderators will do. They won't ban me because they would not have anyone left to moderate. I'll finally be able to post porn or anything I want because I will finally rule the vine! Of course it won't be much fun since there will be no one left to offend.
There are links for ten articles about Newsvine Beta at the end of this article. Each of these articles has many comments because viners aren't shy about expressing their opinions. When I read peoples opinions of the new beta format; I notice that almost all of the comments are negative. Now, I understand that it's human nature to resist change. People tend to prefer to stick with whatever they have become accustomed to. But, I find it disturbing that I can't seem to find anyone who actually prefers the new beta format. Newsvine needs to remember the old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
My girlfriend, Leigh King, got laid off recently from her job as a consultant at Newsvine. She had a feeling she would lose her job since the Beta project was almost complete. So she secretly taped the last few meetings she attended just in case she might want to get back at them. Here is a partial transcript of one of those Newsvine meetings:
Dixon Cox: "I understand some of you wanted to voice your concerns about our roll-out of the Beta product on the seventh. Jenny, let's start with you."
Jenny Tullz: "The feedback we're getting indicates that there will be a fairly large attrition in the number of users on Newsvine because they just don't like Beta."
Dixon Cox: "Yes we will probably lose a number of users, but that's not our real concern. Newsvine is a business. Our primary concern is making a profit. The Beta roll-out is actually a smoke screen. We actually want to confuse the users with the new format. We want them all bitching and moaning about losing their old groups and their friends lists because we don't want them talking about how we're stealing their revenue. Lucy, you're in charge of the revenue thievery, tell Jenny what we're actually doing."
Lucy Ferr: "Okay. The old Classic Newsvine was set up so users got 90% of the revenue they generated. We only kept 10% of the revenue. But Newsvine Beta is designed to make it virtually impossible for the users to collect their share, so Newsvine gets 100% from now on. But, the users will abandon ship if they know what's going on. So, we have to pretend that the reason they don't receive their share is a problem with Google AdSense. So, we're trying to shift the blame to Google. And that's why we're making Beta so frustrating for the users. We want them to be trying to deal with the crappy changes we've made to the way Beta works so they won't be focused on the money."
Emma Phukinnerd: "Wait, I get it! We want Beta to suck. We want the viners to focus their anger on the functionality of Beta instead of worrying about the money."
Dixon Cox: "That's right Emma. We need beta to be shitty as a smoke screen, so our users will be telling us to go back to the Classic Newsvine instead of accusing us of stealing their money."
Horace Sorolmiover: "Wait a minute Dix. Won't people notice when we change the User Agreement that states they're entitled to 90% of the revenue?"
Dixon Cox: "Don't worry Horace. I already removed that 90% shit from the User Agreement. I removed the entire section labeled "Advertising Payments". The User Agreement used to be eight pages and now it's seven pages. And nobody even noticed. That shows you how stupid viners really are. All I had to do was make sure the date right under the Newsvine User Agreement still says '(Last Updated: May 26, 2009)'. So they can't prove that they were ever entitled to 90% of the revenue they generated. And we can deny that the so-called Agreement was ever changed. We can change the User Agreement all we want and as long as we leave that bogus 'Last Updated' date'. But it's all about the money so we really don't need to make any more changes. Newsvine gets to keep all of the revenue so there's nothing left to steal."
Leigh King: "I thought we were making sure Beta was fucked up as job security so they would need to keep us around to fix it. Now you're saying we made sure Beta was fucked up so we could steal the users revenue. Don't you think some of the Newsvine users are smart enough to figure that out? What if some of them call us on it. We're talking about committing fraud which is a crime. I didn't know this was about defrauding the users of the revenue they are entitled to. I don't want to go to jail over this shit."
Dixon Cox: "Don't worry Leigh. Any user that makes a stink about this gets banned. And we immediately delete any reference to our fraud. We don't have to worry about anyone spreading the word because we eliminate them and their accusations from the site. And bear in mind that our strategy is to blame any payment issues on Google AdSense."
Jenny Tullz: "But people are already leaving the site and now you're talking about banning people too. We need the users to generate the revenue. Aren't we shooting ourselves in the foot?"
Dixon Cox: "Jenny, remember, this is all about the money. We're increasing our share of the revenue from 10% to 100%. We can lose 80% of the losers, excuse me, users and still double our take. Can you hear me now? We may lose up to half of our current Newsviners. Who gives a shit? If we lose half of our users, we will still quadruple our revenue."
Emma Phukinnerd: "I can't believe this shit! It's ingenious! The idiots who stay with Newsvine are the ones who are too stupid to know we're ripping them off. Any intelligent viner who bitches about it gets banned. We can't lose."
Lucy Ferr: "I just want to say that this is unbelievable! We going to make a shitload of money by fucking up our product. And we've got job security too, because eventually we need to fix the gotchas we built into this stupid Beta release."
Horace Sorolmiover: "So it looks like our priority right now is to ban any users who talk about us stealing the revenue and delete anything that they post that can prove that's our real motive for the Beta release. And we just blame Google for payment issues."
Dixon Cox: "That's right Horace. We need to cover our asses for a while then we can make Beta better. Once we get Beta working smoothly we can work on attracting new users to replace the ones who are leaving. And we can pretend to be responsive to our users. For instance, we changed the name of the "Trough" to "Public Discussion" to convince the users that we care. But we didn't change how it functions at all. We can change almost anything as long as we make sure we still keep all of the revenue. But we'll make these changes slowly so we can keep our bullshit jobs."
Leigh King (leaking - she leaked the tape of the meeting)
Dixon Cox (dicks and cocks)
Horace Sorolmiover (whore ass, so roll me over)
Emma Phukinnerd (am a fucking nerd)
Jenny Tullz (genitals)
Lucy Ferr (Lucifer)
Here are ten articles about Newsvine Beta:
Be sure to vote in this poll:
Q: Should Newsvine ABANDON its plans to deploy New Newsvine?
Not Sure. 4%
Total Votes: 274
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