I came across a post on Izea’s blog talking about their latest release to their PayPerPost platform. Here’s what Ted (IZEA’s CEO) said:
When SocialSpark launched we adjusted its margins to create a model that would be profitable for the company. The model works and provides a clear path for the future. Meanwhile, PPP has been canceling out what we’ve gained in contribution from SocialSpark. Today we are adjusting the margins in PPP to match that of SocialSpark. Both systems will now have a 50/50 split between IZEA and the blogger, recognizing the value each of us brings to the table.
It’s also interesting to see that they also announced that they will be closing the doors on Zookoda, a service designed for bloggers to send out daily, weekly or monthly summary of your latest blog posts directly into their visitors inbox citing the fact that it wasn’t economically viable to keep it running. This has sparked a spate of comments from regular users who frankly will be left out in the cold. Izea (who were called PayPerPost back then) acquired Zookoda in April 07 citing they were “confident Zookoda’s capabilities will be of great help to our family of PayPerPost bloggers.” There is no doubt the service is a great help to bloggers but there may have been a shift in Izea’s outlook and priorities.
I suspect that these moves are a sign that Izea’s honeymoon period is over and time has come to focus on their key deliverables. I’ve always maintained that there was too much focus on bloggers and not enough on advertisers and this probably is a move to address that failing. It is a shame about Zookoda however, as Izea seem to be treating this as a cost centre rather than an asset that can produce positive contribution by strengthening their blogger base.
On those lines, it’s interesting to see Izea handle online campaigns for Ford, Kmart and Sears, particularly with Chris Brogan doing a sponsored post for Kmart and the subsequent flash fire that generated. The one thing I can say, is that whether you’re selling baby shower gifts or balloons over the internet, user-generated content is here to stay and it’s only getting more prevalent.