Verblio Moves Crowdsourcing Forward: Vested Ownership for Writers

We just issued a press release, our first. You’ll find the full text concerning stock options for our writers below. We’re pretty excited about this announcement. We feel like it’s going to make crowdsourcing overall just a bit better, and we think it will help show our customers why it is we are able to attract and retain the very best writers from all 50 US states, more than 3,000 of them now.

-Scott

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 22, 2013

Verblio (formerly BlogMutt) First to Give Stock Options to Crowd of Workers

Successful writers can now be co-owners of Verblio

Boulder, Colo. — Verblio, the business world’s most-loved blog writing service, today announced that in addition to pay, it will compensate writers with fully vested stock options in the parent company of Verblio.

Verblio, like 99designsCrowdFlower and dozens of others, uses “crowdsourcing” to accomplish business tasks. In Verblio’s case there are more than 3,000 writers who create blogs for businesses. For the first time in the history of crowdsourcing, Verblio is making part of the compensation package for writers actual ownership of the crowdsourcing company.

“Writers are the very core of our business, and we’re so glad we worked out this way of sharing our success with the most productive and best writers in our system,” said Scott Yates, Cofounder and CEO of Verblio. “I was a writer for years, and I know writers are crucial in today’s world, but I also know they are always considered expendable at newspapers, agencies, and writing platforms. We’ve changed that whole mindset.”

Many crowdsourced content companies have done well in the past, and continue to grow. For instance, HuffingtonPost sold to AOL for $315 million in 2011, but at the time many writers complained that they didn’t share in the successful exit. Those complaints continue to this day.

“Arianna certainly moved the conversation forward in terms of the value of content,” Yates said, adding that he empathized with the writers’ complaints. “They weren’t technically owed anything, but I thought they had a point. Now along with my cofounder, Wade Green, we are the boss and we get to do things differently, and so we are.”

To earn the vested shares, writers must reach Level 8 in the Verblio system. To reach that level the writers create posts that are approved by Verblio customers. Verblio uses a point system that rewards posts that customers like the best.

END

The story is now out, and TechCrunch has its version here, and a story from Crowdsourcing.org is here.

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