Say hello to Fancloud.com, a sports website in the Yardbarker Network that wants you to pay $50 in exchange for the opportunity to write for it. The three dipshits in the video above are the site's founders, and they can explain everything to you, but if you're not in the mood to have some wannabe Silicon Valley bros explain why you should give them $50, allow me to explain what Fancloud is: a fucking scam.
Fancloud promises to give its writers—those who have paid a $50 sign-up fee—real rewards based on certain benchmarks like page views, volume of content, and comments generated. In this regard, they present themselves as better than similar sites like Bleacher Report, which relies on a legion of unpaid writers to create content. The only problem is that these "rewards" won't take the form of real money, but rather equity in Fancloud.com, equity that only a fraction of those who write for the site will receive. From the Fancloud registration page:
Through these milestones we are committed to giving away 49% of our publishing division to our members by the end of the first year.
Each month FC Publishing will give away 16 awards of .25% equity (for a total of 4% equity) in the company for milestones achieved.
There is no limit to the amount of equity any one writer can earn.
In this system, the maximum number of writers who could gain a stake in the company before that 49 percent cap is reached is 192, and that's assuming that each .25 percent award is given to a different writer. And yet, Fancloud is looking to raise $20,000 on its sign-up page, which would require 400 hungry young writers to fork over $50, an investment on which the majority of them will never see a tangible return.
Though we'd love to be able to give equity to all of our members, our lawyers have informed us that selling equity directly to the public would require filing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of paperwork. Therefore, all equity given to our members will be earned based on the aforementioned publishing milestones.
None of that is as offensive as the fact that this paragraph appeared in a press release that was sent out by Fancloud yesterday:
"We believe that the Bleacher Report model, while not perfect, is a part of a growing trend in the new media space, where fans feel their input, opinions, and work is just as valuable as that of the sports pundits and industry insiders," said Terence Gelke, Fancloud.com Chief Executive Officer.
"Valuable," you say. But not worth any money.