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Any ThemeStreamers still around?

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Sunday June 24, 2007 )

Ah memories. For some reason ThemeStream popped into my mind today. It’s hard to believe that over 6 years have passed since they closed their doors while still owing writers (including myself) collectively a stack of cash. Still, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

For those of you who don’t remember ThemeStream, it was a community of writers who published articles on a wide variety of topics and were (meant to be) paid a small amount for each time their article was viewed. Originally the amount was 10c per view (quite high), but as the end drew near, it dropped to 2c.

The ThemeStream community was huge, with hundreds of thousands of articles on their site, around 40,000 contributors and an incredible amount of traffic. I believe it was the biggest article archive around in its day. Unfortunately in the end it became somewhat of a spamfest and increasingly dominated by those writing “get rich quick” and “how to make a fortune on ThemeStream” articles.

Here’s an archive of how the ThemeStream home page looked in April 2000. It was pretty funky for its time :).

and in March 2, 2001

.. and just over 1 month later; April 18 2001; very soon after the axe fell with little warning.

Tip: if you submit articles to article archives; be sure to keep backups of all your material :).

Had contextual PPC advertising been around back in those days and if they had also marketed relevant products and services to the contributors, ThemeStream may well have survived. The ThemeStream domain now only shows PPC ads after having been snapped up by a domainer. Rather a sad end for such a high profile site.

While ThemeStream’s closure and lack of payment was disappointing, my experience greatly helped me build the confidence to write for an online audience instead of just having a site that was a series of plug-in third party services, directories of links, affiliate programs and very little original content.

I’d post to ThemeStream, wait for comments, refine, then post articles on Taming The I learned from other ThemeStream writers about the craft of online publishing. I lost a few bucks, but gained much, much, much more as a result of my experience.

So, are there any ex-ThemeStream writers still out there? What are you doing now? Did the experience spur you on or turn you away from writing?

For that matter, how about anyone else who bummed out or had their fingers burned in an online pursuit only to bounce back even stronger on the web as a result of the experience? I’d love to hear your stories!


2 comments for Any ThemeStreamers still around?
  1. Hi…I did benefit from contributing to Themestream, although not monetarily. One story that I submitted, Mountains of Laundry, was seen by one of the authors of the Chicken Soup books. He asked me to submit my article for consideration in one of their books. It was accepted an published in 2006 in Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul, 2. Pretty fun. The stipend I received made up for what I lost on Themestream, I guess. Anyway, my computer crashed not long after I started entering articles and by the time I was up and running again, Themestream was gone, and so were my articles.

    Comment by Veronica Wintermote — September 16, 2008 @ 5:29 am

  2. I made over $800 on themestream. It was great. I was one of the last to be paid. may be a great place to post.

    Comment by fingers — December 29, 2008 @ 5:24 pm

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