Helium Account Balances Appear Negative for Writers

Chris CrumBusiness

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Writing community Helium is apparently having some issues in the writers' payments department.

If you’re not familiar with Helium otherwise, WebProNews readers may remember the site being discussed in the wake of Google’s Panda update. It’s a user generated content site (perhaps considered a content farm to some) often mentioned in the same breath as Demand Media, HubPages, Suite101, Associated Content, etc.

It was hit by the Panda update early in the year, but like many other Panda victims, soon began making a lot of changes to its site, and was able to raise $10 million in funding back in May.

Now, it appears some writers are seeing erroneous negative balances in their accounts. Today, Helium’s Steve Singer posted an update on the company blog:

We are aware of a problem that many writers have reported today, 12/1/11 regarding negative balances to their account. Helium’s tech team is currently working to correct this. We do know this is only an issue with the display and that the correct balances are in our database. Please do not contact the help desk — we’re working to fix this as soon as possible!

An update to the post later said:

The tech team believes they have isolated the problem and are working on a fix. Once the fix is coded, it will need to checked. So we don’t yet have a specific delivery time.

Helium has also been tweeting updates:

We are actively working on a solution to a known problem with negative earnings displays. See our boards for more info: http://t.co/3Ycy6AJ9 1 hour ago via HootSuite · powered by @socialditto

No data has been lost, and all earnings are still in tact. We are doing everything we can to fix this display issue. 1 hour ago via HootSuite · powered by @socialditto

From the sound of it, it’s not going to be anything to worry too much about, but it’s likely been an inconvenience for some.

Update: Singer has made a couple more updates to the blog post:

Update 12/1/11 12:15 PM Eastern Time –We’ve come up with a fix, that worked properly in our test environments, and then deployed it to production. However, apparently once in production it’s appearing only as a partial fix. So while your earnings may come up, it’s not fully complete. We are still working towards full resolution of this issue.

Update 12/1/11 3:15 PM Eastern Time – We are continuing to investigate this issue, with the assistance of several helpful members.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.