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Social networking site Qlique is paying college students to use it

Social networking site, Qlique, is advertising on Facebook, trying to get college students to contribute in exchange for an hourly wage.

The social networking site, Qlique, is currently running an ad on Facebook, targeted at college students, offering an hourly wage in exchange for creating content for the site. In order to try to set themselves apart from other social networks, Qlique's main feature asks users to write stories about things that are happening in their lives. The Facebook ad offers a $10/hour wage for college students to write these stories in order to build up content on the site. Essentially, Qlique is paying students to use the service like it would be used if there was a genuine interest in it.

Qlique's Facebook ad

The ad in question points to a survey explaining the job. Part of the description reads, "In order to set the bar high for our new users on launch day, we are paying $10 per hour for talented individuals like yourself to create part of their Persona (our version of the profile) before we open the site to the public." It sounds like they are trying to make the site look popular for their launch by throwing money at the problem.

This will, of course, remind a lot of people of when Jason Calacanis offered the top Digg users money to submit content on Netscape, back in 2006. The fundamental difference between these two situations is that in order for Qlique to be a valuable service, a very high percentage of users on the service have to write quality content. In Netscape's case, taking from Digg's model, most of the content comes from a very small percentage of the users, so it was a little more understandable to be paying top submitters.

Any way that you slice it, this is not good for Qlique's image. Paying people to use your service in this situation is not a good practice, even if it is just to ramp up to a launch. The fact that they are being so discrete about this recruitment of college students, with no public announcement of any kind, leads me to believe that they wanted to keep this under wraps and make it seem as though the site was gaining some real momentum. They might be able to buy some content now, but they just can't buy our love.