Trond was the very first online publishing site I joined. I 'Stumbled' across it when I heard about Stumble Upon during a BBC broadcast.
I jumped in, not knowing anythiing about online writing, publishing, etc.
It had moderatoration at the time, and I recall an item I wrote being rejected. In those early days, 2007, many things were wrongly rejected, and so moderation was dispensed with.
I loved Triond. There were sub-sites so that if one wrote about Television, that was one sub-site, Politics was another, food was another, on and on, so that each day I could write five different items, easily.
At the time, the remuneration was 1c per 6 views. That means to make $1.00 all you needed was 600 views, which was easy to get, as there were millions of viewers.
Getting 2k views was a basic, so to make $50.00 a month was nothing to brag about, because there were those who got 1M views on one item in a month.
Triond always paid. There was no threshold. If you made 3c you were paid.
Many older people would write for Triond, (as well as other sites) and the money received helped them buy their food or pay their light bill.
Triond had a forum which was very interesting, especially if one could just read and keep silent, because there was a 'clique' on Triond, made up of a set of people who reminded me of High School 'mean girls'.
The basic argument was that Triond should be moderated.
The 'mean girls' (some of who were mean boys) decided to publish fallacies hoping that the owner would pop in and Do Something.
The first major jump was done when a writer penned; "Johnny Depp Commits Suicide".
It was absolutely untrue and there were a lot of discordance in the piece so as to warn the public, but it went viral. The writer got 2M hits in a few days.
Not to be outdone, another decided to claim a particular semi-known actor was Gay and do a fabricated interview at a place that didn't exist. This not only went viral but was copy and pasted all over the 'Net.
A group then got together in 2008 and called themselves "Whitehouse Insider". To prove it was a spoof, the writer was 'Ulsterman'. For those who don't know it, and Ulsterman is a person from a particular place in Ireland.
People believed this set of articles was true, and one was even quoted in the New York Post.
One assumed that the owner would have to 'Do Something'. He did, he created a special sub-topic "Whitehouse Insider".
Members of Triond, who had witnessed this insanity, who knew, for a fact, that it was pure fabrication, were slapped away by people who really wanted to believe the worst things about President Barack Obama.
The forum was taken down, not by Trolls, but by what I call a 'Magog'.
Trolls will write nasty remarks, but a Magog will destroy a Forum by posting line after line of one letter, so that when you log on all you see is one letter going down, screen after screen.
The Magog was blocked, came back with another nickname, was blocked again, and the Owner just closed to Forum.
Some people rued the closure, but others considered it the only possible response.
Triond went into a 'double pay' methodoloy.
Anyone could get an Adsense Account through Triond, which they could use anywhere. They would be paid via Adsense and also via Triond.
In late 2010 Google, which was going to introduce its own writing site, Knol, needed to put all paying sites out of business as Knol would be non-paying.
What Google did was label all major writing sites as 'Content Farms' and give them a minus score.
This means, if you were searching for an item, Google would so stack the results that anything on a 'Content Farm' would come in the last pages.
If you wrote an item named "The History of South Carolina" and published it on a 'Content Farm', people who entered "The History of South Carolina" into a Google Search would NOT be directed to that article but to Wikipedia and every where else, despite the fact that the Search Term exactly matched the item on an Content Farm, (so called) and there were only two or three words found in all the other items on 'approved' sites.
As you can see, this caused a drop in views, a drop in revenue, so that sites which were paying $50 would barely get enough hits to pay $5.00.
Many sites were forced to close, and the list of dead sites is legion.
Triond struggled to remain afloat, but finally, in 2015 it gave up.
Unlike Wikinut which alerted writers that it could no longer pay, or Blogjob which advised that revenue would no longer be shared, Triond just disappeared.
Typing "Triond.com" would result in an error message. Everything ever published on Triond was lost.
The way it went down was very painful for many who had been writing there from 2007 or earlier.
No warning, no alert, nothing. Just down, and gone forever.
Subsequent sites have never reached the same level that Triond had so painlessly acheived.
Having a number of subsites, so that when one would stumble or digg or tweet, it seemed that so many different sites were being submitted, was and is unique to Triond.
Making it so easy to publish, with a platform that did spell checking is again, personal to Triond.
Having no threshold, so that come the 15th all cheques went out regardless of the sum is something one can only dream about, as most sites have very high bars that can take you years to reach.
There was so much to Triond that it would take an article twice as long as this one to touch on all aspects.
There is no way not to blame Google for the destruction of online publishing sites, because they caused it for their own selfish desires.
One can only wish that another site comes along, just like Triond.