Zujava's closing was not really a surprise. They'd lost their major income source, Amazon's affiliate program, and having worked at (but not for) Amazon for more than a year now I knew they wouldn't get it back; the big A doesn't work that way. But it would have been nice if they'd sent everyone an email about it. After I read it on that writers' forum I went to the Zujava forum and found a discussion there, including a request from the owner for everyone to please tell others so they could remove their content before the site went down. Well, duh - if you'd done that yourself you wouldn't have to worry about it. When the owners decide to close a site it's their responsibility to tell the members - not the members' responsibility to tell each other.
I already had copies of my content so it wasn't a big deal for me, but I did see in checking my account that I'd made a bit over $3. Zujava's minimum payout was $5 so I hadn't reached the point of collecting on it but, thinking that maybe when the site closed all those debts would be cleared, I sent a message asking about it. There was no reply - not even a message saying "Sorry, you won't be getting any money." The site closed three days ago, PayPal has not notified me of any payments, and at this point I'm not expecting one.
It also occurs to me that this was not the first time I've asked something and not been answered; it's happened before (although I can't remember the circumstances now). So Zujava wasn't being well managed for probably quite a while before the Amazon issue.
Anyway - that's the last of the sites with my written content. There are a few still around that I could write for - HubPages, for example - but I'm not sure how successful that would be; even the people on the writers' forum who went to HP when Squidoo closed seem to be unhappy with it now. And even if I wanted to do that, I really think "article farms" are on the way out. They were a good idea whose time has come - and gone.
The general consensus on the writers' forum is that the best - or maybe only - way to make money with writing is with your own site. This has been mentioned several times in the past; I remember reading it when I used to spend more time there, before I discovered Mechanical Turk. I'm just not sure I want to spend the time it takes to build something like that. Plus, it also takes money - hosting fees and the like - and my income is too low for much of that now.
Mechanical Turk was definitely a good choice as a substitute for writing. Since I started there my income has consistently been much, much higher than it ever was with article writing - I think my best month with Yahoo and Squidoo was maybe $30 and my worst month with MTurk has been about $120. So Turk was definitely a step in the right direction. But it's still not enough to get me back on my own and back out West; I am still suffering though this horrible Eastern climate. And Turk has its own issues. But maybe I should do another post about that...