Man! Have you seen the number of social paranormal sites? It can be a bit intimidating trying to sort through them all and decide which one best fits you. I decided to take a joyride so-to-speak and visit some paranormal social sites for myself. I like many are members of a “few”… so of course I would be bias if I did a review on those, however one in particular was brought to my attention and this is what I found
When first logging onto the website you are hit with a myriad of ads, which I am guessing are an attempt to gain more funds to produce their magazine… not sure… I could be wrong…
It boasts on the front page that Augusts issue is now available and upon signing in you will be able to view it for free! Awesome right?! No…
As a free member you are required to register to the site to gain access to the forums only to be limited. You are sent an email for verification, upon clicking the link; you find that you are now subject for approval. Meaning they have to approve you personally one by one.
It took approximately a day and a half to be approved by a mysterious administrator for access to this highly advertised FREE ISSUE of the magazine… of course, if you don’t want to wait, you could always purchase the magazine at http://paranormalunderground.magcloud.com/ however, don’t expect to pay the same price for every magazine like other magazine subscriptions… their prices vary greatly…from $17.20 print to $1.00 for digital.
Hmm… this looked fishy, so I created an account at MagCloud to see what this price bounce was about…
In reviewing MagCloud, the author of the magazines is asked if they want to provide a markup price that is paid back to them on a monthly basis for print, and 70% of all digital sales will be paid back to them for every purchase, with the remaining 30% going to MagCloud. So THAT is why the prices fluctuate…
In addition, do not be fooled that Paranormal Underground is its own separate thing; it is actually operated under Ghost Knight Media LLC, which also seeks funds in the form of editing, writing, etc. and offering its services…
You can choose from 3 different contributing member options that range from $30 for a two year subscription, to $10 one year subscription. That is not too bad, but what do you get for your payment???!
The benefits range from being listed on the contributing members page… (That would make you number 25 today!) Access to an “elite” contributing members only thread in the forum (I can’t do much of anything now anyways)… A private messaging service! A Custom user title on the forum…
What? That can’t be all!
It isn’t… lastly… you get a 7-day online advanced preview of the magazine… Well, that is awesome but after an administrator approves me, I should be able to see the magazine for free without spending any money on a contributing member subscription right?
So what are you actually paying for? There are no costs associated with the printing of the magazine, so that cannot be used as recouping costs… I haven’t seen anything really worthy of a donation, no group therapy or paranormal victim awareness, etc.
There are approximately 24 contributing members to the site out of 2,670, those who actually paid into the website to enjoy… the elite forum, a custom title, and to be able to chat with the other 24 users privately. But who are these other 24 members? And do I even know them well enough to want to chat privately with them?
As a consumer, I want to make sure I am getting something for my money, and so far, this site just does not offer anything of value for me.
If you are like me and just want to be a free member, you may be waiting a while for that awesome chance to view this magazine and post something that will start a conversation…
Here is what you get for your free membership before you get the approval, you are allowed to read some threads in the forums yet you are not allowed to reply or post a new thread.
What about asking questions? No, you are not even allowed to ask questions at this point unless you email said administrator… After approval, you are able to start new topics on some of the forum threads and participate…
Paranormal Underground offers several other posting areas that you see in other free sites that actually do allow you to post, and don’t require a waiting period similar to buying a firearm.
Such topics include Ghosts and Hauntings, Personal Experiences, Haunted Locations, Haunted Objects, Crypto, etc.
I have not seen anything that actually sets Paranormal Underground at a higher standard from the thousands of other sites that offer forums for the paranormal and beyond. In fact, I find their site and practices to be vulgar. Nothing spectacular has caught my eye or my intrigue, and the topics and discussions that I am allowed to see seem to border on redundancy.
Not only does it seem to me that they are trying to make money off of others, but their legal practices have proven to be beyond relevant and hold a tinge of harassment.
Since “Paranormal Underground” has trademarked this COMMON PHRASE, you can forget about ever using it in your articles, website, etc. If you do, do not be surprised if you get an email asking that you cease and desist. You might think that after being the bigger kid on the playground that by changing the name you are free… No… wait a few more months and they will undoubtedly send you another email asking that you find a way to control the entire internet and their linking systems. This unscrupulous practice borders on insanity in my opinion. So what can you do since they “own” this common phrase? Just don’t use it and save yourself a headache and harassment from their questionable legal department.
In closing, I would save my money and take my kids out to eat, or possibly get a manicure… maybe purchase some pumpkins or glow sticks.
Visit the Paranormal Underground Website and decide for yourself!
Check back next week for another review on similar paranormal social sites!