With Empower Network’s Denver affiliate conference coming up the company has begun to spam press release websites with an announcement about their new blogging platform.

Dubbed “Empower Network 2.0”, the company writes

Software and web marketing company Empower Network will (host) its quarterly affiliate conference at the Bellco Theater at 700 14th St. on July 19-21.

During the conference, Empower Network will unveil Empower Network 2.0 (EN2), its new blogging platform.

Interesting that Empower Network now refer to themselves as a “software company”.

Whilst it’s great to see that Empower Network are finally acknowledging that “selling” someone elses free software makes no sense, the problem has always lied within Empower Network’s compensation plan.

Despite touting WordPress as their “product”, no Empower Network affiliates actually pay for it. Affiliates (and non-affiliates) pay affiliates directly, with payment of monthly subscription fee qualifying an affiliate to participate in what is essentially a monthly gifting scheme.

Affiliates can avoid paying into the scheme directly by recruiting another affiliate or customer to do so, but the bottom line is someone has to put in $25 a month for you if you want to qualify to receive gifts from participants below you.

Will a self-branded blogging network change that?

Nope, because unless the compensation plan changes, whatever blogging platform they use the fundamental problem remains: nobody is paying Empower Network for a product or service, they’re all just directly paying other participants.

Meanwhile it appears Empower Network 2.0 has been built from the ground up, with Empower Network claiming it has

invested more than $3.2 million on Empower Network 2.0 (EN2) (and) that it predicts (it) will rival WordPress, TypePad and Tumblr, among other popular blogging systems.

Seriously, rival WordPress? WordPress is used on 14.7% of the top one million websites in the world (Alexa) and reported to power 22% of all new websites as of August 2011 (who knows what it is now).

WordPress’ blogging platform is so widely deployed because they are at the forefront of blogging platform innovation. Empower Network have likely just copy and pasted (not the literal code) WordPress’ functionality and assume it will take off.

Trouble is even if Empower Network do change their compensation plan and actually start charging subscribers for Empower Network 2.0, they’re always going to be competing with WordPress – which is free.

“Oh but didn’t you hear? We’re a software company now!”

Worthless pseudo-compliance at its best.

Something similar happened when YouTube started banning Empower Network affiliate’s accounts for spam, the company came up with a YouTube clone that nobody (except a few affiliates) uses.

Yeah, Empower Network’s video platform was also supposed to rival the likes of YouTube too.

But in any case, even if Empower Network 2.0 is a clone-copy of WordPress (which it will be, as anything less will be a step back for affiliates), the fact remains, nobody is paying for it.

Call yourself a “software company” and now claim to have an actual product to sell, but if you’re not actually selling it to people, well then it doesn’t really count does it.

Meanwhile, still no response on Empower Network’s failure to disclose retail source ratios between affiliates and retail customers.

I know that if I was an Empower Network affiliate I couldn’t care less about the blogging platform. WordPress isn’t broke so don’t fix it. I’d be far more concerned about the company clarifying one way or another whether it is just a big affiliate-funded gifting scheme.

Empower network repeatedly claim a commitment to transparency, yet continue fail to publish the absolute of absolutes in crucially important information. That being how much of their revenue is coming in from affiliates and how much from retail customers.

Tick tock…