Further to yesterday’s post, I spent some time reading a particularly lively forum thread over at eHow. The thread reminded me why I don’t visit the forums very often. I usually visit them when there is a software issue or a major change to the site. Usually, if I page through the various comments, I could find the answer buried under snarky, humorous and sometimes downright rude comments.
As of this writing, the thread is about 33 pages long. I’ve found that the same questions were asked over and over again and the same answers were given time and time again. I’ve really got to hand it to the moderators over there, especially Julie. I don’t know how she does it. Hopefully Demand Media could spring for a quality bottle of wine and allow Julie to sip from it on occasion when the remarks get too frustrating.
What I Can Glean from the eHow Forums
From what I can see, folks are upset about writing for Demand Studios. I can understand that and have expressed my opinion several times here on NJFM. That being said, eHow writers have a choice. They can either create eHow articles using the Demand Studios interface or not. If they choose not to, then they have the option of using any of the other available online content sites to earn money as a freelance writer.
Those writers who were not pre-approved to write for Demand Studios have the option of going through the Demand Studios application process in an attempt to get accepted as a writer. If that fails, then they have to use Plan B…seek other writing opportunities.
As far as our existing articles go, nothing changes. WCP is still in effect for those and we’ll continue to earn.
Why Did Demand Media Do It?
That’s a question that only Demand Media can answer. I can speculate that it was because of profitability, content quality and ease in managing the writing process, but that’s just speculation and I’m not going to waste anymore time thinking about the why’s. My priority is to think about how I’m going to handle the change going forward.
My Initial Concerns
I had three concerns when I first heard about the change
- Increased my contact with Demand Studios CEs
- Maintaining the same revenue share algorithm
- Article ownership
- CE Contact: CEs will review user generated articles. Either I learn how to handle them or stop writing for DS. Don’t get me wrong, most of the CEs are fine, but there is a very small percentage that can find my last nerve and work it (and I’m talking about working it real hard).
- Algorithm: According to the ever growing eHow forum thread, the Demand Studios revenue share algorithm is ‘similar’ to the eHow WCP algorithm. Only time will tell so I’m not going to lose sleep worrying about it. I’ll wait until I’ve put forth quality effort, gained results and analyze the results before I make a final decision. That will take a little time.
- Article Ownership: Call me crazy, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I write using a pen name over at eHow. Although I try to write quality useful articles, I wouldn’t use them in a resume. They are serving their purpose sitting on the eHow site under my username. If I really wanted credit, I’d use my full name.
A Little Story
Several years ago, an insurance professional (no, it’s not me), was working at a large brokerage firm. One day he walks in to find that his entire department is being dismantled and the entire staff is being redeployed (most of them were let go). This insurance professional had a couple of options. He could complain about the unfair situation, gossip and get upset or, he could pull out his serenity prayer and make the choice to take control of his situation (after all with a wife, two kids and a dog to feed, idle gossip won’t buy food).
Bottom line, in short order he ended up finding another position in the same company, earning more money, closer to home with reduced stress. While he was making calls, setting up appointments and taking control of his future, many of his co-workers were sitting around complaining and comparing horror stories about the unfairness of the situation.
Get the facts, analyze your own situation, create a game plan and move on. It may be unfair but, as I say to my kids, “Is it fair that you have full use of your limbs and are in good health when so many other children are born without limbs and have debilitating diseases? Of course not! Sometimes life deals you a good hand and sometimes not. Your duty is to make the best of what you have, fair or not.
(Sorry if I got a little preachy)