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Suite101: All Good Things Must Come to an End

Suite 101  is undergoing a transformation. They’ve switched from the old individual article-writing model to more of a collaborative effort type of model. It reminds me of Wikipedia. One of the major differences I see, however, between the Wikipedia model and Suite’s is the author attribution.

I tend not to use Wikipedia as the gospel, but I’m able to find general information and sometimes valuable reference links to help me in my Suite 101research. The one thing I don’t see is the author or authors’ names. I see a page of information with no one to thank.

Suite’s model is different in that existing articles (with author attribution) can be modified by fellow writers. That causes me concern. If my name is on the article, I want to be the person making the changes (the precise reason why I use an assumed name for Demand Studios). If I make a mistake, I take full responsibility. If someone else makes a mistake, I don’t want to take full responsibility.

Not the Money

My Suite articles stopped being lucrative a long time ago, but I left the articles there for exposure. I’ve used my Suite articles to land writing gigs. With the new rules, however, I’m not so sure I want the exposure. If someone modifies my work to the point where I no longer want to be associated with it, what’s the use?

We’re in an age where almost everyone is a self-appointed authority. Just look at the news. Newscasters are asking the public to send in story ideas, photos and videos to be reported as news. Wikipedia, with the ability to modify existing information, does pretty much the same thing.

I’m not a newscaster nor do I modify information on Wikipedia. By the same token, I’d rather not have my Suite articles Wikipedia’d.

Queue the Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I cannot change Suite’s new model, so I asked them to delete my work.

Suite Writer’s Facebook Page

There’s a helpful Facebook group for Suite writers. If you are a current or past Suite writer, you will definitely find it a helpful resource. I openly admit that I’m allergic to Facebook so you won’t see me there, but you will find a friendly group of helpful past and present Suiters.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Liz December 13, 2012, 11:08 am

    Wow. I knew that Suite101 changed, but I didn’t know that people could change your articles! That just doesn’t seem right if you’re not posting articles anonymously.

    Thanks for the heads-up! By the way, it’s good to see you back. I enjoy reading your perspectives.

    • Felicia December 13, 2012, 11:19 am

      Liz, I just stopped by your blog. I’m way (way, way, way) past the pregnancy stage, but I recently became interested in paleo/low carb. Wish I knew about it 100 years ago when I was having kids. 🙂

      You’ve got some good info there.

      • Liz December 13, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Thanks, Felicia 🙂

  • Sarah-Marie Hughes December 13, 2012, 11:20 am

    Thanks for this really helpful post. I heard about Suite 101 from one of my writing instructors a few months ago. I was interested in signing up but by the time I got around to it, they were already in the transition phase and said they would not be accepting any new writers for the time being. Now that I see how significant the changes are, I’m having second thoughts about this new model. – S

    • Felicia December 13, 2012, 11:31 am

      Sarah, I understand where you’re coming from. I guess Suite works for folks looking to collaborate.

      I’d love to hear from folks who decided to stay with Suite. It would offer a fresh perspective and maybe offer some insight that we’re not seeing.

  • Alina Bradford December 13, 2012, 12:41 pm

    Hi Felicia,
    I did the same thing when I heard about the latest change. Now all of my 314 articles are being placed on my own sites and blogs so that I have more control.

    • Felicia December 14, 2012, 9:03 am

      Makes sense, Alina. Placing all the articles on your own site is a lot of work. I’m trying to place a few of mine each day until they’re all done.

  • Alexander December 14, 2012, 4:14 pm

    I’ve been following your recent posts, and to be honest, I’m glad you’ve decided to jump back into the writing game (not to say that it isn’t a good thing to try changing direction and I do hope you will eventually find what you are looking for). I am glad you posted this about Suite 101, because I had always considered signing up and the last time I couldn’t, there was some kind of technical problem, and after several weeks I let it go. Now I know I was right not to waste my time :-).

    Point? You often mention how you will publish articles that don’t pass the sometimes arbitrary critiques at sites like DS, on your own blogs and you always have some success with your numbers and residual income.

    Maybe that’s where the gold really is, but there is a lot more periphery work involved in making it work for us.

    I haven’t written more than two articles online for over a year because of job stress (which I plan to leave next year), but my account at Hubpages continues earning some residual – a steady 10 dollars a month. That tells me to put more of my eggs in that basket and capitalize on that. I think your own blogs are the key to your success.

    The hard part is that Google has changed the playing field multiple times and everyone who has contributed to their success must find new ways to promote themselves, and work harder. I wonder if you and your readers might find more success in freelancing to magazines? Or maybe we could all band together in self publishing magazine groups, to help promote each other – both online magazines and paper, even cheap newsletter formats?

    There must be a way to find the audience back. Just some thoughts. As always, love your stuff, read everything on NJFM even though I don’t always comment.

    • Felicia December 17, 2012, 9:56 am

      Good to hear from you Alexander. You bring up good points.

      In an attempt to make some quick cash I went back to Demand Studios. My tenure with Demand Studios will be short lived as I focus most of my online time adding new content to my old sites. I’m still trying to spend as little time as possible writing online so I have to make it count when I do write.

      There are plenty online groups that help writers earn money online. Robin’s group and the Suite Facebook Group are two that have helpful writer communities.

      The online game has changed, but I think if we take our time and learn the ropes, there’s lots of money to be made writing online.

      • Alexander December 17, 2012, 4:36 pm

        I was hoping to maybe help and you gave me something useful instead 🙂 Thanks, I’ll check out those sites.

  • Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural December 14, 2012, 9:35 pm

    LOL! on being allergic to Facebook – me too. Sorry about Suite 101 – that must’ve been a hard decision to make.

    • Felicia December 17, 2012, 9:58 am

      Actually, the decision wasn’t so hard. Suite made the decision for me. 🙂

  • Crystal December 16, 2012, 11:31 am

    Thanks for letting us all know about this horrible change! When I wrote for Demand, I didn’t realize the potential negatives of using my own name. Now that I have a clue, I also do not want my name on an article that others can change. Guess I’ll be pulling my few articles off S101, too.

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