eHow Changes Format

by JadeDragon

This just posted by Lex in the eHow Forums:

Today, we’re announcing a series of changes for eHow.com. Anyone who’s ever written for eHow should receive a message today from eHow explaining those changes. But here’s an overview of what’s happening, why, and some of the impact.

Since 2006, eHow’s growth has been nothing short of explosive. Our site offers thousands of articles and videos teaching people around the world everything from how to boil an egg to how to tile a bathroom. eHow’s massive library is due in large part to our vibrant writer community that has been part of our growing family since 2006. We introduced the Writer Compensation Program (WCP) in 2007 and began paying our members for sharing their knowledge with our community and the Web at large.

Now we’re inviting everyone who’s ever written for eHow.com to apply as a writer within our more robust, feature-rich system at our partner, Demand Studios. Demand Studios is the writing and publishing platform run by eHow’s parent company, Demand Media. We’ll be closing the current publishing method on eHow.com and incorporating new articles through the Demand Studios channel.

As part of this change, as you’ve probably noticed, we’ve tweaked some elements on the site. There’s now a special section of the forums exclusively for our writers, and what was once the “Write” tab has become the “Share” tab. Obviously, this shift in the eHow-writer landscape is bigger than some design changes, so let’s clarify some key information.

Your existing articles will continue to live on eHow.com. The WCP will be closed to new participants, but if you’re already enrolled, then you’ll continue to enjoy the monetary benefits of your currently published work, and you can continue to edit your existing articles with the publishing tools on eHow.com.

The biggest benefits of this transition are threefold:

1) a better publishing system for our writers,

2) writer empowerment to make more money, and

3) that we are all able to raise eHow’s article quality, benefitting writers and consumers alike.

We know that eHow.com’s publishing tools have sometimes left something to be desired. Demand Studios’ writing and publishing tools were built by writers for writers, and represent a long-term, high-dollar investment that we’re very proud of and are constantly working to improve. Demand Studios corrects and streamlines the issues you’ve told us about with eHow’s tools, and seeks to be an agile, living system that adapts to everyone’s needs. We don’t want to lose a single contributor to a bug around actions as fundamental as attaching an image or saving an article.

Compensation from Demand Studios is more flexible than eHow’s WCP. You can continue writing articles with recurring monthly payments like you’re used to. Or you can write articles with a guaranteed upfront payment and get paid twice a week. You’ll also be offered the opportunity to write for other websites, including LIVESTRONG.COM, Answerbag.com, Trails.com and GolfLink.com. This change pivots around you – the writer – and is being developed and launched with consideration toward our community at every step.

For the first time, eHow writers can receive personal feedback from our editors, and can participate in seminars on writing. Demand Studios’ passionate writer community provides you an excellent forum to exchange tips and ideas with more of your writing colleagues than ever.

As you know, article quality is extremely important to us at eHow.com, and over the past couple of years we’ve continually worked to address that in new and better ways. With Demand Studios, our writers will now have access to copy editors, professionally-licensed image libraries, fact-checkers, and more — all with an eye toward sharper, cleaner, tighter new content.

Many current eHow.com writers will be accepted into Demand Studios. We want to leverage our new system to reward the writers that embrace our quality standards, but let’s be clear: This also means that some writers will no longer be publishing articles for eHow.com, if they’re unwilling or unable to meet those standards.

We’ve posted a lot of information about the Demand Studios transition. You can start with our FAQ to learn more. Thanks for your time, your patience, and most importantly, all of the articles you’ve written for eHow.com — and the millions of lives you’ve improved in the process.

Sincerely,

The eHow Team

Obviously they are putting a nice spin on it. It seems that there will still be a residual payments option.

It looks like this means some sort of editorial check on articles. This Demand Studios editorial process is reportedly broken and an influx of eHow writers is not going to help it work better. Expect that this is not going to be pretty at all.

There will be an application process to write for Demand Studios, and many writers will not make the cut. Expect stupid rejections and valid ones. Expect much angst as the writers are sifted through.

I strongly suggest that you back up all eHow articles NOW. They may start sweeping indiscriminately now that there is no fear of offending the WCP writers (if eHow ever cared before).

While Rich and Julie have said many times that there was no plans to change the Writers Compensation Program, it is hard to believe that this change has not been in the works for months. The only other possible conclusion is that they finally gave up trying to fix the bug infested publishing platform in desperation.

This move may also explain the changes that lead to the eHow Photo Scam.

Watch here for updates and guides on navigating the new waters of Demand Studios.

An interesting article at WebProNews.

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