Monday, October 12, 2009

Be Cautious When Writing for eHow

Lately eHow has been going through a number of changes. In an attempt to clean up their site, they have been deleting many contributor's articles.

This wouldn't be that big of a deal, except that it seems that some articles are being deleted for reasons that make little sense, if any.

For instance, an article was deleted for being spam. The only problem was that the article was one that was suggested and approved by eHow staffers. How could it be spam if eHow suggested it?

Some eHow members are also suggesting that eHow is replacing their articles with Demand Studio articles. Demand Studios is eHow's parent company. At Demand Studios, writers get paid a flat fee of $5-$15 to write articles. These articles then get used on sites like eHow to earn residuals for the company. By deleting member articles and replacing them with Demand Studio articles, eHow would be able to make more money in the long run. So it seems to make financial sense for eHow to stock the website with as many Demand Studio articles as possible.

The positive aspects of eHow are that articles are extremely easy and quick to write. However, you have little control over your article once it is published. They can delete it without notice. For this reason, make sure to back up all articles.

Here are the problems I personally have with eHow:
  1. Lack of Transparency: It's hard to know eHow's reasoning for many of their decisions. It is also extremely difficult to get answers to questions.
  2. No Stability: It seems that things are changing monthly at eHow and a recommended article one day could be deleted the next for being spam.
  3. No Control: eHow has dropped memberships with little explanation and I personally don't fully trust that they wouldn't reuse deleted articles for their own financial gain.
Here are the positives to eHow:
  1. A place to reach a broad audience.
  2. Extremely easy articles to write.
So basically, if you are considering writing for eHow, I would do so with extreme caution. For now, I will not be writing any additional articles for them, but I am happy with keeping the articles I have up and running.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I May be My Own Boss but Man am I a Slave Driver!

I am starting to realize that, as a boss, I'm pretty demanding. Ofcourse, I need to be. Right now I am starting two new careers and neither one is at the point of earning me an acceptable income.

I am showing some great strides in my jewelry career though. I booked the first two shows I applied to, and one of them is extremely prestigious: The One of a Kind Show at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

Due to this great news about the shows, I have been working overtime in the studio producing more jewelry. On top of this, I am trying to write three new Suite 101 articles a week. That goal may quickly diminish if I need more time in the studio.

To help pass the time in the studio, I decided to go to Goodwill to purchase a small television. I like to listen to the news and thought this might be a good way to pass the time while I'm working.

When I went to Goodwill, the only televisions available were extremely large. Then I saw a small odd-looking television sitting on a desk on the other side of the room. It was odd-looking because it was made of a plastic that was completely see-through. The price was right though, so I grabbed the television and took it up to the check out.

The lady behind the check out counter was helping a nice older woman in front of me who was buying china dishes. As the cashier was wrapping the dishes in newspaper, she took a quick glance at my television and said, "You know that's a prison t.v.?"

I thought this was an odd assumption, but I asked her why it was a prison television. She said that prison televisions had to be transparent so that no knives or weapons could be smuggled into the jail inside of the t.v. That seemed to make sense to me.

So now I have a prison television in my studio. I hope it's the last prison television I ever watch. It does work well and it's the perfect size, so I really don't care that it led a former life as a prison inmate.

And maybe having a prison t.v. will remind me just how lucky I am to be free and to be able to work my brains out at something I love. I guess I could be my own warden and keep myself working on the chain gang for a long time to come.