Monday, December 19, 2011

Skyword gets $6 million investment

I just heard that Skyword, a company that produces content for brand-name companies, including Pampers, Bounty (paper towels), and Gather, announced today that Cox Media Group had invested 6 million dollars to "expand the Skyword platform to address new markets, and grow Skyword’s sales, marketing and client services functions." (That's from the company's press release.)

My take is this: The content site industry has two types of sites: (1) ad-supported open-platform sites, where companies create structured spaces where anyone can write articles about anything, and (2) broker sites, where companies bring together publishers and pre-screened writers and make money by taking a percentage of the writers' fees.

The open platforms are in trouble.  Google has been blasting at them for almost a year. Many have already shut down, and the others are struggling. The open-platform revenue-share model, in my opinion, is fading away.

Open-platform sites that encourage creativity and authenticity, and that set the bar high, with a genuine commitment to excellence, might be able to thrive, but most of the sites I've seen do the opposite -- setting "good enough" as the standard and applying assembly-line techniques to writing, turning articles into manufactured, predictable products -- inexpensive, but not really satisfying to a web-surfing public that can turn elsewhere at the click of a mouse.

The broker sites, though, seem to be doing well.  I haven't heard of any going out of business recently.  New broker sites are popping up, and some old ones are expanding. Textbroker, for example, recently opened a site for UK writers, adding that to its existing U.S., German, and French sites. And now, today, we hear that Skyword, another broker site, is going to expand.

I think for writers who want to work for content sites, the broker sites now provide the best opportunities.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Suite101 kicked out of Google News - and admits to gaming the system

Photo by BeeThalin

Many content sites have been kicked out of Google News, but usually they pretend to be shocked and/or they accuse Google of picking on them without cause.  This is the first time, that I know of, that someone at one of the sites has admitted that they didn't really care about the news they were producing.
"We began indexing articles in Google News in April 2010 as a purely SEO-driven initiative: the goals at the time were less to give reporters a platform or audiences a publication as to nab greater search traffic. With an English-language market well equipped with serious news organizations, to even think about competing you really have to mean it. As a group, we never really did."  -- Michael Kedda, Editor-in-chief, Suite 101, in a memo posted internally in Suite 101 for the site's authors 
That's quite an admission.  Full memo after the jump:

"We have received confirmation from Google that our news articles are no longer being included in the Google news index. While we don't know exactly why, and do know for some writers this is a shame, we're taking it in stride. Slightly bad timing if anything.
"We began indexing articles in Google News in April 2010 as a purely SEO-driven initiative: the goals at the time were less to give reporters a platform or audiences a publication as to nab greater search traffic. With an English-language market well equipped with serious news organizations, to even think about competing you really have to mean it. As a group, we never really did.
"Looking forward, we know that news journalism, as a form we respect, does not factor into our plans for future—at least not as something we produce ourselves. It's an easy, calm decision, unfortunately just slightly tainted by the apparent snub.
"Just as well. Time to focus.
"You will note that the submission guidelines have been amended to remove the section on news. We will also be removing the "newsworthy" check box from the article draft page.
"You are still welcome to publish articles on timely events, however we will not designate those articles as "news" in the articles' URLs.


(via the AC, um Yahoo Voice, forums)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Et tu, WiseGeek?

WiseGeek -- the third content site to make a major announcement in the past two days -- announced it will stop publishing new content in January.  (Hat tip to Rena, again, and to the Demand Studios General Discussion Forum.)

I'll post more information when I have it.

I wonder why all these announcements from all of these sites are coming at the same time.  And on top of that, today is the one-year anniversary -- to the day -- that Helium abruptly announced it was scrapping its upfront payment system and substituting the first of its new, confusing systems that paid increasingly lower and lower rates.

Is there something significant about the first two days of December?  Are December 1 and 2 like the Ides of March for writers -- dates that hold a special significance and danger?   Beware, writers, of the onesies and twosies of the twelfth month?

Is it that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a good time for a news dump -- a time when people are paying less attention to the news -- a time similar to Friday evenings, the traditional time for politicians to make announcements they hope no one will hear?

Does it have something to do with the companies needing to get things done before the end of the fiscal year -- but not wanting to make a move RIGHT before Christmas, lest they be too easily painted as Scrooges?

It's a puzzle.

Bright Hub is going to stop paying revenue share

Starting December 15, Bright Hub will no longer pay revenue share on its articles.  (Hat tip, again, to Rena for the info).

I hate to say "I told you so" (okay, I lied -- I love to say "I told you so"), but people who write for revenue share, thinking it will fund their retirement, need to think again.   Check your contracts.  Most of the content-ste companies can stop paying revenue share at any time, for any reason -- and still keep your articles.  Or the companies may continue to pay, but secretly tinker with their secret formulas so that you will get a smaller percentage of the total income -- without ever knowing what happened. Then where will all your hard work have gotten you?

Excerpts from the memo the company sent to its contributors are after the jump:

... Like many companies we are facing the reality of a changed economy, while simultaneously working to increase visitors in a post-Panda world. This combination of market forces has required us to make some hard decisions about our business model moving forward, including the elimination of some internal staff positions as well as our ‘Shared Success’ writer program.
Therefore, our current writer and editor roles have ended, effective immediately, and your last payment for revenue-sharing will be on December 15. Any updates or editing of previously created content will be handled by internal staff. And, if we should ever need to delete one of your articles, we will return the article and copyright to you via email, utilizing our current article notification system.
Does this mean we are closing our virtual doors? No.
Bright Hub will continue to focus on our core content areas of Business, Technology and Education, and will be contracting on an ad hoc basis with a small group of writers and editors, who will work closely with our in-house editorial team. Fees for both writing assignments and editing work will be based on the length and depth of content coverage needed....
If you would like to be considered for future contract work, please send a note to . This is also the email you should direct any questions or concerns to about the changes we have outlined here...
We understand that for many of you, the time will have come to part ways....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Associated Content" is now "Yahoo! Voices"

The "Associated Content" name and domain are gone, may they rest in peace.  All AC content was moved to the domain, except for our profile pages, which are still at

In case you haven't seen it, there's an official introductory memo that seems to explain everything.

I just glanced at it, and haven't really looked around the new site beyond the front page, which does look nice.

I probably won't be following much of the cheering or gnashing of teeth (whichever it may be) going on in the forums. I'm only peripherally involved in AC -- oops, Yahoo Voices -- now, and as long as I get my "metro beat" assignments, I'll be happy.  I'm also using AC -- oops, I did it again -- it's going to take me a while to get used to this -- I'm also using Yahoo Voices as a place to park my rants about TV and other things that don't have much commercial value (and don't fit into any of my existing blogs) but that I want to inflict on the world anyway.

The biggest change that I can see is that all articles will now be a single page.  That means less revenue share, and it also means that some existing articles will take a lot of scrolling to get through.  Going forward, I guess the basic strategy for writing for Yahoo Voices (ha -- I got it right that time) for people who want to maximize their revenue share is to break articles down and submit several short ones instead of a single long one.  This won't affect articles previously published on Yahoo ("regular" Yahoo), though, as those were always only a single page.

Maybe in the end it will work out for the best.  Without the content-farming stigma of the "Associated Content," name, maybe our articles will be seen in a more favorable light.  Not that anyone (least of all Google) would be fooled by a name change, but it could be a part of a new start.

Textbroker is opening a new site for UK English

Textbroker opened a new site today -- -- for writing assignments in British, Canadian, and Australian English. Payment is in euros. (Hat tip to Rena for the info.)  You can find out more in the press release.

Editing to add: The new site is open only to writers outside the U.S. because of tax issues.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Interact/Zerys -- another article marketplace in the Textbroker and WriterAccess mode

I found this site (Interact Media, aka Zerys Content Marketplace) through a Craigslist ad.  It's another site, like Textbroker and WriterAccess, that brings together writers and clients for specific assignments -- some open to all writers, others direct assignments. It even uses the same two-to-five star rating system.

This is the ad. (They use the name Zerys on the ad, but Interact Media on the site itself -- I think Interact is the parent company):
The Zerys Content Marketplace is an award-winning content management platform developed for the purpose of bringing together content buyers and providers. We post thousands of jobs each week, and our client base is growing rapidly. We need experienced writers to join our network and become part of the content marketing revolution!
With our unique system, buyers use specialized set-up tools to create a list of titles they'd like to have written, along with writer instructions and other job details. Then, they can either post these titles to the writer job board, or assign them directly to you. When buyers order directly from you, they pay you the per-word rate you specify in your profile, or any rate you negotiate with them.
When you first apply, we will review a unique writing sample from you and give you an initial quality rating of 2-5 stars. After that, your rating will be based on buyer ratings. Buyers can search writers by quality ratings, so the higher your rating, the more likely you are to get higher paying jobs. 
During the application process, you will enter the pay rate you wish to charge per word for direct assignments. Payments are made every 2 weeks through your PayPal account. 
If you're interested in becoming a writer in the Zerys network, please apply here:
Thank you!
Here's their writers' FAQ page.  Other than what I saw in the ad and on their site, I know nothing about this company.  Has anyone worked for them?  If so, what was it like?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Beware: Fake ad agency contacting self-hosted WordPress bloggers

I recently received an email from someone named Noa Morin at a company called the Kara Agency, saying she wanted to run a banner ad on one of my self-hosted WordPress blogs and asking me to quote a price.

She accepted the price right away, then said she wanted me to install a plug-in on my site that would display the ads. She said, after I asked, that the company advertising was Lacoste.

Long story short, this is a scam. Someone has been sending out the same emails under different "agency" names. The agencies are fakes.  Their websites are duplicate copies of another website, with just the agency name changed.  The original website, which all the others were copied from, may or may not be legit itself. The domain names for the duplicate websites were registered only days before email started being sent out under their names.

(more details after the jump)
First contact:

From: "Noa Morin" 〈〉

Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We are looking for new advertisement platforms and we are interested in your site
Is it possible to place banner on your site on a fee basis?

Best regards,
Noa Morin

At this point, I thought it was probably a scam. Despite a recent spike in traffic, which I expected to be short-lived, my site had been semi-dormant for a long time, and its usual traffic patterns wouldn't justify someone contacting me out of the blue to ask about advertising.  The site was nicely designed, though, with a look that seemed creative enough to be a real site for an advertising agency. So I wasn't sure.

Figuring I had nothing to lose, as it probably wasn't a legit offer -- but responding just in case it was -- I replied, quoting a high weekly price. I got this response:

Payments will be processed automatically every month, that's why we ask the price per month. There is no option in our billing system to make 1 week prepaid. Please offer your price per month

Best regards,
Noa Morin.
phone: + (0)9 78 62 31 00

This seemed odd and didn't make much sense. But still playing along and curious to see what they were up to, I responded with a monthly price which was much higher than the going rate (which I had just researched) for advertising on a site with traffic like mine. I figured in the unlikely chance that they were legit, they could make a lower counteroffer.  I got this response:


Thanks for reply to our proposal!
We like your price.
To pass to the banner control system follow the link
To enter use the following data:

login: ----------

password: -------------

You should install and activate the plugin in order to display advertisement. Before making payment, advertiser must approve location of the banner. The banner will be shown on your site when you add special code to your web- address (for example: It means, that visitors will see the banner only if it is approved and payment made.

To get installation instruction for your site type pass to:
To activate your site you have to enter the code: ----------

What way of payment is suitable for you?

This rang a lot of alarm bells. Why would they accept my (hugely inflated) price without even asking about my site traffic and visitor demographics? Why would they want me to install a plug-in?  Plug-ins can be dangerous -- they can take over the whole blog. In my limited experience with blog advertising, I just put javascript code in the sidebars.

I wrote back asking them what advertisements they would be showing, why she thought my blog's audience would be a good fit for their advertisers, and whether I could veto objectionable ads. I thought if they were scammers, they just wouldn't answer, but I did get this response:

I represent Kara Agency. At the moment we are preparing an advertising campaign for Lacoste Company (it is a French company producing clothes, footwear, perfumery etc.)

Plugin installation doesn't mean that banner will appear on your site, it won't until payment is made. It is needed to let the advertiser check your site and decide if it fits his requirements.
If advertiser like your site, you receive payment and only after it, the banner will appear.

No, we don't ask you to change your URL.This test link is given you to see how the banner would look and where it would be placed.( but in fact it is not on your site, you can see in only when you add "?adv_test=1")

This was the first I had heard that the ad had to be approved by the advertiser -- I thought the agency had already accepted my offer. Also, my blog's audience is pretty geeky, and I couldn't imagine why someone representing a high-end designer clothing and perfume company would choose a geeky blog to run their ads.  No offense to geeks, but they (we) are not the first group that usually comes to mind when someone thinks about who is most likely to spend a lot of money on cutting-edge fashion. My blog readers, actually, almost never click on anything, not even on things I expect they would like. Ads for expensive perfume would not be a big hit.

I asked a friend who knows WordPress PHP coding to look at the plug-in (which I had downloaded, but NOT installed).  She said it looked okay, that it was just pulling ads off the agency's server.

Still, my gut was saying "Don't do it."

A web search for "Noa Morin" and "Kara Agency" showed a lot of identical comments left on blogs saying she wanted to run banner ads on their sites and that she was leaving a message in the comments because she couldn't find their contact information. The comments all ended, almost whimsically, with the line "P.S. Please delete this comment." Nothing else was showing up in my searches.

At that point, I decided to just drop it.  I was afraid there was a chance I was letting an opportunity slip away, which I would hate to pass up because I had been hoping to make some money with that particular blog for a long time.  The plug-in itself was apparently clean, and some people were urging me to go for it.  I had some doubts about my own reactions, wondering if I was being overly suspicious or even paranoid.  In the end, though, I decided to listen to my gut, and I figured that any money I might get (if the agency turned out to be legit) wouldn't be worth the stress of worrying about what the plug-in might be doing to my blog, which was a long-term labor of love.

About a week later, still curious, I did another Google search.  This time, someone had left comments on the blogs where Noa Morin had left comments with a link to his own site describing his experiences with the Noa Morin emails.  The link was a link, which in itself raised questions, but after reading the page, I was convinced it was legit.

This blogger did two things that were very clever, which I wish I had thought of doing myself.  First, he looked at the karaagency's whois page.  The registration was privacy protected, which is very odd, I think, for a company. Individuals, yes, but companies, no. Also, the domain name had only been registered 10 days before the first email was sent. Second, the blogger called Lacoste, and they said they had never heard of the Kara Agency.

Some more web searching showed that other people had received the same emails sent under different names. Then, instead of searching on "Noa Morin" and "Kara Agency," I searched on "scam banner Lacoste" (without the quotation marks) which brought up a lot of new stuff, including Devious Scam Aimed at Bloggers, which gives a very good description of the whole experience, and Keep Safe on the Net, which has a lot of comments from people who have received the emails sent under various names.

It is 100% certain that this is a scam because the email senders change the name of the "agency" every few weeks, and the agency sites, under all the different names, are all clones of each other. No one though, that I am aware of, has yet figured out exactly how the scam works.  The consensus view is that the code in the plug-in is benign, and that the harm would probably come from the pictures or links in the ads that people would click on. Another possibility, this one rather diabolically clever, is that the scammers would introduce malicious code via plug-in updates.  Most people routinely accept all updates without even thinking about it, much less checking the update code.  The scammers could slip anything in that way. My guess is that they are trying to distribute spyware or other kinds of malicious code.

What I learned from this experience:

1.  Trust my gut.

2.  "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."  That old saying still applies.

3.  I'm not paranoid, I'm prudent.  (This time, anyway.)

4.  Never install a WordPress plug-in that doesn't come from the official WordPress site.

5.  Don't try to jump the gun.  My sites don't have enough traffic for pay-per-view advertising from large companies.  When and if they ever do, I can work through more normal channels.

6.  When "Noa" first contacted me, I became curious about how much I could reasonably charge direct advertisers. I found this article, which was helpful, and now I know: How much should I charge for my advertising space? (Problogger)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Are there other places for writers like Demand Studios?

Demand Studios titles have dried up for most DS writers. Even many of the 15 percent, or so, who are in “First Look” are finding little or nothing to write. A question keeps on popping up on the DS forums: Are there other sites that are like Demand Studios?

The short answer is “no.” But while there are no sites exactly like Demand Studios, I think it’s possible to cobble together a substitute that is at least satisfactory and potentially much better.

The best path out of Demand Studios probably depends on the path you took to get there in the first place. Roughly speaking, there seem to be three partially-overlapping groups at DS: people who chose DS because they wanted to work at home, people who were career writers, and people who enjoyed picking titles from a list.

More after the jump

Working at home

Demand Studios is hardly the only work-at-home option. The best resource for finding other work-at-home jobs is the WAHM forums. The site is aimed at moms, but you don’t have to be a mom or even female to join. Just looking at the forum titles will give you an idea of the huge range of things that people have done to make money at home, and the discussions themselves are quite active.


To look for other online writing jobs, Google “writers wanted,” check Craigslist (but be wary of scammers), and bookmark some of the many sites that list writing jobs, such as Freelance Writing Gigs, the Absolute Write forums, Freelance Writing Jobs, and Write Jobs. Keep on reading the Demand Studios general forum, too. I found my now-favorite writing site because someone on the DS forums was raving about it.

I'd suggest staying away from revenue-share sites, for the most part, especially sites that have been targeted by Panda. The best bet now is to work for clients directly or for sites (such as Constant Content, WriterAccess, and Textbroker), which act as middlemen between writers and publishers.

To branch out beyond online writing, check out the job listings at Media Bistro and take a look at the classic guide, the Writer's Market. If you buy the deluxe edition, you’ll get a year’s free subscription to their online database as well.

If you were mostly a creative writer before DS, this could be a good opportunity to find new, more interesting projects that don’t require writing about computer-generated topics while typing into little boxes.

If you had professional writing experience before DS, brainstorm new ways to get back in touch with old contacts.

Picking titles from a list

It may seem silly, but one part of writing for content sites that always appealed to me was browsing through lists of titles. It’s not that I couldn’t think of my own topics to write about, but seeing those lists somehow kick-started my brain.

Textbroker and WriterAccess both have lists of requested titles. While their pay rates are often (though not always) less than Demand Studios' rates, you can usually write articles for them faster than was possible at DS. Also, both offer the chance of being selected for direct orders at potentially higher rates.

Don't burn bridges

While it may be tempting to leave DS with a bang, you can't predict what will happen next at this company, which has always been  unpredictable. They could come up with new projects some day that would be just what you were looking for. I certainly wouldn't count on it -- but I wouldn't rule it out either.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Big changes at Helium and Demand Studios

Photo by Jonas B
I've been a critic of Helium since the disastrous retooling of the site in December 2010, but I have to give credit where credit is due: Helium took a huge step forward this week by announcing plans to publish page views and pay rates. Moving towards greater transparency sets a whole new positive tone for this formerly secretive company.

More after the jump

Helium is also changing the way it calculates revenue share. The company's blog post revealed the old payment formula, for the first time, and it turns out the formula relied heavily on the site's rating system, giving more income to articles with higher ratings. The new revenue share system will pay strictly by page views, which I believe is a lot more fair, considering how flawed the rating system is. In a way, it's an admission that the rating system, the site's original claim to distinction (even the site's name, Helium, referred to the way the rating system was supposed to lift quality to the top), no longer carries much weight.

Pay rates were posted on the forum. They vary by category (topic), and the current range is $1.25 to $2.00 per thousand page views.

Demand Studios seems to be moving in the opposite direction, away from transparency. It soon became clear that the vaguely-worded memo sent out on Oct. 5 meant there would be little work left for writers and editors who weren't assigned to special projects -- and this was after months of the company claiming that the slowdown was only temporary and/or was a technical glitch. Confusion still reigns because after the "buh-bye" announcement, DS then announced a program to help writers new to the site. There are no titles, but they are hiring new writers?  No one seems to know what is going on, but suspicions are running high.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Updates on WriterAccess, CloudCrowd, Textbroker, Demand Studios, and Helium

I recently signed up for a trio of new (to me) sites.  I've been active on WriterAccess and CloudCrowd for a little less than two months, and I've been at Textbroker for a few weeks.


I've settled in here, writing mostly for two clients with ongoing assignments -- one marketing copy for a catalog, the other news items for law-firm blogs. It's working out very well for me -- it's one of my favorite sites now -- though people who have come in at a lower level (the site assigns "levels" to all writers, which determine the pay rates and the projects they can work on) say they are having trouble finding things to do.  (More info)


My second month here is going much better than my first.  I'm doing mostly editing now, with some writing here and there. My score has climbed, I'm getting a bigger choice of assignments, and I'm probably making (roughly) about $10 to $15 per hour.  Best of all, I love to edit.  It relaxes me, and is a great change of pace from writing. (More info | My referral link)


Textbroker is similar to WriterAccess (or perhaps I should say WriterAccess is similar to Textbroker, since Textbroker has been around a lot longer) -- but it pays less. It's a double whammy for me because (1) each level on TB pays less than the equivalent level on WA, and (2) I came in on a lower level -- a 3 -- on TB than I did on WA -- a 4..

Here's a comparison of the pay rates, in cents per word, by level (the WriterAccess pay rates are minimums and often go higher):

If you are looking at this post in the future, you can find current pay rates here: Textbroker pay rates and WriterAccess pay rates.

It's not worth it to me to be writing for one cent per word, but I'm doing some stuff there in the hopes that I might soon be promoted to a higher level.

Also, Textbroker has two advantages: (1) They have a lot of work.  There is always something available.  (2) The work is easy, and the standards, especially compared to sites like Demand Studios, are low. Also, as a Textbroker writer helpfully pointed out to me, if you click on the client number in a job order, you will see what percentage of articles the client sends back for rewrites, and what percentage it rejects.  It's shocking to see how many clients never reject or even ask for rewrites on anything -- which makes writing there totally stress-free.

The downside is that some of the assignments are pointless exercises in keyword stuffing.  This is not a place to practice doing your best work.

In the last few weeks, Textbroker also started a new program, which has "team orders" and "casting calls" -- concepts perhaps borrowed from WriterAccess' "love lists" and "casting calls" -- which enable you to apply directly to specific clients to be put on preferred lists for assignments -- and the clients can pay above your usual rate.  (More info)

Demand Studios

Are the glory days of the $25 eHow Money articles over?  At this moment, as we speak, there are no $25 Money titles available at all. Whether they will come back is anyone's guess, as DS tends to be very secretive about things like this.

Meanwhile, there are lots of new $16 titles for Home & Garden, so I guess I need to try to get in touch with my inner decorator.

I've been doing less at DS this month -- feeling burnt out on the research needed for the finance articles, while they were available. (More info)


Helium has a new Community Manager, and perhaps because of that, there has been a flurry of new activity around the site, with a lot of pulse-taking of members' opinions.  My take is that they are going to continue along the road towards becoming more of a "fun" site that offers contest prizes rather than consistent or reliable payments. Outside of Content Source (Helium's new name for Marketplace, which is by application or invitation only), the site may be of little use for writers who rely on content writing for income. Still, when reading entries in the "tell us what you think of us" contest, I was struck by how strongly some of the site's active members/volunteers felt that Helium provided them with an online writing home.  (More info)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CEO of Yahoo was fired

Carol Bartz, former Yahoo CEO
Yahoo's board of directors unexpectedly fired the Yahoo CEO today, in the hopes that shaking things up at the top would reverse the company's poor performance.

The Wall Street Journal is saying that Yahoo is also "open to selling itself to the right bidder."

So the big fish (Yahoo) that swallowed the smaller fish (Associated Content) might itself be gobbled up by an even bigger fish.

And the writers?  Fish food, I guess.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wikio Experts closing

Photo by Steve Snodgrass
I signed up but hadn't yet gotten around to writing for Wikio Experts, a multi-lingual content site based in France. Now they are closing down their article site and morphing into a paid-for-blogging platform.

They sent out this email today:
Dear Users,

We launched Wikio Experts as a venture earlier this year, and it has been a great learning experience for ourselves and our online community. We’ve published thousands of excellent articles and have grown a fantastic community of talented writers.

We are now setting our sites [sic] on a new, flexible and improved service; closer to your needs, and more advanced than Wikio Experts. We will be closing Wikio Experts and creating a new service alongside our blogging platform Overblog, which already provides an online publishing service for thousands of writers across Europe. We’re aiming to launch this new product towards the end of September this year, and we’ll provide you with everything you need to get started beforehand.

(more after the jump)

This new product will allow you to publish your articles on OverBlog, even if you don’t have a blog. It’ll replace, which will be discontinued and its content moved across. The revamped service will offer exciting new features, better suiting your needs.

The development of this service is dependent upon the collaboration of all parties involved. As you will be more involved in your work, from start to finish, you have everything to gain from us through a new revenue sharing remuneration model. Furthermore, in keeping with this shift toward a more autonomous service, we will allow you to choose the topics and titles you want to write about; rather than us determining these for you.

We believe this is the way to ensure our future successes together as publishers and as writers.

We hope you continue your journey with us to help shape the future of digital media together.

We will reveal more soon. A new and exciting adventure begins!

Best wishes,
Team Wikio Experts
The "new revenue sharing remuneration model" is likely to be revenue-share only.  In any case, it doesn't sound like this "new and exciting adventure" will be my cup of tea.  I've already had one disastrous experience with a blogging network (cough, Even if this one is well-run, I'd rather do my blogging on my own and keep total ownership and control.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Panda Effect

Take a look at these graphs that show how Google's Panda hurt many content sites -- and also, at the bottom of the page, see a few surprises among the sites that were untouched: Pandalized.

Start Resume-writing Business, 3rd Ed
Ultimate Resource For Building A Six-figure Resume-writing Business

Monday, August 15, 2011

R.R. Donnelley paid 57 million dollars for Helium

When R.R. Donnelley bought Helium in June, no one outside the companies involved knew how much it had paid.  However, in RRD's quarterly report for the second quarter, filed on August 3, 2011, RRD disclosed that it paid $57 million (in addition to what it had already invested in Helium before).

That's less than the $100 million or so that Yahoo paid for Associated Content, but a lot more than I would have expected

(more after the jump)

From the quarterly report:
On June 21, 2011, the Company acquired Helium, Inc. (“Helium”), an online community offering publishers, catalogers and other customers stock and custom content, as well as a comprehensive range of editorial solutions. As the Company previously held a 23.7% equity investment in Helium, the purchase price for the remaining equity of Helium was $57.0 million net of cash acquired of $0.1 million and included an amount due from Helium of $1.1 million. The fair value of the Company’s previously held equity investment was $12.8 million ....

The operations of these acquired businesses [Helium and RRD's other recent acquisition, Journalism Online] are complementary to the Company’s existing products and services.... The ability to bundle Helium’s content development solutions with the Company’s complete offering of content delivery resources addresses customers’ needs across the full breadth of the supply chain. 
(Hat tip to Chris.)

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