Thursday, July 2, 2009


There's been an uproar over the second round of article deletions at eHow. In case you weren't around for the first wave, eHow has been deleting content that doesn't meet either their standards or terms of service. Fair enough, however, writers have been complaining that high earners are being deleted and pointing out that eHow benefits financially from removing competition for their wholly owned content (i.e. articles they paid for from the Demand Studios side of their business).

Willow Sidhe has written a thoughtful post on the topic and I responded with a lengthy comment which I'm reproducing here:

I think this is well put BUT Ehow does have a financial incentive to discriminate in favor of their wholly owned content.

Remember, they can see the comparative stats and we can't. It has to occur to them if they eliminate the competition they can increase their earnings. What they do with that information, I don't know. Ethically they should ignore it, but greed does strange things to corporations.

I agree with you that many of the articles people are sharing have problems that justify their deletion. But we haven't seen all the articles and it is a strange business model that deletes moneymakers. You would think they would at least give writers a shot at editing because that benefits everyone.

Personally, in my opinion something doesn't smell right here. Ehow needs to be more transparent because this is affecting their credibility. Right now, I'm assuming they are acting in good faith and have just royally botched the writer relations side of things.

Then again, having worked in Corporate America, that kind of massive customer relations fail is often indicative of management quality and thought process. When I go down that thought path, I am disturbed to realize they could care less about their contributors. That's not good.

If Ehow continues to do arbitrary things that piss off writers, that would be a strong signal of a deeper problem.

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