Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ehow Stealing Again??????

Wow. I have pretty much been staying away from eHow of late and focusing on other revenue streams, but today I pop into the forums and what do I find?

A thread where writers are discovering that eHow is taking their article images and using them on other content elsewhere. Also, the hyperlinks associated with writers' images are being redirected to Demand Studios content NOT the original contributor and owner of the image.

Here's  a link to the eHow forum thread on this issue.  I have a terrible head cold so I haven't been able to fully process the effect of this deceit, but here are some quotes from the conversation on it that I think are edifying... (Note: The wonky formatting is not my doing, it's just how it pasted into the Blogger template.)

"Here is another example of unfair eHow global photo banks.....Here you will find my image of Bailey and her Hot you would think that My image would link to my article...nope it goes to another eHow members article.  My image is shared with all, not one person asked me if they could use it.   I get no traffic from my how is this fair?????"

"Personally I think we should convey a message to eHow that using our images on other  writers articles is unacceptable.  My kitten image took me 7 hours to shoot, I laid in a bush and waited for those kittens to strike a pose...It is not a stock image and it is not up for grabs ....It is protected with a creative commons Lic...and it is indicated on my intro not copy, all rights reserved but eHow took it without my permission, and I am not happy.  "

"I had this same problem.  LiveStrong...a Demand Media site, was using one of my images with MY TITLE and linking it to a Contributing DS writer of a different article.  I was VERY PISSED!  I wrote to DM and boisterously complained.  It took a few weeks, but they finally have the image linking to MY article.  I'm okay with that.  That's a good backlink.  I'll take traffic from LiveStrong any day.

Susan, you need to do the same thing.  Write to DM and demand that they either provide a proper backlink to your article, if they are going to use that photo, or else take it down. Request that your demand go to the Content Editor. 

I had to complain twice, before it got changed, btw."

"Wow. Wow. Wow. Is this ever WRONG! I just did some checking and so far, ALL THE IMAGES I checked--pictures I took of projects I did myself ALL LEAD TO DS contributing writers' articles instead of mine. That is, the first of the two choices one is given in a Google search. The first choice always being the larger of the two images. For example, my biggest traffic draw EVER is the Wild THing Muppet, and the article it links to is not mine! THat is ME IN THE PHOTO and you don't have my permission to use me for your own purposes!
Excuse me, but up until now I thought some of the complainers were going over the top in wanting to shut eHow down, and I still would rather just see eHow start practicing GOOD FAITH and LEGALITY, but if this continues, you bet I will be pushing for a shut down of this scam site. I want my pictures pointing to MY articles and only MY articles."

Don't know why the below is in bold (I hate it when Blogger goes wonky), but here are some final thoughts...

What do you think? Is this okay for them to do this? Unfortunately, one legal issue I can think of is that licenses from sites such as istockphoto probably do not permit this kind of wholesale use of their artists' work.   In my cold medicine haze, I can't lay my eyes on the WCP terms of use but I think use of photos is probably covered in their TOU (although as I've always said, just because it's in the TOU doesn't make it right nor mean it can't be changed). However, eHow needs to disclose exactly how they will use those photos so people don't end up in trouble with third party photo licenses.  

It's not helping that they do all this crap in secret.

On top of that, there still may be the legal issue of unfair competition. It's unfair and unethical for eHow to take people's work and use it against them to undermine their earnings.  

Here is some great information on unfair competition.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Niche Blogging Back Link Strategy

I have recently discovered the concept of do follow blogs and do follow forums. So I am making a list and plan to target these sites as a means to acquire back links.

If you are interested in doing the same, just google do follow blogs and do follow forums.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Earnings Addendum

I realized I forgot to mention a few things in regards to earnings...

1. My eHow UK 'compensation' was a joke at $29. This came in January though not February.

2.Adsense earnings came primarily from: My own sites, Infobarrel, and a tiny bit from Hubpages. Even though my own sites are now outearning Infobarrel, it has taken since July 09 to get there. Infobarrel earned much, much faster. Working on a site with pre-established page rank really helps.

Only... I still don't know what Hubpages' problem is. WHY am I not seeing more money there???? I don't get it at all. And I continue to write hubs, which seems like a waste of time.

Oh, and the Suite 101 editor loved my article and said it was "fantastic" so phew.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Earnings

March earnings are in and...

I'm still treading water at $300 a month.

If February had been a bit longer, I would've earned an extra $20 which would put me back where I was on eHow earnings-wise before everything nose dived. I am slowly weaning myself off ehow because I can't trust that it will always be a source of income. So I spend less time on the forums. Less time on articles and more time elsewhere.

Adsense grew quite a bit for me. From $14 in Jan to $20. Wow! Finally some progress! I can almost afford a pizza! I am living the niche blogging dream!

Amazon is always a crap shoot, but it performs well for me. Over $50 in February. No way to know what it will do in March.

I heard from Life123 that my one article I submitted (before they shut down) hit the $5 mark. I haven't been paid for it though and don't know if I ever will.

Same with Seed. They owe me $30. As far as I know, I've done what I was supposed to do in order to trigger payment. A month later, nothing.

I am back on Suite 101 and just sent in my first article. Which I hated my article, but I have some weird mental block about Suite since I had a bad editor experience the first time I tried to write there. I have literally agonized over this one stupid 400 word article for almost 2 weeks! Insane! And I still think it sucks. I just closed my eyes and hit submit anyways. I need to get past the hump and move forward. Hopefully, I get a nicer editor this time.

I saw that Maria a.k.a. Writergig left a comment in response to my censure of the lack of honesty/disclosure from those writers/bloggers/ebook authors making money off the ehow craze. While she may feel she is above board well... I don't know, I still think there's an ethical and moral obligation to be sure people understand what happened on ehow so newbies go in with their eyes open. There's still a lot of 'ehow is great' rah-rahing going on and I feel for new writers who have no idea what the history is with ehow and how fast the industry can spin on a dime.

Besides, there's a lot of confusion about what happened on ehow which has led to lots of misinformation and conspiracy theories--people need to be able to sort the wheat from the chafe.

So, is there money to be made on ehow?


Is ehow great?

I would say no. I don't think anyone should be encouraging others to think they can make a huge income just by writing at ehow alone. I think the game has changed, the internet has shifted under our keyboards. We are writing in a brave new world now. It would be nice if those who have gone before, showed the rest of us the way.