Week One Reflections About Ehow.com

I’m now one week into exploring the freelance writing community at Ehow.com. You will note my recent post was quite positive about the quick welcome from other Ehow members. I continue to find many great aspects of the Ehow community of writers. However, at the end of the first week, I’m starting to experience the corporate interest/strategies that inform how Ehow runs. Those initial feelings of grass roots community have temporarily dwindled as I’ve immersed myself in reading forum posts, terms of service, and FAQs. Scanning the community forums, I am coming across writers who are frustrated about various Ehow practices regarding the removal of their articles, articles that were sometimes bringing in decent revenue for the author(s). I can see how writers would be frustrated, but this led me to more carefully review Ehow terms of use and various policies. Ehow makes it quite clear that that get significant rights to author content (although author’s retain rights to it) when it is posted, including deciding how much or whether not to pay someone for their articles. If I understand the terms of service correctly, it appears that Ehow can even re-use author content, re-write it, re-publish it, re-work it, etc.

As an effort to dive into the community and try to offer what I consider to be genuinely good web content, I have submitted close to a dozen articles during this first week (three are still under review). And as of today, I have earned $0.00. This is the first week, after all, and my first goal is not to make money as much as it is to better understand this freelance writing community. However, I must confess that I am already a bit hesitant to submit more articles. In many cases, I am sharing knowledge in my Ehow articles that has come from years of study, analysis and synthesis; and I’ll need to develop more trust in people at Ehow before I go much further. I plan to dive into the community aspects of the site for a month, hold off on writing more articles, and see what happens with what I have written. If you are interested, stay tuned for more reflections and updates.