Sunday, January 31, 2010

eHow Apologizes and Disables UK "Beta" Site: Damage Control Compensation, a company owned by Demand Media, has had itself in a little bit of hot water lately.  The problem is that they created a duplicate site for the UK with the hopes of cashing in on freelance writers in the UK who are laid off and willing to write for an untold amount of money.  Now, this is assuming that they are going to offer the UK writers the same deal as the US folk get, which is writing for a secret algorithm that determines the worthiness of your writing and therefore the price.

Six months ago when eHow launched it's "beta" UK site they did so by using all of the content produced by the writers here in the US.  It took a solid group of people to steadily keep at eHow demanding answers to why the new UK site was ranking higher in the search engines than its US copies and were we getting compensated for the writing they were using for free.  Not only were they using the writing for free, but they lied about the slow in traffic and decrease in earnings blaming it on Christmas and, at times, just flat out lying to its members.  Finally, with enough pressure, eHow answered its community with a promise to remove the articles from the UK site because they said it was not fair if they couldn't pay us for using the content. 

eHow responds to writers by redirecting the UK articles, but doesn't respond to the question of payment.  For six months they used our content for free raking in suspected millions while some long term dedicated members left eHow because the money just wasn't there anymore.  After six months of deception they have come clean, disabled the UK site completely, and responded with a semi-apology and an answer to the issue of compensation in a video blog:  YES, it did affect your earnings.  Yes, we don't want to be sued so we will give you damage control compensation. 

Here is eHow's official answer and apology where they say they will pay compensation to the writers in the Writer's Compensation Program (WCP).  This link opens up to eHow's video blog.  Notice the eHow UK site is now being referred to as the "beta" site although that's the first the members have heard of it.  If you want to read a transcribed reply go read it at transcript of eHow's video blog response about the UK site and earnings issue


JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome said...

Nice summary of the issues. I also noticed the "Beta site" was a new term for eHow. They have not carried that over into the forums though.

JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome said...

Compensation? Not really it seems. Lots of disappointed writers today.

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