RIP eHow?

Re: Which eHow features are still worthy of our time??
posted at 4/14/2010 4:39 PM PDT

AJ Tyne

Posts: 1746
First: 8/6/2008
Last: 4/14/2010
In Response to Re: Which eHow features are still worthy of our time??

We're going to be making some updates in the near future and we hope the community will stick around to see what will be coming. is an amazing way to get to know real people sharing their knowledge and experience of how they've done things. We've made it into this social experience where if you need to consult with someone that has done a project, you are able to interact with them and get more advice. I'm sure many folks have connected with other members based on similar interests and projects you've worked on. -Rich
Posted by Rich - eHow Community Manager

Rich, Thanks for stopping by to reply, but I have to correct your statement: eHow USED to be an amazing place to get to know REAL people sharing their REAL knowledge and experiences. People can't consult with someone that has done a project unless the people who've done the project are still around to get the PM == doubtful that will happen, unless there is a handful of new people who stumble on the site now and don't know anything of its past, do the I Did This, then stick around to see if anyone wants to chat about it.

Do the powers that be at eHow EVER pay attention to what's really going on out here? you're turning the site into a decidely UNEXCITING place where writers who need money desperately will speed write** 10-15 articles a day about whatever seemed easiest to them to write and then eHow will slap it on the site. There's no "experience" there and there are no REAL people there. It's been heading that way for some time now and now it's at the end. There will be no more realness to ehow -- just another generic, scrubbed down, bare bones site with NO SOUL. WE were the heart and soul of eHow == didn't they know that? Surely you know it, Rich, but the higher ups should be smart enough to know it. At DS we aren't even allowed to put real pics of the steps to our articles?! they've killed the whole idea of ehow!

The only DS writers in this forum were those who were already here for WCP and happen to also be DS writers. You're hoping for all these fabulous I DID THIS articles for free to replace that heart and soul. That's the reason for pushing I DID THIS when you already had all the articles from a writer's real experience. But what reason does anyone have to put their heart and soul and time into taking wonderful pics of each step and writing a story about what they did -- and then hanging around to answer questions about it that might come later? No one -- well, few, have that kind of time for NO PAY.
But eHow had the best of both worlds == we got paid reasonably well and we had the social aspects when we wanted it and had time, and we could share our real -- and valuable -- experiences. If we don't get paid tho, we have plenty of unpaid options to do the rest.

ehow (not you, Rich, but the company) just got greedy. They couldn't see how much it mattered because all they saw was dollar signs. They could only think how much "better" it would be if most of the articles only got paid $15 and they owned the copyright and could resuse them -- they thought of the pile of more money they could make. Now they are maybe starting to see that they have removed the soul of the site. They hope to regain that soul by throwing us what? promises of new changes to come? Not even a hint of what that might be? But remember the last weHow was not that many months ago, and everyone came home talking about the good changes to come? Remember? You 'member! And the weHow before that was a year before, and they all came back from that one promising we would LOVE the big changes to come and we would be a part of something wonderful from the start and something we'd regret if we didn't stick around for it.
But Rich, since about last january/February, maybe a little later, there have been a lot of changes, but I can't think of a single one that was good for us! Now that they have dismantled the eHow that we loved and that many depended on for income, they want us to wait around for yet more "fantastic" changes? Any takers? Yeah, I thought not.

On the other hand, ehow has a bunch of scrubbed, generic sites where they control everything. Why was it that they couldn't just leave one open and fresh place for people to share every day real experiences. The best thing you could have done was increase the pay a bit and give us more an idea of how we earn, and police the site like crazy for specific problems: clones that are really clones (like how to buy a car in every state of the union), incorrect advice, profanity and porn, and the poorly written generic articles from the old DS or from wherever they were purchased in the beginning, and the articles that are not about real life. And keep the DS articles as part of the group, NOT showcased. If you did that, eHow would be the bright and shining star among a pile of internet slime. Instead, you are making it just more of the same stuff, and you really hurt and betrayed a LOT of people in the process.

** For the record, let's do the math. Say a person who has been "displaced" (DS keeps saying they are helping lots of displaced writers make a decent living), needs to make enough to live on -- pay their mortgage, insurances, kid's needs, food, etc. All right, for a conservative -- extremely conservative monthly income needed, let's go with $1800 == hey that is BEFORE taxes, too. They need to write 6 articles a day, EVERY day for 30 days out of EVERY month, just to bring in $1800 pretax dollars. In some locations that might work, and in some locations that would not even begin to cover the monthly expenses for a family on a very modest budget. Think about it, 180 articles minimum, based not on your experiences, but on the topics presented for your to choose from. yeah, that's some quality. The writing will be high quality no doubt, and some of the info will be when it happens that a person with experience gets to choose a title within their experience range. But will they ever come close to my article on getting the diagnosis of autism for your child? that article may not be the cream of the crop for writing quality and it sure never made a lot of money, but it was written by a real mother of a real autistic child, from the heart. several people have written me to get permission to use that article in their newsletters or their handouts for parents of newly diagnosed children. That article has helped people. Or consider veryirie's craft articles == with great pictures, written by someone who really made the item and whose heart is in it. Who is better able to warn me of places I might run into trouble -- veryirie, or someone who read the instructions somewhere and rewrote them for their $15? Rich, they, with our help, built a special place. Now they have killed it. Dead. It's gone. Very sad.


Brenda said...

I'm very confused about all of this. I've moved on to DS. I was under the impression that eHow was going to shut down completely. If not, someone please enlighten me.

Amberdawn said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. What used to be "by the people, for the people," really is just a content mill. Very sad.

And since they'll own the copy write, I don't plan on writing any articles there for my field (if at all). No doubt others will avoid doing so as well, in case they want to use them for larger publications in the future. They say they're doing this to improve quality. The editorial process will likely improve the grammar and adherence to a format, but it will not improve the wealth of information. I agree that they are shooting themselves in the foot.

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