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Boycott eHow: How A Multi-Million Dollar Company Responds to Writer's Intent To Help The Victim's of Haiti

By Edited May 19, 2016 4 11

eHow Crooks
BOYCOTT The Crooks at eHow

I write for residual income. I have a young child and feel being a stay at home mom is beneficial to her development. And so, I chose to make money writing content online. Up until today I diversified my content between Info Barrel and eHow. Why did I stop writing for eHow? Was it because of their selling out their writers for pre paid content? No. Was it because eHow took my articles and the articles of their other writers and posted them to their new UK site? All the while eHow was making money and paying the people who created the content zilch? No. Was it because my earnings have steadily been decreasing no matter how many articles I keep adding? No.

So, why have I stopped writing for eHow?

During the moments after the devastating earthquake hit near the capital of Haiti I felt he great need to do something - anything - to help. I gave what I could financially, but knew I could do more. And so, the idea to write for Haiti came to me. I decided I would write an article giving the different ways people could donate to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

eHow may not be my favorite place after the above mentioned fiascos; however, they do get a lot of traffic. Since my article was not for personal gain I set aside any opinions or feelings about eHow and submitted the article to the editorial team. I asked them to please place it as a feature so that it would get the maximum exposure possible, leading to the most donations.

The response I received from eHow was like a slap in the face. They rather flatly turned me down saying, "Unfortunately editorial decisions are made by the Editorial Team. We cannot feature an article on the homepage, unless it is apart of the Editorial Calendar." And that is a direct quote from the email that I received.

Fine, it was obvious to me that eHow, being a multi million dollar company was going to do very little to help the people of Haiti. I was; however, not deterred. I would simply delete my content from eHow and place it with someone who would agree with my idea.

Info Barrel may not have the traffic or the number of members that eHow does, but it does have people who run it that personally make sure the members of Info Barrel are heard. I knew I could email Kevin and get a response.

Info Barrel was more than willing to give the resource that they had available to help the people of Haiti. You can see the article that they placed on the front page here. Please consider donating to help these great organizations get help to those in need.

As I logged onto eHow this morning to check my earnings, what did I see? An article that looked very much like the one I submitted from a pre-paid writer. Not only did it seem my idea was "borrowed", but eHow was profiting from the misfortune of others. Ads not related to the tragedy in Haiti was all over. eHow will not comment about whether they will or will not donate the proceeds of this article. To me, that says that they will not. To add insult to injury, a fellow writer asked rather directly in the comments below the eHow article if the earnings would be donated. No answer was given and even worse, the comment was deleted. Another indication that eHow has no intention of donating the money made from this article. If my assumption is correct, eHow is profiting off the devestation, death, injuries and misfortunes of others.

DO YOU WANT TO WRITE FOR A SITE LIKE THIS? I refuse to.

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Comments

Jan 20, 2010 1:42am
Ernie
Good Luck. I'm sorry for what happened with EHOW but I am glad that InfoBarrel posted your article on how to help the people of Haiti. No ads either!
Jan 20, 2010 3:18am
retireyoung
Wow, that is really terrible to hear. I don't think I have heard a positive review of ehow.
Jan 20, 2010 3:40am
rspears01
Unfortunately, many writers have slaved for eHow long and hard before they realize what rip offs they are.

Some have what a friend of mine refers to as "eHow tunnel vision" and defend every despicable thing eHow does til the end.
Jan 20, 2010 11:16am
classicalgeek
Evidently your complaint has had an effect--this is from the eHow forum (note the date and time):

Haiti Relief Efforts
posted at 1/19/2010 10:02 PM PST

Julie eHow Community Manager

Hi eHow Peeps,

We just wanted to clear up any questions regarding the eHow site’s commitment to helping the relief efforts in Haiti. The eHow team shares our Community’s deep concern regarding the devastation in Haiti and both Rich and I are extremely proud and touched by the energy and momentum it has spurred in our Community. Today, our parent company, Demand Media, made a donation to the High-Tech Help Haiti Fund on behalf of our website and Community, as well as our employees and freelancers from across the country. We are also donating advertising banners and impressions to help American Red Cross and Network for Food spread their relief effort messages. To find out more, check out our blog post here http://blog.ehow.com/2010/01/join-the-haiti-relief-effort/

Please let Rich or me know if you guys have any questions or concerns. And once again, thank you all for your support towards the relief efforts in Haiti.

Thanks!

Julie

Keep eHow's feet to the fire and make them act ethically and responsibly!
Jan 20, 2010 9:11pm
rspears01
I too received something from eHow in my inbox today.
As Travis stated, it's only when they are forced to that they do things in an ethical way. In my opinion, too little too late.

As far as the donations now being made to Haiti - I'm glad the people are getting the help that they need no matter how it gets done.

--Quote--
Hi Robyn,

I just wanted to reach out to you and clear the air. I’ve been reading your posts and comments on the Forums and article pages and understand that you are very passionate about the Haiti relief efforts. I did some asking around the Editorial Team and as is typical with major events, when news first broke about the Haiti earthquake, the Editorial Team immediately delegated the assignment to create a “Haiti Relief” piece to one of our professional writers. In other words, the professional article was already scheduled to be featured on the homepage when we received your request. We do think that your offer to donate the proceeds from your article was very commendable. We are very glad that we have passionate and caring member such as yourself on our site – it only makes the eHow site better.

We receive many “feature on the homepage” requests every day and simply do not have the space to feature everyone’s articles. As I’m sure you know, the Haiti natural disaster was devastating and struck a chord with many people in our Community and Team, so naturally we saw an influx of Haiti Relief and disaster survival articles. A similar thing occurred during the Swine Flu outbreak, we received numerous requests for homepage feature for various H1N1 related articles. The Editorial Team carefully considers many factors such as quality of writing, relevance to current events, and adherence to our Publishing Guidelines when they select articles to feature on the homepage. They also follow an Editorial Calendar that guides them on particular topics to program on the homepage. Unfortunately, we are unable to honor all of the requests.

Rather than just donating the proceeds from the one Haiti article, we joined forces with our sister sites owned by our parent company, Demand Media, and donated a larger sum to the High-Tech Help Haiti Fund. We are also donating impressions and advertisement space to help the Red Cross and Network for Food spread their relief effort message.

I just wanted to reach out to make sure you know that we value you as a member of our Community and hope that you can understand the situation and continue to participate in our Community.

Please always feel free to PM Rich or me if you have any concerns or questions.

Thanks,

Julie


--End Quote--

I would like to add that the quality of my article is certainly not the issue. If you look at the article they published vs. mine they are not only strikingly similar, but they mine is actually was put together better.

At least that is my opinion.
Jan 20, 2010 9:12pm
rspears01
Sorry typo ...
I would like to add that the quality of my article is certainly not the issue. If you look at the article they (eHow) published vs. mine they are not only strikingly similar, but mine is actually better put together.

At least that is my opinion.
Jan 20, 2010 5:38pm
Travis_Aitch
Why is it the only time they do something ethical is when a bunch of members start insisting that they do? Can't they just simply be ethical for the sake of being ethical? What is wrong with those people?

BTW I left a pleasant little comment on the copycat version of your article calling eHow out on their BS antics. It's likely to be removed by now but it was worth it :-)
Jan 20, 2010 9:07pm
rspears01
I would hate to see the madness from some people; including myself, were you to be deleted to speaking up.
You did nothing wrong. They had just better hope they don't start deleting accounts because of this. They're in the wrong, not us.

Thank you for speaking out against this.

We need more people like yourself who isn't afraid to stand up for what they believe in.
Jan 21, 2010 8:18am
askformore
Thank you for your article. Well, you might all laugh at me now, but I have to admit that I do not know eHow - BUT I promise that I will remember the name, and that I will NEVER sign up with them!
Jan 24, 2010 12:46am
LDMontey
This comment has been deleted.
Jan 24, 2010 7:54pm
mrshannigan
This comment has been deleted.
Jan 24, 2010 11:49pm
rspears01
Wow...some people just get nasty, don't they?
Mar 6, 2010 6:03pm
freedomw
wow . . . i read your article and the comments below it. i'm sure you know how i feel about eHow. i already heard a few things about them before i came across your article.
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