Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 15, 2009
Last year, I decided to give Helium a try after having a guest post here by one of their editors. This past week, a couple of things happened that made me realize these people weren’t for me, and it seems to continue into today.
The first thing is that I got email from them telling me they had removed one of my articles because I had self promotion in it. The thing that irked me is that I posted that article with them last November or December, and this is the first I’m hearing about it? It was an articles I wrote for my business newsletter that I figured I would repost on their site. In that article, I allude to my book Embrace The Lead, and when I posted the article to the site, I hadn’t even thought about that one line being in there.
Anyway, that was enough to irk me, as I’m not much for letting folks get to me more than once these days, so I went looking for a way to delete my account. There wasn’t a single thing on their site about getting out of it; ugh. So, I decided to write the help desk to ask them to kill my account.
Within a couple of hours, I get an email from them asking me why I want to remove one of my posts. That showed they didn’t even take the time to read what I’d written them, which irked me even more. I responded to that email saying they hadn’t read it, and that I wanted to immediately cancel my account.
A few hours later I got another email from them, but it’s not addressing my request. Instead, it’s saying that they’re deleting another of my articles for plagiarism, and one more instance of that and I’ll be banned from the site. Now, as nice as that would be, the thing is that I’m the original author of the article. I have it on one of my other sites, and last year, when I had talked to the lady who wrote the guest post through email, she said that if I wrote it, even if it was previously published, I could use it. So, great, I’m now accused of plagiarizing from myself; sheesh!
I returned that email also, saying that I was the original writer and that the article was on my site, and that I had put through a request to cancel my account and I was still waiting for that to happen. Today I get one more email, but this time it’s a Helium newsletter; what the hey? Isn’t anyone at Helium paying attention to my requests?
Well, I’m done with them. In the course of time, I earned 7 cents; they obviously can keep that. I was still left with the same feeling I had when I wrote my original post about them and freelance writing woes in general, only I can take it further now. One of the things you really have to do, if you’re going to decide to look into it, is to go really deep in trying to find a topic already listed that someone else supposedly has already come up with. Man, that was more work than the articles themselves were the first time I wrote them.
Then, after you post an article, you have to spend at least 10 minutes rating other articles. They give you two articles on the same topic, and you have to decide which one you like better and by how much you like it more than the other one. Then they put the article you favored against another article, and you rate once more. After that, it’s two more articles, and it all starts again. They also score you on how you rate articles; wow!
So, I’m done with them, and I’m hoping they cancel my account soon. If not, so be it, as I won’t be going back. No, I don’t recommend them, and there you go.
Now, if you think this is my only rant against a writing website, stay tuned for tomorrow’s rant.