Syndication Thoughts

The day is coming when we will no longer be a 100% syndicationable site. That means, we’re interested in giving our authors the choice as to whether they only want to have their articles on EzineArticles.com and not allow others to syndicate or use the articles… or
Or perhaps only Ezine Publishers can use the articles vs. Webmasters (who typically deliver less value than ezine publishers do upon syndication)

Or even the possibility of requiring publishers to have a membership account and we’d do a trackbacks concept where they would have to provide a link to the usage of the article, if the author allowed the article to be syndicated.

This would be a major shift should we pursue this direction… and it’s been on our minds for some time now.

WHY change the current article syndication model?

We hold the authors to such a high standard in terms of giving them 5.5 pages of editorial guidelines and the publishers must be held to a higher standard of accountability and reporting for this value cycle to return to a better balance.

Our Editorial Guidelines are 3012 words.

Our Publisher Rules are 743 words.

Yes, I recognize that the ‘publishers’ have the traffic and there is value in what they deliver our authors and us upon their syndication of Ezine Articles; but there is an inequity in accountability.

Example: If an author sucks, their articles don’t make it to the site. If a publisher sucks, it’s up to the author to enforce the Publisher Rules.

Requiring the PUBLISHERS to be more accountable for the content they syndicate would solve our Authors desire to know where their articles are getting picked up and would hold the Publishers to a higher quality standard than just grabbing content and not following the reprint rules.

If Publishers were required to have EzineArticles membership accounts, we could learn more from them as to what they really want from our Authors and could do an even more effective job at helping our Authors to get a higher exposure on even more credible & authoritive sites relating to their niche.

I’m not saying the proposed thoughts would solve unscrupulous publishers from doing evil; but it would definitely help raise the quality bar & standards that Publishers are held to.

Your thoughts this full vs. partial vs. no syndication rights issue?

12 Comments »


1
Ed Howes writes:

Chris,

I like your thinking on this, which likewise raises the quality of EzineArticles, increasing the value of all members. This touches directly upon purpose and mission and two sides of a three sided coin.

I want reader members here. Reader contests, competitions interactive reader – writer activities. This ought to be the website readers want to be. For these readers, none would need an Ezine subscription. I want the pickers and choosers to come here and read my articles. Lance, if this is giving you articles, I will expect 20 from you supporting mine and you are free to publish yours before mine is written. Fair enough? :-)

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 11:03 AM

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2
Bill Gluth writes:

Great idea, Chris. Knowing where our articles are going and how they are being used is HUGE.

It also makes our articles a much better marketing tool.

As in all marketing, tracking is key. If we, as authors, understand the niche that is responding to the articles we write the most, we can target future articles to serve those niches better.

I like this line of thinking a lot!

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 11:38 AM

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3
Denise Corcoran writes:

Hi, Chris …

What I like most about you is your everlasting commitment to high standards and constantly increasing the qaulity of everything you do :)).

I definitely like the idea of accountability for publishers. I can only speak for myself as an author (and I know it is common among those who also post at your site), we are committed to publishing only high quality content. So for you to want to ensure that publishers use the content respectfully and responsibly, definitely gets my vote.

I do have a question though. Since many of us post to multiply article banks, don’t you think that if you require a membership for publishers, that they will just go to other article banks to maybe get same article? what incentive will you give publishers to possibly jump through more hoops to syndicate articles from your site?

Curious minds want to know :)).

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 12:16 PM

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4

Denise,

Thanks… CANI! (Constant And Never-ending Improvement).

Control and Power is what we will be able to offer Responsible Publishers.

Right now, our site is not very Publisher friendly largely because of our lobb-sided attention to the needs of our Authors.

I am certain that most intermediate to advanced publishers come to our site and then shake their head… knowing it’s pretty difficult to identify articles that meet their specific criteria and retrieve them without spending all day. It’s time-intensive for Publishers and on-purpose.

When we remove some of those barriers, get Publishers as members, create relationships with Publishers by ranking them and perhaps even creating a premium plan that allows Publishers who have earned our trust to go beyond the 25 article reprint limit if they agree to even more rules & guidelines for usage that ensures value for the Author and for us beyond the unfocused webmaster who just wants to rip volume and doesn’t care about quality… we’ll be able to attract & retain quality responsible Publishers.

It will no doubt be an initial uphill battle to educate, train, and then for us be trained on what they need to make their Publisher membership more valuable to all stakeholders involved.

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 1:48 PM

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5
Edward Weiss writes:

Sounds good to me. Many of these “publishers” change articles once they have them. One even hyperlinked words in my article so they could make money through Adsense or something else.

I think most publishers are interested in quick bucks through the advertising model. That’s Ok. I understand a lot of people make money on the internet this way. But sometimes, an author’s articles can be used unscrupulously.

In fact, I’ve seen my articles without a resource box or hyperlink back to my site. It’s a wild world in cyberspace.

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 2:17 PM

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6
Jean Tracy, MSS writes:

Dear Chris,
I liked everything you said except, “That means, we’re interested in giving our authors the choice as to whether they only want to have their articles on EzineArticles.com and not allow others to syndicate or use the articles! or”

Could your authors’ articles be syndicated on your site and other directories too? That’s what I would like. Perhaps I’m not understanding something.

Thank you for the wonderful work you and your team do for us.

Granny Jean

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 3:52 PM

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7

Granny Jean,

It means this: Everything will be as normal, but you would have an additional option if you want your articles NOT TO BE SYNDICATED.

It’s all in the ‘thinking stage’ right now and I’m using this blog entry and comments to sort out any obstacles before I whiteboard it on the to do list.

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 5:31 PM

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8
Lance Winslow writes:

Well this is a great subject indeed. Originally I was quite concerned when I saw some of my articles in places and websites I would perfer my name and articles not be associated with. Yet over all I am happy either way now that I have come to understand it all and going into my 15 month of writing articles.

Ed and Edward have some good insight here.

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 8:23 PM

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9
Ed Howes writes:

I recently had the same experience as Edward. I think I asked the same question as Edward likely had. Who gave permission to use MY work in such a fashion? An insult to the authors and every one of his readers. A hyperlink is a deliberate distraction from the text and the author’s intention. This is fraudulent advertising. Time has allowed me an additional viewpoint beyond the ethical issue. The commercial side of it. I submitted my articles to get new readers. The site operator wants to make money from my submission. I want her to make money and the more readers she gets me, the more I want her paid. So I’m going to read all my artcles at this new site and I’m clicking through every link. I want to know what I’m selling for others. I think a 20% comission would be about right. :-)

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 10:00 PM

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10
Ed Howes writes:

After thoughts. If I sanction and support the practice I have changed the dynamics and the ethics. I have now given my permission to be used as the wbmaster choose in this instance. Next time I kight be asked first. That leaves the disrespect to the reader. This requires a disclaimer at the first lines before the article. Dear Reader, Thank you for choosing my articles. They contain hyperlinks you may find distracting. I am in hopes I might put a few dollars in my pocket if you just forget about me and go to other links. If you like text without hyperlinks, go here: Now the reader has been respected and everyone has choice about hyperlinks.

Comment provided June 17, 2006 at 10:17 PM

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11
Tom Richard writes:

Chris,

While this line of thinking is certainly appropriate, lets not make it too difficult for publishers to promote our articles. After all, that is why we post here.

In a perfect world, these controls would be wonderful. I would suggest having some type of limited arrangement for the casual publisher and create some additional incentives for those who are willing to adhere to more stringent guidelines.

Comment provided June 18, 2006 at 1:46 AM

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12
Susan Scharfman writes:

Your Publisher RULES are specific and commendable, which is more than you can say for most of the publishers. Requiring them to be held to a higher standard of accountability and reporting is something everyone would like to see. But how do you enforce it? Have you ever had to legally pursue any publishers in the past? Would a membership account enable closer scrutiny? With one exception, I’ve seen my articles posted on other sites with the appropriate accreditation.

I have also sent my articles to other ezines, which I just recently discovered is not de rigueur. Clue me in. Thanks.

Comment provided June 25, 2006 at 11:55 AM

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