QC Milestone Reached

3-4 months ago, we had set the goal to have 100% of every article reviewed by 2 human editors. Today, that objective has been reached.

It wasn’t as easy as we thought because an entire sub-system platform had to be built to manage what we now call the “QC Queue” and summary & detailed QC reporting. We had a simple QC system for about a year now, but it was only used to spot check performance. The first 1,000 articles have now floated through the 2nd generation article QC process and March 2007 will be the first month with 100% of all articles that are accepted will be human reviewed by (2) separate editors.

This means our in-house editorial team can now be evaluated on a quantity and quality performance metrics rather than quantity alone. It also means less errors in future approved articles, leading to a greater level of trust with the various stakeholders in our site.

To give you a little insight into our internal QC system, every error has been divided up into MAJOR and MINOR errors. Errors that can be fixed in a few seconds by the full-time QC editor are fixed and not reported as errors.

Major errors might include: Leaving SmartQuotes in the article summary, title left in the article body, blatant wrong category, end of body spaces left, blatantly bad spelling or grammar issues, excessive BR tags left in, author name mismatch between by-line and resource box name, failed to add co-author if mentioned in the resource box, broken links, first paragraph link left, excessive links beyond our editorial guidelines, etc. If an article has to be rejected after it was accepted, it’s a major error on the editors part.

Minor errors might include: Title casing wrong, lack of spaces after a period, or periods left in HREF statements causing a link to be broken.

An error can be classified as either minor or major depending on severity.

At our current pace, we’re allocating about 3,000 hours of annual labor to be the 2nd set of eyes on every article and that rate will climb as the quantity of articles climb.

We’ll be dramatically enhancing the new QC platform over the next 5 weeks as we learn how to become more efficient with it.

Sometime in April, I expect we’ll have some kind of small quality incentive for our editors so that the current 83% non-error rate goes into the 95-99%+ territory.

Another large advantage this new system nets us (besides a major boost in confidence/trust from our users) is that we’re not reliant on editors who have to put in years with us to keep track of the 7-8 pages of single spaced guidelines that every article is compared against before approved. We can also insert any editor who has earned our trust to take a portion of the QC Queue so there is no single point of failure (such as the QC editor having a day or week off).

Ahhhh. That is a sigh of relief. :) We can now hire in packs of 2-4 editors at a time, bring them through our training system, and then not worry about mistakes left un-caught because 2-sets of eyes are on every article.

In other words, this new proprietary QC platform will help us SCALE while not losing quality out the door as volume increases.

Is it a perfect system? nope. Will we continue to make mistakes? Yep. Will this new system widen the gap between our competitors and us? I hope so.



Wow Chris,
I can hear the relief in your words.

Comment provided February 22, 2007 at 3:56 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Hi Chris…

“Is it a perfect system? nope. Will we continue to make mistakes? Yep. ”

Hmm. Paragraph 5, line 3…

“(snip) … blatantly bad spelling or grammer issues … (snip)”

Give yourself a good, stern talking to!

And don’t tell me that you left that as bait for the likes of me – LOL!

Gary Simpson

Comment provided February 22, 2007 at 4:40 PM


Edward Weiss writes:

If cruise ships had this kind of quality control when it comes to food service, I’d have taken a boat ride a long time ago… but you know..

It seems like the bigger the company, the more lax QC can become. That’s why I always trust smaller companies first! :)

Comment provided February 22, 2007 at 4:54 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Actually Edward…

“It seems like the bigger the company, the more lax QC can become. That’s why I always trust smaller companies first!”

THAT is a very GOOD point. I’d never thought of that aspect before. But I will now.


Gary Simpson

Comment provided February 22, 2007 at 5:28 PM



Thanks Gary… Fixed.

Comment provided February 22, 2007 at 6:26 PM


Gary Simpson writes:

Hi Chris,

Don’t ya just hate that?

You write about something informative telling everybody else how to do it and you make a mistake yourself in the very thing that you are chastising others for. I’ve done it myself!

Oh well, some smart-alec always sets you straight – LOL!



Comment provided February 22, 2007 at 6:39 PM


Ed Howes writes:

This is another one of those improvements which value both increases and becomes more obvious over time. How about a quarterly post on error rates around June? Congratulations on meeting another worthy goal.

Comment provided February 22, 2007 at 9:22 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Quick Dumb Question.

What is “Excessive BR tags” left in, sorry need to catch up on Industry Lingo?

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 2:27 AM


Gary Simpson writes:

Hi Lance,

I’ll answer this if it’s OK. A br tag is html that is enclosed in the LHS and RHS pointing arrows found above the apostrophe and the full stop on your keyboard.

The effect they have is to place the line of text on the next line. Several br tags in a row just keep pushing the text down. They act in a similar manner to the paragraph tag.


Gary Simpson

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 3:55 AM


Gary Simpson writes:

PS: Lance…

No question is dumb.

The only dumb questions are the ones that people are too embarrassed or too timid to ask. Those people will forever have unanswered questions and cannot move ahead.


Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 3:59 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Thanks Gary, Now I get it. So a “Br” tag is like a text BR-eak so to speak then?

Well thank you and sense no question is dumb. Perhaps someone can tell me how to “TURN OFF” permanently the “Microsoft Smart Quotes” on my new 2007 Professional Office; Microsoft Word?

If I can turn these off completely, then I will not have any hardships for EzineArticle editors. It takes too long to post the articles if I have to go thru and redo all the quotation marks, apostrophes and such. Real time consuming issue.

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 5:02 AM


Gary Simpson writes:


“Thanks Gary, Now I get it. So a ‚¬“Br‚¬ tag is like a text BR-eak so to speak then?”


Can’t help you with the rest though – LOL!


Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 5:51 AM




Everyone is worthy to submit their articles.

Never said they weren’t.

The mechanism helps prioritize who gets their basic level account upgraded to Platinum level first. Unfortunately, we don’t have unlimited labor to give everyone 1st class speed & service and this tool helps us give attention to those who are the most agressive and interested in doing more. It’s no different than a qualifications interview… and if we weren’t backed up by several hundred that need their accounts upgraded, we wouldn’t even have the tool in place.

Lastly, your domain is the same as Steve Hill…who is already upgraded to Platinum.

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 7:55 AM


Ed Howes writes:


I heard in yesterday’s news Google is offering a competing Office Suite. It is downloadable and available for $50. For the price, it might be worth checking out. I heard it works with all popular operating systems.

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 11:25 AM




To disable SmartQuotes in the new Word 07:

Click on the Ribbon –> Word Options –> Proofing –> AutoCorrect Options

Uncheck “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes”

That should do it.

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 1:16 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Thanks Chris, ALL RIGHT! YES, finally. I did not know I had to press that little button in the corner to get to it.

Ed, I love Microsoft, I would never swith from Microsoft Word. I now have “Word Count” with my documents. That is easily worth the cost of the NEW Microsoft Word.

And I can download all kinds of templates too, to make my life so much easier. Since I have only had it a few weeks, I am still geting use to all the Massive Options.

I did notice the Google “office suite” and read up on it. But I really love this new MS Word program 2007.

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 4:29 PM


Gary Simpson writes:


Lance writes:

“And I can download all kinds of templates too, to make my life so much easier.”

Does that mean even MORE articles?


Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 6:02 PM


Dan Goodwin writes:

Following on form Lance’s comments about Word, I use Word X for Mac to write my articles. When I cut and paste to submit to EzineArticles though, the formatting isn’t retained, so I have to add html tags manually for bold, italics etc which is very time consuming when doing a few articles at a time.

I’d like to be able to just cut and paste or import straight from word with bold, italics, bullet points etc intact, is anyone else able to do this? What other programs do people use to write and submit their articles as easily as possible?

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 6:19 PM


Lance Winslow writes:


To answer your question; With Lance Winslow empowered by the new robust Microsoft Word 2007 will he write more articles?

Well, I am not certain if I will write more articles, but I can write better articles and do research at the same time while composing the articles. So, I hope to write better articles and also enjoy what I am doing more rather than fighting it or becoming frustrated with the process.

Additionally, I am finding I can manipulate my content from my articles for other things; such as research papers, white papers, eBook content, website content and more. I can make manual quickly and effortlessly and with style.

The ability to have my word count as I type at the bottom corner of the document is a God Sent Gift from Gates and Company. Being able to .pdf files, use templates, import pictures, use graphic art in Word and Publisher is excellent and it helps me a lot.

Comment provided February 23, 2007 at 6:27 PM


Sally writes:

Laughing @ “Does that mean even MORE articles?” posted by Gary.

Really I wish I could pump out articles like Lance!

I certainly don’t envy the job of the human editors, and I will personally check and re-check any articles I submit beforehand.

Sally :)

Comment provided March 3, 2007 at 6:53 PM


Soren Breiting writes:

Thanks Chris,

“In other words, this new proprietary QC platform will help us SCALE while not losing quality out the door as volume increases.”

Could you please tell us if there are days during the week it will be most comfortable for your team to get new submissions. E.g. I wonder if the days just after the weekend is a hectic time or an easy time, as I don’t know the authors writing pattern.
Thanks in advance.

Comment provided March 4, 2007 at 8:24 AM




It’s best to submit on whatever day is best for you.

Our core editorial team works Monday-Friday and we have 2-3 editors who give additional weekend coverage.

The fastest way to get your articles approved is earn Platinum status as they receive our fastest response time… compared to 2-5X slower response given to Basic level members.

Comment provided March 4, 2007 at 12:11 PM


Soren Breiting writes:

Thanks, Chris,
I am already at ‘the highest level’ and proud of that. – Good to know that every day is ‘the best day’ to submit new articles.

I am in fact really impressed by the progress of EzineArticles.com in the later years :-)

As I have many ideas I am always dotting new ideas down for new articles. But I need one full hour in addition at least to produce an article I am happy with. And I am writing articles (different) in Danish as well as in English.
Thanks for your concern for our well-being as authors even if I know it will be a win-win situation.

Comment provided March 5, 2007 at 2:09 PM


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