New Control Over Email Notices

New feature in your account that will now give you control over which email notices you receive in regards to your articles & account actions:
Email Notices Account Control

To find this in your account, click on ACCOUNT MANAGER, ACCOUNT PREFERENCES and you’ll see the EMAIL NOTICES tab.
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The Amazon ASIN

EzineArticles expert authors can now include any of their DVD products in their extended author profile as we now allow ASIN numbers in addition to the ISBN’s already accepted.

ASIN stands for “Amazon Standard Identification Number.” It’s a unique part number assigned by Amazon to every product.

For books with 10-digit ISBN’s the ASIN is the same number. Note: We also allow ISBN’s with 13 digits as well as 10.

We had previously overhauled this area 2 months ago, but thanks to a member suggestion… expert authors without an ISBN, but have an ASIN can now include their products in their EzineArticles expert author profile.

Here’s a perfect example of how we like to see the ISBN/ASIN feature used: Jeanette Joy Fisher

To get yours added to your account, follow these instructions:
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User Suggested Article Topics

EzineArticles Suggest an Article TopicFor the past week we’ve been testing a new concept of giving your article readers the ability to suggest new article topics for you to write about. This AJAX feature is located in the upper right corner of every article in the article tools.

So far, we’re underwhelmed with the performance of this feature.

After the 1st week of it being live, we had to add a moderation queue due to inappropriate uses:

  • Some used it to self promote themselves, spamming or taunting the author
  • Others used it to ask the author write about things we wouldn’t accept if they did write it
  • Some reported authors as being bad (we think because it’s so close to the report author feature)
  • Some left thought fragments & gibberish that didn’t give enough meaning to be valuable to an author
  • Some asked the author to write about topics the author wasn’t an expert in (unrelated niche article topic requests)

…a mess of input.

But, now that we’re human reviewing the incoming article topic suggestions…we feel that our members will get value from the feature enough to continue the testing of it. Expect about (1) business day of delay before valid article topic suggestions show up in your account.
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Google Knol Thoughts

I’ve been getting quite a few private inquiries as to what I think of the new Google Knol project… and here’s my thoughts:

  1. Who knew articles were the way to go? Ohhh yeah, you and I did. :)
  2. About 99% of the Knol chatter has been that it’s a Wikipedia, Squidoo, Mahalo, Hubpages, Helium, eHow, About.com competitor concept. Ok, so be it. Others have said it validated components of the EzineArticles system model.
  3. I’ll give Knol this: When I look down and see the Alexa rank of 2 vs. the EzineArticles Alex rank of 318 today… 2 beats 318.
  4. It’s made me realize that even if EzineArticles is #1 in its niche, our real competitor may be perceived as user-gen sites (with or without a community) that do not have a human editorial curation component due to the speed of publishing the market desires (meaning, everyone wants to click PUBLISH, be reviewed or have their content instantly online for all to see).
  5. But we already have competitors (not sure I’ll call them that) that auto-accept every content submission instantly, but they have a very difficult time developing market credibility. No kidding, right!
  6. I predict 2nd tier smaller competitors to EzineArticles may disappear at a faster rate than they are already for many reasons, including the obvious inability to differentiate substantially.
  7. I do like that Knol is trying to force their users to present themselves in the authorship light instead of hiding behind their content anonymously.
  8. In their launch they said, “Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors.” Well, that is a differentiation point even though I’m sure they also meant to say that they will censor content submissions with a quality assurance team/process of some kind. We (the Internet community) have already learned what it’s like to allow anyone to publish anything without accountability…a recipe for failure.
  9. Will Knol make EzineArticles better? Most likely and we appreciate them for that. :]

For now, our plans are to continue to innovate daily by building new tools & services within our proven EzineArticles platform; we’ll continue to build our article exposure/distribution/syndication strength via millions of permission-based emails, hundred thousand+ RSS feeds, widgets, our new API under development, strengthen our most valuable asset (relationship with our registered members & expert authors) by communicating, training & listening… and while I’ll admit to getting less sleep these days, it’s only because I’m so excited about the new stuff we’re rolling out this year.

Your thoughts on Knol?

Account Email Preferences

Some of our members have expressed their desire to get more control over the emails that the EzineArticles system generates as you interact with us.

Here is a mock up of what we’re working on:

Question: What other areas of email notices control should we give you within your EzineArticles Account Preferences?

90 Sec Article Writing Training

A few weeks ago we gave everyone (13) 90 second audio bytes & PDF transcripts of article writing/marketing training [can be found here.]

For those who don’t want to listen & read (13) individual audio & transcript pages, we’ve aggregated the content to make it faster/easier to process:

Top Authors List Enhanced

The “Top Authors” by article volume template has been updated to include author photos, short author bio’s and links so that our users/your readership can dig deeper into any expert author that catches their fancy.
[See an example here from our Ski-Resorts niche]

When we made this change, we realized that only about 40% of our top authors by article volume had their author photo uploaded. We consider the author photo of critical importance in establishing credibility with your articles, but we also understand that many members have many reasons why they don’t want to include an author photo with their articles.

Rather than require every member to upload an author photo (something we wished we could do but won’t be doing to keep the peace), we raised the bar by only including members with an author photo and extended bio in the top authors by quantity list. This may be unfair to members who write high quality content without posting an author photo, but we determined that the upside to delivering a positive user-experience by only showing top authors with a photo was too strong to pass up.

Yes, this means there was a massive site reshuffling in terms of who’s in the top 10 in each of the 569 niche markets we serve today together.
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Fiction Novel Writers Solution

EzineArticles Expert Authors Can Turn Books Into Excellent ArticlesEzineArticles expert author Marv Lincoln asked:

“I have just written and self-published a novel. How can I use the book and its subject matter as the basis for EzineArticles — graciously and without blatant self-promotion?”

Excellent question Marv and thanks for giving me permission to share my thoughts about how to get this done.

  • I’m going to assume we’re talking about using your fictional content in the article body and not about writing articles about character & plot development (even though those would make great article ideas also).
  • Mistakes I’ve seen prior authors do is they will just slice & dice their fictional works, slap up a bad article title, add a resource box linking to their website and then wonder why we rejected their articles.
  • You’ll have to make peace with the fact that your articles that contain fiction will be in our general Arts & Entertainment category…until the day comes for us to introduce a “Fiction” category. Despite what you might think, the category your article in matters very little.
  • We do have a BOOK-REVIEWS:FICTION category, but that’s solely for book-reviews and not sections of fictional content for the article body. (Read this to refresh yourself on how our book reviews category works in terms of your own book(s).)
  • Start with thinking about what fans of your book(s) would want to know? Be sure to include descriptors in the article title that references the volume or series that you’ll be sharing in the article body.
  • But, each article can not link or refer to the other series of articles you have because article marketing is not *article parts* friendly. Each must stand alone.
  • Include a short introductory paragraph about the story before ‘diving in’ to orient the reader that they are about to read fiction and follow it up with a short (1) paragraph conclusion.
  • Never include your author name in the article title.
  • It helps if you can cover a story arc in your article so that it makes some sense because each article must stand alone.

A lot of the above tips can also apply to other book authors (including those who write non-fiction)… but at least I hope this gives you some guidelines to get started on repackaging your existing fictional (or non-fictional) book/ebook content to use for article marketing for purposes of attracting new leads, prospects and buyers to your website.

New Security Addition Tracks Last Login

We’ve added a new tool to your EzineArticles membership account that will now tell you when we recorded your last login time. It looks like this: (see upper right corner)
You can now track your EzineArticles account last login time

Why we added this new *peace of mind* security feature: Sometimes an account owner will turn over their EzineArticles account over to an employee or agent of theirs to delegate jobs or projects. This tool now gives them a chance to login and visually see when the last time someone/or themselves were in the account.

Do you think this is a useful feature or should we remove it?

569 Top Authors View Speed Increased

In every one of the 569 EzineArticles categories, there is a Top Authors list as to who has the most articles in that particular category.

That list was dynamically generated on the fly every time it was loaded…until today. It’s now generated once a day and this significantly increased load speed by a few hundred percent faster.

Example of the Build Muscle category top authors list.

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