Directory No More…

Another very subtle shift that I’ve been making over the past 6 weeks is that I want our members and users to think of as an *online community of experts sharing knowledge* and not as an *article directory* or *article bank*.

Let’s face it, anyone with a few dollars can slam out a brand new article directory and call themselves a competitor.

We’re not interested in competing as an article directory any more. The area that really excites us is acting on which features and services could we add that would engage our members and users on a deeper and more frequent level throughout the year… ultimately figuring out how to unlock the enormous value that is already connected to; but isn’t tappable until we open up the toolset further that many have asked for.

No, we’re not going to change our domain name or brand name…and I guess that could be a bit confusing on why doesn’t want to be thought of as an article directory; but this issue is really a perception or thought intention designed to allow us to create an experience for our stakeholders beyond what simple article directories do today.

So, if you want to call us an article directory, that’s fine… but we’re going forge ahead to create our idea based on your input on what an online community of experts sharing knowledge looks like… and if we look less like an article directory every day, well, that’s part of the plan. :-) If you get more of what you wanted as a member or user of, well, that’s part of the plan too.


Edward Weiss writes:

Excellent idea. Reminds me of what sales gurus might tell their proteges: “You’re not selling articles, you’re selling expertise.”

And with this new positioning you are opening yourself up to a whole new world of possiblities. Looking forward to seeing what you’ll do with it!

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 12:56 PM


Jim Gustafson writes:

I am brand new to all of this. Frankly, haven’t got a clue what is happening to the articles I post, but it adds to my personal accountability.
I am impressed with your offering and communication.
Have you considered compiling common themes and publishing them as an ebook anthology?

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 1:17 PM


Daria writes:

Congratulations – sounds great to me! :-)

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 1:25 PM


ianmack writes:

Agreed, a good idea to move beyond the constraints of a simple article directory. Perhaps incorporating the word “community” somewhere may help align the shift…such as “EzineArticles Community” or maybe just add a web 2.0 sounding word to the end. “Ezine-pedia” perhaps? Just a thought…. ;-)

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 1:45 PM




I like Ezine Pedia, but the challenge is that some folks think “Ezine” is a brand or a noun having nothing to do with what “Ezine” really stands for: Email Newsletters. is a site created to be a content exchange for ezine publishers who are looking for supplemental content… and somewhere along the way, we’ve exceeded our original mission by quite a few yard sticks of length… leaving us in an awkward position to try and re-invent ourselves to redefine how much more we could do together with our loyal members. :-)

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 2:14 PM


Ed Howes writes:

I have read more than once about start up companies choosing a descriptive name which does not allow for growth beyond the initial intention and then restricts branding opportunities. British Petroleum comes to mind. To me the community is about blogs and forums and reader participation in contests, suggestiojnsand any activities that turn readers only into competent writers. But then, I have said so before.

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 3:46 PM


Bob Huizenga writes:

I like the direction. The net is filled with information. Maybe the next level is that of people sharing their wisdom.

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 4:25 PM


Audrey Okaneko writes:

Quite interseting. Many many times when I want to know something, I do not do a google search, instead I do an EzineArticles search.

If I do a web search, I end up with tons of options, none of which really answer what I’m looking for. If I come here and search, I’m presented with a list of articles that meet what I’m looking for. Often, I can find an exact match within the first few articles.

You guys are definitely more than an “article directory”.

Audrey :)

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 6:06 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

I do not understand. I am confused. What are you again? A value added group in the online community of experts sharing knowledge and thus your core competency is what exactly? I am lost. Not sure what anything is or isn’t anymore? Is your core competency knowledge? Expertise? And if so, you must categorize this knowledge to make it useable and thus it is in a Directory, but you are NOT a directory site? Interesting, then are you going to use mind mapping strategies to suggest further reading to the user/reader and therefore assist in producing the knowledge to the reader without concentrating on a Directory configuration? If not you are still an online article submission directory site, no matter what you call it right? If you are re-branding your site then what comes next. Are your teasing us? Psayching out the competition?

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 6:53 PM



If the competition would like to be psych’d out, that’d be fine. ;-)

Yeah, what Audrey said… I’m trying to express that we are more than just an *article directory*.

…or I’m trying to say that we aspire to becoming more than just an article directory.

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 7:02 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Well, if a reader is coming for knowledge, advice, expertise and to find such folks, then you should also have;

1.) White Papers

2.) Readers who liked this article also read these articles.

3.) Here are a list of books on this subject; links to search (with a partnership-afterall you have the volume).

4.) Allow Article Author optional upgrades or Ads on the pages which display their articles (small fee times 36,000).

You see if you are upgrading your systems and your search features, then helping the reader get to the additional articles, experts search to their hearts desire, will bring you a huge following which would grow exponentially provided you continue your abilities on the backend of your system, thus EzineArticles is the place people come to for Answers and Knowledge; advice and experience; and to find consultants and experts. So, if some of these thoughts are on your agenda, I am becoming suddenly a lot less confused, a lot more excited and much more impressed.

BTW- I must say that my stats speak for themselves;

And those are some thoughts on the topic of the forward progression of mankind and the website that can take them there.

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 7:19 PM


Ed Howes writes:

Audrey’s comment brings to mind an old 18th Century invention called a public library. How positively retrograde! Shush. Then we add this community thing and we have – a public library but we might call it a communal informational repository to be cutting edge new age. I think Lance had some very solid ideas when we bring marketing into the picture and then we have a commercial communal informational repository. What’s in a name? It’s getting harder to tell. :-) Perhaps this caterpillar is morphing into an intelligent blonde bombshell.

Comment provided November 7, 2006 at 11:47 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Why not have authors eBooks too online to download, processes them and gives 55% to the author, keeps the difference and makes some money for continuing their new track.

Ed, Did Carnegie really invent the public library or simply fund it to make them available? I mean the Alexandria Ancient Library was available to the public wasn’t it? Or was it?

Comment provided November 8, 2006 at 12:58 AM


James Burchill writes:

This is all fascinating stuff. I ‘get’ the idea that you want to grow beyond your original mandate, and I understand why you are trying to reposition yourself.

But…and it’s just a little but ;-) Remember that you are popular because you are you. If you try and become something (or someone) else, you cease to offer that uniqueness that set you on this course in the first place.

Information is neutral, the value people attribute to the information is what gives it meaningfulness. People have made YOUR site valuable because of how they use it and how they apply it, the information is itself valueless until applied. If this were not so, then libraries would be place of wealth and profit ;-)

Remember, wisdom comes from experience which is gained through the application of information. This is getting circular, I think I need to lie down…

But seriously, tread carefully as you forge ahead changing things. Your intentions are noble…but I recall something about the road to ruin (or is that hell) is paved with good intentions.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Comment provided November 8, 2006 at 6:02 AM


Pamela Beers writes:

I go to EzineArticles for info as well. For me it’s an online global library with unique perspectives from individual authors. With all the info here, a book of some sort should be published in the varying categories giving individual authors remuneration for their quality contributions. I like Lance’s idea of a 55% split. Ezine Article Global Library with paid authors.

Comment provided November 8, 2006 at 6:06 AM


Ed Howes writes:

It has been nearly 6 years from my very first online experience and it is crystallized in my mind the major task of the information age is the useful organization of all this information. Comments on this blog and activities at EzineArticles further reinforces my contentention.

I can’t speak to the library at Alexandria. As to the U.S. Ben Franklin got the idea started in Philadelphia probably in the 1730s as a project of his civic Junto Club. Carnegie most likely became the greatest promoter of the concept.

As to your next challenge – new career, would you consider working for non violent revolution?

[MODERATOR NOTE: Please, let’s try to keep government politics out of this blog discussion. Thanks!]

Comment provided November 8, 2006 at 9:26 AM


Phillip Davis writes:

Chris- What you are facing is very typical for young/emerging companies that outgrow their original (and often narrow) niche. That’s why I work with companies to help create brand names that are big enough to accomodate future growth. Without it companies find themselves pigeonholed and fighting to clarify who they are and what they do.

For instance, does Southwest Airlines fly just in the southwest? Does Burlington Coat Factory make more than just coats? Are they a factory? Are they in Burlington? By rebranding and repositioning you can avoid the constriction that grips companies that refuse to change and adapt. When the internet was younger, two online book sites appeared. Books-A-Million and Amazon. The first was much more literal and descriptive, but in the end it proved paralyzing when it came to expanding beyond the selling of just books. Amazon, being a metaphor for supply and abundance and a “flow” of goods and services, eneded up being a much more fitting name that has allowed the company to provide additional goods and services. That’s because the name focuses on attributes and not products. If you want to grow the comany beyond just being an ezine article site, you will find yourself having to constantly explain that in your blogs, postings, newsletters and all other communications. Better to let a new name convey that change if you are moving to differentiate yourself.

Comment provided November 15, 2006 at 12:03 PM


Ed Howes writes:

On the other hand when one has established their self as the best in the industry, you don’t toss out your branding with a more inclusive name. The alternative is to expand into a new niche, with an all inclusive name or a niche exclusive name and cross promote the established and new business. EzineArticles could be folded into but it could take years for all users to learn of the change and some business would be lost as a result. In fact recent news says Southwest Airlines is buying Delta and will keep the Delta name. Quite an elegant solution.

Comment provided November 15, 2006 at 1:54 PM


James Burchill writes:

To brand or not to brand… that is the question. Frankly if you have enough cash and time you can make anyone believe anything. Go on… I dare you ;-)

A few years back I had a piece published on ‘eponyms’ and I even put it up on this site:,-And-What-Does-It-Mean-For-Your-Brand?&id=41307

Take a look, you might enjoy the re-frame. I wonder, does Coke still contain cocaine??? LOL

Bland brands, lost in generalities…



Comment provided November 15, 2006 at 2:06 PM



I love this discussion because I love thinking about brands and branding!

In our case, our brand is so strong and so confusing to newbies, that many new authors with us think that “ezine” describes something other than “email newsletters” and to them, it’s a word they never heard or understood before. Blows my mind every time I hear it.

I agree with Ed H about not throwing out the brand just because we’ve become more than our original intention.

A few angels sent some private emails to me with suggestions that I appreciated and most likely, we’ll end up creating a new word or brand to build without throwing out classic coke. ;-)

Phillip, I agree!

Comment provided November 15, 2006 at 2:19 PM


Jim Gustafson writes:

A terrific conversation and one that can be highly productive. I don’t find ezine limiting. In fact, rather positive and well branded. I say go on and ez-ine does it!

Comment provided November 15, 2006 at 4:54 PM


Phillip Davis writes:

Ed and Jim-

Point well taken… established brand names do not necessarily need to be tossed out. Another alternative is to do brand extensions and venture out that way… (i.e. Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, etc.) The problem here is that both “ezine” and “articles” are generic and might prove limiting in the future as Chris expands his offerings. And it’s hard to “own” either of those words. When Apple went from making computers to harnassing the digital music industry, it didn’t have to change the name Apple. It simply had to drop the word “Computers” from the name. Chris doesn’t have a main brand name and so the name itself is more of a descriptor phrase. It might serve nicely for type in traffic, but that could be handled easily with a re-direct of the current domain name to a more branded site.

A good example of this is vs. Lending Tree creates this metaphor that’s friendly and memorable and approachable. It’s easy to recall… like money growing on trees. And it can expand to do car loans and college loans, etc. Conversely, (or is it eloans?) is spending a ton on advertising and it’s hard for their message to stick since it just sounds like they are describing their industry… internet based loans. So it’s more difficult for them to own a “position” in the minds of the consumer.

With a new name, EzineArticles could be placed under the name as the descriptor phrase as in “the #1 source for quality EzineArticles” So it could be phased in rather nicely. Food for thought…

Comment provided November 15, 2006 at 5:19 PM


23 writes:

Well if you like branding discussions let me know;

Comment provided November 15, 2006 at 6:59 PM


Clara writes:

I’ve been using it as a information source for some time. When I’m researching something, I come here to see what’s been written.

Comment provided November 17, 2006 at 1:29 PM


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