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What it's like to write for Demand Media (readwriteweb.com)
20 points by kia on Nov 6, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 5 comments

From reading the article, it seems that Demand Media treats writers as a (completely replaceable) commodity.

I don't think the fact that they pay a (highly debate-ably) reasonable wage to writers, is a good reason for viewing their operation more favourably.

In my opinion, sites like this (and other crowd-sourcing sites) are effecting cultural change by exploiting the bad-times. Recession helps their models world well, because there are more skilled people around without jobs.

At the end of the day, I don't think the output that Demand Media creates makes the world a better place.

Isn't the Demand Media world, an outcome of the inherent shortcomings of the Google search engine? -- There will be people to exploit every loophole in any system.

In mid-late 90s (for all non-google search engines) you had the problem of link stuffing. Now its SEO!

Wonder, if the success of Adwords, and lack of real competition, is holding back Google from innovating fast enough in search technology.

That's why we need some real competition in search. And fast. Will it come for Blekko, Bing or Facebook?

Google could wipe Demand Media out with a mouse click. I do not think they perceive DM or DM's model as being bad things for the Internet in aggregate. (Well, for Google in aggregate anyhow, and Google sees itself as coextensive with the Internet. They aren't that wrong either.)

It's only really bad for Google if people consistently get send to demand media articles and are unhappy with the experience compared with the alternatives.

I'd imagine for a lot of keywords the demand media article your getting wouldn't be all that bad compared with alternatives available. The key is to rank higher quality sources above this kind of stuff where available. I'm sure average internet users are becoming smarter all the time about evaluating the Google results and the page they land on to decide if there is any value there.

It seems to me that Demand Media is the realization of the original dream of "The Mining Company" (later became About.com). They've created an efficient marketplace for generating content in direct response to user's search queries.

But how does content specifically designed to answer a question, make more money showing contextual ads than it costs to produce the content in the first place? If the content is answering the query, what ads are users clicking after reading it?

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