Suite101 has a 13 year history of providing a place for both casual and dedicated writers to publish articles and generate a passive income. It has also maintained a reputation for being a reliable source of expertise as many of the Suite101 writers are specialists in their field. It is a great place to write, a supportive writing community with a broad range of topics and editors who work hard to ensure consistent quality accross the site. Is some of this about to change?
This month’s revised editorial policy could be a significant shift and I only hope it is in the right direction. For me, one of the great appeals of writing at the Suite were the fair but stringent editorial guidelines and the minimum requirement of 10 articles every three months. Having written for some article aggregators that had neither of these, it was refreshing to come to a place where quality really mattered.
The new policy abandons the minimum requirements and relaxes some of the standards for submissions, allowing for opinion and a voice other than the objective third person. It seems to have been well received by the community and I’ll admit I breathed a little sigh of relief, too. The quotas were tyrannical for people writing in very rare and specialised niches and struggling to generate articles in sufficient quantity. The new policy also provides more scope for creative flair and colour in the writing.
However, I have also been reflecting recently, in light of the buzz around Demand Media and widespread concern about the web becoming flooded with low grade SEO copy, wondering if the frenzied article writing bubble is going to pop any time soon. Search engines are going to have to develop increasingly sophisticted algorithms to ensure that well written and informative content continues to rise to the top. At the end of the day I like robust editorial policies and I like being told when something is not up to scratch. I appreciate and aspire to a professional style. If I want to do opinion in the first person I’ll do it here.
Of course, slightly more relaxed editorial guidelines mean more articles get published, translating to more pages and more revenue for more people – or does it just mean more people competing for a finite number of clicks? Who will be the winner in the long run?
On balance, Suite101 is also opening up opportunities for writers of newsworthy items to have them listed on Google News which has some commitment to the integrity of reportage. The relaxed quotas may also mean that there is not a great change in the number of articles being published but I really hopeThe Suite keeps its reputation for quality intact.
Demand Media Debate – Content Farming VS Unique Content – By Joe Leija on TMBlog
- How Content Farms Train Their Writers to Write for the Web (pbs.org)
- Vancouver’s Suite101 publishes 500 articles per day (techvibes.com)