Demand Media Goes Into Real Publishing

You may never have heard of DemandMedia, but you’ve used their content.  Their own sites, such as LiveStrong and eHow employ journalists to whom they pay a small fee ($20 – $25 an hour) to write articles on all sorts of random subjects, gleaned from a central database, where the writers can sign up for assignments. The articles are all edited before they’re published (copy editors are paid $3.50 for editing a story).  But a busy writer could easily churn out five or six stories a day. The company also has more video on YouTube than any other single entity. DemandMedia has been called a “content farm”, and 4500 pieces of content come out of it a day.  Last week, Demand’s EVP was in New York pitching Demand’s content  and said that several major publishers, including the Atlanta journal Constitution and Yahoo! News are, as Silicon Alley Insider says, “experimenting with” the company’s product, although they are not willing to make partnership announcements yet.  Demand does not really do actual news, “We’re never going to cover Haiti,” the EVP said; their stuff is more along the lines of how to throw a SuperBowl Party. So they’re not exactly in competition for actual journalism jobs.  But they can fill a newspaper’s space, and as newspapers and magazines jettison staff, the content from Demand may get more appealing.

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