While much was made about Demand Media's survivial -- at a 20% boost in traffic for its main site, eHow -- in the wake of Panda 2 eHow suffered a near 50% drop in traffic and the corporation's stock lost $10 per share.
On May 5 DMS announced to all members of the Writer's Compensation Program through eHow that effective immediately, revenue share would cease. I have one of those accounts, and I've been offered a buyout. The buyout for my 19 articles pays me about 8-9 months' worth of residual earnings. I've decided to take it.
Writers in the WCP break down into the following:
- Offered a buyout and take it. Writers lose all rights.
- Offered a buyout and remove articles for use elsewhere.
- Offered a buyout and don't take it, don't remove articles (in which case rights revert, for free, to DMS on June 1).
- Not offered a buyout and leave content for DMS to use for free.
- Not offered a buyout and remove content for use elsewhere.
Rev share article writing has taken a hit all around, and in the wake of Panda I read many stories from writers who claimed that DMS knew what it was doing, that the eHow WCP program was a better deal than any other rev share site, etc. And, for a short time, it looked like that was true.
But for now, thousands of writers are weighing their options, if they even have options. It's not a good day in rev share land.