|eHow dumps their forum and member profiles|
Replacing it with Facebook connect
Just got this e-mail:
We have some exciting news to share about eHow.com. Beginning in February 2011, Facebook Login will be the exclusive means for login to the site. You’ll be able to use your new or existing Facebook username and password to connect with the eHow community. We’ll also be removing eHow member profiles to help you streamline friend lists and eliminate the work of managing multiple online accounts. Additionally, we’ll be closing forums on the site. We want to hear from you directly, so moving forward, we encourage you to communicate us through the “Contact Us” section of eHow.com.
How does this impact you?
In February, your current eHow profile will be taken down. If there are items in your current profile that are important to you (e.g., favorites and playlists), bookmark them so you can retrieve them in the future. Also, if you have friends on eHow.com that you’re not connected to on Facebook, be sure to add them on Facebook so you can keep them in your trusted network of friends.
Interesting! What I find the most problematic is how they assume that your "friends" on eHow can simply be added as friends on Facebook. I don't see how that is a one to one relationship. Facebook is a much more personal social network where many folks share private info. Do you really want all your cyber-pals from eHow in your private business?
eHow is already fighting for credibility. They have been banned by Blekko, and Google is looking at cracking down on content farms. Maybe they are trying to scale down some of the least useful content and also eliminate the overhead associated with managing their user community.
They are turning their eyes towards Facebook in desperation for stable traffic in the future as they know Google is about to can their tail.
Good points. I think I would do the same thing in their shoes.
In fact I often consider doing more Fb integration for community functionality on my sites. Take away the overhead and perhaps drive more traffic from source other than search.
I just don't know how well a community converts over to Fb. I mean fb is for family and close friends. Online communities are often virtual friends who don't share real identities.
If WebmasterWorld went Fb for all commenting, would you join and participate as your real name? Furthermore, would you friend all your WebmasterWorld buddies on fb? That is an interesting question to consider.
>>I just don't know how well a community converts over to Fb. I mean fb is for family and close friends. Online communities are often virtual friends who don't share real identities.
I agree, max. Most community environments aren't ready for the total transparency of everyone being visible.
That isn't much of a forum. It's a community for people who freelance for ehow. The community doesn't add anything to eHow, it's just an inefficient faq, easily replaced by a proper faq that answers common questions.
What's in it for eHow?
1.It lets them reduce overhead by replacing an inefficent FAQ with a real one.
2. This is purely speculative, but the move allows eHow to potentially grow their content contributors. Each of their current writers are connected to other people who are outside of the current eHow base. There is no better recommendation than that of your friends and relatives. This will expose the writing opportunities to more people, increasing the available supply with the corresponding decrease in the cost of articles.
No doubt eHow would love to move the cost of content as close to FREE as they can get.
Not to mention the referral traffic from FB.
|No doubt eHow would love to move the cost of content as close to FREE as they can get. |
They had free and they let it go, or actually changed the business model, presumably in order to better control quality. As I recall, before spring of last year, and for a period of two (three?) years, eHow had at least four sources of content that I know of:
- existing content inherited from previous ownership
- content created by write-for-hire folks through Demand Studios (now Demand Media Studios)
- content created by topic experts who were paid I don't know how, and
- how-to articles created by "community members" who are the people you see on the eHow forums.
The last group wrote for no up-front fee and were only paid royalties. These "free" articles were of variable quality. Demand Media ended the program last April, I think it was. Writers are still paid for existing content, and those who met quality standards were grandfathered into the Demand Media Studios stable, where they may still write the no-up-front-pay (i.e., "free") revenue sharing articles, this time under editorial control.
|In fact I often consider doing more Fb integration for community functionality on my sites. |
I don't understand people that advertise FB on their own websites for free.
I don't think it is a question of free advertising. Nothing is free. You get something in return. :-)
|If WebmasterWorld went Fb for all commenting... |
...I'd be out of here like a shot.
I am not in favour of a "common login" for multiple services.