In this previous post, I told you how Demand Studios was so much better than it used to be. I take it all back.
After working with them again for several months, I've found that DS is still just as messed up as everyone remembers. They say they want quality articles, but the truth is they don't have the slightest idea what quality is.
To test my theory, I decided to contact experts to get information and quotes for the topics I was writing about. As anyone who's gone to journalism school or worked for print publications (and almost anyone else) knows, expert interviews are one of the best ways to get quality information for articles.
Apparently, though, Demand Media Studios didn't get the memo.
I received more rewrite requests than ever. In many of the requests, the copy editor claimed that the experts didn't know what they were talking about and the CE had a link to some shoddy website which proved that the expert was wrong. My research scores plummeted.
In contrast, when I used questionable websites as my reference sources, my scores went back up.
The "audits" are my favorite part of DS' new quality control. Out of the blue, an editor contacts you through your personal email address. The editor informs you that he has been looking over your articles and has found ways to improve your writing. Okay, that seems reasonable, except that these editors have the power to edit your article weeks after it's published. One editor informed me that a sentence in a recent article was too long and he fixed it. He fixed it all right. Here is the results:
Sports was once a male-dominated activity. And women were left to cheer on the sidelines. Eventually, however, cheerleading became a sport of its own.
Yep, that's some good stuff. I'm no grammar savant, but that was so wrong. Even my 4th grader laughed.
Needless to say, I went to my DS profile and changed my real name to a pen name (which I should have done a long time ago). When you do this, in a few days the bylines of all your previously written DS articles changes to your pen name. At least that's how it used to work. I've got my fingers crossed.