The Latest – Revamped Helium Marketplace hasn’t quite hit its stride.

  • Helium Marketplace has been overhauled: 

It’s been a few weeks since the launch of the latest Marketplace edition, and though Helium staffers like to believe their site is polished, Marketplace currently is Beta, by real world definitions. 

Articles are not moving from the publisher selection process to the general pool of Helium articles as promised, and some Heliumites threaten to mutiny.  However, most Helium members seem to understand that problems are inevitable, and a sort of disgruntled sanity is the mood of the day.  To Helium’s credit, they seem to be working on the problem.

The Helium staff remains courteous and responsive, for the most part.  Even Mark Ranalli posted a reply to a well thought out list of Marketplace concerns from a regular contributor.

  • Here is a good place to talk about the Helium boards in general, as promised in my last post: 

The boards are continually monitored.  Some posts will not get an immediate answer however.  If the topic is uncomfortable for the staff or channel stewards, it may take more than one post to illicit a response.

An occasional staffer will come across as a little defensive, but some allowance should be granted.  After all they are emotionally involved with Helium, and honest concerns may seem like criticism.  On the other hand, one can easily get the feeling that Helium lacks the perspective of an outsider who really has no way of discerning the inner workings of the site, and who can easily feel insecure when things don’t run smoothly.  My personal opinion is that staffers who cannot remain dispassionate should probably refrain from posting on the boards.  There’s just too much oportunity for misunderstanding.

The Helium boards are an interesting place to read up on the latest gossip, and to get a feel for what’s going on.  But, if you’re at Helium to write, beware of becoming caught up in the board exchanges; they can be a little addictive, and a waste of valuable writing time.

Also, do post your concerns with regularity, but try to do it with self depricating humor.  This gets a better response.  Sometimes problems (like articles not transitioning) are conveniently resolved after a concern is raised, but without any official response on the boards.  Best to just be grateful and move on.

  • Back to Marketplace: 

Helium users are not entirely happy with the new setup, particularly the fact that we can no longer see the selected article, and have no way of knowing if, or when an article is chosen.  The general unhappiness surely stems partly from a natural resistance to change, but also is due to a move toward a more impersonal Marketplace, which leaves Marketplace writers with no sense of control.  This is not good for Helium, and they’d be very wise to find some way of appeasing the writers.

Also, the current offerings on Marketplace are little meager.  Except for one Miami Herald article, none of the titles are offering very much money.  There’s no way to tell if this has anything to do with the changes to Marketplace.  It could just be a natural lull.

  • Other Helium stuff:

The Rewardathon (a contest that paid members to post articles, according to their rating and writing stars)seems to have concluded without incident.  Most people (myself included) received their payments promptly.  I suspect Helium put a lot of effort into making sure no snags were encountered.  A problem (beyond the perennial griping about rating and stars) with the Rewardathon would have been devastating for Helium’s reputation.

  • Coming up:

More on Helium, and…

I’ve started writing at AC and also at Constant Content.  I’ll tell you how I think they compare.

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2 responses to “The Latest – Revamped Helium Marketplace hasn’t quite hit its stride.

  1. You’re right in that we are passionate about what we do – we have to be to work long hours and spend lots of time away from our family and friends. And it is hard to step back and look at Helium from the outside because of that passion.

    I would hope that we would do a decent job.

    As for Marketplace, we are aware of the faults. This first revision was meant to get the basic objections of publishers handled. As we work out the kinks, grow, and gather more information it will evolve and be revamped.

    It won’t be tomorrow, but it will be soon.

    As for publishers, we are aware of the issues there and our team is working diligently to make sure they don’t occur again.

    Forgive us our growing pains. It’s not as easy as it looks unfortunately. 🙂

  2. Thanks Eric 🙂 Good to read you here.

    I am sure Helium members would rather you have passion for your work than apathy.

    My job here is to pick things apart in the same way that other users might, but I hope I will be more objective than some. If I make erroneous statements, I will be greatfully accept corrections.

    I believe that realistic expectations (in other words, not expecting perfection) and communication are the keys to a satisfying relationship between a website and it’s users.

    And, I must give kudos to Helium for its communication with members.

    Best of luck as you go forward!

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