I write recently about how I applied and was accepted to be the Akron Career Advice Examiner. After I got started I realized a few things (besides the content mill part) that I really don't like about the site.
1) The design is add-based, not content based.
The screen shot below is what displays when you first open the page. It looks like a normal web page (ads at the top, on the right, at the bottom), right?
The ad at the bottom of the screen is NOT the bottom of the page. They ask you to write in the inverted pyramid format and then cut off the second half of your content with an advertisement. If I hadn't written the article I wouldn't have even known there was more. And the article makes zero sense without the second half.
2) Bad design tools.
I am pretty much required to use a picture, and they don't have the option for me to shorten the the attribution URL so that it fits in the box. I chose this picture because it was free as long as I linked directly to the creator's portfolio. Therefore, the url runs into the content.
This article was my first and needed to be physically approved before it could go live. And the person who approved this article did a few things that really make this complaint of bad design tools even more poignant:
-Sent me a comment saying I only need to provide a link to the stock photo home page, not the individual portfolio. This violates the terms of me using the picture for free, but if I paid for the picture I wouldn't have needed to give a credit. Therefore, this is just dumb.
-Approved the post without noticing (or caring) that the text of the photo credit ran into the text of the article. Either they didn't look at the layout or didn't care. Again, this is dumb.
3) The push for journalism-style, third person writing.
I am certified to teach journalism, I have taken journalism classes, I am confused on why they would title a position "advice" when they are seeking unbiased and impersonal content. This just seems like two generic decisions that don't' work together.
Needless to say, I am not impressed.
So, overall, I wouldn't visit a sight that looked like this, so why would I want to write for one?
I sent my resignation e-mail today.