I have only just read the May 2011 issue of the magazine Writers Forum, and was disappointed in reading the article titled "Why providing articles for content sites isn't real writing!"
In this article, various web sites (and their writers) are attacked for reducing the quality of writing and damaging the industry. While the majority of the criticism was aimed towards web sites such as Hub Pages, Infobarrel and Squidoo for their revenue sharing programmes, Demand Media was mentioned at length as one of the "big giants of content sites".
The author of the article states: "...be realistic. Don't expect to boost your CV or credibility with editors - or gain much in the way of real writing experience."
To say that I found these words disheartening is, at best, a gross understatement.
I agree wholeheartedly that if you are hoping, NEEDING, your writing to pay your bills then revenue sharing sites are a joke and do not recompensate writers for their time and effort. However, to say that the people involved in any or all of these programmes are not "real writers" is unfounded, elitist and judgemental. Any number of print-published writers, editors and journalists can be found on these web sites and contribute considerable time, skill and work into making their writing stand out.
In addition to writing effective articles under strict word limitations - and time frames, in order to make the job viable - writers are required to research credible sources, craft articles to specific formats and contribute something new to the pool of information already existing on the web. Personally, I take great pride in not only the quality of my writing but the depth and distinction of research which I support it with. The majority of my articles cite medical or research journals and non-fiction hardcopy books as their references. The information I provide is up to date, evidence-based and researched.
It is easy to make grand generalizations about large communities of writers like ours here, at Demand Studios, but they do not take into account the many individuals who take part in this opportunity, or their reasons for doing so.
So, I'm sorry, Writers Forum magazine, but I do write content articles, and I AM a real writer - despite it, because of it and proud of it.