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Auto-Matic for the People!

How to Deal With Automotive CEs

How to Deal With Automotive CEs

Hey kids, 

DMS continues to piss people off as much as ever.

Just this week we got reports that writers haven’t been paid and a couple of CE bitch fests. 

This letter appeared in the DMS box and we just had to share.  

How goes things in your DMS world? The queues are looking mighty grim in a number of sections, yet DMS continues to hire writers and hold webinars. 

Way to go, team! 

Reader Mailbag

I am now a former DSM writer for the Automotive section.

Just wanted to vent a bit about my experiences.

First off, I currently write Automotive OEM publications full time for a living. I decided to give Demand Studios a try out of shear curiosity. I applied about a year ago and was deemed ineligible in their eyes. I do have over 15 years experience writing for the OEMs, but not good enough for Demand Studios….okay, I guess? So I let it go at that “don’t sweat the small stuff” right?.

Then about two years later, I was cleaning up my bookmarks and stumbled upon the Demand Studios link. Honestly, I could not remember what it was so I logged in….low and behold I had hundreds of articles to choose from. Two years earlier I was deemed ineligible, but now I have the permission to write……okay great!

So I started to write. I wrote my first three articles and encountered the normal “style” issues, but was told my content was great. The only thing I did notice is that no matter what I did, style was ALWAYS an issue. For instance if I wrote 4-liter engine I was told it should be fo ur-liter engine. So next article I would write four-liter engine and I would get told it should be 4-liter engine….the list goes on and on.

No worries, as long as I am getting paid I’ll play along. Then one day, the editors started to question my content. Granted, I write for the OEMs, but some editor at Demand Studios knows how it really should be……WOW!

SO then I get flagged for plagiarism and I have to contact the editor and apologize (sorry?)…..I guess? I was told I plagiarized my own work. It was a $7.50 article that was the same procedure as a $30.00 article I had done and some steps were the same. There are only so many ways you can tell someone how to put air in their tire….right?

Screw it! I’m not doing this anymore!!!! Oh, but I did! So, I wrote an article on how to replace a certain sensor on a vehicle. I’ve done this task a million times, but some editor behind his computer knows the real way this is to be done! I instructed the individual performing the
task to disconnect the negative side battery cable. I was WRONG!?!? The editor deemed the sensor was not high enough voltage to cause any damage if the battery cable was left on.

Okay…..maybe for someone who knows what they are doing, but if you are looking on eHow for instructions on how to replace anything electronic on a vehicle…you damn well better disconnect the battery.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people. That being said, as far as Demand Studios goes “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups”.

Anyway, after that article my “Find Assignments” results went from over a thousand to ZERO and I received the following email:

Hello DSSER,
Thank you for your recent email.
According to our records, a member our team has reviewed the topic section application that you submitted. After careful review of your application information, including your writing history with the Studio, it was decided that your background and style do not meet with the current needs of this section.

Please note that this decision will not affect your current writing permissions. If you write for other topic sections you still maintain those permissions. We sincerely thank you for your interest and encourage you to apply to other sections within your areas of your expertise.

Best regards,
The Demand Media Studios Team

3 comments to Auto-Matic for the People!

  • Pamela

    Nobody got paid on pay day at all. Not a word from Jordan or Laurel or anyone else about it. Can we say UNPROFESSIONAL?! Writers are seething.

  • Pamela

    Seems to be a regular occurrence now – pay comes through at the last minute before the close of business on payday. This has happened with the last four pay checks. Computer glitches for everything from insanely slow assignment loading times to failing photo searches abound on a daily basis. Does any of this sound like a company that is excelling? I think not.

  • It's me

    Sorry, but I call bullshit on this dude’s “experience” and “story.” I am not one to defend DMS, but the auto side has been one of the more consistent segments, particularly the editing, as there were only a few Auto editors in the last few years and only one now.

    OEM manuals are not written by anyone with writing or mechanical skills. They are put together by engineers and copywriters simply clean them up a bit, so to say he writes OEM content is very, very unlikely.

    Of course, he does sound like a lawyer-trained OEM writer with disconnecting a battery to replace a sensor. Just my $0.02, spend it as you wish…

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