Helium.com : About, Yahoo Answers & Wikipedia All Rolled Into One

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Helium.com : About, Yahoo Answers & Wikipedia All Rolled Into One

An alternative to the Q&A services and social media projects at Google Answers, Yahoo Answers, Live QnA & Answerbus.com, Helium hopes to be a knowledge oriented community which is not full of just hot air. Adding a dash of About.com and Consumer Reports to the Q&A field, Helium encourages consumers & users who are passionate about a topic to explore their interest by reading insight provided by others.

Consumers can also share their experiences by writing articles or suggesting new topics to the community. The web site even enables those who write to act as armchair critics, reviewing the work of others, ensuring quality by leveraging the power of peer-review.

Question, how do you motivate an army of product reviewers to get involved and contribute so much content to Helium without having the foundation of registered users that Yahoo or Microsoft have, or without the content creating work-from-home staffers found at Infosearch Media? Easy, incentivize them. Helium offers its knowledge base the chance to earn a share of revenue generated from the info they contribute:

From Helium:

Sure, Helium is an outlet for the writer in all of us, but it is also a place where you can earn not only the adoration of your peers, but money, too! We want you to be part of the success here. Helium shares a portion of revenue with you. Every article you write is an asset which can earn you revenue—into perpetuity. The better you write, the higher you rank, the more your reward.

“The potential for user-contributed content will go unrealized until that content can be organized for easy browsing and finding, said John Blossom, President of Shore Communications, a leading management consulting firm. “Helium has created a way to rank content that balances the opinions of authorities and the opinions of a user community. Community members compare one article to another to decide which is best, to drive quality to the top of a topic through a fair and democratic process.”

More from Helium :

Search engines, while helpful, force the user to review a list of links. Community sites such as Yahoo! Answers® do not offer the organization needed to make finding insight quick or easy, and reference sites such as Wikipedia® offer one homogenized viewpoint that is only achieved through contributors overwriting one another.

“Helium is different because it takes the chaos of user-contributed content and orders it with a trusted ranking system that dramatically improves the quality and accessibility of collective wisdom for the knowledge-seeker,” said Mark Ranalli, President and CEO of Helium. “At Helium, multiple quality responses to conversational subjects such as ‘Which Aruba resort is better?’, or ‘Tips for buying antique furniture’ are provided in rank order, making it simple to efficiently consider more than one perspective.”

So, who owns the content which users upload and create for Helium? Like its competitors in the social media fields, Helium does of course!

• You grant Helium, and its affiliates, a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, transferable, non-exclusive right and license to use, copy, modify, delete in its entirety, adapt, publish, translate, display, create derivative works from and/or sell and/or distribute content posted to Helium.
• Helium’s rights to the content do also imply rights to use, in any way, the materials for our own internal business purposes, and reproduction and distribution for the purpose of marketing and publicity for Helium.
• Helium disclaims any obligation to legally protect your works or your copyrights, and you acknowledge that we will have no liability, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, for any infringement of any of your intellectual property rights.
• You acknowledge that we do not control other users’ actions, including but not limited to their use of your content. We will have no liability to you for any user’s violation of these terms and no responsibility to you to enforce these terms for your benefit.
• If your content includes one or more links to content hosted on servers other than ours, it will not be considered uploading or posting of content to the Helium site, and it is understood that we will have no right to use or distribute such content unless it is also uploaded or posted directly to the Helium site.

Last one gets me, does this mean that users cannot upload articles which link out? Possibly a spam or legal deterrent, but I’m wondering how much this will lead to users plagiarizing articles without proper link referrals to the original content creator.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Jayant Agarwalla

    Well personally I think Yahoo Answers is an AMAZING concept. BUT, it is being ruined by people who post stupid questions or questions that can be easily resolved with a simple search.

    In fact that is the reason why Yahoo shows search results when you type a question! And it also shows similar questions recently as you type your question. This was done as users posted duplicates of stupid questions.

    I am head admin at Scrabulous – http://www.scrabulous.com – where users can play Scrabble online. I answered a few questions about Scrabble online and the next day I get the same questions by new users! These are the types who spoil the site sometimes.

  • Net-Hetep Ta’Nesert

    When people write with integrity, proper links are given; and proper credit to authors whose works support the information being written about are joyously given as well. This will ensure the credibility of Helium’s contributors because plagiarism can easiley be proven.
    Fact is, is that there exists an unlimited and inexhaustible pool of writers who are just as professional in their chosen areas of personal, social, political, and literary interests above and beyond the socially proclaimed experts that deserve an avenue, and opportunity for exposure.
    Helium is that avenue and opportunity.
    Let us be intelligently brave in embracing diversity and travelling new horizons that lead to a brighter future. . . TODAY.

  • Brewster Moose

    …you all seem to be ignorant of the fact that,inspite of Aristotellian A=A and B=B, so comes binary ones and zeros, bit and byte, that even if A isn’t B, and B isn’t A, either A or B MIGHT BE C! Don’t believe me? There was a data summary at the Stanford Linear Accelarator a number of years ago that sought to reconcile the particles accelerated with the sum total of the target particles and their subsequent dispersal. Guess what? They could only account for 98.785% of target particles released during the collisons.What happened to the rest of those particles? Can you say C? There is a machine intelligence evolving that recognizes information and data that we stupid humans can neither recognize nor comprehend.
    By the time that the moral and ethical issues concerning direct cyber/biological interfacing are settled, the machine, at least in terms of data storage, will far exceed the human capacity to accept such a massive amount of data at one fell swoop. Do we then expect the machine’s ability to to choose what data we humans can be safely “spoon fed”, trusting that Our Creation has not assumed a will of it’s own or a much more logical process to an end, or will that day come too late,when the machine has decided that humans just can’t “keep up” and start making our decisions “for us”? I worked at Siltec,INTEL,Atari,AMD, and Apple. I know where of I speak.
    Brewster Moose

  • Rachelle

    I started with Helium about 18 months ago, and had my doubts. Now, I write regularly and have contributed more than 1500 articles. Helium educate people to use sources in their articles, and also have a service available to help those less able to produce great articles to learn online journalism, meaning that the scope of the articles on the site is diverse.

    With the recent introduction of the Rewardathon, and following the success of the last rewardathon, Helium is a serious site, who take its members seriously.

    I believe that the user agreement is simple enough to understand and that those who do not understand it should perhaps acquaint themselves with the rules, as it is adherence to these rules that helps a member to make a success of their work at Helium.

    The earning opportunities are amazing.

    • Lisa B.

      Writers, beware! People have apparently been scammed or their work wrongfully deleted by Helium.com. While I have actually seen articles on this site that look almost like clones, Helium.com has falsely accused me of plagiarism, and has removed a small piece of informational writing that came solely out of my head and out of my decades of experience with the health field. I have demanded that they re-post my article and retract their groundless accusation since they have no evidence, and demanded an apology. I’m frankly inclined to start registering everything I write with the Library of Congress Copyright Office before I give away any more gems of wisdom to the public anywhere at all. I’m not doing online self-publishing for large sums of money–there won’t be any, by Western standards–but just to get my pieces read. There isn’t anything we can do with these idiots other than to either boycott them, or hire a lawyer and a detective, pull all their records and file a class action suit. Which would you pick?

  • Keith Adams

    I echo the previous comment. Google Helium complaints and you’ll find hundreds of complaints about the Terms of Service, and censorship. I’ve just had my own very bad experience with Helium. I asked them politely to remove an article I’d written, which was now damaging to my reputation. After much back and forth, they not only locked me out while keeping all my articles online, but censored another article I’d written which was critical of their behavior, and then, threatened to report me to the FBI! Writers beware of Helium! I’ve since filed an FTC complaint. I wish people would come together to file a class-action suit against them.

    • nilufer

      Any updates on a class action against Helium.com ? If yes, please inform us. I’m ready to join.