About Jordan Decker

Jordan is the Senior Manager, Marketing and Operations for the Demand Media Studios Talent Network.

Introducing the DMS Visual Community Awards

visualawardsHere at DMS, we don’t always get a chance to shine a light on the contributors working within our Photo Studio. You may not know it, but we work with an entire community of photographers, photo editors and photo auditors who help us ensure that every single piece of content we publish gets the best visual treatment possible.

These dedicated community members are the ones who take our amazing Studio articles and give them that extra special something in the form of visuals. So to recognize them for their amazing, behind-the-scenes work, we’re happy to launch our first ever DMS Visual Community Awards.

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Creating Great Content Just Got Easier

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from renovating eHow, it’s that one size does not always fit all. Based on what we’ve learned from this process and the feedback we’ve received from writers, we’ve decided to move away from form-like templates and towards an open content creation platform.

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eHow Assignments are On Their Way!

A few weeks ago I let everyone know that we we’re getting closer to making eHow Renovation assignments available to DMS writers and editors. Well, I’m very happy to say that starting today the wait is officially over.

We’re starting off by adding new assignments for writers and editors in 6 Studio sections. These sections will start getting assignments right away, with more being added regularly.

  • Family & Relationships
  • Garden
  • Home
  • Legal
  • Parenting
  • Real Estate

What about everyone else? Not to worry, we’re plugging away at getting those assignments ready for your sections, too. We’ll be sending emails out to the members of each section as the assignments are ready, so you will know when to hop into your Work Desk again.

In the meantime, I suggest dusting off your copy of the DMS Editorial Guidelines to refresh your memory before your next assignment. And I hope you’re all as excited as we are to start working on eHow again!

eHow Renovation Update

eHow Renovation Assignments: Coming Soon to a Find Assignments Queue Near You!

eHow Renovation Assignments: Coming Soon to a Find Assignments Queue Near You!

It’s been a few weeks since we unveiled our plans to renovate eHow, and it’s all we can talk about around the DMS offices. But since most of the work has been behind the scenes, we wanted to shed some light on what we’ve been up to.

What have we been working on? The word of the day is evaluation. Right now we are evaluating the articles that are currently on eHow to help us decide which ones should be spruced up. Some will be selected to become new writing assignments, while others will be sent to our photography community to get brand new, custom images. If you visit eHow regularly, you have an idea of how much there is for us to evaluate, but we’re making huge strides every day.

What’s next? The next thing will be making assignments available to all of you. We’re building up the bank of assignments to release to the larger community which will still take us a bit more time. But if everything stays on schedule, we expect to have new assignments available for writers within the next 2-3 weeks.

Oh, and by the way… thank you! If we haven’t made it clear already, we appreciate your patience during this transition. We know shifting gears like this takes some adjustment on everyone’s part, and the level of understanding and enthusiasm from our community has been overwhelming. We couldn’t take on a major project like this without all of you.

As soon as we’re ready to make the first batch of assignments available, we’ll be sending out an email to everyone. So keep an eye out for that and stay tuned for more information soon.

Pardon Our Dust: We’re Renovating eHow

There’s a more recent update on this topic! Check out our eHow Renovation Update for more details.

What’s next for DMS? That’s one of the most common questions we get, whether it’s in the forums or the Studio Help Desk. Everyone wants to know what the future of DMS will look like. Well today, we’re sharing the big news we’ve been preparing for. We’re renovating eHow!

That’s right, everyone’s favorite one-stop online resource for life’s challenges is getting a face lift. New look, new experience, and most importantly, new content.

DMS veterans can tell you that eHow was once our biggest publishing partner in the Studio As eHow focused on other priorities, we worked on more content for our partner sites. Well now they are looking to reignite their presence on the web and that means new content, new formats and best of all lots of new assignments for the Studio community.

So that all sounds great, but what does that mean for you? Well for starters, our team of Content Reviewers will be looking at the articles on eHow and recommending which articles could use a bit of sprucing up. The articles they select will then be made available to our community as new assignments. These assignments will come back in a variety of new formats we think all of you will enjoy working on. More than just giving instruction, we will want you to bring your experience and subject matter expertise to these articles.

It’s going to take a few weeks to get everything ready, but we plan on making new eHow assignments available very soon. We’ll be prioritizing some sections over others depending on how much there is to renovate. For some of our sections, that means no new titles for the time being. But rest assured that we’re going to need you all very soon, and you can count on getting an email from us when assignments become available.

We hope you’re as excited as we are for this new project. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Brand New Resource Centers

A new year means brand new features for DMS contributors like you. Last month, we introduced Demand Insights, a new tool for writers to measure their personal impact online. This month we’re excited to announce the relaunch of our Resource Centers.

Starting today, you’ll notice redesigned resource centers for both Writers and Editors.

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The new resource centers include some great new features to take advantage of:

  • A rotating gallery spotlighting some of our favorite resources.
  • A new and improved Error Correction and Rewrite Clarification Form for writers.
  • A whole collection of training videos for copy editors.
  • Helpful social media links for both writers and editors.

We’ve streamlined these new resource centers to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for section or site-specific resources (like our Travel Writer Handbook), be sure to visit the corresponding section guidelines.

We hope you enjoy the new resource centers. Be sure to check back regularly for new additions!

Know Your Audience with Demand Insights

As a DMS writer, you know where your article gets published online. But once it’s out there, how do you know if people are reading it? Well that’s where Demand Insights comes in.

Demand Insights is a brand new tool available to DMS writers. It’s a visual dashboard that will tell you everything you should know about your audience, from how many views you’re getting to which articles are the most popular.

DemandInsightsSounds great, right? But now you’re probably wondering what you should do with this information. Here are a few tips from us:

  • Share your popular articles. Use your Audience stats to help build up your readership. Share your most popular articles on social media sites like Google+, Facebook and Twitter to keep the conversation going.
  • Target your audience. Is one site making up most of your views? Maybe your next couple of assignments should be for that site if you’re more popular there. You can do the same type of focusing by seeing which of your sections are most popular.
  • Track your performance. See how you’re doing compared to the Studio average or where you were at last month. You can see if your articles are gaining in popularity or if you’re losing readers and adjust accordingly.

Access your own Demand Insights by visiting the link on your Work Desk or by clicking here.

We prepared an info sheet with additional information you should know about the Insights tools. You can also send individual questions and feedback to us directly at DMS.Social@DemandStudios.com.

Get Started with Google Authorship

Today we’ve unveiled a great new feature on the Studio Work Desk – the Google Authorship tab.

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This new addition to your Work Desk will make it incredibly easy to sign up for the Google Authorship program if you haven’t yet done so.  All you need is a Google+ account to get started.

Not quite sure what Google Authorship is?  Click here for a brief introduction.

The new Google Authorship tab on the Work Desk provides an introduction to the program, along with links to Studio resources that should cover any additional questions you might have.  If you have a Google+ profile, just click on the Connect your Google+ Profile button and you will be walked through the Authorship sign-up steps.  The process only takes a couple of minutes and then you can move on to adding your Studio work to your account.

We believe that Google Authorship is an invaluable resource for writers, both inside and outside of the Studio, and we are encouraging everyone to sign up.  Log in to your Work Desk and get started now.

If you have any questions or concerns with this new feature, please let us know at DMS.Social@demandstudios.com.  We will make sure to get back to you quickly.

Note: Google+ recently introduced a new custom profile URL option. This change doesn’t affect anyone who has already connected their Studio work to Google Authorship. If you’re currently using a custom URL and you experience any problems setting up your account, please email us at DMS.Social@DemandStudios.com and we can help you further.