Sunday, November 30, 2008

Helium rating frenzy

One does not need a cracked crystal ball to be able to predict certain things. Last month when Helium announced that they were not only tying in one's ability to earn the daily revenue share (the pennies) to the rating star, but that they were going to give a three dollar bonus to anyone who had five rating stars at the end of the month, I could see somgthing coming.

And that was there would be a frenzy of rating occuring on Helium at the end of this month. This is the first month that the bonus kicks in, so there are a lot of writers over there rating their hearts out in an attempt to get the bonus.

I know this is happening just based on a couple of things: my own rating percentage has been dropping (bare minimum ratings on my part; I decided homework was more important) and several writers that I watch have been increasing their rating stars.

Now earlier this month, in fact this time last week, I decided that it was not worth the effort to try for the bonus this month. Instead I devoted my time to writing a set of lectures on the Grades of Golden Dawn instead. It is for the GD lodge that I belong to, Bast Temple; plus I could recycle the set on Associated Content. I thought about recycling it also on Helium, but it is too long to do so. I will have to do an abbrievated version, a summary, for Helium.

The set of lectures had to be done. And there was only so much time to do things on this Thanksgiving break. And getting my fifth rating star can wait, three bucks is not worth the time that it would take to do four hundred plus ratings, especially this first month as a swarm of members try to get across that line. There will be plenty of opportunity for me to get the bonus in the future, and that is all that counts as far as I am concerned.

And yes, I do find it comfortable that I do not need a cracked crystal ball to predict human nature.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My idea of a vacation

Every once in awhile, I find myself wondering about my sanity. Today was one of those moments. I am currently on fall break; or at least, as much of a fall break as the University of Colorado at Denver gives its students (go ahead ask me what all I have to read and write before next Monday).

So I have been doing a little relaxing. How? By writing and reading.

Wait a minute---I am taking a break from writing and reading by writing and reading?!

I would say that I am nuts, but I am a writer. So it makes sense to me that my idea of a vacation is to do research and writing. I am not writing and reading what other people want me to read and write, instead I get to choose my subjects.

I am not sure if writing a set of articles on the Grade structure of Golden Dawn is supposed to be relaxing, but I find it to be. I better enjoy it when I can; soon enourgh I will have to hack out another college paper.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So ready for Thanksgiving break

I am so ready for Thanksgiving break, or Fall break as the University of Colorado at Denver calls it. Not that I can actually take a break during the break; I got a big paper to write (Literature of the City), four finals that I need to study for, and I have to complete the reading of the remainders of the textbooks for this term.

Plus there is the lodge lessons on the Tarot that I need to be working on. And whatever the wife wants me to do around the house.

And I am so far behind on NaNoWriMo thanks to having back to back to back papers (three in a row) that it is really doubtful that I am going to get anywhere near crossing that line.

I thought going to college was a good idea---why?!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Helium: Rating Star and Daily Earnings

The online writing site, Helium, is constantly tweaking their system in their efforts to keep good writers involved. Late last month, they announced a few changes to the way that they were paying writers starting November 1st.

Now, I am still a little confused; but I do believe that I understand what the changes actually were.

The biggest change, provided that I am understanding it correctly, is that in order to be able to collect your share of the pennies, you have to maintain at least one rating star. If you lose your rating star, for every day that you do not have one, no earnings for that day. (Helium calls it revenue share.)

Now, a while back when the idea was first trotted out, it was met with some opposition. Some thought tying earnings into ratings was a bad idea. Myself, I saw the writing on the wall---Helium had finally figured out how to force its writers to actually rate other people's articles.

Fortunately, it is tied into the rating star and not the writing star.

I have no luck at maintaining a writing star; I am an opinionated writer and many of my opinions have tanked. While one is not supposed to allow one's opinion of another person's opinion affect their ratings of their articles, it does happen.

It is really easy to maintain a rating star on Helium. Or at least, I find it easy to do. You have to do forty quality rates every ninety days to maintain one star. If your percentage of quality rates is 75%, then that is only 54 ratings that you need to do every ninety days.

Myself, I am a binge rater. It is something that I do when I want to work, but am too tired to actually do so. The day right after I learned of the change in policy, I had my rating star (and I started out with no ratings done at all).

There is also a good chance that by the end of next month, I will have five rating stars (a three dollar bonus at the end of every month that you have five rating stars). Though it should be noted that it is not because I am after the three dollars, but rather I am going to be really tired at the end of this month between the term papers and the NaNoWriMo.

So is it a good thing? Depends upon who you ask. If you ask the writers who just wanted to toss some articles up on Helium without ever doing any rating, then you are going to get a no. If you ask Helium, then it is a yes. And if you ask me, it makes no difference---I was using rating to keep myself considered active there anyways. A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spam and scams

As a writer, I find myself wondering about the writing skills of other people quite often---as in how does anyone make a buck writing that?

Today, it was while I was going though my email. I was amazed how many generals, bankers and lost relatives I had in Nigera. All wanting me to be their secret partner. And a couple of them using the exact same text, just different senders names and different email addresses---everything else was exactly the same.

Oh really?! Do any of the scam artists (ok, maybe artists, most artists I know are more intelligent than this---open to suggestions for another label) actually make money copying and pasting these messages?

I can't imagine that they do. But obvivously, I must be wrong considering that people keep sending them to me.

Oh really?! Do they think that I am suddenly going to suffer brain damage and believe them?

Here is a hint to all the spam and scam artists out there: show some creativity and write new copy. I am not going to fall for the new copy either, but it will help you develop a valuable skill---writing technical copy.

Oh really?! Yes, I do believe that writing is a more valuable skill than ripping people off.

Maybe I am gulliable, after all.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Remember to vote

I would like to remind everyone that is registered to remember to vote Tuesday. This election, no matter who you support, due to the issues is a very important one.

Day one results

At the end of yesterday (I ended up writing for another hour), I racked up 2304 words. Hopefully, I can rack up a decent amount before going to bed tonight (homework and errands have delayed me getting to the typewriter---though it is actually a simple word processor that I can transfer the files to the computer).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

First thousand plus words dwon, 49 thousand to go

Last night, I was so eager to get started on my new masterpiece of a novel (it is still early; it might be a masterpiece), I actually started to wrote at midnight.

(The late night Samhain [Halloween] ritual helped too. After all, I am one of those silly pagans/wiccans who view October 31st as the start of the new year.)

So at this point, having not written another word since I got up this morning, I am at 1163 words, just 48,837 words to go before my world famous novel is completed.

(As a sidenote, I havent been able to post my current count on the NaNoWriMo site. Typically first day rush, I imagine.)