Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Associated Content: Splogs, Sploggers, and Splogging from Splogfrica

I am fed up with looking for information on Associated Content, EHow, HubPages, Helium, or any of the other similar myriad pages that pay people to write articles. Most of the information is complete and utter junk. Here are some examples.

A brief and poorly written "dissertation" on time travel

So this is a good example of what I'm writing about with contentless Associated Content articles. Read the article (it only takes about a minute) and ask yourself how much effort you feel that the author of that article put into writing it. If your answer was that he or she (probably he) put less than 10 minutes of effort into writing it, you're almost certainly right. I would have said under five minutes of effort, except for the fact that the article was largely free of spelling and punctuation errors, which means that the author probably couldn't have written it stream-of-consciousness style.

Also, to be fair, I wouldn't expect something much deeper than this, given the article's title. However, it is frustrating when you're looking for information that is a little more in depth and useful. Here is an example:

How to change the locks on your door

If you read the article carefully, the author basically tells you to take the old locks off and put the new ones on. Well, thanks and duh, which is exactly the problem with associated content articles -- lots of information that literally resembles the types of answers you get when you ask a the girl at Best Buy what is the difference between the two televisions and she responds with an answer like, "Well, this one is a Toshiba, which is a good brand . . . I guess . . . and this one is a Sony. I guess this one is a little bigger, um, and it has higher D-P-I, whatever that means, and um, it costs a bit more but . . . it's more fun to watch . . . um, I think this is actually the kind my brother has, like an LCD, which is cool . . . and . . . this one has big speakers. I don't know -- I just started working here last week." In other words, she doesn't know anything and is there as floor furniture and to make sure you don't shoplift.


However, the last type of article is even more annoying -- the articles where people actually give out the wrong information. Here is a good example:




Should You Go to Mexico for Plastic Surgery?

I'm not going to go into all of the reasons why this article sucks other than to say that there are 120 million people in Mexico, many of whom even make frequent trips to the doctor and live to tell about it. In fact, a large percentage of Mexican doctors have been trained inside the U.S. or in Europe, not that the Mexican medical schools are inferior or anything. Remember, brown does not equal dangerous, as much as Fox News and the Republican Party would like you to think otherwise. Here is my poorly written article debunking the myths in the first poorly written article:




Hospitals in Mexico: Debunking the Myths

In summary: If you don't know how to use Google, lack common sense, or have recently injured your brain, you will benefit from the articles on Associated Content. If none of the above applies to you, do a little more research and get your information from more reputable sources -- like rumors and small children.



Cute Black Girl:




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2 comments:

  1. This just burns my bacon!

    I'm sorry, but I've been a journalist for too long now and that time travel "article" -- a term I use loosely -- is about as scientific as Mr. Spock's underwear.

    On second thought, the underwear may actually be smarter.

    So basically he wrote an opinion column with no real scientific attribution that I could see, except for what is found in movies and books.

    Thanks! That's just one more place I won't be visiting on the Web. Does anyone even care about good content anymore?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, as a professional scientist, it burns my bacon too. The other articles on there are equally bad (except the one I wrote, of course!). I just have to shake my head sometimes.

    ReplyDelete

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