Helium Content Source has exciting new projects coming in all the time, which means we’re always looking for different types of writers to work on them.

This week, we’re looking for writers who live in Northern California who can write about a wide variety of local information. We’re also looking for fact-checkers who can verify pages of local information. Visit Helium’s freelance opportunities page to find out how to apply.

We’ve got lots of other projects in the works. Here’s a sneak peek of what else where looking for this week.

Among the assignments we have open now:

  • Northern California-based writers who can write about local information such as transportation, first aid, parks, wineries and digital services
  • Fact-checkers who can verify pages of local community information
  • Experienced car and truck review writers who can write positive, detailed reviews using OEM websites to find vehicle specifications
  • Marketing writers who can tackle easy website copy
  • Experienced professional copy editors for numerous content creation projects
  • US-based technical or financial proofreaders with extensive proofing experience
  • Experienced financial writers for an ongoing bi-weekly assignment aimed at appraising merchants with the latest financial information that impacts their accounts
  • Marketing writers with a background in U.S. banking
  • Experienced marketing writers who can write witty, clean copy for daily coupon deals client
  • Auto writers who can write informational articles, blog posts and know social media
  • Bloggers based in Edmonton and elsewhere in Canada to write about local news, events and entertainment
  • Writers who can write to African American topics of interest and concern, such as lifestyle, health, history, news and current events
  • Freelancers with a background in construction
  • Writers adept at covering home improvement/construction industry needs

Helium Content Source works with a wide variety of publishing partners, and new opportunities are posted on the Helium Editorial Freelance Assignments page every week.

We’re looking for more than just writers, though. We also need knowledgeable, experienced copy editors to work on projects, and we’re currently looking to expand our pool of editors. Do you have an eye for detail and a passion for spelling, grammar and punctuation? If your answer is yes, visit the freelance assignments page to learn more about how to apply.

If writing is more your style, we’re also looking for writers for a number of different projects. Here’s a peek at what we’re looking for this week.

Among the assignments we have open now:

  • Marketing writers who can tackle easy website copy
  • Experienced professional copy editors for numerous content creation projects
  • Writers with a specialty and expertise in writing about technology and computers
  • Experienced financial writers for an ongoing bi-weekly assignment aimed at appraising merchants with the latest financial information that impacts their accounts
  • Recipe writers who can write original commentary and stick to weekly deadlines
  • Marketing writers with a background in banking
  • Experienced marketing writers who can write witty, clean copy for daily coupon deals client
  • Auto writers who can write informational articles, blog posts and know social media
  • Bloggers based in Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal to write about local news, events and entertainment
  • Writers who can write to African American topics of interest and concern, such as lifestyle, health, history, news and current events
  • Fly-fishing and hunting experts
  • Freelancers with a background in construction
  • Writers adept at covering home improvement/construction industry needs

Helium is excited to announce that member Susan Quilty has an essay published in the new book, “Inside Joss’ Dollhouse: From Alpha to Rossum,” a compilation of pieces digging into various elements of Joss Whedon‘s show, “Dollhouse.”

The book is edited by Jane Espenson, writer and producer for the shows “Dollhouse,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Battlestar Galactica” and “Caprica,” and is published by Smart Pop Books, a division of BenBella Books, Inc. Espenson also provides additional insight and context that Whedon’s cult following can sink its collective teeth into.

BenBella Books, Inc. writes:

Inside Joss’ Dollhouse is a fitting tribute to this complex, engaging show. The anthology’s 18 sometimes funny, always insightful pieces cover Dollhouse from anticipated start to explosive finish. Drawn from an international contest judged by fan favorite Whedon screenwriter Jane Espenson, its essays get right to heart of what Dollhouse viewers loved most about the show.

Quilty’s essay, “Negative Space in the ‘House: How Caroline is the Vase,” takes a philosophical look at how the concept of personality, as portrayed throughout the “Dollhouse” series, compares to the artistic concept of negative space.

Fanatical Whedon show fans will never stop enthusiastically theorizing sub-plots and theories, character development, setting, red herrings and so on. And Susan’s “Dollhouse” essay, as well as the book, opens up a new world of mind-blowing possibilities to think about almost a year after the show ended with only two seasons under its belt.

Anyone interested can purchase the book on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Borders.com and at the BenBella website.

(Susan Quilty is also a prolific 5-star writer on Helium, with more than 350 articles in her portfolio. She has also sold 14 pieces through Helium’s Marketplace and hundreds of articles via Helium’s custom editorial solutions.)

Helium is proud to announce that member Cathie Beck’s “Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship” is officially published today!

Described as a wild ride of a memoir—a “Thelma & Louise-like” tale of love, perseverance, friendship and triumph, Cathie’s book can be purchased on Amazon.com and you can read more about the memoir on her Helium Zone and her website.

Kirkus calls “Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship” a “searing portrait,” and ForeWord Reviews says, “Beck’s writing is breezy, polished
and fun to read.”

Visitors to Cathie Beck’s website can get free “Signature Cheap Cabernet” wine and she has also promised to launch a Helium-based presence on her book promotion to help other Helium authors get their books published and promoted.

Helium is excited to announce our new partnership with R.R. Donnelley, a global provider of integrated communications.

With this relationship, Helium can leverage R.R. Donnelley’s vast business network of publishers, content providers and other partners to bring countless writing and business opportunities to our members. Likewise, R.R. Donnelley can now take advantage of the various products and stable of talented writers in Helium’s knowledge cooperative to increase its content offerings to worldwide partners.

To say that the business potential for everyone involved is huge would be quite an understatement. We can’t wait to bring more writing opportunities to our members, as well as continue to show the world what Helium writers are capable of.

Be sure to read the press release and stay tuned for future freelance assignments through the Helium Marketplace.

A lawsuit between Gatehouse Media and the New York Times Co., owner of the Boston Globe has recently been resolved.

According to numerous news sources, Boston.com and it’s new “Your Town” websites were accused of scraping headlines, ledes and links from Gatehouse’s “Wicked Local” websites.

Web scraping or harvesting is described as a method to extract content from a website. – From www.kneoteric.com/knowledge-base/glossary/glossary.html

While scraping is not inherently evil, it can present issues of plagiarism and other editorial and business issues. There are a lot of websites that compile or aggregate certain headlines and content with much success and it’s perfectly OK. However, as Boston.com and Gatehouse’s web sites were in direct competition in the same regional market, the federal court in Boston decided that in this case, scraping was not entirely on the up-and-up.

The case may also set a fascinating precedent that has a far-reaching affect on editorial websites and linking behavior in general. More importantly, it is a case that should be considered extremely important for Helium writers who use links in their articles to great (and not so great) effect.

As Helium does not allow plagiarism at any level, scraping of content word-for-word is strictly prohibited. However, members are allowed to link to related sites and articles that fit into the context of what they are writing about. It is also OK to summarize or paraphrase certain passages on other sites that you may link to. In either case, this will ensure that you are not copying editorial property of another company or person.

Referring to headlines in your article is a different case. If you have an article about, let’s say, the reproductive habits of the Duck-billed Platypus and to support a new finding on a recent scientific article in somewhere, It is OK to write something like:

New findings have been recently made regarding the season that the Duck-billed Platypus prefers to mate. In the article called “Name of Article” [with link inserted] in the “name of publication” so and so states that…

Titles on Helium should also be looked at differently. Many readers and writers may find that a title on Helium may also exist on Associated Content, About.com and some random blog. Many titles such as “How to do this,” “A guide to that,” or “Tips for doing such and such” are considered public domain types of titles. They are commonly used by everyone and are recognized as such.

However, if a member decides to submit a title such as “The classification of the genome for aggressiveness found in the saliva of the leaf-cutter ants of Belize” is probably a no-go because you are copying a distinct and unique title that was specifically written about a new concept that is not considered public domain–unless it’s your original article. However, if you added “Analyzing Joe Schmoe’s article called …” at the beginning, you recognize the original source and that, as they say, is kosher.

The case between Gatehouse Media and the New York Times Co. is not the first time that an online editorial entity had an issue with another for links and scraping, and it will likely not be the last. But as a Helium member, do the safe and ethical thing by providing context, credit  and links any chance you get.

While you may not get immediate results, you will improve your reputation as an online writer of contextual substance with sound ethics.

(Disclosure: Helium.com has a business relationship with Gatehouse Media and maintains a strictly neutral voice in this case. Helium.com, it’s staff and it’s members were not involved in this case and did not participate in creation of any content involved in this case.)

On Friday morning, January 23, Helium President Mark Ranalli, made an appearance on Fox News’ Money for Breakfast show.

Talking about Helium’s citizen journalism efforts, Mark described how Helium works and how it’s becoming an increasingly effective tool for small and large newspapers nationwide in their efforts to find quality content at an affordable price, as they struggle with sweeping reader and financial trends in the newspaper industry. He also mentions some of our great newspaper partnerships to date.

Want to view it? Check it out here.

Before the holidays, Helium received some mention in the blogosphere on a new citizen journalism partnership and our hyper-local efforts.

Here’s a quick run-down:

Word about Helium and how we can help solve evolving content needs for local, regional and national newspapers, magazines and websites is gaining momentum. We’re also excited to be working with these veteran, award-winning news organizations.

My favorite email comes from the site I Want Media. Among this morning’s tidbits was an item about media’s future being discussed at a forum in Monaco. Hello? Monaco?

I Want Media covers media news in short, easy-to-digest blurbs. Most of its daily blurbing lately is about layoffs and shutterings: cuts in the Tribune’s Washington bureau, Time Inc cutting in editorial, newspapers for sale in Maine and 13 regional papers in Connecticut on the cutting block.

Clearly publishing is undergoing a massive upheaval — the old economics just don’t work any more. Whoever figures this one out first will win.

–Janice