Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

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Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby Jaye Lewis on Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:24 am

Hello fellow writers. I am posting this message at the request of Chris, Constant Content owner.

Over the week-end I was surprised to find that a CC article of mine sold. Within one minute of the sale, another email popped into my inbox, requesting content and vaguely referencing my personal website, which contains examples of my inspirational stories and photos of some of my garden plants. Constant Content was not mentioned. In fact, I had to drag the information out of this man, so that I could find out where he had "discovered" me.

To make a long story short, this man had bought at least one of my CC articles, and what he wanted was a "clearance sale." You know, a knock-down in price, so that he didn't have to pay the price listed on CC. It took many emails to get the information out of him. When I sent him an inflated quote, here is what he wrote back: "Let me see what I can come up with. Did constant content not get 1/2 of your fee when I bought through them?"

My response was as follows: "I appreciate your interest; however, since it seems you simply want to cut out the "middle-man," and purchase my articles for a cut-rate, it would be an ethics violation for me to continue this discussion. To cut-out Constant
Content's fees would be dishonorable. I will not do that. I wish you well. I'm sure you'll find what you are looking for elsewhere."

I'm sure that I'm not the first CC writer to experience this, nor will I be the last; however, this was not something that I could take part in. How do you other writers feel about this? Do you think loyalty is important? I'm not talking about posting original works on other sites; I am, however, wondering about your thoughts on this subject.

I wish you all well and many blessings in your writing career. Jaye Lewis
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Postby HerbDoctor on Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:07 am

Jaye, I think C-C is very lucky to have you and I'm sure Chris appreciates your loyalty.

I, too, sell exclusively through C-C and I say so on my site. I LOVE C-C and appreciate their no-tolerance policy on plagarism and just the overall professinal feel of the site. I looked at a number of similar sites and C-C was far and above the most professional I found.

You obviously picked up on the fact that this guy was doing something sneaky. In his mind, he probably justified it by telling himself that he was doing you a favor. It would have left a bad taste in my mouth, too.

I'm not sure that I've actually said anything all that helpful but I hope it at least makes you feel a little better about your decision.

Lisa
Last edited by HerbDoctor on Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Answer to Lisa

Postby Jaye Lewis on Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:24 am

Hello Lisa,

How sweet of you to write that message of encouragement! You made my day! :D Thank you so much! Strangely enough I have received two short notes from this guy, basically saying "...but, but, but...," then letting me know that I misunderstood him! Whatever! I am obviously not responding. I also love CC, and I'm so grateful, since I am anything but "technical." I'm just a writer, and it takes my husband and two daughters (the techies in the family) to keep me up to date. It's wonderful to hear from you, and you are right CC is the best! A wonderful day to you! With much gratitude, Jaye Lewis
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Postby constant-content on Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:18 am

This kind of thing happens all the time, but the honest writers will direct the customer to the site in a professional manor. Many of the writers here that are regular writers will do just this, and we truly appreciate it. This is what keeps the site going and allows us to find more customers for all writers.

Its very easy for me to tell if a customer is using the writer direct and bypassing the site. I personally think this is completely unprofessional and has lead the the suspension of a writer or two before. I try to stay away from this but if it become abusive I have no choice.

What many people don't realize is we spend many hours and dollars advertising and looking for people that need content, all we ask in return is you use the site for the transaction if you find a client through it.

Thanks Jaye!
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby Jaye Lewis on Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:41 pm

Thank you so much for your encouragement Admin. I needed it today. This is my 60th birthday, and I've been more upset than maybe I should be over my handling of the situation. Could I have been more diplomatic? Could I have simply diverted the customer to Constant Content Admin, instead of reacting to a scalp crawling experience? So, your kind words have been a wonderful birthday gift for me. In the future, I will be better prepared.

I would like to say something about honesty, though. It is really worth the effort. Not only do I believe that when everything else is stripped away, there is only honor that remains, but you don't have to backtrack. You don't have to remember what you said. You may stumble and fall. You may lose the race. But at the end of the day, the only face looking out at you from the mirror will be your own. If you can't look yourself in the eye, and say, "I was honorable," then what do you take from this earth, when it's your time to leave? Not much. I can tell you. After sixty years on this earth, I have found, that if you can look yourself in the eye, every day, and feel free; then that is the best kind of life to have. Blessings, Jaye Lewis
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Postby Ed on Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:10 pm

Happy Birthday, Jaye! You're well deserving of lots of presents!

:) Ed
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Postby constant-content on Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:47 pm

Happy Birthday Jaye!!!

Thats a lot of candles on that cake ;)
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Postby Galskygge on Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:20 am

I believe you are right, Jaye. Why should we sell privately to a customer who found us on CC? It was because of CC that they found us, therefore CC deserves part of the credit and fees for our work. Loyality is one thing we should live by if at all possible.

By the way, I was almost half way through writing an article and guess what happened? Microsoft word deciding to have an error when I went to go save the document. By this happening I lost all of my work >.<. -shakes her hands in the air- Not cool. Lol, as much as I hate it I will just have to hope for the best and rewrite everything. It was all coming along so nice though. That's the only reason why I was so annoyed with it. -laughs- Hopefully I'm not the first person this has ever happened to.
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Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby Jaye Lewis on Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:22 pm

To everyone who wrote such nice wishes for my birthday, thank you so much. It was a wonderful week-end. I have a family who spoiled me, and just being with them is the greatest blessing of my life.

Admin you have been so supportive, and you have earned my respect and loyalty. Ed you are so sweet! Thank you. Thank you. You sure make me believe in the good of this world.

Galskygge, YES! We have all written the most brilliant things, been nearly finished and lost it all. It's like the fish that got away. :D However, I have found that losing something that I wrote has often launched me into newer thought as I stretch to be better in the rewrite. A back-up will often save your work. Perhaps all is not lost.

I must confess that I admire everyone at CC who writes about all that technical stuff. I am technically challenged, but I do have a family who saves my bacon over and over. Galskygge you are so right. Loyalty and honor is everything. Thanks so much for taking the time to encourage.

God bless you all!! Blessings, Jaye
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Postby Galskygge on Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:58 pm

Hey Jaye,

Lol, you were right about how it happens sometimes when you lose your work. It seems that when I lost it and started to rewrite it again I managed to break down what I was writing into 3 different articles O.o.

I agree with you about admiring people who write about all of the technical stuff, lol. We all have our own things to write about though. We write what we're good at writing and that's all there is to it ^_^.

Btw, happy late birthday.
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Postby J. A. Young on Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:06 am

I've probably said something similar in a different post--but this site is very fair and writers sign on knowing all the game rules; it's only to their own benefit to play by them. It seems as though the site is adding to its customer base and what could be better for writers than having a site that attracts them to a large and varied body of work. And actually, it is good for the customers too--they have a reputable site administration that monitors quality; if they have a problem with a writer or a work they have recourse.

Well, enough of that. I was up most of the night coughing my cold away and dealing with my little midnight screamer who despises his crib. I guess you know you're frazzled when you show up to work and look down at your feet and realize you have two totally different shoes on. :D At least I got them on the right feet!!! --J.
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bargain basement hunters

Postby foxtale on Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:58 pm

Jaye, Jaye Jaye,.....
why are you ignoring the man?
When somebody tries to leave a monkey on my back (not the coffee monkey, I accepted that title - and posted that article) I always teach the monkey a new trick and send it back.
Perhaps respond to this "gentleman" as so: "Kind Sir, since you so enjoyed my (Xxxxx) which you discovered on CC site, perhaps you would also enjoy my (Yadda-yadd) and my (Tango-tang) also on CC's site. Simply search "article, (tag) (tag)" and enjoy your purchases, Sincerely, (Pename.)

Shhhh..... listen closely and I think you might hear a loud Homer Simpson "Dough!" LOL. Good Luck, and keep shooting straight! :lol:
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Postby Elizabeth Ann West on Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:53 am

Sorry to revive a dead horse....BUT

While loyalty to the site is a great way to dress it up, another way to address the problem would be to cite loyalty as a business need. As an author, CC protects you with the resources of the collective. By using an agent acting website, you have more recourse as a writer should things go sour with a buyer. If you spot a buyer misusing a license of your work, out on your own you are unlikely to be able to do anything about it. Few of us would sue over plaigarism on a contracted $25, or even $100, article. However, in a complaint to CC about the situation, you not only protect yourself and others from further misdealings, but also the unscrupulous buyer might be punished by a ban from CC.com or worse.

Finally, this works the other way for buyers, too. I noticed in the FAQ there is a 5 day warranty on purchases for buyers, and in the event a full rights article is found to be published elsewhere, restitution in form of a refund can be made. You would need to ask yourself what would a buyer hope to gain by working outside official channels, other than the ability to be less than honest with intentions without likely consequences for misdeeds?

Always Smiling,
Elizabeth West
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby cgardener on Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:47 pm

When all is said and done, all you have is your integrity. However, since we do not have an exclusive contract with CC, there are going to be times when a judgment call is going to have to be made. Hopefully, it will be one that is fair to everyone.

Yes, some people will want to screw CC over for their own purposes, and if it's obvious that's what's going on, we should definitely direct them to admin, but if it's not obvious, and we have no way of knowing that's what is happening, why should we be the ones who have to pay?

I think you're treading a fine line with this in some cases. I don't intend to screw anyone, I'm just saying that it's a free economy, and we don't have a legally binding contract not to accept outside work, but to only write through CC. Each of us is here voluntarily, and while we appreciate the opportunity and the service, to say that we will be banned if we accept outside work from someone who has bought articles here, but has never bought or contracted for one from us, is maybe just a little far to go.
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Re: Loyalty and Honesty in Writing

Postby Celeste Stewart on Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:17 pm

Wait a minute. There shouldn't be any judgement calls. If a CC customer approaches you for an outside deal, it shouldn't be something that you must consider. It's a free country but that doesn't mean we can do everything we want or are tempted to do.

While we can write for outside clients and whoever we find on our own, we are bound by the terms we signed up and agreed to - one of which is that we won't work with CC customers outside of the system. Imagine if one of the writers earning thousands a month here suddenly disappeared and started working with CC customers directly. Why should we care about this lapse in ethics on that writer's part, right? Wrong! Would their departure hurt the CC site? Yes. Would it affect other writers? Absolutely. Less money flowing in means less money flowing out. Guess where customers come from? Lots of advertising with lots of advertising dollars generated by you and me. So, not only is about having integrity, it's also about sustaining this site. Writers that take customers away from CC are screwing us all.
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