Writing professionally is a business. At any business there are a few exchanges which happens. There is communication, there is an exchange of ideas, an exchange of money, and eventually you find associates who you connect with on a more personal level.
Writing for an online network isn’t any different. While writing, some platforms allow you to add people as friends, socialize, share writings, and critique on another. So there should be no surprise when some folks click with the same ideas and interests and become actual friends. I have made a few friends online who I actually email or talk to on the phone constantly. The question is, how far is too far? If a friend on the job helps you out financially, should the boss fire you?
For instance, I was a channel manager on Helium.com. Which is no easy task. As a member of Helium.com for almost four years now, I have worked my way up with almost two hundred articles in tow, writing furiously every month and only receiving three writing stars, two rating stars, a creative writing bronze, and 189.00 to my name. I encouraged new members and old to market their articles, offered sound advice on professional writing and looked forward to promoting Helium on my website- due out soon. I have already been promoting it here on this blog.
As you can see, I have taken down Helium.com from my Contact page because although Helium.com encourages social networking and “tried to be professional”, they too make mistakes and bad calls when they only see half the picture. I’ve made a few good friends on the network and have helped them when they needed someone to talk to about writing. I even met my writing mentor on Helium.com. Yet when you become a “real person” with real problems and ask for help from your friend- Helium.com disconnects you.
I understand the policies online and in business, you can’t solicit help in funds from people. I also understand that if a writing/social network portray themselves as a writing hub/social network, then prepare for socialization. Mind your own business. Helium.com got hundreds of articles from me for mere pennies in exchange and their writing rubric is a bit off. Some topics don’t require 400 words like, say, “How to change a Twitter background” or How do you save a document in Word?” Those do not require 400 words. But Helium.com does.
I am completely done with liars online. You put in the effort and the hard work, you make a few pennies, then you socialize on their social network and BAM! They send you into exile.