R.R. Donnelley Acquires Helium, World's Largest Writing Community
If you're a publisher looking for content, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. now can offer you access to content services provided by Helium, the world's largest writing community and social publishing platform, serving publishers and other content managers with cost-effective, premium local and lifestyle editorial content, according the press release announcing the acquisition. Helium's freelance Marketplace enables publishers and others to access and commission content used in books, websites, catalogs, newspapers, magazines and other communications.
While the service may be of more use for magazine publishers (e.g., looking for mass-market articles, such as on beauty or health tips), book publishers could find uses for the content as well. For example, they may find content from experts (or just find experts) for books they are looking to publish. Or, they may find content for newsletters related to their book titles.
The site ranks the articles in a subject area (e.g., an article on "Assessing self-publishing vs. traditional publishing" by Lou Belcher is ranked as 12 of 30 articles on the topic). The caveat is that the articles must be purchased and must be published offline (in print or e-newsletter format) to "minimize overlapping online publication," said Doug Fitzgerald, executive vice president of communications for R.R. Donnelley.
In addition to purchasing stock content, publishers can put the writers and editorial staff of Helium to work for them, by submitting a topic and guidelines, and Helium's writers "compete to produce the best articles -- and you select and pay only for the content you want," according to Helium's website.
"This is a superb addition to our suite of content creation, management and delivery services," commented Thomas J. Quinlan III, R.R. Donnelley's President and Chief Executive Officer, in the press release. "... In combination with our premedia capabilities, Helium expands our content creation resources to enable us to offer end-to-end services to publishers and other customers."
Recent acquisitions Journalism Online, 8touches and Nimblefish join with Helium in accelerating R.R. Donnelley's ability to provide services and resources beyond its traditional scope, according to R.R. Donnelley.
"We are uniquely positioned to help publishers and other customers originate content, deliver it through a variety of media and even enact systems that increase revenue by allowing online publications to charge for access to selected content on their websites," noted Quinlan.