Since I came across EHow a couple of years ago, I’ve occasionally gone to the site when I’ve wanted a laugh. With hundreds of thousands of barely readable articles, EHow is one of the worst places on the internet to go if you’re looking for correct information in an article that’s readable. Recently though, I’ve avoided EHow completely as, with every article I’ve clicked on loaded with glaring errors and terrible grammar, it’s become more annoying than entertaining and a perfect example of some of the worst writing on the internet.
If you’re looking for a website offering useful information that’s written well and is guaranteed to be correct, EHow is the last place you should be going and here’s why.
EHow Format – The EHow format for each ‘article’ (and I use that term loosely), is basic. With just three or four sections to most articles and, with just a few sentences expected per section, the information on any EHow article will be minimal at best and useless at worst.
EHow Articles Are Re-Written Versions of Information Already Available – Writers who write for EHow currently write through Demand Studios. Demand Studios requires a writer use references and resources for the information they include in the EHow article. This means, writers have to find articles already on the internet or, in some cases in books, then re-write the information to fit into an EHow article. Now, If I can already find the information online from the source, why would I want to read an EHow article that’s just re-worded (and sometimes copied) information from two or three other online articles?
Articles on EHow Are Not From Personal Experience – As a travel writer, I pride myself on writing about places I’ve been to and on things I’ve experienced during my visit to the restaurant, hotel, or city I’m writing about. When you read one of my travel articles, you’ll get accurate, verified information as well as my personal opinion. My expertise in travel is in the UK, where I grew up, the US, where I lived for 20 years, and south east Asia, the continent I’m now living and traveling extensively in.
On EHow however, it’s rare any of the travel articles are written by people who have actually been to the place they’re writing about. As just one example, almost every EHow article I’ve read on Thailand, the country I live in, has glaring errors, outdated information or facts that are plain wrong. One EHow article ‘Information on Thai Gold’ that I read today mentions the word Siam (the old name for ‘Thailand) and says Siam means ‘gold’ in Sanskrit. Siam actually comes from the Sanskrit word “syama’ or ‘zyama’ and it means ‘dark’ (possibly a reference to the dark skin of native Thais) and has nothing to do with ‘gold’.
When I did a quick search for why this writer would possibly think ‘Siam meant ‘gold’, it was obvious. He’d found the information on several extremely inaccurate websites, and copied it for his article. (Oh, and if you’re interested in the real Sanskrit word for ‘gold’, it’s ‘suvarna’, which is where the name of Bangkok’s new airport comes from – “Suvarnabhumi” (Land of Gold).
On other EHow articles on Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong, I’ve seen references to restaurants or hotels that closed down years ago, facts about Thai culture that are absolutely wrong, information about tours in Hanoi that have never been correct, and on and on. I feel sorry for people who are reading EHow articles, then booking trips to Asia as they must be surprised when they get here to discover much of what they’ve read is absolutely false.
EHow Articles are Edited Incorrectly – During my stint working as a writer at Demand Studios, I wrote a few articles about Asia. Imagine my surprise when the editors'(if that’s what you want to call some of them), were questioning the information I provided and asking me to find references.
I soon discovered they were happier with me finding a reference on the internet that was five years old than accepting my word as a professional travel writer for something being true. After all, the reference on the internet written about Bangkok five years ago must be more correct than what I was saying as, let’s face it, I only live in Bangkok and visited the place in question last week.
EHow is one of the most visited websites on the internet and that’s sad. With so many people believing everything they read online, there must be a lot of people walking around quoting information they read on an EHow article that isn’t correct and never was.
With so many amazing resources online, EHow is the absolute last place you should be going – particularly for information that’s important. Check out reputable websites like CNN, the BBC, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Frommers, Wall Street Journal, Forbes etc. before you click on any EHow article. And, of course, if you’re looking for a reputable source for everything about Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and much of the rest of south east Asia, read my more than 2,000 articles here.