web surfingDo you know how to brush your teeth? How to buy beer? How to poison a gopher? How to belch? If so, you could be a contributor to Demand Media, one of a growing number of "content farms" that use large networks of freelancers to produce cheap reference content. How cheap? The going pay rate is a penny per word for most articles.

Though it's been around since 2006, Demand is receiving heightened scrutiny lately after filing for an initial public offering earlier this month. All of a sudden, there are questions about a mysterious drop in its traffic and its over-reliance on referrals from Google. Some legacy media companies, including CBS, Tribune and Reuters, are even asking whether Demand and its ilk are a threat to the quality of content on the Internet. (DailyFinance parent Aol operates a competitor to Demand, Seed.com.)

In an effort to answer that question, I spent a few hours browsing the archives of eHow.com, the main outlet for Demand's output, looking for the lamest, most gloriously stupid articles I could find. Here are some of my favorites:

How to Calculate Age from Birthdate
Your penny's worth of insight: "Write down the current year or enter it into a calculator. Subtract the person's birth year from the current year. If the birth date has already occurred in the current year, you are finished."

Types of Hats for Kids
Your penny's worth: "Hats are not just worn for protection from the elements. Children now wear them for a variety of reasons, including protection, fashion or some combination of the two."

How to Put on a Speedo
Your penny's worth: "Hook an index finger inside the leg band at the bottom on each side, run the fingers toward each other to the crotch area. This will make sure that all parts that are supposed to be tucked in are tucked in."

How to Buy Canadian Molson
Your penny's worth: "Bars and restaurants usually have a selection of beers, both on tap and in bottles. These places may have Molson Canadian for sale, but it is always a good idea to call to make sure."

How to Buy Condoms That Fit
Your penny's worth: "Purchase a variety of condoms in small quantities. Many condom companies sell condoms in one- or three-pack increments. Try on each condom until you find one that fits correctly. Follow the instructions to make sure you are putting the condom on correctly.

How to Understand Ukrainian Women

Your penny's worth: "Ukrainian women look for men who will make good husbands, and who will be their best friends and equals. They want men who will respect them and love them, and who will be committed to their families."

How Do I Manually Fill an Ointment Tube?
Your penny's worth: "Buying ointment in bulk can save you lots of money. One of the drawbacks is that many times the ointment is in a large container, making it difficult to store in the medicine cabinet and inconvenient to use and transport."

How to Belch

Your penny's worth: "[B]elching occurs when air and digestive gasses fill the stomach up to capacity and have to escape up and out through the mouth. Attempting to hold in a belch can cause some serious gastrointestinal discomfort." (Did you find this article a little too helpful? See also: How to Stop Belching.)

What Are the Benefits of Cleanliness on Job Sites?

Your penny's worth: "One of the most surprising benefits to cleanliness on job sites is that cleanliness boosts company morale.... As such, cleanliness in the workplace can help maintain or even stregthen [sic] the positive feelings of employees, as those workplaces and spaces that are clean help employees feel less distracted by their own moral confusions."

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

2 Comments

Filter by:
Katrina

eHow isn't the main outlet for Demand Studios - but it is the 'bottom of the barrel' so to speak. eHow was mostly reader generated content until a few months ago, when Demand took over. There are different levels of writers (obviously eHow writers are beginners). Demand writers also generate content for Livestrong, Trails.com and Golflink among others. They also pay more than a penny a word - most articles pay $15-30+.

August 22 2010 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lil0102

oprah is the leader of brain wash female enterprise, doesnt she promote a muslim president elect whom destroys americas families and supports shria law where they inslave women and stone them in the streets ?

August 22 2010 at 6:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply