Wednesday, 14 May 2014 says Goodbye: US Publishing & Journalism Platform to Close Business

This is a sad day for journalists, writers and content creators in the US, and international publishers who found a home at, the US-based citizen journalism and publishers' platform. Helium Publishing is shutting, after more than 8 years of top-flight competition. 

The writing platform is finally winding up from the competition after 8 years of scaring some of the biggest content providers on the internet during the past one decade. I recall the tacit rivalry Helium had with other publishing majors notably Associated Content (Now Yahoo! Voices), Hubpages, Squidoo, and Constant-Content.  

It was about 6 AM on Thursday that I was checking my emails. There was a no-reply circular from the Helium Team. I opened the email and stood shocked. It was closing the business. The email did not specify why the website was closing down. 

Helium was one of the first international writing portals that I joined. It was also one of the best. It was in 2008 that I came across Helium - one of the top journalism organizations on the internet then. I remember the first news piece I wrote for it - it was about the growth of social networking sites in the US. 

Helium's editors approving my first work motivated me even more. I began writing about Nagaland and the Naga people, their culture, and traditions - even about our super Naga Pepper. Imagine my sense of accomplishment, and pride, from seeing my articles about my land and my people on one of the biggest resource portals in the US then. It was a quieter world then.  

Editors with Knowledge, Editors with Hearts 

However, the best experience of it all was the people. Helium's editorial team was, in my opinion, better than Associated Content's, Constant Content or even Hubpages. 

I went on to find a kind 'friend' in one of Helium's content editors, Leigh Goessl. She was a helpful professional. I remember her guidance in clarifying my news reports and articles -- the "American way of style writing stuff" would help me immensely in the years to come as I forayed into writing for international publishing organizations, both the print and electronic media. 

And there was Valer Ferrar, a former journalist and an erudite entertainment writer from Minnesota. Curiously, she was with Associated Content prior to her pitching in for Helium. I recall our vigorous conversations about the relevance of the then-new blogging phenomenon called 'Twitter', and a networking site with a poker-faced name 'Facebook' that was spreading with 'epidemic proportions.' 

You see, in 2007, Twitter and Facebook was virtually unknown in this side of the world. It was in August 2007, in fact, that my friend Laimen Ozukum, asked me, "Hey, have you heard of Facebook? It's great, not like Hi5! You should try it!" 

And I went, "Face what?" 

The Nagas' first-generation internet users were all on Hi5 and Friendster then. Some were on MySpace - mostly Nagas living in the US during that time. It was a big world then.        

Helium's revenue was high for good writers. I know journalists, freelancers and bloggers on Helium who earned in a week what they'd have normally made only after months from their regular jobs. 

I wasn't making millions, but I was glad that my articles and news pitches weren't doing so bad either. It was also through Helium that I got the opportunity to write a pitch about global population control, floated by Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting (Washington, DC). 

I visited Helium's website as soon as I finished reading the email. The once-ebullient website that sparkled with feverish intellectual activity, now shows a blank, error-page. 

I know I'll miss writing at Helium. But, all said and done, the outcome was irreversible considering that the site's dealing with its writers had begun getting too murky. The quality of content began trotting down south, while every Tom, Dick and Beiber started walking in with grade-5 ideas. The party for was over a long time ago. logo
That's Helium's logo. The journalism and publishing resource portal is winding up business. 
This is the email.

May 14, 2014

You are receiving this email because you have been identified as either an active or inactive Helium Publishing community member.

NOTICE: The Helium Publishing 360 sites will be available on a read-only basis effective May 21, 2014 and will continue to be available on a read-only basis until December 15, 2014. During this period, if you have an existing Account, you will continue to have access to your Account and accrue potential earnings, but you will not be able to add more content to the Helium Publishing 360 sites or create a new Account. 

If you have attained the Minimum Payout Threshold, which currently is set at $25.00, we strongly encourage you to withdraw your earnings because the Helium Publishing 360 sites will terminate on 12/15/14 and you will no longer have access to your Account. 
Dear Helium Community,

After eight years and well over one million articles, we regret to announce that Helium Publishing will be closing. Here are the key dates that impact you: 

May 21, 2014

The Helium Publishing 360 sites will become "read only" and no article changes or revisions will be possible no new work can be completed or created in the Helium Network dashboard
new member registration for Helium Publishing 360 sites will cease

December 15, 2014

Advertising revenue share will cease. You will no longer be able to access your Account
all 27 of the Helium Publishing 360 sites will shut down and your articles will not be available via the microsites access to the Helium Network dashboard and your ability to retrieve your Helium Publishing articles, message others, and request payment will be terminated

What about my earnings? 

Your Account will be accessible until December 15, 2014 so that you can view and (if applicable) request a final payout. Your tax ID and a valid PayPal account are required to process and receive payment. Details about accrual and earnings can be found in the FAQs, available in Announcements and in the Helium discussion forum.

What about my open assignments? 

The workflow portion of the Helium Network will be disabled on May 21, 2014, and you will not be able to work on any assignments.

What happens to my articles? 

You may download your work by following the instructions available in Announcements and in the Helium discussion forum.

What if I have questions? 

You'll be able to reach us through the Helium Help Desk and Helium discussion forums. In addition, an FAQ is available in the discussion forum and in the Helium Network dashboard.

For many of you, Helium Publishing has been more than a place to hone your writing skills; it's been a place to call home, a community to connect with friends and like-minded creatives. 

Thank you for making Helium a nurturing space for new and emerging writers. It's been an amazing and gratifying journey, and we're grateful you were part of it all. Good luck in your future writing endeavors.

Very sincerely,
The Helium Publishing Team

I know I'll miss writing for Helium. My biggest regret, though, is that empires are being built and pulled down every day out there. But, many journalists from among our people - the Nagas - shall continue to remain blissfully oblivious to the world and industries changing out there.


  1. Good riddance! That site has gone steadily downhill for years now. Now I just need to preserve some of my best work from there before it's too late.

    1. Thank you for visiting. True that the site has had its share of criticism. But, personally, it was productive and rewarding for me. Over the years Helium had begun wading in too thick into the business side of writing, neglecting its writers, while the reputation of the help desk worsened. So did the quality of content some "writers" threw in. The situation was irreversible. I'm saving my best works too.

  2. Hi Al, Thank you so much for your kind words! Someone had emailed me a link to your blog. It was a good run on Helium, wasn't it? I wish you all the best (and will be seeing you around the social media halls and on the Web :). Leigh

  3. You just gave me the startle-bug, Leigh, but a happy one! I keep running into your articles (Facebook's cliched, see?) and I know you are still churning out the lot. Thank you, really, you'd been wonderful as usual. Be seeing you somewhere on the information highway again!

  4. Indeed! : )