Citizen journalism site Helium has today officially launched its content marketplace after 7 months in beta testing.
We’ve covered the service twice before, once in 2006, then last year when Helium Marketplace first opened its doors. Helium offers two services: a user generated content portal that’s part Wikipedia, part Squidoo, complete with revenue sharing. The marketplace works in a similar way to oDesk, Scriptance and similar services, marrying buyers looking for articles to be written, with writers who can supply original content. Unlike similar marketplace services, individual writers are not selected for each job, instead submitting articles against job requests that can then be voted upon by other users. The publisher then selects the articles they want to use from the rank-ordered list.
During its beta phase, Helium Marketplace signed up over 100,000 active freelance writers. Payments per article range from $20 to over $100, with a 20% transaction fee going to Helium.