From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Helium.com, Inc.
Privately held corporation, then a subsidiary of
Industry Internet information providers
Founded 2006
Headquarters Andover, Massachusetts, United States
Products Citizen journalism, User generated content

Helium.com, Inc. was founded in 2006 as a Yahoo! Answers-style website created from user generated content paid on a revenue sharing model. Over time the site evolved from short answers to stand-alone articles, and began to offer writers the opportunity to earn from selling articles as well as passive income. The sale of articles to businesses and publishers is now its primary business, and the revenue share arm has closed to new members, effective May 21, 2014. The sites which display revenue share articles will be closed down on December 15, 2014.

The domain is now owned and operated by Helium Systems.


Beginning life as HeliumKnowledge.com, Helium.com was launched in October 2006. Its original format was similar to Yahoo! Answers, with contributors answering questions with short, informative answers (the minimum word count was 100 words). The key difference to Yahoo! Answers was that the answers were ranked ('rated') by fellow members according to the value and quality of the information.

Over time, the length of articles increased and they became stand-alone articles instead of answers to questions.

Helium originally pitched itself as an alternative to Wikipedia.[1] For writers, Helium's marketing focused on the opportunity to earn passive income in perpetuity. Then Helium began to enter partnerships with publishers, enabling writers to compete to sell articles to those publishers.

R.R. Donnelley purchased Helium.com in 2011 to expand it's online presence. [2]


Helium entered into partnerships with a number of non-profit organizations, including the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and National Press Club (USA). The National Press Club allowed the best citizen journalists among Helium's writers to apply for membership. Reportedly, it was the first time in the National Press Club's 100-year history that it made outreach to a non-traditional news outlet.[3]

The site underwent a major redesign in late 2013, in an attempt to improve traffic and revenue, and was split into separate websites:

  • Helium Content Source, a custom content provider for businesses and publishers
  • Helium Network, a publishing portal for writers, enabling them to submit articles for sale to Helium Content Source or for revenue share on the 360° websites (below)
  • 360°, a suite of 26 theme-based websites

On May 14, 2014, Helium.com members received notice that Helium Network would be closed down. The sites will continue in existence until December 15, 2014 so that articles can continue to earn revenue share, but no new articles may be added and no editing or revising can be done. Members can now delete their articles at any time. All accounts will be closed on December 15, 2014.