To really understand the meaning behind eHow's rules, you have to understand what eHow wants.
First of all, they want to focus on their identity as a "how to" site. They envision the perfect eHow article as one about how to make something or build something. They aren't looking for background information or opinions. They want articles that focus on a clear and simple set of directions.
Second, they see their audience as reasonably intelligent, thoughtful, and proactive. Most of the traffic on the site comes from search engines like Google. They are not like the audience who browses through a magazine, sees an article and thinks, "Hey, I never thought of that. I think I'll try that." eHow's readers have already done some thinking and have actually committed to taking some action - they searched for the article.
Third, eHow wants to maintain its reputation as the best "how to" site on the web. While they invite amateurs to write articles, they need to maintain certain minimum standards of writing. They need to keep spam and inaccurate articles off the site. They try to follow Google's 'best practices' rules.
When you look over your articles, you have to look at them in that context. Are they the right kind of article? Art they aimed at eHow's core audience? Do they meet eHow's needs as a business? You can write a great article that doesn't meet any of those needs, but to suit eHow, you have to meet ALL of those needs.
Now, on to specifics....
Next up - Reasons for Deletion - Not in How To Format. (Back to Series Index.)