Help System

BestThinking uses a “What’s This?” popup help system throughout the site to provide additional help in understanding and using features. BestThinking also provides a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to provide answers for the most commonly occurring questions. You can also submit a question through our Contact Support system.

Frequently Asked Questions

For Readers

  • How do you decide who’s a Thinker?

    Anyone who registers as a Thinker and passes Identity Verification is eligible to be part of BestThinking. Some people are invited by us to become Thinkers, others are invited by existing Thinkers and others register after reading content posted on our site.

    Close  
  • Why do you verify the identity of your Thinkers, and how do you do this?

    BestThinking is about openness and being who you say you are. The nameless provocateur and anonymous rhetorical bomb thrower—pests who ruin so many online discussions—have no place in BestThinking discussions. As part of this commitment to transparency, we require all Thinkers to have their identities verified. There are plenty of sites where you can post anonymously, but identity verification is one of the things that makes BestThinking unique.

    Identity verification is free, private and secure and can be completed using a method of the Thinker’s choice. Public Records Verification involves answering questions from a public records search that only the Thinker should be able to answer (US only). For Mail Verification, we send a verification code to the address corresponding to the Thinker’s name or business. Web Page Verification involves confirming a Thinker’s identity through the website of a university, government organization or major corporation.

    Close  
  • Can I talk to a Thinker?

    You can post a comment on any Thinker’s Blogs, Articles, Topics and Ebooks. This is a great way to ask questions, make observations or begin a conversation. If you sign up as a Thinker, you can contact a fellow Thinker privately through our messaging system either by clicking "My Messages" in the upper right corner of any page on BestThinking or by clicking "Send a Direct Message" on any Thinker page.

    Close  
  • How do I find the newest content on BestThinking?

    You can see the newest Thinkers, Blogs, Articles, Topics and Ebooks within the Category, Area or Discipline you are currently searching by checking the Latest Thinking column. From the home page, Latest Thinking will show the newest content sitewide. You can also check the Content Index to see new content sorted according to creation date.

    Close  
  • Why don’t I see my field of expertise in your taxonomy?

    While we seeded BestThinking with a carefully researched starting taxonomy, we fully expect and welcome suggestions for new items in the taxonomy. With new Thinkers joining BestThinking every day, we hope they will use their expertise to suggestion new Areas and Disciplines. You can suggest a new item for the taxonomy at any time by clicking "Suggest New Discipline" in any node of the taxonomy.

    Close  
  • How do I find content that I can purchase for syndication?

    You can find Blogs and Articles available for syndication by going to and clicking on Find Syndicated Content. You can then view the content catalog according to the BestThinking taxonomy.

    We also note which Blogs and Articles are available for syndication directly on the content itself. For example, if an Article can be syndicated, you’ll see "Syndicate This Article" above the Activity Graph in the Article.

    Close  
  • How do I find available speakers?

    You can find a list of speakers in the BestThinking Speakers Bureau here. Browse our complete list of speakers or search for a speaker according to specialty, keywords, fee or type of speaking engagement.

    By selecting speakers from BestThinking, you get an in-depth look at their credentials, articles, topics, prior works and blogs to truly understand their expertise and see how they can meet your speaking needs. Easily view a speaker's background, areas of knowledge and travel requirements (if any).

    Close  
  • How is BestThinking related to ThinkerBooks?

    BestThinking.com publishes and syndicates Blogs, Articles and Topics written by Thinkers. ThinkerBooks.com publishes and distributes Ebooks also written by our Thinkers. Both websites are part of the same parent company, Thinker Media, Inc., an independent digital publisher. The two websites work in tandem to increase the visibility and monetization opportunities for writers.

    Close  
  • How do you make money?

    We have three main sources of revenue: syndicating blogs and articles; ebook sales; and a speakers bureau. The revenue from all three sources is shared with our writers. By tightly integrating the full range of content types (Blogs, Articles, Topics and Ebooks), writers can chose the content type and best means of monetization for them. Writers can choose to only write articles and syndicate them, only write ebooks and sell them in major distribution, or both. The speaker's bureau is for everyone to use if they like.

    Close  

For Writers

  • What is the business model?

    In a nutshell, we bring together publishing and major media to provide unprecedented opportunities for writers of all types. We only make money when our authors/Thinkers make money. We are not a self-publishing service where authors pay the publisher. We do not take money from authors; we make money for authors. There is simply no cost for authors to publish, and while not every article or book makes significant revenue, authors are never required to pay us, even if the production and marketing costs are not recovered.

    We have three main sources of revenue: syndicating blogs and articles; ebook sales; and a speakers bureau. The revenue from all three sources is shared with our writers. By tightly integrating the full range of content types (Blogs, Articles, Topics and Ebooks), writers can chose the content type and best means of monetization for them. Writers can choose to only write articles and syndicate them, only write ebooks and sell them in major distribution, or both. The speakers bureau is for everyone to use if they like.

    We do not accept advertising or solicit subscriptions. Check out About Us for Writers to learn more about our business model.

    Close  
  • How do you help me produce and sell my ebooks?

    Our hybrid publishing model combines the best of traditional publishing, such as strong writer support and promotion, with the best of digital publishing, such as rapid production and extraordinary reach. We provide ebook authors with a personalized full service experience, including technical assistance, proofreading, editing, marketing, and digital distribution management. We maximize our authors' reach by distributing on all major ebook devices and platforms, including Kindle, Nook, and iTunes (iBook, iPhone, and iPad), and on open platforms such as ePub and Android. Working with BestThinking enables authors to focus on creating their next great work.

    ThinkerMedia also provides authors with an additional place to sell their ebooks: our store, ThinkerBooks.com. Authors can use ThinkerBooks to provide review copies and coupons often not available in other major distribution channels. Authors also make higher margins on ebook sales at ThinkerBooks.

    Close  
  • Do you print books?

    We primarily publish books exclusively in ebook form. Depending on demand, we do occasionally produce print versions of books and distribute them through our bookstore, ThinkerBooks.com.

    Close  
  • What royalty do you pay Thinkers?

    Thinkers who syndicate Blogs and Articles receive 70% of the royalties. We also give Thinkers 70% of royalties received for their ebook sales.

    While most online stores require "best pricing" in their terms of use, which typically results in a common price to the consumer, the royalties to the author can vary widely from store to store. Most online stores' royalty is typically 30 to 70% of sales just for distribution, and the author still indirectly or directly pays for production and publication. When we produce a new ebook with an author, our royalty is 30% of sales for the publication and distribution on ThinkerBooks (essentially, distribution is free for our store), and we do not charge for placing the ebook on other stores (however, their royalty still comes off the top line).

    If you have an existing ebook (not produced and published by us) that you want to place in our store, our royalty is 15%, regardless of the ebook's price (please note that these ebooks must meet the same standards as the rest of the ebooks we publish). For these existing ebooks, the author is still responsible for placement and promotion in other stores.

    Close  
  • Who are some of your authors?

    We publish work from existing and emerging writers, from poets and novelists to physicists and political theorists. You can see a completing listing of our Thinkers under the Thinkers tab in the Content Index.

    Close  
  • What kinds of books do you publish?

    We publish fiction and non-fiction by existing and emerging writers, from poets and novelists to physicists and political theorists. Above all, we publish work we believe in. All content we publish includes original, interesting, well-written prose. In addition to strong stories or content, ebooks are evaluated based on technical execution, tone, style, and language.

    While this is not a place to simply republish the work of others, we do welcome authors who want to republish their own previously published work. For example, this is a great way to re-introduce to the digital world your books that no longer meet the sales threshold for printed books.

    You can learn more about the books we publish in About Us for Writers. We invite you to visit our bookstore, ThinkerBooks.com, to see a current collection of types of ebooks we have published.

    Close  
  • What’s a Thinker?

    Quite simply it is a term we use to describe our contributors. Smart, creative, talented and thoughtful people who create works to share are known as authors, writers, journalists, artists, poets, playwrights, videographers, engineers, scientists, teachers, doctors, musicians, athletes and so on. We welcome them all at BestThinking, so we needed a way to refer to everyone. Further, it was not our objective to be just another encyclopedia of facts. We focus on the issues that can only be engaged in terms of the current best thinking on the issue. So it made sense to refer to the people sharing their best thinking to be referred to as Thinkers.

    Thinkers on BestThinking share their work in four formats: Blogs, Articles, Topics and Ebooks. Each of these formats provides a different level of effort, expression, viability and monetization.

    Close  
  • How long are your ebooks?

    We publish ebooks of varying lengths, from children’s books with a relatively low word count for young readers to academic expositions that would span multiple volumes in printed form.

    Close  
  • Who clears photo rights and permissions?

    Thinkers should make sure they have all the appropriate rights and permissions for photos, graphics, etc.

    While manuscripts may include some public domain content, the main subject of a manuscript should be your own original writing with public domain content only used for supplementation or support. Apart from public domain content, authors should own the copyright for the rest of the material in their manuscripts or follow copyright law regarding reuse of material.

    Close  
  • Who retains the copyright and rights for Blogs, News, Articles, Topics or Ebooks?

    Writers keep their copyrights for all our content types. For new ebooks we publish, we will file a copyright for you in your name. You will own the copyright and all other rights but grant us a 5-year exclusive license to publish your ebook. Selling of your ebook will not be exclusive to our ThinkerBooks store. We will also offer your ebook for sale in other major online stores, such as Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble. Keep your own website, blog, and generally keep doing everything you are doing as an individual.

    Close  
  • Is this self-publishing or traditional publishing?

    We are not a self-publishing service where authors pay the publisher. We do not take money from authors; we make money for authors. There is simply no cost for authors to publish, and while not every article or book makes significant revenue, authors are never required to pay us, even if the production and marketing costs are not recovered.

    In periods of transition, as publishing and major media certainly are in today, the best solutions are usually a hybrid of the best of both worlds. Our hybrid model combines the best of traditional publishing, such as strong writer support and promotion, with the best of digital publishing, such as rapid production and extraordinary reach. We provide ebook authors with a personalized full service experience, including technical assistance, proofreading, editing, marketing, and digital distribution management. We maximize our authors' reach by distributing on all major ebook devices and platforms, including Kindle, Nook, and iTunes (iBook, iPhone, and iPad), and on open platforms such as ePub and Android. Working with BestThinking enables authors to focus on creating their next great work.

    Close  
  • How can I make money using BestThinking?

    Thinkers share their work in four formats: Blogs, Articles, Topics and Ebooks. Each of these formats provides a different level of effort, expression, viability and monetization. The main sources of revenue for Thinkers are Blog and Article syndication; Ebook sales; and a speakers bureau. The revenue from all these sources is shared with our Thinkers. Thinkers who syndicate Blogs and Articles receive 70% of the royalties. We also give Thinkers 70% of royalties received for their ebook sales. By tightly integrating the full range of content types, writers can chose the content type and best means of monetization for them. Each content type can be used independently or in concert with each other.

    Close  
  • Will cross-posting my blogs (and other content) here undermine my SEO?

    Due to our broad base of structured content (i.e., organized taxonomically), identity verified Thinkers, validated keywords and a participation policy requiring transparency and accountability, current results indicate content on BestThinking enjoys great search results. For example, a current blogger on our site, Norb Vonnegut, consistently comes up on the first page of Google results for "Vonnegut blog", achieving a higher search result than even his own website, despite a shared last name with famous author Kurt Vonnegut... and he has his content in a number of locations.

    Our experience suggests that the leading search engines are fairly adept at distinguishing quality work that warrants publication in multiple venues versus SEO-driven redundant placements intended to increase page rank. It has a lot to do with the reliability of the websites where the work is placed, rather than a simple number of works existing in multiple places. You can read more about how Google ranks duplicate content in these two articles:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/220699/google_unofficially_declares_war_on_content_farms.html

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html

    Close  
  • Can I import existing pieces I’ve written?

    Yes. Many Thinkers import work they’ve previously written so their portfolio of work can be centralized on their Thinker pages. Since BestThinking offers great search engine results, putting previously published work here can bolster its visibility.

    You can import essays, conference speeches and white papers as Articles using our import tool. After clicking "Create an Article," select the type of file format you want to import and click "Import." You can import Word documents, PDFs or WikiMedias.

    You can also import existing blog posts from WordPress or Blogger to your BestThinking Blog. To do this, click "My Content" in the upper right corner of the home page and select "Blogs." Scroll to the "Blog Tools" section to begin importing your previously published blogs.

    Close  
  • Why do I have to be identity verified to publish on BestThinking?

    BestThinking is about openness and being who you say you are. The nameless provocateur and anonymous rhetorical bomb thrower—pests who ruin so many online discussions—have no place in BestThinking discussions. As part of this commitment to transparency, we require all Thinkers to have their identities verified. There are plenty of sites where you can post anonymously, but identity verification is one of the things that makes BestThinking unique. Identity verification is free, private and secure and can be completed using a method of the Thinker’s choice.

    Close  
  • How is my identity verified?

    Identity verification is free, private and secure and can be completed using a method of the Thinker’s choice. Public Records Verification involves answering questions from a public records search that only the Thinker should be able to answer (US only). For Mail Verification, we send a verification code to the address corresponding to the Thinker’s name or business. Web Page Verification involves confirming a Thinker’s identity through the website of a university, government organization or major corporation.

    Close  

For Publishers

  • Why would I want syndicated content?

    If you're a blogger, online content provider, or company website, you know how important it is to have fresh, relevant content on your site every day. This can be challenging, expensive, and put you at risk for infringement claims. Our syndication program introduces a new pricing and distribution model that makes quality content irresistibly affordable and easy to access.

    Close  
  • How does your syndication program work?

    Rather than an expensive subscription or a flat rate per piece of content, we offer a CPC (cost per click) pricing model. You only pay for content that is read. To make sure our pricing is always competitive with content markets and in-house costs, we put a cap on the charges based on CPC. Once the cap is reached by the CPC method, the publisher stops getting billed for that content item. The system is designed to deliver the best value for content.

    Our syndication system makes content curation and delivery virtually automatic. As a publisher, you should look at BestThinking.com as your content catalog. You can specify the subject matter, author, credential requirements and article metrics, such as word and graphics count. So it's not only less expensive, it is also less work for you.

    Close  
  • Can’t I just screen scrape content?

    Some ask, "Why pay a nominal fee for syndicated content when you can get free content by screen scraping?" Well, free content isn't so free. It requires a lot of work to locate, curate, verify credentials, fact check, etc. Also, Copyright Fair Use prevents you from using the whole article and requires a link back to the original source, causing you to lose the visitors that were costly to get to your website in the first place. In many cases, our feature article quality content will cost you less than a few dollars per blog or article, making the cost to you considerably less than the true cost of "free."

    Close  
  • Is there a penalty for duplicate content?

    Since we are a publisher of original content, you don't have to worry about a search penalty for reusing content already posted on BestThinking.com. You can read more about how Google ranks duplicate content in these two articles:

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/220699/google_unofficially_declares_war_on_content_farms.html

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html

    Close  
  • What is automatic curation?

    You can set up automatic content curation guidelines for the content you syndicate. You can select content based on word counts, images, authors and more. You can also choose whether or not new content will automatically appear on your website of if you want to manually approve content first. These settings can be changed at any time for maximum flexibility.

    Close  

Suggest an FAQ

BestThinking.com to Shut Down Permanently on December 31, 2017

If you want to save a copy of your content, you must do so before the website shuts down on December 31, 2017. We will NOT be able to provide any assistance after the website shuts down. We are available at support@thinkermedia.com only until the shutdown to provide more information and assistance.

It was a noble 10-year experiment, but it turns out that the writers with the best content are the least adept at the tech required to publish under our model, which in hindsight, makes perfect sense. If you are dedicating your life to becoming an expert in your specialty, you don’t have a lot of time left for figuring out publishing tech.

It hasn't helped that we have entered an age of unprecedented polarization and antagonism which doesn't foster demand for a website dedicated to the respectful engagement of diverse views.

Thank you, everyone!

Close
 
 
Latest Ebooks