I definitely say this, I love the SFWA site. They have great stuff there. I also find the Writer Beware subsite pretty interesting. After all, Atlanta Nights (along with The Eye of Argon) was one of the inspirations for me to start writing fantasy stuff. If people dare to publish that slop, I'm not afraid to release my drivel either. =)
Anyway, Writer Beware has a blog too. Here's one entry I picked up at random, about giving the work away. For people who don't dare to read all that and read most of the stuff from the Writer Beware site, here's the gist: Don't publish your writings online if you intend to profit from that stuff. Editors aren't reading free sites looking for talent, and they get picky about what counts as a publication.
Now why am I publishing my stuff online? I'm doing it for the readers, and readers alone. I most certainly don't intend to profit from this stuff. I don't want my talent to be "recognised" by some literature magnates. Nobody wants to commission a random no-name writer for any task anyway.
I'm publishing my stuff online because, ahem...
Ladies and gentlemen! You have free first-row seats to see in the mind of a madman working on some of the early stories! And, as this is your unlucky day, by far not his last stories, either! Here's a noob. See noob write. See noob get some things right. See noob stumble and fall.
Just remember that I'm the hell not looking to get this stuff published through "ordinary" channels. If you want anything published commercially, contact the commercial publishers first. Nobody is vetting my stories (which is why it was no great surprise when I opened up the story file a few months later and gasp it was full of embarassing typos!). People in deviantART and who visit my site are ordinary people - I don't assume they're professional critics, much less editors looking for work. If they were, they'd probably open their mouths more often.
The blog post gets points by refererring to Terry Pratchett's The Truth - I just finished it a few days ago, a great book =)
The blog post does not explain one thing though: Why would anyone publish anything free of charge?
I'm an open source user. I contribute to Wikipedia. There's the "towards the Common Good" aspect there. Art for art's sake. Share and enjoy.
Just remember that if you publish for free, it's hard to turn profit, duh. And when you've decided to do the stuff for free, then do the stuff for free - there's no reason to get greedy after that and want money.
I'm a computer guy. I wasn't employed by the industry but I saw, through news headlines, an industry go boom when people were trying to find out ways to do Kewl Stuff for Free over the Internet. Doing stuff for free is not the way to get profit. I'm doing my fantasy short stories for Fun (and, since there's little feedback, primarily for my fun, remember that), and my Wikipedia stuff (and other factual writings) for Greater Good, and sometimes mixing those goals, and I don't pretend theres much else in any reasonable motivations.
And I should stop thinking of Stuff at two thirty in the morning. =)
(A news bit: A friend just picked up the next story. Leet. I'll be getting the Editorial Control, even when I'm publishing stuff free here. =)