Perhaps in preparation for the Great Delamination, I went through one of my periodic stints of tree-shaking yesterday, scanning Monster, CareerBuilder and Craigslist for any freelancing opportunity I might be unaware of. I found one asking for freelance writers willing to turn out five 400-word pieces per week, for $2 per.
I e-mailed and asked for clarification. Surely, I asked, that $2 figure was a mistake?
No, it wasn’t, came the reply: “These are very simple articles that won’t require any research,” and that was the going rate. Two thousand words = $10.
I’m consistently amazed by the economics of this thing. To this day, when there’s a big layoff at a newspaper or some other catastrophe in the life of someone who writes for a living, someone will pipe up in the comments on a blog somewhere: They should start a blog and join an ad network, and then they’ll be working for themselves. Win-win!
Meanwhile, Bossy, who gets 10 times the traffic I do — yes, 7,000 to 9,000 uniques a day — can’t make a living from her blog. (Even though she brought this reader great pleasure with her examination of “Something’s Gotta Give,” a film that made me insane, for many of the same reasons. I mean, sure, playwrights have kitchens like that. If their name is Neil Simon.)
Meanwhile, journalists, would you like to be insulted? Take note of the TypePad Journalist Bailout Program. Subhed: “Because your Tumblr and Tweets, while clever, will not pay your bills.” Here’s the bailout: If you’re a recently severed journalist, TypePad will give you a free pro blogging account and access to their ad network, which “pays a lot more than simple Google text ads,” a retail value of about $150. After that, it’s all up to you! Take flight, little journalist! And if you learn that your TypePad blog, “while clever,” will not pay your bills, either, perhaps Starbucks is hiring.
Mommy’s in a bad mood today. Mommy thinks she should go lift weights.
So a little bloggage:
While Mitch Albom was pretending to be Woody Guthrie in the paper — a new low for phoning it in, I might add, and I don’t even want to think how much he makes — he was actually down in Florida hangin’ with his cool celebrity friends at the Miami Book Fair. (See video.) I also wouldn’t rule out the idea that he’s using makeup (man-kup?) or, possibly Botox. There’s something odd about the way his face moves, or doesn’t move.
Finally, a favor for a friend, another former colleague:
My oldest son Derek is a graduating high school senior, and he has been nominated to participate in a video scholarship contest. The scholarship could net him a nice chunk of college cash. ($20,000 to the first place winner). He created what I think (father or not) is the best on the site (certainly the “corny”-est), but the contest is decided solely upon popular vote, not on quality or creativity. (which right now seems to mean which student can get the most people to vote, and vote, and vote … oh yeah, and vote as many times as they can) … between now and November 28th.
The video is here, and it is indeed corny — I say that with love, because corniness seems to be the point. The scholarship is offered by King Corn, so no matter how you feel about high-fructose corn syrup, you can point your browsers in the direction of a good cause. You can vote as often as you like, and you don’t have to sit through the whole video to do so. And certainly, his dad is going to need all the college-finance help he can get, seeing as how he works in journalism.