Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Stop Calling Me a Freakin' Blogger
Do you remember my post about being an underpaid blogger, I Don't Give Blowjobs for Free? I'm sure you do, because that post seemed to touch a raw nerve and many of you left comments. Well, it's time to examine the issue once again.
In recent weeks, a certain major big-ass media corporation has been pitching local enthusiasts from a particular field for a "freelance editor" position in a new lifestyle section of its major big-ass media website. I won't mention the name, but suffice it to say that another local blogger, some award-winning dude who likes to take lots of photos, used to work for the same company. Emphasis on used to.
A friend of mine referred to me the position, for which I am grateful. The position seemed ideal regarding the topic I would cover, as I already have my feet quite soaked in the community as well as many connections with businesses and PR firms in that industry. A five-year track record of successful "blogging" for many outlets was a major plus.
The job would've also given me the opportunity to be an editor to other contributors and in short, be in charge of an entire section with a potential readership of hundreds of thousands, if not more. Attending and reporting at events, as well as taking pictures and video, would be required. In order to do the job right, factoring in drive time, I was looking at a minimum of 20 - 30 hours of work per week.
While this would have been a time suck on Sex and the Beach and my other freelance commitments, it sounded like a great opportunity to further my presence as a well-established online Miami "expert," something I've been cultivating for donkey's ages over at fabulous Miami Beach 411. And everybody knows I'm always out and about eating my way through the magic city anyway; if I were any more active, I'd be as awesome as Soul of Miami!
But here's the deal. What a fucking sham. The pay was so piss poor, it was downright insulting, not to mention laughable. And that's when I heard the words "it's really a blogger position," which made me cringe. Ugh.
I thought about it over the weekend and then decided to walk away from the application process, which required that I prove I could put together a blog ... imagine that!
I politely told big-ass major media corporation that I was better off putting great content on my own blog rather than giving it away for peanuts to a big-ass major media corporation. In other words, you can shove that job that comes down to less than a penny a word and less than a burger flipper at McDonald's by the hour. Oh and I forgot to mention: no benefits and no compensation for time off.
So, in short, they really wanted their cake and to eat it too. They wanted the experience, social media influence and depth of professional contacts of a 43 year-old professional writer, but only while paying measly college intern compensation, on which no adult could survive. Worse than that, at 20 posts were week, the position would become a freakin' boiler room word factory, leaving no energy and creative space for all the other writing projects I'd have to take on in order to make ends meet.
Listen, I don't give a shit about the economy or the recession. Big-ass major corporations, I'm not buying it that that's the reason you're willing to treat me like an indentured servant, because I do know that YOU are selling advertising in the millions and that my little handiwork in the feudal garden is going to rake in some big bucks for your deep overlord pocket.
"Bloggers" today are better off doing a side job and putting great content on their own sites until they can muster some quality advertising or some financially beneficial partnership. Again, why give blow jobs for free?
Seriously, people. On my press trip this weekend, a well-meaning but ignorant PR person actually had the nerve to ask me "so, your blog must have some credibility, then?" after I told him that "I wasn't a blogger, but a writer who happens to use the blog platform."
After this, I've decided I'm no longer a blogger, because if I say that, people think I am some floozy piece of shit whose writing experience of over 20 years isn't worth decent compensation. And this isn't just about me; it's about all the OTHER writers out there who could've been sucked into the "glamour" of working for a major media brand.
It's no coincidence that this big-ass major media corporation uses a peacock for its brand. Confucius say: "Walk under bird and bird will poop on you."
From now on it's this: "Hello, nice to meet you. I'm a writer who uses the blog platform, and you?" I know that sounds long-winded, but you bloggers out there, those of you in the same position as I, serious writers who just happen to use this means of broadcasting your words online, we need to educate people on the differences between a fluffy blog about furry kittens and an electronic publication produced by a professional writer.
Go out and educate! And don't whore yourself out, unless Richard Branson is hiring you!