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Getting my two cents in

On Craigslist today there was a help-wanted ad titled 'Apple Site News Writer':

Looking for self-motivated writers for a large Apple News site.

- Good English spelling and grammar.
- Consistent
- Need one writer in-touch with the latest Apple news to post two articles per day
- Need one writer current on the latest iphone/ipad/ipod/apple tv jailbreak news to post two articles per day
- basic ftp skills (for article images) required
- basic photoshop skills (for article images) required
- articles should be ~ 500 words +/- depending on what's appropriate for the story
- should be quick on the draw with stories. tech news is old if it's 12 hours late
- have to be capable of reading email to make sure stories don't overlap with other writers

Each story pays $10 up to $620/month.

Please include resume, whether you are a mainstream or jailbreak writer, and anything else we should know.

I was, in a word, flabbergasted. They claim to be a 'large Apple News site' and they are expecting to get reasonably good work for $5 an hour? (Based on personal experience, I can tell you that a well-researched web news item in the technology sector takes about two hours on average. It really isn't about word length; I am certain you could do it faster, but it will show.)

I actually wrote the following response and then thought better of sending it. Frankly, the way I figure it, these are probably the kind of guys who would deliberately turn my email addy over to spammers. So, instead, I will share it with you in the hope you will find it amusing:

Hmm... $10 each to research and write two 500 word articles a day. I am guessing you will get what you are paying for: either someone who is desperate (probably for good reason) or someone who can't do the math. (Two cents a word? Really? That was picayune in 1950.)

Either way, please contact me if you wish to pay a reasonable rate to get better journalism and analysis. Until then, I am going to assume you are actually a content farm and my only interest in your responding to me is to find out who you are so I can avoid reading your site.

Jack

Comments

(Anonymous)
Apr. 7th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
I recently came across an ad from a professional society, one that I have done work for in the past, who wanted someone to work on a long-term project and pay them $15-$25/hour. I too was floored. They wanted someone experienced, with an advanced degree, to work for the equivalent of an entry-level salary: except that it wouldn't be entry level because it would be part-time, include no benefits, and require payment of self-employment taxes.

It was... extraordinary.

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