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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

AOL Joining the Free Freelancer Bandwagon

AOL to Movie Writers: You’re Fired, But We’d Love It If You Write for Free.

Seriously? According to CNET News, AOL had revenue of $596 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Granted, that figure was "down 26 percent year over year," but you make over half a million dollars and you ask your writers to work for free?

Is it just me, or, the grand scheme of things, is such a request worse than those that come from startups?

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12 Comments:

At April 27, 2011 at 10:51 AM, Anonymous EP said...

It's everywhere. I just spoke with a friend who worked for years in the IT department of a big telecommunications company. He came in at the start and helped build it up from day one, so-to-speak. Now the entire IT department is getting outsourced, the company makes a killing in the process (revenue is up) and he has the choice of staying on doing the same work at the same place but for a different company and--punch line--for about a quarter less money.

 
At April 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM, Blogger Star Lawrence said...

I know someone who had to work long distance training their Indian replacement.

 
At April 27, 2011 at 11:10 AM, Blogger Star Lawrence said...

It's also delightful to be respected and understood--my sister informed me the other day that Arianna was "smart" to get people to work for free. Thanks a bunch.

 
At April 27, 2011 at 12:14 PM, Blogger Irreverent Freelancer said...

In her corporate position with a large insurance/financial institution, a longtime friend of mine has also recently had to train Indian replacements. She hasn't lost her job ... yet, but several people there have. Interesting thing is, all the mistakes the American workers that remain are having to fix is making this cost-cutting measure moot. Hmmm, that sounds familiar. Who among us hasn't been approached to edit (fix) cheap non-native copy at a cut rate?

 
At April 28, 2011 at 8:48 AM, Blogger Lori said...

This quote jumped out: "I know that for many of you this will not be an option financially, I strongly encourage you to consider it if you’d like to keep writing for us, because we value all of your voices and input."

The hell they do. If they valued freelancers at all, they'd pay them. Period.

 
At April 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM, Blogger Star Lawrence said...

Again--my motto--if anyone is making money and I am doing the work, I get some of it.

 
At April 29, 2011 at 10:37 AM, Anonymous Wendy said...

Oh, how special. They want to keep many of them on as non-paid bloggers. Really? Why, because of the benefits of by-line exposure? Whoopee!

I say they should hire on the Nigerian scammers. They sure seem to work hard at writing those wonderful emails. They even get creative and get the "FBI" involved.

 
At September 28, 2011 at 5:31 AM, Anonymous research papers said...

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At October 19, 2011 at 8:43 AM, Blogger Cindy L said...

I've been freelancing for newspapers and magazines since 1984. Once everything went online, and everyone started writing (and blogging) for free, pay rates for freelancers took a nosedive and haven't come back up. In the writing classes I teach, I tru to discourage students from writing for free ... If a lot of talented writers agree to give away their work, well, it's hard to get editors to start paying them. A vicious circle that turns a profession into a hobby.

 
At October 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM, Anonymous essay help said...

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