Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"The Digital Sweatshop How Traditional Media Exploits New Media"

This is a blog, yes it is, but I am not writing for profit or a career but alot of writers and bloggers I know are or would like to, so why is it that I feel the online world a digital sweatshop?

 Traditional media of which I work in was and is slow to discover and recognize social media. Some outlets are being dragged into it kicking and screaming, like  so many spoiled luddites. Other outlets see social media for what it is right now, a all you can eat buffet of free content.

  It is both the fault of bloggers and the greedy traditional media who in these times of poor ratings / circulations see blood in the water and use our independent social media writers like Nike uses 8 year old Vietnamese kids to make $200 sneakers. They exploit bloggers and attract them with a promised audience and little more. Some times they will throw you a bone like our local daily throw away paper The Metro News who promises free coffee from Blenz in return for blog posts. This is like being told you have a job and only paying you in goats.

 They are not the only ones, lots of media have jumped on the digital sweatshop and are exploiting our writers, photographers, videographers. Just look at CNN's very popular i-reporters who are given a tee-shirt and a thank you while CNN saves money hires less staff, and make ad money off the backs of social media.

 Are Bloggers to blame? Yes in the sick dysfunctional way that only a chronically abused spouse could. It is time for social media to say enough is enough. To say if you love my content pay me! And not pennies a word. It is also the fault of writers seeking attention and fame who will undercut other writers / bloggers for working for crap pay & or a few free dinners or swag. Stop it you are only cutting your own necks open.

 There are those who make a living blogging or should I say Advertising in list form. These folks hide their mercenary behavior in blog form and also take advantage of bloggers in their community by occasionally throwing them a bone of access. This is like eating your own kind.

 It is time for bloggers and others in social media to stand up and say no, no pay no words, no images, no access that I have but the big guy either will not pay for or does not understand. Enough of the Digital Sweatshop of which we get angry about when it is a physical one. You all write write about this, the largest exploitation of writers since the penny a word writers of the 40s.


  1. I keep saying this. Bloggers get so angry about being asked to work for free. Don't get mad about the asking, get mad that nobody's saying NO!

    Along with that, there will always be people who WILL work for free. So go do something different. Add something that people WILL pay for to your repetoire and leave the unpaid work to those silly enough to accept it.

  2. I like where you are going but I need suggestions.