Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sisyphus Also Worked For Free

There's a libertarian blogger who's posts I've followed for several years. Some time ago, he posted that his writing would be appearing at is a new business model in aggregating user-generated content. And, as we shall see, that's not a good development. Examiner is a big web site with lots of writers who each specialize in a certain subject with a supposedly regional orienation. So, for example, the writer whose work I follow is listed as the "Boston Libertarian Examiner."

Examiner is always looking for writers, which is a danger sign. They offer no quantifiable rates of payment upon acceptance or publication. They promise you some exposure and down the line, some money in your PayPal account. In return, you have to write four articles per week.

I've considered applying at several times, but never did. I consider myself a critic at large and didn't see how I could shoehorn myself into a subject- specific niche.

I recently took a comment about e-books that I left at J.A. Konrath's blog and easily spun it into a 1,300-word article. I submitted it to 13 paying markets (that includes submissions to several section editors at and got zero response. So I thought I might use it as my first entry if accepted me.

Before applying there, I Googled them and came up with two definitive articles that confirmed my misgivings about

WritersWeekly solicited writers who've written for to share their experiences and tell them how much they earned. The average for the nine participating examiners was - hold on to your hats - $1.46 per article! is a click-for-pay revolving door for desperate writers. They'll accept anyone who breathes. The Huffington Post, founded by that champion of social justice, Arianna Huffington, doesn't pay anything. At least people read HuffPo. This is the literary equivalent of the guy on a barstool telling the girl he wants to lay how much he's going to do for her acting career with his showbiz contacts.

My little investigation into the reality of confirmed an epiphany I had earlier today while sitting on the toilet.


Any medium with no barrier to entry offers no benefits.


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