Last updated on July 7th, 2009
As online marketers are realizing the benefits of producing content for their web sites, one Wall Street Journal writer found out just where a lot of this so-called ‘original’ content is coming from. It’s not exactly original, if you know what I mean.
As a writer myself, I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into a well-prepared piece of prose, whatever the purpose.
When Lee Gomes was hired to write 50 articles for $100 total, he figured he was working at 15 cents an hour. Though his mysterious employer, known by email only as “Whirlywinds”, was impressed with his first submission of a thoroughly researched article on bird flu, he was also asked to rewrite content already produced by the World Health Organization (he only discovered it had been lifted by conducting his own online search of the suspiciously professional-looking content Whirlywinds provided as a basis for the proposed article.)
The sad point is that, as Lee says, this sort of practice is leading to junky versions crowding out the original, professionally prepared information in search results. Because at $2/article, you’re not going to get professionally researched and prepared articles from even the most highly educated-but-low-paid workforce…
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