USAToday makes a deal with 'slavers' to produce stories

Dateline: Fri 09 Apr 2010

Buddy/reader Tom Henderson sends along an email from a writer colleague, which that individual received today from a company called Demand Media, based in Santa Monica, Calif.

As Tom says, "If you haven't heard of Demand, they're slavers."

And guess who is now in bed with Demand?

Here's the email:

"Dear <redacted>

"We wanted to let you know about an exciting new partnership we just announced with USAToday.com.   Earlier this week USAToday.com launched a section called Travel Tips, all of the content of which is being provided by Demand Studios freelancers.  Having the opportunity to create high quality articles and videos for a national publication like USAToday.com is something we are immensely proud of and is a testament to the talent and skill of our community.

"The Travel Tips site serves as a resource for sophisticated travelers, providing functional tips and guidance while travelling.  For each article on the site, the byline and bio of the author is displayed alongside the piece.

 

 

"We would like to congratulate the Demand Studios freelancers that were involved in this project from our title editors right through to our writers, filmmakers, and copy editors.   

"We continue to create content for the USAToday.com Travel Tips section and are currently looking for more writers to join our talented pool. If you have significant travel experience and/or an extensive writing background and feel you would be the right fit for this project, please send an email totravelseditor@demandmedia.com outlining your experience and highlighting any relevant clips.


"As we grow our studio, we look forward to offering more opportunities to produce articles and videos for major national publications.  Without your dedication, skill, and experience we would not be where we are today.

 

"Log in to visit your workdesk and start writing!  We look forward to working with you soon.

 

 

"Sincerely,

The Demand Studios Team"



Jim Hopkins at Gannettblog has more details. In a post published Thursday, he quoted the Los Angeles Times which explains how it came to pass that Gannett and Demand have struck a deal.

Hopkins says:

"The deal calls for the Santa Monica, Calif., company to create and maintain a new travel section for USAT's website called Travel Tips. The section, which debuted Wednesday, is filled with thousands of how-to articles created by Demand's editors and freelancers, the LAT says: 'Using a combination of technology and humans, Demand generates 5,000 articles and videos a day, far more than any single media company can produce on its own. The company uses an algorithm to continuously sift through massive amounts of data from search engines to divine what people are interested in reading. The algorithm spits out popular keywords that are massaged by editors into headlines, then pumped into a database.'"

The real kicker is that, according to Gannettblog's LATimes article, the 7,000 freelancers who produce this material are paid $15 per article and $20 per video.

Hence the term "slavers."

To read more, go to Gannettblog:




Comments

hendy [Member] said:

You get what you pay for. I'm surprised we don't have to call them 'massah'.

2010-04-10 13:15:20

NewsVet [Member] said:

God save us from content mills. The journalistic equivalent of Twinkies.

2010-04-11 01:59:47

Marycatherine Barton [unverified] said:

All part of the globalist plan for the New World Order, soon coming Indianapolis's way.

2010-04-12 04:33:48

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I read and weep.

Sunday's Star timeframe: 18 minutes. Front to back.

(Sigh) Including a thorough scan of the obits...which were full of paid letters home, grammar/syntax/style errors, and the pathetic money-mongering overtone of greedy publishers.

I'm still not over charging for obits...so you can guess how I feel about your post, Ruthie.

2010-04-12 05:13:58

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2010-04-13 11:58:24

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Robert, who exactly peed in your cornflakes, anyway?

It must be awful to wake up that sour every morning.

2010-04-14 11:08:53

Robert Knilands [unverified] said:

User was banned for obnoxious trolling and the comment was removed. --Admin

2010-04-14 22:38:56

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