Write for free, it’s good for you!

This headline is a lie. There are people working day jobs who now believe when a producer or editor comes up with this week’s theme, that they have every right to crowd-source the writing from the suckers online. This is actually a job now — tapping into people someone in the office knows and offering them the chance to write for the big-league as though at some point there would be even the slightest pay back.

Ethical practice or part of the network culture?

I don’t believe it’s ethical to do this, nor is it part of network culture. It’s part of media-culture to get as much for free as possible. The exception here being The Conversation, which I have to say was a great online publication to write for. The difference between blogging and writing is a fee when it comes to ‘proper publishing’.

It isn’t okay to even try to tap-me-up for a freebie on the basis you may know someone who I know. It’s even less exciting if that person hasn’t bothered to ask how I am in a year or so. I realise there are plenty of people who believe network culture is about sharing, crowd sourcing everything and giving every idea and insight away for ‘the love of it’. The reward seems to be presented through the opportunity to ‘tweet your association’ as though this has some lasting credibility or increases your social or financial status. It doesn’t, but it’s a great way of getting free work. I have no time for people who seek to profit from others using this disingenuous form of ‘collaboration’. Screw that, why would I want to devalue my work by increasing the value of yours?

If I choose to post to my blog — it’s because I want to. If you’re tapping me up for free because you’re boss told you too — don’t be shocked if I’m offended. I value the work I’ve done in relation to kids, games and families. Why would I want to give that away simply to fill someone else’s agenda?

It’s shallow for online media properties to ‘crowd source’ when they also like to complain about copyright, journalistic erosion and budget cuts. I’m happy to be taken seriously, and happy to work with editors, copy-editors and publishers around video games and families. I welcome writing pieces for organisations which I believe are promoting awareness for social-good. However, please don’t  ask for freebies in order to fill your space — I value my work, and so should you.