the interwebs aren't always fair.

11 September 2009

I need to vent.  (And no, not about Frank — that’s still awesome.)  No, this is about the interwebs, and one site in particular: Guidespot.

Now, I’ve written a handful of guides for them, and our online relationship started out pretty darn well.  I had high hopes for the site.  But now?  Now I’m questioning what my future with them might be.  Can we improve things?  Or will my hiatus turn into full on abandonment?

Things started out well, as I mentioned.  I had gotten decent reviews and responses to my guides (none of my published guides received less than 4 out of 5 stars).  I got excited about it.  Even some people at Guidespot had noticed me.

So what happened?  What went wrong?

Honestly, a lot of it came from a bruised ego.  I wanted to write for Guidespot, but they didn’t have room to hire more writers.  And while I was assured that they wanted me around and wished they could hire me, there was no mention of when that day might come.  I wrote a few more guides after that, but when it hit me that there were people who possibly only put 5 minutes of effort into their guides and were getting paid, and I had put in a few hours worth of work*, sometimes taking a couple days to complete a guide… Well, I didn’t like that here I had put a lot of work and, yes, pride into it, and other people threw together “guides” and were earning money.

I talked to a friend about this, and my disappointment.  “To be honest, there are a lot of crappy web companies out there that’s wasting resources by not hiring smarter” — his words.  I agree with him, not about the crappy part, but about wasting resources.  I know I’m not the only writer who’s been looked over by Guidespot.  And this waiting game they’re playing with me, this “I wish we could hire you” thing, it’s getting old.  How long do they think I’ll stick around, writing quality guides for free?  Especially when others are getting paid for slapping various pictures and YouTube clips with what they think are funny captions…  Guides with no meat to them, no interesting facts or things to learn from them.  They’re not even guides in any sense of the word.  Yet they’re getting paid, and yes, I’m jealous.  I feel like these “authors” are taking advantage of the system.

I truly think Guidespot has a lot of great potential.  I think it could be a great site to learn awesome places to get amazing mac and cheese in your city, or which iPhone application is worth the money, or the history of the Sears Tower before it became the Willis Tower.  I also think Guidespot could do a lot better to moderate the site and get rid of spam posts from companies.  If they want to be featured, they should talk to a writer in their location and offer free services or products in return for a review.  (An honest one, that hopefully won’t hurt their business — some sort of agreement should be made beforehand.)

Would I be willing to put all that behind me if they agreed to hire me?  Yes.  On one condition, they have a review system so that writers who aren’t putting an effort in don’t get rewarded the same as those who do.  And people who continually fail in providing quality guides, get rid of them so you can make room for new, talented writers.

So, Guidespot — what do you say?

*The only exceptions to this are my Tiger Cake Guide and “Guilty Pleasures: Reality TV Show” guide.  I wouldn’t expect to get paid hardly anything for those because there’s no facts or anything to really gain out of them, other than the community that could come from the comments.

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