18 Jun

The Faster Times – AOL Hell: An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out

You’d think it’d be fun, wouldn’t you? Writing about “The Simpsons” and such for money. It’s every slacker’s dream job. And I was making $35,000! I remember that I crossed a certain threshold, soon after I got my new job: I stopped buying “Sensor” brand razor blades, and upgraded to “Schick Quattro” brand razor blades. This was exciting. The “Quattro” had four blades instead of the measly two blades of the “Sensor,” plus a sideburn trimmer on the back, plus it vibrated to supposedly aid the shaving process. This was the big time.

Some people struggle to write for their whole lives, and only dream of ever getting paid for it. And here was I was, Mr. Big-Shot-Razor-Blade-Man, getting paid a real salary. I could sit at home and write in my pajamas while eating take-out food; and that’s what I did. I was so grateful.

But this was part of the problem. We — by which I mean me and my fellow employees — were all so grateful. Which allowed us to ignore — or willfully overlook — certain problems. Such as the fact that AOL editors forced us to work relentless hours. Or the fact that we were paid to lie, actually instructed to lie by our bosses.

via The Faster Times – AOL Hell: An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out. Highly depressing read, both into the writing practiced at AOL and what this business considers important (just generating stupid trivial trash to generate pageviews).

13 Apr

The Official Website of Eric D. Snider – Snide Remarks: Leaving in a Huff

One thing you may not know about me is that I am a writer. More specifically, I’m a freelance writer. This means I can have several clients at once, work from home in my underwear, and set my own hours. It is basically like being a prostitute, but with less stringent hygiene requirements.

Up until last week, one of the places I wrote for was Cinematical, a fine website devoted to news and commentary related to the film world. But now Cinematical has essentially been run into the ground by its corporate overlords. The writers were let go on Wednesday. The editors had already quit. What happened to this once-thriving movie blog? Gather ’round and pay heed and I will tell the tale!

via The Official Website of Eric D. Snider – Snide Remarks: Leaving in a Huff. This is just an awful tale of corporate stupidity, mis-communication and a company seemingly doing everything possible to make their employees feel awful.

27 Aug

TechCrunch – Google, Facebook To Microsoft’s Paul Allen: Your Argument Is Invalid

The entire Internet (aka Facebook, Google, Apple AOL, Facebook, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube) has just been served with a vague and vast patent violation suit from Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen. As patent suits are notoriously unpopular, the response from tech pundits has been apprehensive. Now the companies named are starting to punch back, a representative from Facebook told TechCrunch, “We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”

via TechCrunch – Google, Facebook To Microsoft’s Paul Allen: Your Argument Is Invalid. Oh software patents how worthless you are.