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April192012

RIP PrankDial Job, 4/16/12-4/16/12

Fair warning: this is a long and pissed-off post.

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So the PrankDial gig I wrote about and lined to a couple days ago?  One and done.

The job’s hourly rate, as advertised on eLance, was $15-20/hr for 9-10 hours of work.  That’s basically $150-$200 a week and, when adjusted for a flat per-article rate, came to $75-100 a post.  For a regular twice-weekly gig, that was just beyond awesome. 

The guy who hired me said my writing was awesome, perfect for them, and they wanted to give me full creative control to work my magic and all that good stuff.  Great!  So, naturally, it was all bullshit.  I accepted and the guy immediately began to retract his promises, offering a mere $50 a week.  Disappointing for sure, but I let it slide.  I’m trying to turn writing/editing into a full-blown career, but I’m not a greedy money-monger either.  

What truly spun my anger wheel was how he made it clear, without outright saying it, that “creative control” was a bald-faced lie.  First, he told me to keep the posts short, as the readers “don’t have very long attention spans.”  Fine by me; I was planning to keep them short anyway.  That’s what blogs are for (except for today’s, apparently).  Then he kept giving me examples from other sites as to what he was “looking for”.  He told me the readers love dorky stuff like games and music and movies. 

OK, great.  Always good to know what people like to read about.

Yet whenever I pitched anything close to those categories, the owner shot me down for frustratingly vague reasons.  Many of my ideas, even before writing, were killed for not being “what the readers want” or “too specific”.  Well, don’t link me to all these articles, including a CollegeHumor article piece making fun of Google Goggles if you don’t me to be specific and topical, douchenuts.

So finally I submitted a post: http://blog.prankdial.com/post/21207160255/3-ways-to-play-older-games-after-used-games-are-banned.  You can’t read it now, as they’ve deleted all the text.  But it seemed to get a good enough reaction from people who read it.  The site owner, though, HATED it.  Didn’t find it funny at all.  Really, guy?  This isn’t my first gig ever, y’know.  Been doing this for close to ten years in one form or another.  Pretty sure I’m funny, unless you’re just one of those people who sees words and runs in the opposite direction cuz readin’s 4 loozrs.

Finally, he tells me to check out the site’s Facebook page for inspiration as to what drives traffic among the readers.  So I do, and what do I find?  Nothing but found pictures.  This guy’s version of “funny” is nothing more than typing “Funny Pictures” into Google Image Search and posting them with MAYBE one line of text.  So readin’s IZ 4 loozrs, as it turns out.

So I quit.  One post, bye-bye.  Homey don’t play bullshit games.  You just want a guy to find other people’s pictures?  Advertise it that way.  I am NOT here to be lied to.

I suppose I should’ve known better since the site’s main deal is scripting fucking crank phone calls.  I stayed optimistic though, going under the assumption that their blog was going to be something different, and they wanted me to make it different.  Nope; they just wanted more unoriginal bullshit, despite one of his original conditions being that my stuff be…ORIGINAL.  Yep, that bug-on-your-monitor GIF everyone’s seen for years sure is original and witty.

Oh, by the way, here’s the site’s full blog: http://blog.prankdial.com.  This is what they find worthy of their time.  As you can see, my post is gone, though the comments are not.  The first was just a guy named Ryan calling it hilarious, which is always good to see.  The other, submitted by somebody called “Thereaders”, actually bothered to write “I don’t think this is what us readers are looking for.”  I’m not a betting man, but I’d be willing to wager quite a bit of money that “Thereaders” is actually the idiot who runs that site.  I’d also be willing to wager that a lot more people at least chuckled at the post than said owner is willing to admit.

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