1. We don’t want to be treated like automatons. (Cue school/factory scene from Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in The Wall”). Note to self: Does the cyber-office have HD?
16. We’re not robots who churn out copy, spitting sentences and keywords like personal ATM machines. (Cue Fritz Lang’s Metropolis) Sandy, in Product Descriptions, says the Vlog is more Powerful than the Blog.
95. Don’t penalize us for a misplaced comma. Style is subjective. (Would a download of the song “Oxford Comma,” by Vampire Weekend, be too much? Note: References must target the demographic at hand…etc.
For the past six months Collin “the comma” Callaway, an aspiring novelist and drone writer for Content/Content and the WebStoker, has been compiling his own version of the Ninety-Five Theses.
The global company-conglomerate, who’s name reminded him of a hybrid of the Circus Circus casino and the 1980s Hanna Barbera cartoon Jose and the Pussycats, had become unbearable to work for. The DNA of its business acumen was as disjointed as its unfortunate moniker.
It was bad enough they were paying their writers squat, opting for pulp magazine wages over what it takes to survive in the modern world, but the lack of respect, praise or for that matter, the total absence of genuine human feeling and decency, had inspired him to take a survey and compile a list: 95 Things Web Content Providers Can Do To Motivate Writers to Create Good Content.
Of course, it was easier to come up with things for Content/Content NOT to do than put forth any good solutions as to how they should treat/inspire their writers, but that Not was a form of constructive criticism, too.
7. “In my 10 years crunching words, the most I’ve got from WebStoker was a note saying “Nice Job Pleasing client #109588000.” That’s right, “nice job.” Not great, mind you, nice -like how you might describe the weather. As for the client, we never exchanged two words.
87. Do you know who John McDonald was? Back in the 30s and 40s, Weird Tales and all those other sci-fi magazines existed. John McDonald edited writers like H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury. Here’s the kicker. Even after those guys shot to fame, they still wrote stories for McDonald and his pulps. Why? He nurtured their careers. They liked working for him. It was a relationship built on trust, respect and integrity.
14. We want John McDonald.
19. It’s like Ghostbusters for Ghostwriters, you know. Who you gonna’ call? We want to know the WCP team has our back.
89. A Skype Christmas party.
A Skype Christmas party. This idea made Collin smile. He continued skimming the list.
39. In the kingdom of the blind, the man with one eye is king.
Sh**$t writers say, thought Collin, shaking his head. Is it a WCP suggestion, or a title for a prog-rock song? Obviously, it has something to do with Good Content being King but writers being Pawns. So far, a good list, but he’d have to edit that last one before he hammered the theses to the door.
Damon H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.