Archive for the ‘Ranting & Raving’ Category
1. About a year ago when I first became an Examiner (a “local expert” for the website Examiner.com) it seemed like a great gig. We were encouraged to write in first person, use the word “I” a lot, make the articles personal. I dug this because I highly value my own thoughts and opinions and attitude and I was happy to share these with readers everywhere. Then Examiner.com put a stop to that, saying that they wanted us to be more professional; to be less of a blog and more of a legitimate news service. Like there’s some sortage of legitimate news out there in the world. Obviously there’s no shortage of blogs either, all six of my pets are secretly running their own blogs and my 11-year-old daughter writes during recess but I’m sure there is some happy medium that could be both bloggy and legit. So I was bummed about the kibosh but I acquiesced and stopped using first person.
2. Then they started deleting some of my posts. See, a couple times a month the Boulder Valley Humane Society sends me press releases that they want to have passed on. So I passed them on by posting them verbatim in my Examiner column. I certainly didn’t feel it was plagiarism since the Humane Society asked me to do exactly this. And I didn’t re-write the press release in my own words because, well… why the hell would I? They had already gone to the trouble of getting it just right; better to leave the info exactly as they intended it. I gave the HS total credit for the writing, saying my Examiner post was merely a conduit, a channel, a means of conveyance for the Humane Society’s info. But Examiner.com pulled my posts because they were too similar to the Humane Society’s posts.
3. This was the final kicker. Originally we were told that we could write about anything that people in our local beat would like or relate to. My beat was the Boulder Pets Examiner and I took that to mean that I could do any story as long as it was something that a pet-lover in Boulder would find interesting or informative. Now Examiner has decided that we can only write about local events that actually happen within our beat. Well that should earn me about 35 cents a month in hits. That’s how Examiners get paid, you get about a penny per view. If you’re diligent and post every day and you build up a following you can make several dollars per day. The Examiners who have huge beats, the National Examiners, can probably make decent money. Personally, on my best days when I was the number one Examiner in my category, I only made about $4 or $5 a day. But that was when I was posting stuff like “The 10 Wackiest Pet Stories Ever.” Stories that people all over the internet might be interested in checking out. How many people do you think are going to read stories about “Boulder Dog Goes to Park?”
4. The bonus reason: They discouraged us from posting our Examiner stories on our own personal blogs because they didn’t want us to be competing with ourselves. So I’ve ignored my own Doggy Bloggy in favor of Examiner who repaid me by continually tying my hands and changing the rules to be more and more restrictive. I’m done with them. Writing about dogs should be FUN!
I’m gonna re-post all my fun Examiner stories here – hope you enjoy them!