Speaking of mental health, did I ever go nuts when Odesk.com emailed to ask why I hadn't worked for them. Odesk.com features calls for articles and other material by freelance writers; you bid on the jobs. You get paid -- maybe -- and if so Odesk gets a 10 percent commission. Like everyone else I could use some more work, and registered. Lots of contract jobs were available: write someone's resume, write ad copy, ghost somebody's little handbook on vitamins, write series of 750-word articles on auto care, and so on.
What sent me reeling is the compensation offered -- and accepted. Check these out:
I need 50 articles to be rewritten on Halloween niche. Each article has be 450 words and at least 80% unique. I will pay $1 per rewritten article. Please bid with a sample. Thanks
High end copywriting requiring high quality work; Must be english BA or MA graduates; Must attach short word files of writing files or will be disqualified immediately; Individuals only, no company affiliation. If affiliated, will be disqualified immediately. -Candidates for this job so far have bid a titanic $3.34 an hour.
The series of articles on auto care had a total budget of $70.
Not all of the posts are quite this extreme, but a lot of them come pretty close.
So, why haven't I worked for Odesk? The "O" must be short for "online sweatshop" -- and it's not the only one. An underclass of writers. That's just what we need....