“Hey Arianna, Can You Spare a Dime?”
California freelancers have started a Facebook group to ask Arianna Huffington to share some of her $350 million windfall from the recent sale of the Huffington Post to AOL. The episode is a stark lesson for those writers who thought that simply being allowed to contribute to this revolutionary media form was compensation enough. The new media is not that different from the old industrial cotton loom: soon enough, someone, somewhere is going to profit from your sweat.
UPDATE: Missed this before, but Heather Mallick took a run at Arianna and AOL last week herself in the Toronto Star. She then turned her sights on yet another online exploit:
When people are persuaded to work for free, it makes slavery more plausible. Take Demand Media, a U.S. firm that pays desperate people for piecework: $15 apiece for articles on nasal rash or how to shoe a pony and $3 to edit the thing. Demand values itself at $1.5 billion and is planning a $125 million IPO.