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Author Topic: A most appropriate article in the NY Times  (Read 6566 times)

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« on: October 27, 2013, 02:09 »
+14
It's called "Slaves of the Internet, Unite!", and it's right on target for what we Symbiostockers are doing:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/opinion/sunday/slaves-of-the-internet-unite.html?pagewanted=1&ref=opinion


« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2013, 08:07 »
+1
Fantastic article! And do true ;)


My Very Best :)
KimsCreativeHub.com

« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2013, 09:01 »
+2
A brilliant article. Thanks for sharing. I hope all those photographers out there who somehow think they're gaining valuable exposure by giving away their images for free to agencies like IS will read this article and come to their senses. Not only are you delusional in thinking that somehow your free images will prompt potential buyers into seeking out your portfolio and pay real money for your images, but you're also hurting all those contributors who refuse to degrade or cheapen their body of work.

« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2013, 10:25 »
+2
Very entertaining and true. Now, I feel guilty that I didn't pay anything to read it.

Shelma1

« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2013, 11:46 »
+1
Very entertaining and true. Now, I feel guilty that I didn't pay anything to read it.

I believe you're allowed 10 articles per month for free at nytimes.com, but after that you must subscribe(which I do).

Great article.

« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2013, 16:06 »
+4
Interesting article.

It has always been tough to have a profession that is so 'fun' that people are willing to do it for free.  Sports, photography, writing, music.. these are all things people do in their spare time as hobbies.  It's not too surprising you'll find people willing to do these things for free.  When you finally get tired of doing it for free, it's pretty hard to convince everyone they should pay - especially when they are tons of other people still eagerly and happily doing it for free.

« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2013, 16:53 »
+1
Thanks for the link Martha. I can read it as a NY Times subscriber (one of two newspapers for which I buy the Sunday paper as my vehicle for purchasing online access; rather bizarre but they set the pricing not me) :)

I particularly liked this idea about writing/photography/"content" being reduced "...to the status of filler, stuff to stick between banner ads." Because this is a big issue - that many sites want to use contributions to make themselves advertising revenue which they don't want to share with the creator.

My favorite example of being asked for a freebie came from a site that had found my work at 123rf and said how much they liked it, but could they have it for free. So they knew it was for sale - didn't even offer any special reason why I should give it to them!

As a user of sites (like Facebook or Twitter or Google) I can't stand the ads and do my best to ignore them. I'm puzzled that this stuff keeps growing - obviously someone must be clicking on the ads or the companies wouldn't keep paying for them. I pay for the NY Times because their writers can write and I want them to keep doing that so I can read it - the semi-literate rants on other sites with "free" content don't even come close.

On the photography side of things, I have yet to see a site with free images (not including those that peddle stuff stolen from Shutterstock) where the quality was even close to what you'll see from those of us who expect to be paid for licenses to use our work. We need to keep saying "no thanks" to people who ask for freebies and chase up the thieves when we find them.

 I think we're not that different from other areas of work where people ask for freebies. Think of those stories you've heard from lawyers or doctors about people asking for free advice on social occasions - it's anyone with an intangible product or service that gets asked I think, not just those who sell licenses over the internet. You ask for free medical opinions from a doctor you meet but not from a cabinetmaker, for example (although I don't know any cabinetmakers, so perhaps they get hit up for freebies too!)

« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2013, 17:27 »
+5
Excellent reading! Thanks for posting.

On a slightly different tangent, but also illustrating the value of 'for free', I recently had no further need of a small dining table I owned. The table was of good quality and in excellent condition so I was loathe to simply take it to the dump. I decided therefore to offer it for free on my local 'Freecycle' website, so that folk in need of such a table could contact me via email and arrange to collect it for free.

What a pain in the ass it turned out to be. Blunt messages like "is it still there" with no 'please', 'thank you', punctuation or the courtesy of a name started to drip-feed into my In-box. One reasonably polite lady requested a full description and then turned it down because she was "holding out for a different colour". I was eventually contacted by a girl called April who said she could collect it that same evening. When I agreed I later got a call from her boyfriend who asked instead if he could collect the following day. I was going to be out but made arrangements for the table to be outside available to him. He didn't turn up.

I finally did get the table collected, after having lots of contact with people who I'd rather not have contact with, but next time ... it'll be going straight down to the dump.

« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2013, 17:45 »
0
next time ... it'll be going straight down to the dump.

Where i live the dump has been replaced with a recycling centre.

It's on my route so I'm a regular. We have had 3 bits of furniture from there. Stuff which would go for very good money at Portobello or Les Puces. But this is the sticks. I also found a 35mm Contax with a very nice 50mm lens.

« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2013, 17:54 »
0
I read the article for free.

lisafx

« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 18:32 »
+2
Excellent reading! Thanks for posting.

On a slightly different tangent, but also illustrating the value of 'for free', I recently had no further need of a small dining table I owned. The table was of good quality and in excellent condition so I was loathe to simply take it to the dump. I decided therefore to offer it for free on my local 'Freecycle' website, so that folk in need of such a table could contact me via email and arrange to collect it for free.

What a pain in the ass it turned out to be. Blunt messages like "is it still there" with no 'please', 'thank you', punctuation or the courtesy of a name started to drip-feed into my In-box. One reasonably polite lady requested a full description and then turned it down because she was "holding out for a different colour". I was eventually contacted by a girl called April who said she could collect it that same evening. When I agreed I later got a call from her boyfriend who asked instead if he could collect the following day. I was going to be out but made arrangements for the table to be outside available to him. He didn't turn up.

I finally did get the table collected, after having lots of contact with people who I'd rather not have contact with, but next time ... it'll be going straight down to the dump.

Sounds similar to other stories I've found about "freecycling".  Really unbelievable!! 

When we have stuff like that, we are able to just put it on the curb with a sign that says "free" and there are people who patrol the neighborhoods around here for stuff who pick it up and take it away.  I've never had anything decent sit out there for more than 2 days.  They're welcome to it. 

I remember when I was single and young and had my first apartment, I got some things that way myself, including my first vacuum and my first microwave.  Fortunately I had a boyfriend who could fix stuff.  :)

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2013, 18:52 »
+1
Gosh, it's so much easier here - even out in the boonies we have two charity shops in our small town, and every other town has at least one, often several. One (maybe both) will come and collect bigger stuff.

« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 19:41 »
+2
I never put anything on CraigsList or the 'free' pickup sites.   Out of 10 people who respond, 8 will be flakes, and the other 2 just want to see what else you have in your garage, so they can wait a few days and come back at 3 AM with a pry bar. 

Shelma1

« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 20:35 »
+1

When we have stuff like that, we are able to just put it on the curb with a sign that says "free" and there are people who patrol the neighborhoods around here for stuff who pick it up and take it away.  I've never had anything decent sit out there for more than 2 days.  They're welcome to it. 

We don't even need a sign in my neighborhood...there are a few people who drive around in pickup trucks every trash night looking for stuff. I had a yard sale once and dragged everything that didn't sell out to the curb for trash pickup, and 1/2 hour later when I went to walk my dogs 90% of it was gone. I couldn't even imagine how they knew the stuff was there so quickly.

« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 21:50 »
+3
Gosh, it's so much easier here - even out in the boonies we have two charity shops in our small town, and every other town has at least one, often several. One (maybe both) will come and collect bigger stuff.

Ouch! To be honest I had completely forgotten the charity shops, which pretty much represent about a third of our High Street. That would have been the ideal solution as my chosen charity would also have made a few quid and I, at the risk of being politically incorrect, would thereby have avoided direct contact with the chav scum that I encountered.

« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2013, 12:05 »
+2
I was a member of one the freecycle groups while living  in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Most of the members were takers and 5% were givers. I finally quit, when posts looking for free.late model cars and flat screen tv's started showing up.

lisafx

« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2013, 13:48 »
+1
Charities are a great idea.  We do donate a lot of stuff to Salvation Army, but they won't take large appliances, and they want donated furniture to be in practically new condition. 

We got rid or our couch and love seat that we'd had for about 12 years a couple of years ago.  There were no tears or bad springs or anything, just looked a bit worn.   Salvation Army came, looked them over, and left them there with a note saying they were not in  good enough shape.  We laughed about it - we had been sitting on these things the day before, and they weren't considered good enough for a charity that serves drug addicts and the homeless.  ???

They were gone from the front yard a day later, so somebody wasn't as picky :)

(apologies in advance if the above comments offend anyone's sense of political correctness)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 13:53 by lisafx »


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 14:16 »
+1
The Salvation Army here is very picky too, even though one use for the furniture they're given is to give to families who've had e.g. a fire or a flood in the very short term while they're waiting for their insurance to come through and their new stuff to arrive.
Also here most won't take older upholstered furniture / beds because it won't be up to fire safety standards. That said, the local church, which is only 5 mins walk from my house has a shop which seems to take just about anything. When I asked what they would take, the lady said they'd had skis handed in and they'd sold within a week.
I'm sure I've posted this before, but when we had to clear the loft for thicker lagging, I took loads of unused wedding presents to the shops, and one day I was walking with two big carrier bags and a woman I'd never seen before looked at the bags, smiled and said, "Wedding presents!" I had to laugh.
(At the time we got married, we took a lot of presents we knew we'd we'd never use to an Oxfam shop about 75 miles away in the hope that none of the kind givers would see them, and if they did, they wouldn't associate them with us.)

Shelma1

« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2013, 14:18 »
+1
What about Habitat for Humanity? I think you have to drop stuff off though.

« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2013, 14:35 »
0
What about Habitat for Humanity? I think you have to drop stuff off though.

Our local Habitat for Humanity will pick up things. I donated quite a bit to them a year ago, when we downsized. They came and got it all. Nice people and a good cause.

« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2013, 15:28 »
0
It is interesting hearing about peoples' experience with freecycle and craigslist. My experience with craigslist has been just the opposite. We had received a new, larger slow cooker for Christmas. There was nothing at all wrong with our old one, we just didn't have space for two. I posted an ad (with a photo) in the free section of craigslist and received a call within 5 minutes and the husband of the woman that called came by in less than 30 minutes. No muss, no fuss.

« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2013, 18:32 »
0
I now use nothing but Craigslist now or just leave it out at the curb. Most things disappear within the day

« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2013, 19:16 »
+1
I have heard people say that it is better to put a reasonable to slightly low price on something on CL rather than say free.

Thrift stores need to be able to sell most of what they get. So a used couch might be perfectly good for sitting on, but if they don't think they can sell it (or have a family that needs a couch) then they don't want it.

I am greatly in favor of stuff that you no longer want to use going to someone else who does want to use it though. Much better than filling a landfill.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2013, 20:29 »
+2
Interesting article.

It has always been tough to have a profession that is so 'fun' that people are willing to do it for free.  Sports, photography, writing, music.. these are all things people do in their spare time as hobbies.  It's not too surprising you'll find people willing to do these things for free.  When you finally get tired of doing it for free, it's pretty hard to convince everyone they should pay - especially when they are tons of other people still eagerly and happily doing it for free.

Will work for credentials comes to mind. I work for publications and websites, but it's not much better paying than that. Some people are clearly freelance, which isn't allowed, but they get some editor or publication willing to support them. The bottom line on sports is this. There are too many people covering, even the ones who are dedicated to one publication, and not as much demand as an outside view might imagine.

In any area of entertainment like this. And sports is entertainment just like a show or any other performance. There's an event, there might be one or two photos needed for coverage. The big publications have their people or their stock sources. What's left? (I'll help... Not Much!)

Deadline for sports can be a matter of who runs faster into the building and uploads to the website. Quick crop maybe, but find the right shots, 2 or 3, garb ftp and upload to the publication.

Then there's the demand part beyond immediate coverage. Sports becomes stale in an hour, by the next day, it's old news.

So you hit the other part right too. You need to love what you are doing.

Media requires a meeting before the event, often hours before it starts. You do not get to spectate, and most of the time, don't see the event at all, because you are looking through the viewfinder, running somewhere to catch something, chimping, working on the computer.

I love what I do, and it's a break from working safety team. I find it odd that what I do for relaxation, in this case photo and news, is often harder work than what I do for pay, at the same events.  :o

I've played music for free, in fact, for the Salvation Army fundraising, VFW and at VA Hospital. I don't mind that. But if someone said, come play our wedding or at a bar for free, I'd be very hesitant to accept the invitation to work for free.

I will work photo for charity events for free also, and did for years. It's a good cause. But I won't work for some profit or commercial event, for "exposure" and that's the last part.

Flicker where there are thousands of people, trying to be discovered and giving away photos for exposure. Great humor watching them imagining they will some day be famous, because of their great works, that they gave away for free.

Working for nothing just encourages the cheapskates to expect to find someone else who will work for free, and it kills the market for people who are working for income and the long term.

Good article. Thank God for web ads and the NYT, I got to read it for free. But someone is actually paying for it. Almost nothing is actually "FREE" on the Internet. There are usually some strings attached somewhere.

« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2013, 20:50 »
0
Excellent and interesting response UP. Take a heart for your trouble. I insist!

« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2013, 20:55 »
0
Good article. Thank God for web ads and the NYT, I got to read it for free. But someone is actually paying for it. Almost nothing is actually "FREE" on the Internet. There are usually some strings attached somewhere.

Just for the record: I did pay (via a subscription) to read the article. I value good writing, which the NYT has in spades, and am willing to support it.

Glad many of you found it interesting too.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 21:34 by marthamarks »

« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2013, 21:12 »
0
our delivered NYT is my morning starter - always articles i'd never find from RSS or feeds

today had an incredible 3 full page article on the forgery of Chinese art


« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2013, 21:16 »
0
Interesting article.

It has always been tough to have a profession that is so 'fun' that people are willing to do it for free.  Sports, photography, writing, music.. these are all things people do in their spare time as hobbies.  It's not too surprising you'll find people willing to do these things for free.  When you finally get tired of doing it for free, it's pretty hard to convince everyone they should pay - especially when they are tons of other people still eagerly and happily doing it for free.

indeed but in our case, photographers, lets say musicians/writers as well we all need to start somewhere so we do some work for free believing it will turn into something after, yes it might never happen but if it is taking too long perhaps it is better to move on and let other do the job for free until they fell sick of it as well

summing up we need to try/be relevant and show that our work will make a difference and that an extra expense will be more rewarding for them in the future than having a dude here and there without knowing what will happen next, so free for a short period of time is almost impossible to run away from these days (I see it as part of the process) unless you have a bunch of very good influential friends or insanely lucky to find a person willing to pay you as you deserve from scratch instead of a beer or two!


 

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