Working for free for Linden Lab’s blog

Well, let’s start by saying that I’m biased. After much thought and some discussions on Inara Pey‘s blog (these days, my primary source for anything SL-related), I have to conclude that my own opinion is highly emotional and not sustainable rationally. The only “logical” arguments I can find are merely a justification I give to myself to believe that this is not as bad as it sounds. Taking that as my basic assumption, here are some thoughts on the whole idea.

To summarise Linden Lab’s call for help: what they’re doing is giving bloggers an opportunity to submit one of their own articles for publication. The article has to be original — neither a re-publication, nor merely a link to content written elsewhere. Submissions have to be in full (i.e. not “suggestions on topics”) and LL reserves the right to pick the ones they like. Like any editor, they also reserve the right to make changes to the article. You cannot promote yourself blatantly (I suspect that anyone submitting an article about how great their shop or club is will be rejected), but some links on your own bio are acceptable. There is a list of “suggested” topics, allegedly based on some statistics that LL found out to be more interesting to their audience. And, most important of all, Linden Lab will pay absolutely nothing for your work.

Two of these issues grate on most bloggers’ nerves, and a third is often added as well. The first, of course, is the lack of payment. Putting it very simply: if Linden Lab expects people to write copy for them, they ought to pay for their work. Many SL e-zines routinely employ “guest writers”, and regularly pay them per article for their efforts; going rates can be low (compared to “real” articles), but it’s a matter of principle.
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