Sunday, March 22, 2009

Buzz buzz

There's going to be a whole lot of young ladies out there with glowing skin that's not coming from the facial cleanser if you know what I mean. (Hint: it vibrates).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Print vs Online

For the past three years I have been a freelance journalist. My freelancing life began when I secured a weekly feature in the Sydney Morning Herald called Table for Eight. It was a fluffy affair tracking a group of singles who met at a Sydney bar for drinks and some speed dating. The Herald paid me $500 a week to write the feature and so I did not argue. To supplement my income I wrote articles for various sections of the Herald and for some of the women’s glossies. I also presented an online series for Fairfax Digital Productions that featured on the SMH and The Age websites. It was when I began this endeavour that I discovered the resistance within the ranks of traditional media to online.

I asked the editor of my section on numerous occasions for a reference to my show at the end of my articles. My requests were met with silence. When I spoke with deputy editors or subeditors of the section, they were not even aware the company was producing online video content. It was clear they rarely looked at the company’s online offerings.

With two years of writing the feature under my belt, I was something of an established writer, or so I thought. When the feature was scrapped due to a lack of advertising support in the section, I was unable to find an immediate replacement. I spent some time working in public relations and I looked at opportunities to write for online publications. It was clear to me then as it is now that newspapers face an uncertain future while online is only going to grow and grow. Journalists need to familiarise themselves with online or they too will face extinction.

I started to write a blog for Yahoo which was and still is unpaid and when other websites came calling I was shocked to discover they also expected unpaid content or were willing to offer a tiny percentage of the sixty cents per word I had come to expect. (I recently met with a Fox Digital Media website and was offered $85 per 500 to 800 word article.)

This is all very interesting when you consider the comments made by Peter Cox in an article at Cox compares the Roy Morgan Research methodology of measuring newspaper readers – they “show respondents a card listing the titles of papers and to ask which of them they ‘read or looked into over a period’.” As Cox points out, “This does not detail how many pages were viewed or sections read… Newspaper measurement seems archaic compared to the Internet, which can measure unique browsers, pages viewed, duration and click throughs.” So while newspapers are willing to pay substantially for content they have no way of tracking readership for, in the online sphere where they know for sure, you’re lucky to get paid at all.

Cox also makes the point of how many newspaper pages go to waste when people toss unwanted sections. He tallies the sections he turfs and comes up with 172 pages. I’ve long held the belief that the lift-outs should be optional since I turf sport, business, employment, Domain, travel and the TV guides every weekend. Maybe that’s a way to cut costs instead of cutting journos because despite the fact that I see newspapers as having an uncertain future, at least six to eight hours of my weekend involves reading them. This is both a pleasure and a chore I don’t wish to forgo and I’m sure I am far from alone. So the industry needs to find a way to meet the needs of both online and print audiences and as they do, hopefully the imbalance of content remuneration will correct itself.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Getting some reciprocation between the sheets

There are some things you should never bring into the bedroom. Like children, strangers or portraits of your self. And you know what, I think power tools should stay in the shed where they belong also. Using a reciprocating saw as a sex toy really is a no-no.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Watch Episode 3 of That's Why You're Single here:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Check out my new website

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eat your heart out Lars

Some things should be kept private. Like fondling a blow up doll..

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Front page news

Big thanks to Media Watch for this pearler.

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