Life on the Content Farm

ehow072210.bmp The PBS MediaShift blog has an interesting story about writing for “Content Farms” like Demand Media and AOL’s Seed.

Corbin Hiar spoke to a number of contributors to the site, who all wanted to remain anonymous. The reason why is because most did not have kind things to say about the sites. Take the anecdote presented by one contributor to Demand media:

The articles she wrote — all of which were selected from an algorithmically generated list — included How to Wear a Sweater Vest” and How to Massage a Dog That Is Emotionally Stressed,” even though she would never willingly don a sweater vest and has never owned a dog.

“I was completely aware that I was writing crap,” she said. “I was like, ‘I hope to God people don’t read my advice on how to make gin at home because they’ll probably poison themselves.’

“Never trust anything you read on eHow.com,” she said, referring to one of Demand Media’s high-traffic websites, on which most of her clips appeared.

Yikes.

Read the whole thing, it is a fascinating look at one of journalism’s new faces… for better or worse..