The $7/Hr Outsourcer Speaks

Yesterday we posted about a weird job ad that requested expats living in a cheap country to work for cheap. We wrote to the e-mail address listed to see if we could get more information—is this really where online writing is heading, we wondered?

We got a little bit more back than we thought, and decided the response deserved its own post, so read what Randy Lindner, president of tourism guide Rockies.com, had to say about his $7/hour writing gig. Hint, they received a pretty amazing response in just one day:

Thank you for dropping us a line. My name is Randy Lindner, president of Rockies.com.

Weird listing, eh? Not really. Makes all of the sense and it is the future of journalism.

Expats with all specialties live in all parts of the world. And, expats need to make a living. Working for $7 an hour doing something you love is better than teaching English for the same or less. We find a ton of qualified people who can write, edit, use Skype to get quotes. ALL of our expats report and work under local editors and journalists.

We like to use expats because we can find unlimited and inexpensive talent that reduces overhead and improves quality. We can find ex editors from major newspapers who want to live abroad who have no other means to do so. Good deal for the expat. Good deal for us.

If what we are doing is so insulting, then what about Reuters who hires Indians from India who do not have half the skills of a qualified Westerner who lives abroad?

Technology has given journalists a chance to live abroad and prosper. That’s a good thing. If someone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to work for us.
-30-

And yes, he actually ended his e-mail with -30-. He sent another mail about 10 minutes later:

To answer your question regarding if we expect the writers to work off hours, yes and no.

Many editing functions can be done on loose deadlines. But many expats are looking for graveyard hours because they have other responsibilities. Again, if someone can’t do it, then the job is not for them.

And tons of writers love a job that pays in USD, pays via Paypal while having a boss that is thousands of miles away. They just have to have internet access.

I’ve had 41 inquires in one day. And we read all of them. Today, we hired a video editor just because we liked her work. She wins. We win.

How do you feel about this argument? Clearly there’s a market for it—41 inquiries in a day, for a job in which there is not a very big applicant pool, is pretty good. On the other hand, freelancers in Oklahoma don’t get told by their New York clients “we’ll pay you less because your expenses are less.” In fact, your expenses should have nothing to do with your pay: you can’t ask for a raise because your expenses are higher, right?

What are your thoughts?