|This is me, happy.|
It's not a job. It's experimental entrepreneurship.
Examiner.com is a nationwide implementation of the "virtual beat" concept. Apparently several of us in the communications industry had the bright idea several years ago that the new, easy-to-use technology of the online world meant that journalism could branch out. What if, for instance, people were given their own little content niche to nurture and cherish with stories, links and photos? They'd be online content managers with virtual beats centered on a specific niche content. Almost like a fast food franchise, except with lower overhead.
Some giant news organizations went ahead with that concept and are now setting up local news niches across the country. I've got my little history beat and will get a share of site revenue and will get a modest "bounty" for every article that's exactly on the target examiner.com has set for me.
Other giant news organizations did not see any sense in the concept.
Guess which type of giant news organization I USED to work for?
The irony doesn't stop there. One of the things examiner.com tells you when you sign up is, in effect, don't expect to get rich from this but if you like it as a hobby that brings in some change, it's OK, and even better if you want exposure to promote yourself and your other moneymaking endeavors. (Like writing historical fiction, for instance.) That's what I used to tell people who were interested in signing up as stringers -- independent writing contractors -- for my Former Employer, which was a small bump on the overfed belly of News Corp.
My Former Employer is about to charge for online access. A lot of Web site users are loudly balking and saying there's other sources for local news.
Maybe not as many as they think, but so long as examiner.com is happy with a very expansive definition of the "Allentown" demographic, the history news in the Pocono area is covered like a blanket.
Two organizations going in two different directions. I feel like I'm with the right one.
Did I mention examiner.com will pay me a bounty to provide them with successful candidates for other virtual beats in this part of the world? Anyone with a police scanner and a camera could report on breaking news.... Any takers? Give a holler.