“an extra dollar for fact-checking”

The latest Wired magazine has an interesting article on Demand Media. If you’ve ever used sites such as eHow then you may have encountered Demand Media without even realizing it.

Demand Media generates web content – a lot of it. It appears that they have an algorithm that analyzes popular web search terms, advertisement rates and their competition – and spits out ideas for content. The example output shown in the article is “how to make butterflies for cake decorating”. That’s after two proof readers have munged the set of terms from the original output into a sentence. (I don’t know if this example is contrived or real, but it does lead to a real article.)

Once they have a topic, they use freelancers to create articles and/or video tutorials. They pay as much as $20 per clip to the filmmakers, whereas the title proofers get 8 cents per headline.

These folks are pumping out enormous amounts of content. The article says that by next summer they will be publishing 1 million items a month. They already have 170,000 videos on YouTube.

Anyway, the article is an interesting read. I’ll close with a quote:

“We’re not talking about $1,000 videos, so a couple dollars here or there can make a serious difference. For instance, pay an extra dollar for fact-checking.”

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