Wednesday, March 17, 2010

True/Slant: Can you crowdsource music journalism?

Leor Galil reviews AOL’s recent experiment in covering the music portion of massive US festival and conference SXSW: AOL offered 2,000 $50-assignments to create coverage of the event for its music site Spinner. The freelancers were recruited via freelance content site with the aim of covering all 2,000 bands appearing at the festival.

There’s a certain crassness to AOL’s experiment. The very concept places more weight on quantity vs quality, and the setup undermines the very ideals and democratic nature of web publishing and blogging. With blogging, most bloggers pour their blood, sweat, tears, time and love into a little blog that may not get a lot of hits: many see zero monetary gain. It’s a labour of love, and the best content (or most creative, etc) tends to rise to the top and get noticed. And, one hopes, those who are able to create some fantastic content on a consistent basis can begin to establish themselves online and perhaps make some money for their hard work.

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