Saturday, May 8, 2010
Web Writing and Business Ethics
Apparently, a lot of people consider it fine to have no ethics and to consider anything that makes them money to be ok simply because it makes them money. I'm hearing this sentiment a lot more lately, and it's kind of disturbing. I'm actually doing pretty well now in PR, Web writing and my niche sites. But, I don't consider bending my ethics as a way to get there. I don't care how fashionable it is to leave ethics behind, I never will.
I'm doing a major business revamp at the end of this month (which I'll get into soon), but I'm not leaving my standards behind. Here's a few things that stick in my mind:
If you ghostwrite, don't, as Wil Wheaton says, be a dick. Don't broadcast that you've ghostwritten someone's work if they haven't given you permission to do so. I see that sometimes and I just find it disturbing. If you sell the rights, then you sell the rights. No one needs to be outed as having outsourced the work that they put their names on.
Don't write people's schoolwork. I don't care how much it pays- don't do it. Seriously. I keep hearing Web writers go on about how convenient it is to write papers for college students through one of those "academic papers" websites. It's unethical, it's sleazy, don't do it.
I won't write about scams. I don't care what you want to pay, I don't care how super special you think your scam is (believe me, some of these people are hyperdelusional), I'm not going to help anyone scam anyone else. Your "diet supplements" and "male enhancements" are crap, and no one wants to sell your timeshares or seminars. Sorry to burst your bubble.
Pay people that you outsource to. For God's sake, don't ever make a writer beg for their pay. I've outsourced twice and likely won't ever do it again, but I paid on time and paid extra to offset the PayPal fees. Every week I hear about Web writers who have outsourced and then can't or won't pay the writer. If you do that, you suck. There's no way around it.
Oh, and if your business is run in an unethical manner and may have happened to fold today, you might regret having told me that "anyone off the street could do your job" when my job was highly skilled, hyper-tense technical writing. You might wonder why your business folded. It folded because you are idiots. You didn't recognize the few talented people that you had and instead rewarded very unintelligent people with over-paid positions that did nothing for the company. I'm glad that I bailed, and I'm glad that you're gone.
And lastly, check out this drumming:
Seriously. The hotness of Sting often obscures the talent of the other two, but that drumming is phenomenal.