Bustle’s freelance rates begin at the low, low price of $0
When Bleacher Report co-founder Bryan Goldberg announced the launch of Bustle, his $6.5 million “feminist” website for women, one corner of the vast and sweeping backlash to his announcement centered on how much of Goldberg’s multi-million dollar payday would actually trickle down to the women writing the site. In one widely-circulated job posting published last month, Goldberg offered to pay Bustle freelancers $100 a day for half a dozen pieces of content.
Low wages are not rare in online publishing, but Goldberg pledged to set his site apart by offering a pittance, at least. “At Bustle, we thoroughly recruit and review prospective writers, and we pay them,” he wrote on PandoDaily. "It’s very hard to pay writers a full-time salary with benefits these days,” he acknowledged to Forbes in April. But “there’s a lot of room between paying someone $100,000 and benefits and paying them nothing.”
When one writer contacted Bustle asking about their freelance rates late last month, she was told that her contributions to the site would, in fact, pay nothing. A contract news writer tasked with writing 8 to 10 200-300 word breaking stories each day would be paid a $100 daily rate ($10-$12.50 per piece), she was told. A contract opinion writer could earn $100 for 4-5 “well researched and more developed longer pieces” published in one day ($20-$25 per piece). But the typical Bustle freelancer stood to earn $0:
We are open to freelance pitches, though at this moment, we’re unable to offer compensation. We definitely hope to in the near future, however, so please do stay in touch. In the meantime, we’re happy to accept submissions or pitch ideas.
You can find out how much your work is worth at this moment at email@example.com.
3:43 pm • 15 August 2013
I want to raise $6.5 million to build and grow my new company: TheBoostle.com
Publishers have completely lost sight of which dimension their readers are not-living in. This is a territory where spirits are doomed to roam without purpose, yearning for a divine closure they will never, ever find. They have nothing but time on their (formless) hands. And, in many cities, they out-number their living counterparts! But magazines like UsWeekly talk to ghosts as though they were children, and they fail to connect popular culture with any form of social commentary about what it’s like to spend eternity trapped in a necromantic feverscape.
Invest in your lifeless future with TheBoostle.com
2:08 am • 15 August 2013
“Where is the Gawker for women? The ESPN for women? The Awl for women? The Slate for women? The Onion for women? Perhaps when Google finally launches a search engine for women, we will be capable of locating the websites targeted at us, so that advertisers may sell us things. For now, we will read Bustle.”
— Man Creates First Website For Women
2:25 pm • 14 August 2013
The Book of Jezebel - seen above in BLAD form, which is to say, a 300-page book abridged into an 8-page sample for booksellers - is done. It is not only done, but is currently in the hands of a printer somewhere in Massachusetts, where the hundreds of digital files we’ve written, edited, illustrated, designed, fact-checked, copyedited and tweaked will be converted into a bound book available for sale on October 22, 2013. (Pre-order it here.)
I wrote part of this and soon it will be a real girl!
2:11 pm • 8 August 2013
“Imagine that a woman meets a man she likes very much. If she texts him first, and he likes her back, they’ll see each other again! But if she texts him first, and he doesn’t like her, she risks personal and social embarrassment for shooting off that unreturned “heyyy.” So she doesn’t text him, and instead she waits until he texts her (at his own personal risk), and they go out again! Or she doesn’t text him, and he doesn’t text her, and they never figure out if they hated each other or if they were both just bluffing. They die alone, separately.”
— After a date, who texts first? The central dating dilemma of our time.
1:04 pm • 26 July 2013
"When Danielle takes a seat at the table, she wrestles with two objects—book and vibrator—that have been wielded as tools of both female oppression and liberation. Then the video camera clicks on, and Danielle becomes an object of our gaze, too. In Still Life With Woodpecker, the person-as-object changes in nature based on who’s watching. Take the color of a person’s hair. The princess is a redhead. The Woodpecker is a redhead. Danielle is a redhead. Tom Robbins is a redhead. I’m a redhead, too. ‘Red hair is caused by sugar and lust,’ a statuesque blonde woman tells the princess in the book. ‘Highly evolved beings do not indulge in sugar and lust.” Is lust the natural enemy of human advancement? Or is it that, in a culture that has systematically oppressed the sexuality of women, there’s something evolved about accepting the human object as it really is?”
— I wrote about porn, feminism, and redheads for Clayton Cubitt’s Hysterical Literature series.
7:17 pm • 15 July 2013
In 2-Headed Shark Attack, “Carmen Electra is a doctor,” Horton tells me with a mix of glee and disdain. The question is: For the love of God, why?
“The short answer is: We don’t know,” says David Michael Latt, the Asylum’s co-founder and head of physical production, who pushes as many as 25 films into production each year. “It’s not like we said, ‘There aren’t enough crappy B-level movies out there, so we must corner that market!’ We don’t really know the consumer. The consumer is too big and too fractionalized. All we know is we’re making a film for Netflix, and they tell us what they want.”
— Inside The Asylum, a modern B Movie house that churns out low-budget shlock based on streaming search terms.
9:41 am • 11 July 2013
“I take a paycheck every other week. That’s all I do. I could give a shit what comes. I do my job. I have a contract. That’s where I stand. I don’t give a fuck. I don’t care. That’s not my job. My job is to show up and be cute by 11 o’clock and get the fuck off that show by 12. And that’s what I try to do.”
— Whoopi Goldberg on speculation about her future co-hosts on The View.
5:42 pm • 10 July 2013
"Research shows a typical A-cup boob weighs in at 0.43 of a pound. Every additional cup size adds another 0.44 of a pound. That means a hurdler with a double-D chest carries more than 4 pounds of additional weight with her on every leap. And when they get moving, the nipples on a C- or D-cup breast can accelerate up to 45 mph in one second — faster than a Ferrari. In an hour of moderate jogging, a pair of breasts will bounce several thousand times. For the modern athlete, the question isn’t whether breasts get in the way — it’s a question of how to compete around them.”
— “You Can Only Hope to Contain Them,” ESPN The Magazine
2:02 pm • 10 July 2013
“Eliot Spitzer may have the social positioning and the personal wealth to earn his way back into public office (incidentally, that’s how he acquired his prostitution problem to begin with). But the women left in the wake of these scandals often lack the resources and established public presence to rise above the scandal. It threatens to define them forever.”
— So we’re ready to forgive Eliot Spitzer. But what happens to Ashley Dupre?
2:13 pm • 8 July 2013
“In the Coast Guard, a rapist is “clumsy or stupid”; a rape victim is “not able to fully accommodate to the stresses and frustrations of ordinary service life.” The result is that a rapist is excused for making a mistake, while a victim is sidelined with a career-ending mental disorder. Or as Bertzikis puts it: “I was told I was having problems adjusting to being raped.””
— In the Coast Guard, sexual assault reports get washed away.
3:00 pm • 2 July 2013