Feb 8, 2011

My Brief Career Writing Online "Content"

Several weeks ago, I signed up to write that dreaded stuff called online content, for Aidem Dnamed (spelled backwards, you can figure this out). Or you could just move a couple of letters around and call it "Damned Media." I thought oh, what the heck, it's easy money. I can use a pseudonym to avoid the shame.

First, I set up an account and then they sent me their list of "titles" for me to claim, so that I could then write how-to articles based on the titles. These are computer-generated strings of gibberish based on searches, mostly technical. I scoured the arts and literature lists, which were empty. I looked up food, pets, family life, anything nontechnical, so that I could claim a title. Nothing. I found nothing. And then I came to my senses and had them delete my account.

But I do want to share with you, dear readers, some titles that captured my imagination, with brief answers that I made up. Yes, these are real computer-generated titles. But just for fun, I prefer to think that these particular ones were composed by a stoned beat poet, or perhaps Jimmy Webb in his MacArthur Park phase.

How Make a Stone Crock

Easy peasy. Enroll in a pottery class and they'll give you some nice clay and you can make one on a potter's wheel. Or--I could lend you mine!

How to Make a Wine Glass out of Wine Charms

Hmm. This is a tough one. This would imply that you are trapped in a room with wine and wine charms, and no receptacles. Let's think outside the box. Put the wine charms on your fingers. Drink the wine out of the bottle. I hope it's a screwtop!

How To Dress a Horse in a Renaissance Costume

Rent a horse trailer. Go to a Renaissance Faire, as they like to spell them. Lure a horse already dressed in a Renaissance costume into your trailer. That way you get out of having to put the massive, sweaty creature in the costume yourself. Choose the smallest, gentlest horse you can find. Don't stand close behind it. Good luck!


Domestic Goddess said...

HAHAHA!!! That's pretty darn awesome, I must say.

Anonymous said...

They would pay you to write something about that? - Lamar

Lauren D. McKinney said...

Actually, those would be "bad titles." You were supposed to report every "bad title." But I would have spent most of my time reporting these titles, for which one doesn't get paid.

Lilian said...

Wow... I can't believe you did that. What *I* did was to try to teach online for the University of Phoenix. the "AWFULEST" thing I've ever dont in my life. yikes!

Lauren D. McKinney said...

Yes, Lilian. But it was very low investment on my part . . . not like teaching at the University of Phoenix, where they make you train for four weeks without pay! Gasp. So how far did you get, Lilian?
It distresses me what "teaching" and "writing" can mean these days, and how debased they have become.

Carpe Diem said...

Hehe! I particularly enjoyed envisioning the wine glass from wine charms... It's amazing what employment scams await writers these days!

Kim Hosey said...

Ha; nice! Those were real titles? Weird.

I've thought about doing this before. And then I remembered: I'm a real writer. (Too bad most paying publications don't remember that.)