ex Google Answers folks educate Yahoo folks on the concept of a mortgage payment

As you guys know I’m a big fan of people getting paid for work (crazy I know!).

I’m a *really* big fan of people working from home getting paid for doing work that they enjoy and have passion for. I just love the freedom that comes from freelancers putting their skills to work in a freelance relationship with a publisher. It keeps things balanced when either party–freelancer and publisher–can walk away at any time. The freelancer is free to get a better price, and the publisher is free to change the relationship in reaction to the marketplace.

We did this at Weblogs, Inc. and at Netscape, and I of course did it at the print magazines I ran back in the day. It worked like a charm. We started at $2 a post and shot up to $10+ in three short years. Folks started at $250 a month and rocketed to $2,500 or more. That was for part time work of course–none of our folks worked for just us.

You might have heard that Google shut down the excellent Google Answers last week. The folks at Yahoo Answers started a Yahoo group called exGAR to poach the talent.

Now, there is a tiny little issue: Yahoo Answers doesn’t pay people for work and Google Answers did. Yahoo Answers product can’t touch the level of professionalism on Google Answers, where people got paid, but Yahoo Answers gets a lot more page views because anyone can respond. Yahoo Answers expects people to work for free and get the reward of helping people–which is fine. Both model can exist side-by-side.

However, Web 2.0 folks have to understand that a lot of us (this blogger included) make their living from writing and research. Sure, you can make a free version, but you can’t expect the professionals/paid folks to give up their careers to live in your Web 2.0 hippie commune.

I found this one response on the list worth reprinting here (I added the bold to the most important section):

  • There isn’t much I can add to what Byrd has already said. I mean, very nearly word for word – except that where she was between jobs, I was jumping back into the paid workforce after 12 years out of it to raise my sons.

    Google Answers provided me with a TREMENDOUS opportunity to put my education and skills to work, and offered me the flexibility to earn a decent wage without compromising my commitment to my sons *and* do things to sharpen my own skills.

    The money I earned bought cello lessons for the eldest, paid emergency car repair and veterinary care bills and paid for several really nice family vacations. We hadn’t been on a family vacation in *ten years*, until I signed on with GA. Better still, we were finally able to save up money for a downpayment and moving expenses, and we bought a house. We could not have done that without my GA gig.

    I, too, am utterly flabbergasted that you folks out in Sunnyvale would suggest that we could be satisfied with giving our hard work away. I find something suspect with the appeals to altruism. How do you pay *your* mortgage?

    I’m glad to answer the occasional freebie question to help out someone who is well and truly in a bind, but at the end of the day, I worked very hard to acquire my skills and keep them sharp. They are valuable, and people who wish to avail themselves of them in a serious fashion will need to compensate me appropriately. I’ve got a house and children to throw money at, after all.

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The money I earned bought cello lessons for the eldest, paid emergency car repair and veterinary care bills and paid for several really nice family vacations. We hadn’t been on a family vacation in *ten years*, until I signed on with GA. Better still, we were finally able to save up money for a downpayment and moving expenses, and we bought a house. We could not have done that without my GA gig.

I, too, am utterly flabbergasted that you folks out in Sunnyvale would suggest that we could be satisfied with giving our hard work away. I find something suspect with the appeals to altruism. How do you pay *your* mortgage?

I’m glad to answer the occasional freebie question to help out someone who is well and truly in a bind, but at the end of the day, I worked very hard to acquire my skills and keep them sharp. They are valuable, and people who wish to avail themselves of them in a serious fashion will need to compensate me appropriately. I’ve got a house and children to throw money at, after all.


Missy

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Messages in this topic : <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exGAR/message/62;_ylcu003dX3oDMTMxMWwwanQyBF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE5MTY4NTcyBGdycHNwSWQDMTcwNTY1Mzg1NARtc2dJZAM3NQRzZWMDZnRyBHNsawN2dHBjBHN0aW1lAzExNjUwMzEwNjEEdHBjSWQDNjI-> (6)
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