It's amazing how much money there is out there for poor, underemployed bloggers. No, I'm not talking about advertising space, syndication or any sort of aspirations of journalism. I'm speaking of a peculiar form of "corporate sponsorship" that seems to be popping up lately.
The most recent example doesn't involve actually blogging, but editing Wikipedia. Imagine, getting paid to post your edits to a certain web page! That's exactly the offer allegedly made to software engineer Rick Jelliffe by none other than Microsoft. Jelliffe claims that he was offered a contract by Microsoft to edit entries regarding Microsofts OOXML vs. the competing ODF format. They wanted the entries to reflect "more balance".
Another example of how to profit from that time spent in front of the computer comes from bloggers Jim and Laura, on their blog Wal-Marting Across America. This couple travelled the country in an RV, stopping along the way to visit their favorite megastore, chat with employees and, presumably, shop.
Of course, this totally spontaneous trip needed to be funded somehow, so, out of the goodness of its great, loving corporate heart, Wal-Mart bought the couple an RV, planned their itinerary for them, and even paid them just for posting blog entries.
And who says that the Wal-Mart corporation is a huge, heartless robber baron that will do anything for a buck and has no ethics or honesty?
Well...a lot of people, apparently. When BusinessWeek.com exposed the real story behind the blog, it was regarded as something of a PR setback.
I always thought that if I were going to be writing for a living, I had the choice of being either a journalist or a novelist. It looks like there are new options opening every day.
I wonder if Exxon is hiring?