Or should it be, Holy S%*#, is anyone looking for quality writing these days?
So I’m scouring the job boards, looking for some sort of writing work. Let me rephrase, some sort of meaningful writing work. It almost seems like an entire generation has disappeared, given the kinds of offerings out there.
First off, almost everything is web-based. So by all the metrics someone has studied over the past few years, that means lots of short articles (100-300 words) with catchy headlines and the dreaded SEO keywords, all for the sole purpose of getting some eyes on the page and forcing the visitor to click links which take them to more pages… and the cycle continues. Or, failing that, a long-ass preamble to get to the information you really want.
Here’s a perfect example.
I have a nice collection of cookbooks, but I find myself going online for quick recipes. Here’s one I came across for vegan beef stew. Now, I realize I may not be the target audience, but when I go looking for a recipe, that’s all I want. I don’t need 20 pretty pictures (unless there’s a new cooking technique involved). Nor do I need the writer’s history with or love of said recipe. Nor do I want to scroll and scroll and scroll past all that until I finally get to the actual list of ingredients and instructions.
But all that is designed to keep you on the page for as long as possible. It all seems like a game. All the companies want is to churn out as much as possible as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible, so a lot fewer staff positions with benefits; it’s practically all freelance now.
Here’s an example of a job offering I came across today:
We look for somebody who can relate to the following terms: Mobile – iOS / Android development, Quality assurance, Jenkins, Continuous Integration, Product Management, User Experience, Test automation, Test cases, exploratory testing…
When did all this become part of the vernacular? Have I been out of touch for that long?
This reminds me of scene from the Woody Allen 1969 movie Take the Money and Run, in which he’s asked in a job interview about his ability to use a piece of equipment that’s commonplace these day: