TechCrunch writer Colleen Taylor reported yesterday that Scripted, a company which pairs freelance writers with companies looking for written content, has raised funding in the area of $4.5 million. That’s not the kind of news I would normally cover, but I was struck by the following interview with Scripted CEO Sunil Rajamaran:
Many of the writers on Scripted’s platform aren’t actually professional journalists, Rajamaran said. Often, they’re people with day jobs in other fields who are passionate about sharing their expertise on either their professional vocations or their hobbies. “We had an audio hardware company looking for content, and the guy we matched him to has a day job of working as an engineer at Pixar,” he said. “We’re not a journalism company; we don’t pay professional journalist rates. We’re selling to businesses, and what businesses need are subject matter experts.”
Which means that the majority of Scripted’s reported 80,000 writers are most likely people looking to add to existing incomes rather than use writing as a full-time means of support. And there’s nothing wrong with that — but it is one of the reasons that full-time writers are having trouble making ends meet.
(And, as somebody who started her tech journalism career basically rewriting articles written by computer engineers who were experts in their field, but who couldn’t put two coherent English sentences together if their lives depended on it, I can’t help being just a bit doubtful about the quality of at least some of the content produced by these enthusiasts. But that’s being cynical..)