Friday, January 14, 2011

The Weakonomy: Write For Free--THEN Prove Your Worth

Here's a great business model for upstart publications. Launch them Internet-only and then lure aspiring writers to fill the content under the illusion that perhaps one day they'll get paid. We've been seeing more and more of these "internship" opportunities popping up on Craigslist and other job sites.

Kids...if you want to intern at a publication, try the New York Times, or The New Yorker, or Bloomberg News. Every other publisher...stop trying to get free labor out of people by pretending you have so much priceless wisdom to impart. Pay up!

Our latest culprit: Nabe Wise, at They want you to submit THREE pieces to their new Hamptons Web site venture BEFORE they even agree to take you on as an unpaid intern! Now that's taking it to the next level. We've got their slogan: Nabe Wise. Thinking outside the predatory entrepreneur box.

On the other hand, if you're Charlie Brown, convinced that Lucy will eventually not pull the football away before you kick it, here's the ad on Craigslist. Now go get me my coffee!
We're dicks. Read the January 15 blog post regarding this item.


  1. Interns are paid at NabeWise!

  2. Hi, I'm the CEO of NabeWise,
    Thank you for calling my attention to this issue.

    I changed the ad, so that people can email us their reviews if they prefer. We really do select our team based on how they capture neighborhoods through writing.

    This also allows us to screen for people who are serious, over people who just spam their resumes out to every job.

    We've worked hard to build a program at NabeWise where people learn a lot -and interns are more likely to have me fetch them coffee, than the reverse. :-)

    Hopefully this change alleviates your concern.



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