Thursday, October 29, 2015

You Have Been Wheatoned!

There have been some moments from time to time when I have considered submitting a blog post or two to other publications for consideration. The impetus for these thoughts has always been quite simple… exposure. Because I keep this blog as a hobby and simply enjoy writing the posts, sharing my thoughts, and generally keeping track of life that is all I have really been looking for in the placements. This has always been my motivation with regard to all of my creative endeavors regardless of the genre or medium in which I seek dissemination.

This has always been my choice and when the tables have been turned, the few times that I have been asked for permission to reprint, I have gladly given that permission under a couple of standard contingencies… I retain the copyright and future reprint rights and that the article/blog post is properly cited to reflect the correct name in the byline or, as had been the case recently, the link back to this blog. Nothing groundbreaking or unreasonable. Would it be nice to get paid? Of course it would but, again, this is my hobby not the means by which I support myself and my family.

That is my mentality regarding the writing that I have produced and published in one form or another over the last decade and a half. No surprise, this is not a view that is shared by everyone which what drew me in to reading a blog post by Wil Wheaton, yes that Wil Wheaton, that was shared in my Facebook feed. In the post he writes about a recent encounter with a Huffington Post editor. The basic back and forth can be summarized simply in that Wheaton was contacted by the editor to request permission to republish a recent blog post for no pay but a lot of exposure. As Wheaton points out, it would be one thing if he submitted the article but they reached out to him in this case. Needless to say, he doesn’t need the exposure and declined their offer.

He then took to Twitter and posted a few tweets in quick succession:

The two above were also followed by the following tweet: 

“This advice applies to designers, photographers, programmers, ANYONE who makes something. You. Deserve. Compensation. For. Your. Work.”

This is something that I personally agree with and don’t agree with at the same time. I believe there is a fine balance when your creations are the source of your livelihood. One should get paid for that which they create but there also needs to be a means of advertising your creativity. Sometimes it is well worth forfeiting the nominal pittance that would be offered by a publication such as the Huffington Post in order to showcase your creative skills and gain greater exposure. Of course, I would still push for retaining the copyright along with the contributor byline.

Keep in mind that this applies to a wide variety of publications, situations, formats, genres, and skills. I say all this not ever expecting to have a blog post picked up by the Huffington Post (many of my views and posts don’t play well with the ideologies that are regularly on display on the site) but if I were ever asked I would stick to my usual requirements. In the end, whether you support yourself with your creative endeavors or you pursue them as a hobby, exposure can be more valuable than the pennies that would end up in your pocket if you hold your financial ground.