Exploiting the Knowledge Economy

The issue of Freelance exploitation is something that is a rather passionate topic for me personally, as I have experienced it in one way or another myself.

The main issue with freelance work, more-so freelance writing, is as stated by Lobato and Thomas I would say is that there are no formal protections. Compared to a ‘secure’ job with a company, where you have constant income and protections that aid you such as work cover or even minimum wages, you don’t have this when working for institutions that are based on the content farm philosophy.

As people are able to charge what they want for this type of content, it brings to question many ethical issues, however there is not enough room to talk about this here.

I feel the main issue with this system is that there is always going to be the manpower to do this work for content farms, and this competition may in fact create even lesser value monetarily. Pushing this most I feel is the concept of experience, and idea that ‘that you can’t have too much’, and ‘you never have enough’.

This stigma means that these people are going to go through being paid below minimum wage, in the hopes that it will lead to a more lustrous career in the industry. The model however, does not take into account that writing low value (quality wise) articles for companies that farm your content doesn’t really go the places that it is expected to lead.

It is hard to think of a way around this industry practice, as there is nothing governing what is right and wrong. Ethically this type of practice is not ideal, but for most organisations in this situation the ethics do not make a difference to the outcome. As an individual I don’t think there will be much that can be done, or if something can be done it won’t very influential. I think that as a group change could be made, but it is still going to be a long road from where we have come to at this moment in history before we can bring journalism back to what it once was.

4th Industrial Revolution

Primarily I felt Klaus Schwag’s work on the 4th industrial revolution to be focused on the idea of preparation. It provides scenarios whereby it seems all industry is heading, and glosses over the implications that this has on various aspects of how we will perceive life in the future.

The most resonating part of Schwag’s work for me was actually in the beginning paragraphs. Whilst many have heard of the concept of the ‘internet of things’, there isn’t really much on it to set it apart from the rest. The notion that I got from this, which I feel to be one of the most important when looking at business, especially as a communication professional, is that you can no longer have a set, solid business structure. Everything from social media, to technology and innovations are moving so fast at this point that to slow down and have ‘concrete’ plans is not effective, you have to be flexible and be able to adapt to the constant changes that are happening.

To bring this idea back down to earth and apply it to more ‘straightforward’ industries, I have noticed personally with my interactions in industries such as the building and construction industry, that gone are the days whereby the idea of locality and a personal connection through word of mouth are major contributing factors to economic wellbeing. I have been involved in these industries since childhood, and I have noticed as time passed how it has moved from a more personal industry, to a disconnected one. More value is put on the word of those whom will remain unknown and the branding of a company than the idea of personal referrals and reputation.

Whilst Schwag’s work covers so much more than is written here, I feel this idea for me is the most important. As a business minded individual and media professional this is going to be one of the most critical things to be fully aware of in the coming years as the world continues to grow in areas unheard of before. Without this specific experience and knowledge, there may not be a place for you in certain industries right now, let alone many more in the future.

The continuation of a story

So as many of you may know, 50 shades of grey is the best selling book series by E.L. James. What some of you may no know (doubtful because its so prolific) is that they have made a movie about it, somehow…

This, I feel emphasises the idea that current stories are ‘never ending’. It shows how the form of a book, with all of their constraints as Adrian puts it can evolve into a film, extending the story even further. So have a look at the new trailer below, she seems like a bit of a saucy film, but who doesn’t want a bit of sauce with their pie at the footy?

Beginnings, middles and ends.

So, stories have beginnings, middles and ends, apparently the Internet does not, but, how do we really know?

Personally, I believe that we can actually conceptualise the internet into a story with a ‘beginning, middle and end’. Could we not say that the beginning of the ‘story’ of the internet is the actual creation of it for military purposes? What if the reason there is no visible ‘end’ to the story of the internet is because we are in the middle? Maybe the end of the story that is the internet, is the actual demise of the internet, and the reason why we see it as not having an end is because the story, in terms of history, has just begun, and there is a long way to go?

I think I just confused myself and anyone who reads this, but in all seriousness, what if…..

(see what I did there?)