February 4th, 2009



I was friended this morning by an LJ user named kzhebr. Never heard of 'em, so I didn't immediately friend them back. Instead, I looked around at their journal. New one, only 2 entries, yet LJ-savvy enough to have them both marked as "friends-only." Most significantly, the latest entry tells a tale of extreme depression with their job. It ends with a link to a site that offers to help you find a better job. It is also worth noting that the time stamp on the latest entry is about 7 hours in the future from now, which suggests to me that it may be originating from eastern Europe. I'm mentioning all this particularly because I see where this user has also listed several people from my friends list as their new friends. My advice: stay away! I'd bet this LJ will be disappearing very soon.

About that other blog…

I hope that by now you’ve had a chance to visit my other blog – my “professional” blog if I may call it that. That would be my alternate identity as the Chicago Skepticism Examiner.

Yesterday, I took part in a lengthy conference call with about 20 or so of my fellow novice Examiners. We were given all sorts of information on what the company is looking for from us, what they are doing for us, and what we can do for them and ourselves. As a result of that call, I have to say that there’s going to be a significant shift going forward in how I write for that blog. But I’ll get more into that in a minute.

Let me lay some of this out for you. Examiner.com is in a rapid growth phase right now. They have almost 2,000 Examiners writing for them nationwide, and they expect that number to top 10,000 in the next year or two. This means that it’s something you bloggers should jump on ASAP if you’re interested. In the same breath, I should talk about the pay. I’ve written 5 posts in my first week and as I write this, I’ve made almost three dollars total. Now I expect that rate to increase substantially as I get better at working the system, but even if the number were ten times what it is now, that still isn’t filet mignon money. Hell, that ain’t even Happy Meal money!

But I’m not going to pretend to know the future. We’ll just have to see how lucrative this becomes, though the folks at Examiner.com are very clear about saying that this does not pay a living wage. One very significant stat that came out in the conference call was that 75% of the site’s traffic comes through search engines. Just that one fact tells me a whole lot about what I need to do going forward. I think you can expect my posts to become a bit shorter than they’ve been so far, with careful attention being paid to include really good keywords in my titles.

As I said in my previous post on this topic, I’m not really doing this for the money, but at the same time, it’s clear that I will be judged by the amount of site traffic my posts generate, so it’s going to be an interesting and instructive process going forward, seeing how well I can do that.
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