Friday, December 25, 2009

Where Bad Writing Goes To Die

Here's how my online article editing job works in terms of article selection.

After I log in, I pull up my queue which contains ten titles ready for editing. I can select any one of the ten. Once I pick one, I can do one of three things with it: edit/approve/submit it, edit it and submit it to the writer for a rewrite (this generally seeks clarification), or save it back to the hold area of my queue. If I choose the latter, I have 24 hours to edit it.

If, however, I don't return to that article within 24 hours, it will go back into general circulation for another editor to select.

It is reasonable to conclude that many editors use this option to avoid working on articles that are so badly written, they can't bear the thought of spending an inordinate amount of time to salvage them. After all, we're paid per article, so working on articles of this nature cuts deeply into our hourly pay.

I exercised this option today with an article about online banking. The introduction contained these nuggets:

"Traditional banking and all it alludes is slowly becoming a thing of the past." And: "Online banking gives you access to self serving features."

That was more than enough for me to send the article post haste to the Death Pool. I would imagine that there are some articles out there that don't see the light of day for quite a while, as one editor after another throws them into the dark abyss.