Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Content Marketing - The rise of racism online

The Internets big players all use the English language as default, it is the language of the internet and whilst many would argue there are others you cannot deny that if you don't write well in English then your work is doomed.



When you consider the global population it seems surprising that so much of the internet is dominated by English language sites and US and UK based content marketers can command the highest fees. Whilst there is an argument that exists around education standards being higher in western countries it is not always the case. Many webmasters and bloggers won't entertain any non UK or US based writers to do any paid work for them, whilst most countries these websites are hosted in have discrimination laws it amazes me how much casual racism goes on. Online job adverts are the last bastion of freedom to discriminate, allowing people to advertise for all different types of people, regardless of their ability to actually do the job somehow their country of residence or place of birth is a valid tool to exclude their application.

No one would argue that the distasteful way minorities were treated by both the US and UK until protected by law was a good way of operating. Signs in shop windows advertising jobs with the addendum of NO BLACKS ALLOWED were an all too common site. Having eradicated this problem it seems that deep entrenched racist view is quick to manifest itself when given the opportunity.

Pitching problems

If English is not your first language then you should always seek to improve your written ability. This can be done by engaging in social media discussions or perhaps just taking the time to ask for feedback from western bloggers.

If you are still struggling and finding a lot of your pitches are rejected why not use a western based editor to help with your work. This may mean your fee is reduced but after some experience you will find the need for an editor will reduce.

Having worked with a number of analysts and project managers from India in the financial sector the quality of work is never an issue, but there would always be some complaints about report writing or written communication being difficult to understand. This would often be considered a failing in their knowledge when in fact it was not the subject that caused them issue it was simply their ability to communicate that in a foreign language.

Payment Problems

Paypal is the mechanism of choice for most paid blogging sites, so living in a country with paypal restrictions render your opportunities useless. Due to the competitive nature of online writing why would any would be employer go to the effort of paying by other means when they have a queue behind you of people willing to accept paypal payments?

Exchange rates are another issue, often paypal offers some of the worst rates of exchange and this can mean over the course of a month that you are singificantly penalised compared to western bloggers. This exchange rate is yet another mechanism for the middle man to take a larger cut.

Accessing finance for any start up project you may have can prove difficult with credit card issuing and other bank lending not as accessible as the US and UK. These barriers to entry make starting up a new innovative tech company hugely complex.

There is no easy solution to this problem, as with many things online a few bad eggs have ruined the party for everyone. Scammers, spammers and criminals have given many countries a bad image that has resulted in restrictions of payment services offered to any would be paid blogger. Should these countries develop and grow more robust financial systems that protect against such fraud, prosecute and seek to eliminate these scams then they would surely be a boom in growth, unfortunately that is a long process so for today's generation you face a marketplace that is tougher than your western counterparts.

I am not advocating that webmasters should begin to accept poorer quality work just to appease those that would call racism, however I think that often there are judgements made not based on fact but on presumption. I am the first to reject an article that I deem to be poorly written and provide feedback as such, often the writer simply never responds but occasionally you will find someone who takes the time to correct their errors and I would like to think it helps to improve their writing going forward. All I am saying is that we should begin to be a more global and inclusive industry that seeks to help each other, move away from this secret society of black-hat tricks and discrimination.

I'd be interested to hear your views or stories from your own experience.