Jason Calacanis on why freelancers are cheaper

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From the newsletter Calacanis now sends out in lieu of blogging:

When we “peeled back the onion” of our editorial spending, it became very clear that our most efficient work force was not the group of editors we had in our office, nor the remote workers we have in Manila (doing data entry type work), but rather the $10-12 an hour “remote guides” we have working from home. These editors cost us, all in, less than half of the folks in our office due to things like overhead, benefits, lunch, and equipment. The workers in Manila are half the cost of our “remote guides,” but they are 1/2 to 1/4 as effective (depending on the task).

Really, I don’t know why every media organization out there doesn’t have a fleet of piece-working, $15-a-post bloggers like, say, WIRED: precisely because so much blogging is, at base, churnalism, or filtering, or aggregating, or whatever you want to call it, it’s simply overkill to pay someone with a j-school degree to do it when an eager part-timer will do just as well. (Not that having a j-school degree disqualifies you.)

This also raises the point that many people would prefer to work at home, or at least come and go as they please. Granted, managing people who work from home requires managers who are completely at ease with IM, twitter, email, skype, remote project management apps like basecamp, work sharing apps like Google Docs, etc. — and when was the last time you met one of those?

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