This letter was forwarded to NO!SPEC.
(Please note: Discussions are open, but inflammatory comments will be deleted)
Open Letter to CL Administration
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2007-09-03, 8:34AM
To all creative professionals; please read this, and if you agree, please forward it in an email to Craigslist administration by sending them a note at this address; http://www.craigslist.org/cgi-bin/emailForm.cgi
I would like to take this time to bring a problem to your attention that you may not be aware of. It is a problem that is seriously affecting myself, my peers, and our clients… and it needs immediate attention!!!
The problem, in a nutshell, is freeloading.
You see, here on the creative gig boards (and, I’m sure, on many other gig boards, as well.) you will find a plethora of talented, hard-working, highly skilled professionals from many different fields. Designers, Illustrators, Photographers and more. These are not people who are hard-up, or starving. Some of us just seek the occasional extra bit of income to supplement our salaries. Some of us use CL as a primary source of that income. Either way, using CL does not, by any measure, define us as some sort of discount day-labor or bargain-basement boobs who will do anything for a dollar.
We are PROFESSIONALS, first and foremost, and expect to be treated as such.
This is generally not a problem, when dealing with serious, professional clients; True businesspeople who understand the value of hiring someone with specialized skills. They understand that their time is valuable, and so, then, should ours be.
Unfortunately, these clients are being driven out of Craigslist by an avalanche of “freeloaders”.
Every day, the CL gig boards across the nation are being inundated with posts seeking skilled, professional services for “free” or “cheap”. Some offer the “opportunity” to “build your portfolio”. Others offer payment “Once my project is sold” to a publisher, etc. Some are even bold enough to equate compensation with the chance for your work “to be seen” on their website/business card/letterhead/etc.
In short, they are looking for free work.
Now, I am not begrudging anyone’s right to ask for free work. But I am making you aware that, because of the hordes of these posts appearing on CL daily, it is becoming increasingly difficult and frustrating for myself and my peers to find serious gigs.
It is also forcing us to scrutinize what serious gigs we do find, to the point where, I am sure, many serious professionals are no longer willing to post on the CL gig board, for fear of being lumped in with these freeloaders. In short, it is hurting everyone but the freeloaders.
Now, I am not here just to bitch and moan. This is a problem we CAN solve, and I think I have an idea of how to do so… an idea, I pray, you will see merit in.
I ask you to create a separate, “FREE” gig board for these people. This way, they can post to their heart’s content, and be sure to reach their target audience, as only those looking to work for nothing will read this board.
Additionally, to further discourage them posting on the real gig boards, change the “pay” entry field to accept only numeric entries. (And restrict the entries from starting with a zero.) You could possibly also enter a “negotiable” choice, as well for those who do not want to offer a solid dollar amount.) Then, change the gig rules to plainly state that this board is for PAYING gigs ONLY.
This way, when we flag the non-paying ones, there will be no question whether or not we are in the right in doing so.
This is a fairly straightforward and simple solution to a plaguing problem. I urge you to take this action immediately. Myself, and my peers, would be eternally grateful!
* Location: All creative professionals, PLEASE READ!
* it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
* Compensation: FREE the FREE GIGS!!!
Original URL: http://lasvegas.craigslist.org/crg/412731766.html