Today, I’m launching a news service in an entirely new format, designed to outcompete oldmedia. The new service publishes all news as shareable images, thereby bypassing a large number of restrictions and limitations, not needing clickbait, and being immune to adblock – but also paying people well, using bitcoin. Meanwhile, oldmedia continues to call people greedy and selfish for not buying their printouts of yesterday’s internet.
It was on April 8, 2014, that the European Court of Justice declared mass surveillance in the form of data retention unconstitutional, impermissible, null, and void. Oldmedia didn’t mention the ruling at all. Instead, they wrote about surveillance activist pets. It was on that very day I decided that oldmedia no longer reports anything relevant, and decided to outcompete them.
Oldmedia is complaining that the net generation isn’t buying their printouts of yesterday’s internet, and say that the net generation is disinterested in civic society. They couldn’t be more wrong. There has never been a generation more interested in the society we live in. However, oldmedia is mistaking a disinterest in the last generation’s problems – and that generation’s solutions to their own problems – as a disinterest in general. This is a complete misconception. The net generation has a new set of problems, and they’re being discussed with more fervor and intensity than any set of civic issues before.
Oldmedia is not addressing this at all. Nor do they seem to have the capability to even see it, despite being right in front of them. That effectively makes them obsolete. Not only that, but they have willingly reduced themselves in a multi-decade process to mouthpieces for regimes plagued by corruption and nepotism – not just in the poor parts of the world, but in all parts of the world. They happily accept a poisoned newswell and declare it to be Truth – from campaigns against Iraq to recent campaigns against Snowden. That’s not just dishonest, that’s sickening and destructive.
Fortunately, the numbers (see below) say that we can outcompete them on pure business grounds. It’s high time to do so – to outcompete oldmedia’s entire concept, basically, and write about civic issues relevant to the net generation instead of blindly complaining about spoiled kids. As a bonus, we get to be paid well in the process – much better than oldmedia pays.
More details about our reason for being on the front page of the wiki.
Retweet the image below to see how easy and straightforward this concept is:
Falkvinge starts net-generation news service, hiring 682 people pic.twitter.com/MGA9iffAV6
— Falconwing News (@FalconwingNews) June 15, 2015
To learn this game, we’re starting out in Europe before going global. For each of the 28 countries in the EU, plus Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway, we need 21 writers and one country manager.
The job of a writer is to write a three-sentence story once a week. An estimated one-hour job per week, for which writers will be paid approximately €125 per month*. Should be a nice addition on the margin to anybody who’s doing writing anyway.
The job of a country manager is to edit those stories for further edge and to work with the writers to actually get the stories out (read: remind writers to submit stories when they’re due), as well as recruit new writers, for which country managers will be paid approximately €1,250 per month*. The workload is expected to be about 10 hours per week. This means a country manager edits and clears three stories per day for their country.
*see Q&A below. It’s a revenue sharing model – it may be some time before the revenue hits those levels, and it obviously starts at zero. But given the low workload, this should be bearable. We need an estimated 30,000 impressions per newspiece on average to reach those levels. (An “impression” is when the newspiece and its ad was shown once to one person, in their Twitter, Facebook, etc. timelines.)
We need 30,000 impressions per newspiece, on average, to reach breakeven.
To get a sense for how much 30,000 impressions are, look at these tweets – these are from my personal account:
Relevant fact with a hint of sarcasm – 23,500 impressions:
Some are outraged about Saudi's nine executions so far this year, no trial. Meanwhile, US Police have killed 44 so far this year, no trial.
— Rick Falkvinge (@Falkvinge) January 16, 2015
Relevant fact with a stronger hint of sarcasm – 45,600 impressions:
Fact: more than twice as many people die from contact with hot tap water in Europe per year (90) than from terrorism (40).
— Rick Falkvinge (@Falkvinge) January 17, 2015
Outright sarcasm at stupidity – 125,086 impressions:
Bigot: "If this hispanicization continues, the city of Los Angeles may well soon have a Spanish name" – um what, say that again?
— Rick Falkvinge (@Falkvinge) January 11, 2015
Random fact coupled with biting sarcasm at abusive industry – 460,966 impressions:
165 years ago, UK Parliament legalized public libraries where people could read for free. Just as publishers warned, no book written since.
— Rick Falkvinge (@Falkvinge) January 17, 2015
So is 30,000 impressions – on average, per piece – doable? Yes. Yes it is, damn right it is. However, a success also requires the advertising revenue to match. The 30,000 figure is measured on an average CPM of €2.50, which was last year’s average. Since this is a new concept, we may reach less or more. We honestly don’t know that yet.
For prospective advertisers, we’re offering €250 in sign-up credit toward advertising in a closed beta for merely supplying a Twitter handle to use for login and an ad to run. No credit card or anything like that required. This beta is limited to 100 clients. Contact sales if you’re interested in advertising – we’ll be delighted to get you going.
Will the €125-per-twelve-sentences or €1,250-per-ten-hours be effective immediately?
No, I estimate it will take some months until the necessary revenue is there. It’s a revenue sharing model where writers get up to 40% of the gross revenue, straight off the top, to get to that number. Do compare that model with your favorite oldmedia house, or any oldmedia house. (Hint: they rarely pay at all.) But given the low workload, hanging in there for that time while the revenue scales up from the initial zero shouldn’t be too much of a discouragement.
See this wiki page for more information about how compensation is calculated, see how it scales up quickly in the beginning (but does start at zero), reaches the target plateau, and then starts increasing again later (at about 150,000 impressions per piece – compare above examples).
Why are you aiming for such exorbitant wages? That’s far more than anything in oldmedia offers.
You just answered your own question.
I’m not located in an EU28 country or Norway or Switzerland or Iceland. Can I still be part of this?
Not initially, sorry. We’re learning to walk before we learn to run. You’re still welcome to apply, though, and we’ll contact you when we expand to where you live.
Everybody’s running adblock today. You can’t possibly get advertising revenues?
This concept is immune to adblock.
What’s the target audience?
Intelligent people, of the net generation, who are independent, and share. That rules out any “news” about Kim Kardashian, for example.
Wait, what do you mean you’re immune to adblock? You can’t be immune to adblock.
This concept is immune not just to Adblock Plus and the like, but to all known forms of adblocking. Look at the story above and you’ll see that the ad is an integral part of the image shared.
I’m an advertiser. Can I be part of the closed beta?
Absolutely! We will need a Twitter handle for login, your company name, and one more way to reach you (like a mail address), and an ad to run which is based on this template. Provide us with that and we’ll respond with €250 in advertising credit, nothing else required. Mail here.
Do you require a degree for applications?
Are you joking? Of course not. However, excellent language and communications skills in English, as well as excellent analytical skills and a great sense of humor are requirements. A Mensa membership would be a plus, for example. Not that we’d ever look it up, but just to illustrate.
For country managers, people skills and understanding of swarm management are also requirements. The idea is that a country manager should be able to fund their living while getting a university degree, and fund it well, on those 10-or-so hours of work per week – and thus, it doesn’t make sense to require people to already have a degree.
Do you provide a union?
You’re kidding, right? …No.
Will this be a clickbait trap?
Absolutely not. We’re not even going to provide links. There won’t be anything to click on. We’re going to be providing quality reporting and have no incentive whatsoever to post clickbait, because we’re not posting links in the first place.
I’m not located in the EU or NO or CH, but would love to be part of this anyway. Can I?
Not at launch, sorry. However, the service is only starting out in Europe, with the intention of gradually going global. Do submit your application anyway, and we’ll get back when we’re expanding to your area?
Do I get paid in euros/zloty/skräppisar?
No. Payments are in bitcoin, only. No exceptions. This is for the low transaction costs and programmability involved. This entire enterprise will be unbanked by design and choice. Amount denomination may vary, but the actual payments are in bitcoin.
Blah blah taxes blah blah?
You’re responsible for paying your own taxes, and doing all paperwork required to allow you to pay your own taxes, if any. Everything’s on contractor basis to simplify operations. As payments are in bitcoin, do remember to include them in your tax reporting as appropriate – it’s probably not automatic.