With great power comes great responsibility. But AOL’s media borg Seed.com can’t stop its horde of desperate underemployed journalists from mobbing story subjects, like the angry woman who heard from seven Seed writers in six days. Frightening.
The woman started hearing from Seed writers after her Tumblr started getting a measure of online buzz. Mushrooming links and chatter about the blog, devoted to ridiculous Rosa Parks comparisons, must have spiked through one of the online tripwires at Seed, which robotically generates story assignments using data from search engines. (We’ve agreed not to use the blogger’s name in the post, since she used to work for AOL, although you may well be able to figure out who she is from her site.)
As you can see in the email chain below, the torrent of interview requests started Jan. 29 and never let up. The first Seed writer sent a few emails, asking for an interview. When that writer ended up empty handed, different Seedsters put in their own interview requests, one after another. Out tipster said she wrote people back at first, but eventually gave up on responding to everyone.
Gave up, that is, until the eight or ninth email, at which point she kind of snapped and sent the missive at bottom, saying Seed “generally devalues the hard work” of writers and editors.
Well, sure, but only if you don’t buy into Aol’s innovative “human wave attack” style of journalism. Those sorts of tactica can be very effective, if you’re a general. Not so fun if you’re one of the infantry, inside the human wave.
(Top pic by Dan Coulter)
Send an email to Ryan Tate, the author of this post, at [email protected].