Freelance round-up: This month in writing - August

Searching for SEO work?

If you’re looking for SEO work, are you looking in the right places? The Daily Mail recently had a bit of fun (depending on your definition of fun!) with a job advertisement for a new SEO manager.

Rather than advertising the job via the usual methods, it hid the ad in its robot.txt file, normally only read by search crawlers.

The ad read: “MailOnline are looking for a talented SEO Manager so if you found this then you're the kind of techie we need!”

The ad was spotted by SEO expert Malcolm Coles, who explains: “ For those who don't know, the robots.txt file is how you tell search engines which pages they can and can't crawl on your site to include in their index.”

Want to be a freelance writer?

In a recent piece in The Awl, US-based journalist Richard Morgan gives an eye-opening account of his seven years as a freelancer, from how he got his first break (by ringing up a Playboy editor) to sending an editor balloons, eating soup made of hot water and crushed-up vitamins and writing entire features using an iPhone.

To those wondering how to approach freelance journalism, he says: “ Freelancing is basically just courtship, but the freelancer-editor relationship is nothing more than friends with benefits. The editor likes you because you remind the editor of when they had enthusiasm and appetite and vision and so you make the editor feel powerful in the way that nostalgia empowers people.”

Secret vault of words

One for the wordsmiths…A graphic design student doing a project for Kingston University, London, recently discovered a vault of words which have never made it into the dictionary. The vault is owned by Oxford University Press.

Examples of ‘words’ from the vault include

Furgle – to feel in a pocket or bag for a small object such as a coin or key
Nonversation – a worthless conversation, wherein nothing is explained or otherwise elaborated upon
Lexpionage – the sleuthing of words and phrases
Optotoxical – a look that could kill, normally from a parent or spouse
Polkadodge – the dance that occurs when two people attempt to pass each other but move in the same direction

After researching hundreds of the words, Luke Ngakane, 22, chose 39 to etch onto a metal press plate and print onto A4 paper for his graphic design degree.

Fiona McPherson, senior editor of the Oxford English Dictionary's new words group, said the words are not rejects and they may well be printed in the future.

She said: ''They are words which we haven't yet put in. I don't like calling them reject words because we will revisit them at some point and they may well go in.

''They are not yet considered suitable for the dictionary because there's not enough evidence that people are using them.”

Graduate course in freelancing launched

Student and graduate placement organisation GOWales has launched a new free six-day course to help graduates work out if a career in freelancing is right for them and to explore how they might go about it.

The Freelancer Academy is open to graduates of any university and travel expenses are available to get to Aberystwyth University, where the first Academy will run in September, followed by more elsewhere in Wales later in the year.

Sarah Wray



 

1st September 2010

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