Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A New Resource for Freelancers

Every career freelancer has a horror story: the client that disappeared, the terms that changed, the check that never came. And in an age of plummeting media budgets, writers--already all-too-frequently paid only in "exposure"--have special brand of cautionary tale all their own.The advocates at the Freelancers Union are on the case, and they've just announced their plans for The Client Scorecard, a new community tool designed to help "make freelance fair."

The Client Scorecard aims to position itself as the freelancer's Yelp: instead of restaurants, though, the database will catalogue freelancers' experiences--the good, the bad, and the ugly. What was a client like to work with? Did they pay on time? Pay fairly? Provide the necessary tools to comfortably fulfill the contract? "Once it's live," promises the press release, "you'll use the Client Scorecard to scout out every new client and to report back after every gig."

To kick off the project, the union is asking contract-workers of all stripes--you don't have to be a member to weigh in--to take a short survey about the prospective service. Whether you freelance full-time or pen the occasional piece on the side, chime in here, and let them know how you see the Scorecard working for you and your fellow wordsmiths.

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