The Movie

By Rachel Totten Keith is the recruiting website for Demand Media, a company that connects amateur and professional freelance writers, videographers, photographers, and editors with a variety of online media sites.

You know those movie trailers where they show you a few really funny and/or thrilling scenes and then when you finally see the film you realize those were the only funny/thrilling parts of the whole thing? This is like when the trailer gets you hooked and convinces you to spend your $40 to sit very closely next to strangers and eat with them, then the movie sucks. This website is exactly like that. Let’s examine.

Special effects! The site’s central message is “Create. Engage. Stand out.” The site appeals to unknown and undiscovered talent that seek a platform for exposure and to gain experience. The style is youthful and dynamic, using bold, bright colors, and brief descriptions of exciting projects and people. There is very little technical language, probably because their audience is most likely to be the novice.

Star power! The tone excites and flatters potential recruits by using phrases such as “star in,” “take center stage,” “bring. . . to life,” “for influential voices,” “show your expertise,” and “stand out.” The service flatters and excites the reader, yet makes no mention of compensation—most likely so they can attract artists who are seeking experience because they, for whatever reason, are not focused on attaining a full-time position in their field.

Plot twist! The colors, visuals, tone, and style are all appropriate for Demand Media’s intended target, if they are looking for a more youthful beginner applicant. This is a stark contrast to, which is the parent company’s site geared to the general public, including potential investors. This website is more comprehensive and in-depth. It is more complex whereas felt more like a blog itself.

Uh, oh—spoiler alert!? I felt like the website did not explain enough for me to be interested in it. There were not even that many buttons to click. If you wanted more information, you literally had to click “to apply” to get more information, which seemed very gimmicky and almost deceptive. When I was entering my information to get a “log-in,” I got to read their Contributor’s Agreement, I discovered that once you contribute, Demand Media pretty much owns you, your “likeness,” and whatever content you post. In their words,

You further agree to give us the royalty-free right to use, incorporate, exhibit, reproduce, distribute, promote, publicize, and otherwise exploit your Likeness in any and all media, now known and hereafter devised, throughout the world and in perpetuity in connection with your Contribution.

 I don’t even put out that much on a first date! And they don’t even let me know what exactly I am going to be doing or for how much.

Cliff hanger! Bottom line, if Demand Media is in search of young writers/photographers that will work for peanuts and a little recognition, achieves its goal. It is certainly provocative in appearance and language, but there is very little information and the site is in a rudimentary format. Like the movie trailer and movie, there is very little substance, but it sure looks exciting and it is kind of a rip-off.

Works Cited

The Studio for Influential Voices. Demand Media Studios, 2015. Web. 05 Sep. 2015. The Movie

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