I wanted to warn you about a new site called Contena (not actively linking to them because I don't consider them worth any link juice).
I first heard about this site over on Sophie Lizard's forum at BeAFreelanceBlogger.com. The owners are billing it as some sort of much-needed tool for searching multiple job boards in one place.
But to do this, they're illegally scraping full posts from other sites. (And newsflash: neither lead curation or aggregation, OR scraping of feeds is as new as these guys seem to think it is.)
In other words, they're not posting an excerpt or summary and then sending you to the source for the full lead and ability to apply (like I do in the All Freelance Writing job board, and which falls within fair use rules). They're copying entire job postings, including application instructions and people's contact information, and posting it on their own site -- hijacking the traffic from the sites sharing the original leads.
This is not okay. It violates the copyright of the other sites and / or people posting the ads. So my first concern is not wanting to see other writers support a site that happily breaks the very laws that protect writers' own work (and if you read the thread I linked above, you'll see how clueless the one guy is, thinking that a claim of helping people or linking to sources in some way excuses his theft).
But there's another concern here. The site requires you to register to view the job listings. So you have to sign up for something to see leads that you can already see, for free and w/o registration, on other sites. That's a pretty lame way for them to build an email list while adding no real value to you as a user. What's worse is that they don't just ask for an email address, but also your full name. There's no reason for them to insist on that kind of personal information. When questioned about it, their excuse was that they want to be able to customize listings for each users. Except when I tested the site, there were no customizations. And having a full name (as opposed to your registration email address or a username) would have no bearing on being able to offer customized listings. Again, this is just a list-building tool -- stolen, scraped content in exchange for your contact information.
If you want curated listings, stick to job boards like this one or the leads at FreelanceWriting.com. And if you want a custom collection of job board feeds, set up your own. It's incredibly easy using a feed reader like Feedly.com. Just add the job board feeds for the sites you want to follow. Maybe next week I'll share a post showing you how to do this on the blog. But please, don't support sites like this that think it's okay to rip off someone else's copyright for their own gain.
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