How SB Nation Profits Off An Army Of Exploited Workers

Laura Wagner, Deadspin, Aug 16, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Full disclosure: I read one of the SB Nation blogs (Bluebird Banter) almost every day. I like it because it's a fan site; it's independent from the team in a way traditional news coverage isn't. So I'm reading coverage, not advertising and promotion. The existence of this model should be no surprise; it's almost exactly what was described by Hegel and Armstrong in Net.Gain almost 20 years ago. Yes, I think the wages paid to editors should be higher, but I also think we should pay janitors and restaurant workers a living wage as well. Is this the future for educational writing? Well, some. It's harder for education because readers progress through a discipline; they don't stay loyal to one body of content the way a sports audience would. But the model is otherwise very similar (which is why Vox has grown well beyond its roots in SB Nation).

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