Look out, Demand Media: Here comes another cheap content-creation competitor straight out of Tampa, Fla. Meet BlueGlass, the newest entrant in the rapidly expanding field of producing low-cost text and video articles designed specifically to snag search traffic. In this case, BlueGlass is targeting publishers by offering them an easy and quick way to outsource content creation for their sites. The service is called CopyPress, and here's the blurb from its website.
"From strictly SEO standard copy, to high-quality edited content intended to engage your site users, CopyPress brings high-impact results to your online marketing efforts. These results are powered by our strategy of providing quality, customizable and timely SEO-optimized content delivered when, where and how you want it."
BlueGlass, which rolled out last week, claims it's not a content mill because the products of its writers and editors will be of higher quality. What's more, it even claims that its writers will, over time, be paid as much as professional copywriters and journalists -- after they rise through the BlueGlass ranking system.

Realistically, that's possible. The lower end of rates for copywriters on outsourced talent sites like ODesk run in the $20-per-hour range. If BlueGlass paid 5 cents per word (five times what Demand is paying for most articles), then a creator would have to write 400 words an hour to earn that princely rate. That's doable, but you're not likely to get well-researched, top-quality content from writers working at that speed.

BlueGlass joins other content-creation platforms including Demand Media and Yahoo's Associated Content (AOL, parent of DailyFinance, also owns Seed.com, which has some similar features, and BlueGlass has a separate social-networking consulting relationship with AOL's Money & Finance sites). These tools rely on tapping into the masses of folks who'll work for very little in order to do something they love.

Few of these content creators are actually making a living at what can charitably be called very low wage rates. Many Internet watchers have accused these services of polluting search results and flooding the Web with generic, and at times useless, content. In response, search engines like Blekko.com have arisen specifically in order to filter out the lower-quality, rush-job results produced by content farms, which generally steer clear of news and other content that becomes dated quickly. Rather, they tend to focus on topics that never grow stale, like How to Put on a Speedo or How to Belch.

If BlueGlass can build a better mousetrap in this sector, more power to it. I'm reserving judgment until I actually can see examples of quality content production on sustained basis.

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