Working for "Exposure"/Working for free

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by ejb190, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    I don't post much in this part of MacRumors. Heck, I don't really post that much anywhere! But a couple of things came together today and I felt the need to put them in writing.

    First, I noticed several threads this morning in the Design and Graphics Forums in the form of "Can someone do this for me?" Interestingly, someone usually does. One of the core reasons for the existence of MacRumors since it opened has been to be a place where members can teach and learn. (I've been around here a lot longer than most of you, so don't argue with me!) This type of thread troubles me because A) the question should be "Can someone show me how?", and B) as an outside party, I'd really like to know how or why you did what you did! You might have a different approach to the same problem and I'm curious to learn. So I am encouraging folks to take a second to help us all learn, irregardless of if you actually do the task or not, by explaining what you did/would do and why. The "real world" examples here on MacRumors can be a valuable teaching tool for all of us.

    Second, I can expect at least one response to the above mentioned threads that says something like, "Yes, I can. What will you pay me?" Granted, I've wanted to make the same snarky reply a few times - but that doesn't really help anyone. If you are going to take the time to answer, tell me where you would start if this was an actual paying customer. Something like, "This looks like copyrighted material" or "It's a nice start, but your color pallet is going to be nothing but trouble" helps open my eyes to how other graphic artist see the same problem.

    I've also watched a few threads completely devolve into arguments about the ethics of working for free. And along those lines, the following blog post came across my desktop today: 10 thoughts on working for free in exchange for "exposure" by Jon Acuff. Mr. Acuff does a wonderful job balancing the issue and offering a few questions that need to be asked.
  2. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    Since you've been around forever, you know that this particular subform used to be quite a bit more helpful and more like what you wish it still was. Unfortunately, it isn't that way anymore.

    I agree with you that the "Yes, I can. What will you pay me?" responses are less than helpful. I wouldn't *dream* of communicating with a potential client that way, so I won't do it here, either. As you mentioned, this whole forum is pretty much a "get some kind of help/assistance/recommendation" place, regardless of whether we're talking about the graphics forum or the hardware forums. Can you imagine if every thread asking for advice in the hardware forum was met with, "Yes, as a professional, I believe I can help you make a purchase decision. How much will you pay me to spend time making recommendations?" This would go nowhere.

    If you're a professional designer and you don't want to spend time assisting those who know less about the craft than you do, then just leave the thread alone. The people who are looking for things to be done for free aren't going to magically decide, "Oh, you're right. I should pay you," because you snobbishly asked. These are and will always be people who don't see the value in paying for a logo/image/etc. Just leave the thread alone and some amateur,or a professional with a bit of time and boredom on his/her hands will come along and do it. And while I'm ranting, adding rainbows and lens flares and unicorns and comic sans to everything (as used to be the case anytime anyone asked for something for free) isn't funny. Thank goodness that has passed.

    I say all of this as a graphic designer who is working on growing his freelance business.

  3. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    I actually did this in the thread that I think you're talking about, and my post was deleted, without a note from the mods. While I can understand why it was done, I feel that if someone is approaching with the attitude of 'do this for me' and not 'please guide me through this' I feel that it's a question worth asking. Yes, probably via PM, but I think people should be made aware that people should be compensated for their work.

    I've asked similar 'how do I do this' questions here over the years, and have almost always received help, but in some cases, more knowledgeable and helpful members simply did it for me. While that was always very appreciated, it does help to guide someone through the process.
  4. adam_fox macrumors member


    Mar 27, 2016
    Orlando, Florida
    Hi, EJB190. I think you express some valid questions and concerns. However, I would like to suggest viewing "help requests" in a more positive light. Some people come here seeking help (ie., help me make my logo better!) and they do value the contributions of folks in the forums. While I make my living in technology, I like being able to help folks outside of my normal working hours as well without charging them.

    And it's rather evident that many folks here enjoy the challenges often posted here. While many of us are interested in learning how many things work, the reality is that other people may not share the same level of interest in, say, graphics design. Or, they make lack the time to develop new skills. It's tempting to judge them, but I suspect we all appreciate favors from strangers from time to time. A disinterest in learning shouldn't necessarily be equated with pure laziness. (And I'm not suggesting you are saying so - I just want to highlight the importance of giving all the benefit of the doubt.
  5. Possumgal macrumors member


    Aug 13, 2015
    N. Central Arkansas
    There are always people who want something for nothing. No surprise to see it here.

    My take is the old "teach a person to fish" method. I'm glad to help you learn how, but I won't just do it for you.
  6. needfx macrumors 68040


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
    can someone please install comic sans on my computer?
    I seem to have misplaced it along with my unicorn gif
  7. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Epic :D

Share This Page