"The US Figure Skating Competition is in need of a few people who are skilled with Photoshop, to help with retouching photos at next week's competition.
PLEASE ONLY RESPOND IF YOU ARE SKILLED WITH PHOTOSHOP. THIS IS NOT A LEARNING POSITION. THEY NEED PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR WAY AROUND PHOTOSHOP. There will be computers on hand loaded with PS CS2 (I have not control over that).
Great resume builder, good experience and should be interesting work!"
I moved on down through my inbox, but the email stuck in my craw. "Wait a minute," I kept thinking, "since when is the US Figure Skating Agency (or whatever they're called) too poor to afford at least $20 an hour for this?"
Finally, I sat down and typed this very carefully-worded email to the group moderator:
I was expecting to get an answer somewhere along the lines of, "Dear Stephanie, Thanks for your feedback. We're going to see how other group members feel about this, bla bla" or "Dear Stephanie, good point, bla bla"...
Well, instead, I received a terse email response (with no greeting/salutation niceties I might add) explaining that she was "helping a colleague at Adobe with this," and that if I didn't care to participate that that was my choice, that she was not promoting "free work," and that "In the three years this group has been run, this is the first time I have asked for volunteers."
Helping a colleague..what does that have to do with any of my points? Did she even read my email? And how in the world was the message she sent to the group not "promoting free work"?
My personal views on this are pretty well expressed in my email to her so I won't belabor them. But suffice it to say that until people speak up about this kind of stuff it's going to keep on happening, and worse, kids are going to think it's normal if it comes from a vaunted company like Adobe.
And as a group moderator, I'd certainly expect someone to have thicker skin than this. Anyone who is paying any attention to trends in the graphic design market right now, has to know that anything that smacks of "crowdsourcing" is going to spur controversy, and much of it rightly so.