Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Evolving Mahalo Freelance Career -- Part 1

Remember those blank stares I mentioned earlier? When I mentioned that I work from home? You might be wearing one yourself about now! LOL! It's not that what I do is all that complex, but it is not the norm I guess.

When I started out working for Mahalo in April 2007, I worked in what was called the "Mahalo Greenhouse." The Greenhouse had hundreds of researchers, whose job it was to gather the best resources on a variety of topics. I was paid $10-$15 for each topic that I researched that was approved by the corporate staff. Eventually, the Greenhouse got so big, that Mahalo's corporate team could not ensure quality for all the work that was submitted in a timely manner. A few of us were invited at that point to become Mahalo "mentors." It was the mentor's role to QC submissions and teach new Greenhouse members the proper way to organize a Mahalo page.

Mahalo's Greenhouse was based on mediawiki software... so the work was all very manually intensive. Details were very important as far as maintaining standards. And it was important that we learn wiki code and learn it quickly.

After a few months as a mentor, I was invited to join the Mahalo "buzz team" with my Mahalo buddies Susan and Bunny, who I still work with. (I now manage the Mahalo training program, while Susan heads up the QC team and Bunny leads Mahalo's booming video games vertical). The buzz team was very different than the QC team. The work was exhausting at first! It was our job to keep up with the latest news stories and write summaries about them, and keep them updated. For this work, instead of the piece rate we had grown accustomed to, we were paid a flat hourly rate.... which allowed for steadier paychecks and the return to more of a "normal" life.

I am a total political junkie... so that job was like heaven! Getting paid to monitor CNN and track the latest in politics was like a little big of heaven here on earth! I thought it could not get any better... but Mahalo had something else in mind! More about that later ;)

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