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The Almighty Buck Businesses The Internet

Blogging For Paychecks 187

Posted by Zonk
from the whatever-pays-the-bills dept.
prostoalex writes "When you hear about blogging, you're most likely to hear about personal journals, self-expression and youngsters sharing their daily routines online. However, as Wall Street Journal notes, the word blogger can now frequently be seen in corporate job ads. Blogging jobs pay anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 and frequently require writing copy for corporate Web sites and ability to promote on the Internet. A search for blogger and blogging on one of the job meta search engines yields several hundred open positions."
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Blogging For Paychecks

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  • Meh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865)
    So, I'm supposed to take a significant paycut _and_ throw away any sense of decenty I have?
    • Re:Meh. (Score:3, Interesting)

      Reading this article makes me think we are setting ourselves up for a whole 'nother dot com boom/bust.
      • And the only time such stupid corporate ideas come to fruation is when they have extra capitol to spend. In other words, the ecconomy MUST be doing well for these kinda jobs to be handed out at 70k a year.

      • What's the ROI? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by skyshock21 (764958)
        Your assessment that this is like the dot.com bust seems pretty fair. I mean, how does a blogger add value to a corporation at all? It's as if the higher ups heard the newest buzzword on MSNBC (blogger) and said "hey we need a few of those!" just to keep up with the Jones's.

        I can see it now... corporate Live Journal.

        Like 2-day @ my wurk, my b0x0r was TOTALLY tlaking about st00pid stuff. But N E Ways...

        • I just read the business plan of a friend and it had every buzz word imaginable...

          blog, podcasting, voip, social networks, blogrolls, text messaging, rss, photo rating, and SEO options in addition to forums and a variety of other things

          and it was a stinkin' picture sharing site!
        • Re:What's the ROI? (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Dabido (802599)
          I think you might find that the purpose of corporate bloggers, is it's another avenue of propergander for the corporation to use to get it's message out there. Only by using blogs, it will probably be camophlaged in a way to make it look like it's a persons opinion or facts from an unbiased source, rather than part of the Corporate Internet Advertising machine.

          As such, a good blog with a good disguise might pull in big bucks for the Corp (by selling their products), provided they get enough people readin
    • Apparently you seem to think that most people who have time to write lengthy blogs have jobs or something.
      • by kfg (145172)
        Apparently you seem to think that most people who have time to write lengthy blogs have jobs or something.


        Well, they would if it were their job, now wouldn't they?

        Too bad I'm alergic to work there aren't enough showers in the world to wash off, and I rather doubt these jobs come with artistic control and pay or play contracts.

        KFG

    • I think the word you're looking for is, "integrity". My sig is just a coincidence.
  • blogging=marketing? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RayDude (798709) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:29AM (#12691642)
    I see. So to corporate america, blogging equates to marketing.

    Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

    Raydude
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I never thought that I would ever see the day when being a loudmouth with NO credentials is worth $40,000 or more. Where do I sign up?
    • Yeah, let's call this what it is. It is clearly not blogging (as in Mark Cuban, Josh Marshall blogging), but rather a strange corporate tactic called "advertising."
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Get with it man. It's called "blogvertising".

        How are you going to survive in the computerized e-future if you can't even wrap your head around a simple Xoncept like blogging?
      • Actually I'm paid to blog. However, I do not earn very much from it. Probably because I'm NOT pimping for someone else. I merely news gather and post the news. Simple as that. Pay is a lot less for that sort of gig unfortunately.
    • While companies may think they are using blogging as a marketing tool, I think that the reality is somewhat more complicated. Corporate sponsored blogs tend to end up being a focal point for interaction related to specialized (corporate related) topics. And specialization is the crucial attribute that make blogs so interesting.

      For the first time in the history of the world, we now have a direct channel for hyper-specialization. Blogs + RSS amount to a revolution; The high availability personal-press.
      • You're only considering one angle on the issue, though... I think you're missing one of the big implications of the GP's post.

        Corporate sponsored blogs tend to end up being a focal point for interaction related to specialized (corporate related) topics.

        What about astroturfing? We see it on Slashdot from time to time--somebody who's on a company's payroll but trying to look independent will submit links to articles or blog posts that are entirely self-serving. I run across blogs every day that seem to
        • not all bloggers are honest about their motives and sponsorship

          So, welcome to the world. There is no requirement that bloggers, or anyone else for that matter, should be honest. But in the long run, integrity tells, and those who value it find ways to filter out those who don't.
          • There is no requirement that bloggers, or anyone else for that matter, should be honest.

            Nonsense. It's called fraud.

            ---

            Any large public or private organisation paying recurring, per-seat licensing for software is being economically stupid.

            • Corporate shilling != fraud

              We're talking about bloggers not being completely upfront about their motivation in the context of veiled advertising, not people intentionally committing fraud. Apples != oranges.
              • You and I both know the difference between honest dealing and corporate shilling is important, otherwise they wouldn't bother trying to do it, time and again.

                It's dishonest, any way you look at it. Marketing parasites try to spin doctor it but it's still fraudulent misrepresentation. i.e. fraud.

                The law hasn't caught up yet but hopefully it will.

                ---

                I'm not worried about the use of DRM. I'm worried about the abuse.

          • but in the meantime, Google gets cluttered up with the rest of their dishonest blathering.

            I liked the internet without blogs just fine.
            • I liked the internet without blogs just fine.

              To be honest, internet has always been full of blogs, technically speaking. The only actual difference now is that entirely clueless people are now also able to "contribute" to the internet. Not that I don't get your point or disagree with it, though.

              Newsflash (specificly adressed to the media):
              Posting stuff on the internet is nothing new! It is what it was made for. Now please end this stupid mediahype immidiatly. You look like utter morons.

        • by nysus (162232) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @06:28AM (#12692544)
          Well, it's quite obvious that communication is a fundamental activity that underpins all human activity. When you change the way people communicate, you change society in profound ways.

          The Gutenberg's printing press broke the Catholic Church, made modern science possible, and gave rise to modern Democracy. There's no question the Internet will have very profound long-term infulence over future structure of society. We're only 10 years into it.
          • Well, it's quite obvious that communication is a fundamental activity that underpins all human activity. When you change the way people communicate, you change society in profound ways.

            The Gutenberg's printing press broke the Catholic Church, made modern science possible, and gave rise to modern Democracy. There's no question the Internet will have very profound long-term infulence over future structure of society. We're only 10 years into it.


            Finally, someone takes my bait and delivers the goods. T
      • The end result is that like-minded people from all over the world end up exchanging ideas and critical thought with one another over subject matter that is important to them rather than what a media outlet wants to be important to them.

        Groupthink, groupthink, groupthink. And no offense, but your whole post reads like those television ads for Dianetics. "Bloganetics will change your life forever!"
      • An insightful comment to be sure.

        While corporates may attempt to jump on the blogging bandwagon as another marketing channel, unless their paid-for bloggers really do deliver the goods and establish themselves as worthwhile net contributors to the communities they seek to engage, they will surely fall by the wayside.
      • They already have this. It's called SharePoint.
      • Crikey! If I said that was the biggest load of hype, like, ever ... well, I wouldn't be guilty of hype at all. It's beyond hype. It's hyperhype.
        • Crikey! If I said that was the biggest load of hype, like, ever ... well, I wouldn't be guilty of hype at all. It's beyond hype. It's hyperhype.

          Yea, sorry for the sensationalism, but I am a little excited about the role that blogging is starting to take in society. If you think this thing through and imagines the social changes that widescale blogging will naturally produce, you too will probably get pretty excited.

          Of course there were precursers like usenet and even BBS's. But let me tell you s

          • Watch as the U.S. and other parts of the world wake-up from their media-induced-zombie catatosys over the next few years as a direct result of personal choice in information sources.
            Call me a pessimist, but I'm not convinced. After all, nobody forces people to watch pap like "Big Brother".
    • I see. So to corporate america, blogging equates to marketing.

      Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

      It definitely was an expected thing. Marketing has become increasingly import (and disgusting, imho) in our society. Wherever ads can creep in, they do. Cf school books with ads. I'm glad I'm done with school.

    • I know "shill" is an inflammatory word to some, but that's what I equate with blogging for money. It is a natural consequence of tying salary to writing.
    • I see. So to corporate america, blogging equates to marketing.

      How is this different from anyone else? "Self expression" -- give me a break. I can express myself without doing it to the whole world. There's definately an element of narcissism in blogging -- ie "look at me" -- which is self promotion.

      Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

      Neither. It just is. I wonder what took them so long to figure it out. The internet as a commercial space has been around for how many years now?
  • by Saven Marek (739395) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:29AM (#12691643)
    For all the whining teenagers... your time has finally come. yes, people want to pay you to get all angsty.
    • Those would be blah-gers.
    • You're completely mistaken. Blogging software, while usually used for personal journals by teens, is actually just an evolution of static websites. A blog enables a writer to produce content quickly without having to worry about editing html.

      It's being used to make BOATLOADS of money by such folks as WeblogsInc and others.
      For more information about professional blogging, check out the guru himself: Darren Rowse [problogger.net]. Darren makes a 6-figure income simply by providing quality, regular information on a num
      • But people too stupid to handle or lazy to learn the minimum HTML required to create a simple webpage really isn't the kind of people I take my advice from.

        Think of it as trashing the web like the easy to use IRC-clients have caused a similar "evolution" of IRC. It really doesn't bring much more useful content out there, just more.

  • by Dancin_Santa (265275) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:29AM (#12691646) Journal
    A little thing to realize about want ads is that they are usually filled by the time you read them.

    So what is the job seeker supposed to do? Well, according to What Color is Your Parachute [amazon.com], the key is to use your connections to get in.

    If you are a blogger with a dedicated audience, you will already have people knocking on your door to get you to write for them. I know I do, and all I do is write a few words on this site here.

    If you want to blog for a company, see if you know anyone working there. They have a better idea about the hiring situation inside their company than any want-ad could ever let you know.
    • Not only that but I think you have to be a bit of a wordsmith too. Being able to quickly redact and react to the world of interest to your company. I am a proponent of companies blogging in the sense that it may mean a reduction in meaningless marketing. Consider it like a good salesman who is passionate about his product and can convey his enthousiasm and highlight the important aspects of the product. For example a good blog for RedHat could track the open source movement in corporate environments, this c
    • by Anonymous Coward
      If you are a blogger with a dedicated audience, you will already have people knocking on your door to get you to write for them. I know I do, and all I do is write a few words on this site here.

      Agreed. It's not that hard to make a lot of money just writing on sites like this for different companies. Why, for example, McDonalds recently commissioned me to subtly write about their delicious tasty Quarter Pounder which is served with a generous portion of mouth-watering, delectable fries and a refreshing d


    • I'm wondering if most corporate bloggers are up-front about the corporation that pays them, or ideally the corporation that funds the corporation that pays them. A hypothetical example: Laura Didio == Yankee Group == Microsoft.

      The potential for abuse of this "buy-a-blogger" system is huge.

  • by dnixon112 (663069) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:30AM (#12691648)
    I wonder how much he gets payed by Slashdot?
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:30AM (#12691651) Homepage
    At most of the places I've worked, the grammar of a significant percentage of the employees bordered on illiteracy. At least these bloggers are likely to be able to write coherently.
  • by hoka (880785) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:31AM (#12691653)
    This is just a marketing extension really, businesses have long since been hiring people to go "put out the good word" for them. It happened for a long time on the Internet without many people noticing, with company rep's using a sock puppet attack to gain support for some company. I've seen them all over tons of forums (usually given away by talking about _any_ company and having less than 5-10 posts, and all those posts being total garbage), onto IRC for certain channels of people counter-pointing some viewpoint, and even in Slashvertising. Seriously folks, nothing to see here, move along.
    • It's the damn truth and some of the best advertising money can buy. Now quiet, we're getting paid here!
    • That may be the case with most blogs, but Microsoft doesn't just promote their crap, on slashdot they actually mod people down who dare to talk down about their doomed future and their crappy proprietary software.

      Even on anti Microsoft posts where I got +5 moderation, that was usually after 10 mod downs and 15 mod up's. Yeah, you really gotta be that good at making your point to nail them.

      Perhaps, shashdot should have a special rating for anti Microsoft posts that make them more difficult to mod down, an
  • Jason Kottke [kottke.org] blogs for a living, taking voluntary "micropayments" which, so far, have been enough to support him.
    • "...taking voluntary "micropayments" which, so far, have been enough to support him."

      What, as opposed to involuntary ones? *scratches head*

      • Yes, as opposed to involuntary (compulsory) ones. When you go to the newsstand and buy a magazine, that's an "involuntary" payment. If you want to read the content, you HAVE to pay for it. Voluntary means if you like it you can pay for it, but you don't have to if you don't want to. Like slashdot.
  • by AEton (654737) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:32AM (#12691658)
    Gullible hacks are all over this 'blogger' gibberish because somebody somewhere thinks it's a hot new word.

    It isn't - it's silly and it rolls off your tongue wrong, like "Pog" - but that hasn't stopped anyone.

    In fact, it's gotten so bad that I was reading Time magazine today and saw a totally serious sidebar on this hip new phenomenon, "Blogebrity". This is a nonsense Contagiousmedia hoax [contagiousmedia.org], and I'm surprised the editors let it slip through. (Or I wonder how much they got paid.) At any rate, Time's sloppy standards there exemplify the cultural phenomenon where anything that says 'blog' and sounds trendy is brilliant and worth supporting.

    Yikes.
  • They have corporate prostitutes (obviously they're not called that), why not corporate bloggers? And then we wonder why Enron goes bust!
    • Re:Why not? (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg (145172)
      They have corporate prostitutes. . .

      Personal Satisfaction Engineers find that term offensive, you insensitive clod.

      KFG
  • by Mattygfunk1 (596840) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:34AM (#12691664)

    Frequently updated and interesting content like /. can develop a community around it. From there, whether the site chooses to simply offer a service for the goodwill of their readers, or incorporate a more conventional way of monetizing website traffic, provides the business payoff.

    Smart business IMO, and we'll probably see more of it.

    __
    Laugh Daily funny free videos [laughdaily.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Rely on the corporate bussiness to take advantage of something new. Im just surprised the pr0n industry wasn't here before :)

    But then again, maby they where?

    (like I wouldn't know.. because I don't surf pr0n).
    *emptying cache* :)
  • First, they took an individualistic form of expression and commercialized it (all the cool kids these days have Xangas... and have the nerve to call them blogs!). Now they turn it around and corporatize it. It's interesting to see how new forms of media evolve in positive ways, as well as get exploited.
    • Wow, just like "Indie" fashion; corporate blogs make about as much sense as paying for faded jeans. What's next? 'Taggers' (graffiti form for those not in the know) getting registered as artists? This sort of thing makes me wish Communism actually works.
  • by Kaorimoch (858523) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:37AM (#12691672) Journal
    As long as they state on the blog who they are paid by, I'm fine with it. It is where they don't tell you that they get paid to do it that I get concerned about where blogging is taking itself.
  • Wonderful! Now, instead of professional journalists writing shoddy articles on shaky ground for widely circulated publications, we can have complete amateurs do it, too!
  • Disclosure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goonie (8651) <robert@merkel.benambra@org> on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:45AM (#12691704) Homepage
    If they disclose that they're being paid by $COMPANY$ to blog, fine. If they don't, that's unethical.Just like advertorial [wikipedia.org] in newspapers or on TV, actually.
    • Re:Disclosure (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Viceice (462967)
      OOO... I get it. It's just like those Slashvertisements we see around here all the time... Except in a newspaper!

  • bloggers, webmasters, when are we trolls going to get some respect!
  • Corporate America is willing to pay to steal the last shred of legitimacy from an already specious source of information.

    Not only can we count on unedited accounts from the mouths of non-specialists... we can count on those non-specialists being paid off by corporate interests to spout off opinions that those corporations will not have to take any responsibility for.

    This can apparently only be used for good.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am glad to see companies begin to drive magnetic web-readiness so they can reinvent ubiquitous niches and streamline impactful deliverables. The whole idea of deploying viral infomediaries is the first step in transforming intuitive infrastructures and recontextualizing impactful channels. Good for them!
  • by BJH (11355) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:06AM (#12691753)

    %s/blogger/astroturfer/g
  • Wake up (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dmiller (581) <djm@@@mindrot...org> on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:11AM (#12691772) Homepage
    Wake up: the emperor has no clothes. Blogging has been owned by vested interests for a while.

    Look at all the technology companies who encourage their employees to blog and wax effusive about their products. (picking a couple of easy examples) Sun, Microsoft, Redhat and many more do this.

    Witness the co-opting of political blogs of all kinds during the last season of US and Australian elections. Notice the tight coupling between the language used by certain bloggers and spin crafted by political parties?

    Observe the abuse of blogs to gain or destroy Google ratings.

    If you think that what you are reading in a blog is somehow automatically more "real" than something you would read in an advert, press release or partisan hack's column, then you are deluding yourself. Blogs are another tool in the bag of PR and marketing people and they will continue to be used as such.
    • I think this is very insightful... TPM is a prime example! There are some political blog heros that pointed out the partisan nature of many... but I don't know where they went.
  • Wow, so they managed to create a job title lower webmaster?
  • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:25AM (#12691825) Homepage
    I can remember when blogging was cool.

    Now it's just another fashion to coopt for marketting reasons. These people will make lots of money for a months until everyone realizes that anyone can write blogs -- that's the entire point. Then it'll be just another job requirement for employees.

    Wait, that's not true. Blogs were never cool.
    • Blogs are a part of the communication infrastructure like the phone system. They aren't "cool" or "uncool". They will be used for good purposes, bad purposes, excellent purposes, and ridiculous purposes.

      But they are here to stay. The term "blog" may be a bit of a fad like "cyberspace". But it's basic form isn't going to go away any time soon. That's because they do one thing very well: help people communicate.
      • "But they are here to stay. The term "blog" may be a bit of a fad like "cyberspace". But it's basic form isn't going to go away any time soon. That's because they do one thing very well: help people communicate."

        You're correct of course. I was basically making fun of the depths companies will sink to to pander to investors. Investors will flee over transitory problems, so companies need a way to say "everything is fine" more frequently and more publically. The message hasn't changed, but they think finding
  • Must have method of transferring data into computerized format. Must be able to spout rumor and opinion, and mix with a believable amount of fact to present a digestable blog. Roland Piquepaille need not apply.
  • Digital Promotion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sundroid (777083) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:30AM (#12691840) Homepage
    If you still think blogging is about teenagers keeping their journals, you're so 2003.

    Blogging has entered business in a big way, and people getting paid to blog is a natural progression. A good blogger must be able to crank out topical posts every day, often more than one entry a day. It ain't easy. I try to keep up my graphic blog (at: http://sunandfun.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]) regularly and the best I can do is about one post every two days.

    The lady in the Wall Street Journal article blogs for a yogurt company. I'm sure blogging is a more effective way of pulling in business than, say, sending out sample dispensers in supermarkets, which is kind of messy, plus the company has to provide all the samples that always get eaten by people who never buy. Of course, her blog will be even more popular now that she's got a write-up in Wall Street Journal.
    • I'm sure it will. I mean, 4 visitors are better then NONE right?

      Seriously. Who here entertained even the most transient desire to go look up a blog on yogurt? Popcorn?

      It is the middle of the night, and I doubt that even bored slashdotters are *THAT* desperate.

      I believe it has its place in the corporate world; interesting jobs and people can make for OCCASIONAL interesting blogs. As a marketing tool for hiring new folks, I imagine that the MS blogs are great -- I've even seen some negative opinions of MS
    • A good blogger must be able to crank out topical posts every day, often more than one entry a day.

      Hey, that is just the same as journalists do. No matter how much news there is or how importand it is. The output is counted in words, not content.
    • If you still think blogging is about teenagers keeping their journals, you're so 2003.

      Actually, when I created the first blog by keeping an daily online journal I was in my 20's. :) (Do a search for The Semi-Existence of Bryon). Too bad there was no money it in then. I remember how annoyed I was when The Spot was created. It was a fake journal of a bunch of sexy guys & girls living in a house together. It was nothing but fiction used to sell advertising. I didn't see any way to make money without
    • I wrote a blog entry [blogspot.com] about that a few weeks ago.

      Stephen


  • http://www.reallysimplesyndication.com/2005/04/28# a487 [reallysimp...cation.com]

    Ask a garbageman. Everything is a paycheck to someone.
  • Dear ED, (Score:4, Funny)

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  • by shri (17709) <shriramc@NospaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:46AM (#12691881) Homepage
    Some random thoughts... no disrespect meant to anyone..

    Most corporations have been hiring shills for centuries. Shilling has been done online for years ... bloggers, for unsophisticated marketers, are shills. Corporations should look at other ways of creating buzz if they cannot find a handful of users / customers who cannot say something good about them.

    The best bloggers are loyal employees. Use them to show that the company has a soul and a heart. No need to hire outsiders... look within.

    I've tried to hire some tech bloggers to help me develop content on a website or two... specially given that my skills are in putting together sites and not blogging or reporting or even writing coherent articles.

    To me commerical blogging (from a non corporate but money making perspective) is essentially fairly similar to running or working for a newspaper. It has to be a very controlled equation that manages egos, commercial reality, discipline, ethics and discipline.

    Egos: The most dedicated bloggers I've met (and I've met a fair few in person) walk around with their egos in their pants.. (and moan about not making enough money to pay their hosting bills). Sometimes it is this wonderful mix of poverty and passion that produces great blogs... usually it is passion.

    Commercial Realities: At some point, people stop caring about the bloggers mundane life and start caring more about the news and information in the blog. In a corporate environment, no one cares about how much salt you put on your fish and chips... deal with it and develop a focus on what the readers want .. not what you want them to read.

    Discipline: Can you produce a story or two a day that will keep readers coming back? Most blogs are abandoned, usually because the bloggers loose interest... If you can discipline yourself and produce a good story every day (hard to do in most areas) or week, you will see people return.. this will equate to $$s

    Commerical Realities: At some point we all need to accept that anything commercial needs a disiplined approach. Commercial entities do not understand that the best journalists often don't file a story a day... they are good because of the quality and not the quantity. If their PR department cannot find something new about the company every day ... I doubt a blogger will.

  • At last, we can know what the Anime Hair Color of the 757 is.
  • Now, if only they would add "jerking off" and "reading slashdot instead of actually working" to the job descriptions, imagine the flood of applications?

    Sorry, I just could not resist :)
  • So basically it's the same old copy writing jobs, except now they're throwing a buzzword in the ad?
  • I'd never heard of simplyhired.com, so I checked them out (since I got laid off AGAIN last week). I've already found several (non-blogging) jobs I'm going to apply for that I haven't found on other job boards.
  • The blogging article was on the front of page B1. In the same issue, Glenn Reynold's from InstaPundit.Com [instapundit.com] had an op-ed piece published titled "We the (Media) People" that also talks about blogging and it's affect on mainstream media. Glenn has this link on his site [clickability.com] which appears to work for folks without a WSJ subscription.

    I kinda doubt that Hulk's Blog [blogspot.com] is going to go Corporate ... ;-)

  • Is this guy: http://devrock.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

    I don't know if he's making any money, but it's one of the few, rare, raw blogs I've read. I just wish he'd update it more often.
  • Q: What's the difference between a paid blogger and a shill?

    A: A shill can go home in the evening and keep quiet.

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

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