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Net Slaves

this week in class we discovered about general life working in the creative media, and focud on the difficulties of these “net slaves”. We has a look at Beck and explored how new media workers can be dubbed poster boys/girls

We explored the concept of new media workers been victims of programmable labour and explore how Manuel Castells coined the phrase to lable a group of individual workers who have to accept they are at a need to constantly upskill and improve their knowledge as technology advances.

This theory is accepted by Marx too who insists it is a method of oppression of the workers, sighting “that the worker must become the instrument of labour in the hands of the capitalist” and more important, without the essential skills needed to preform a job…..there is not job!

Ros Gill in 2002 explained “web workers displayed extraordinary enthusiasm  & in their field.  Sighting five repertoires as their backbone

  • Autonomy
  • Pleasure
  • Communication
  • Innovation
  • Political Activism
  • A cool, interesting industry

Gill also highlighted the difficulties about working freelance, sighting the following

  • Pay for freelancers was not “overly attractive”
  • Freelancers earn less than people working on a stable contractable job
  • An illusion of freelancing can cause their pay to be overly attractive but when coupled with the pressures to “pitch low” in order to secure a contract, or worse, underestimate a work load can cause freelancers to work long hours.
  • Freelancers do not have access to benefits, insurance and pensions
  • Freelancers do not have scheduled holiday time and often have to arrange holidays with little notice to facilitate potential jobs. What is  more important.. Bit holidays or a big job
  • Regular contract work averages 35 – 40  hours/ week where freelancers may work an average of 65 hours

Gill also sighted her criticism of college and university structures. she highlighted three issues

  1. Schools focus on theory over practice leaving graduates short of the experience needed to gain employment
  2. Due to the continually changing work environment lessons/modules are out of date by the time students graduate
  3. Focus on preparation on real life skills was ignored, i.e. management skills, budgeting skills, pitching skills and basic business skills

AS these factors mentioned above can delay a students/graduates progress in the working world they feel the pressure to keep their skill level up regarding development and learning new skills

For freelancers informal connections are the lifeblood of their work. Friends teachers, students, colleges and clients are a vital listing of contacts,. Knowing the right person helps to gain employment


Demographic of creative industries



as a general rule of thumb, white men are the ‘norm’in the creative industry, thus influencing other white males to join. this is a circle


Three key qualities displayed by workers in new media.

  • Stamina – needed for long working hours
  • Learning and adaptability
  • Energy
  • Ability to budget and work on little money
  • Flexibility

Ideal people who will suit freelancing work:

  • People without families or people with few kids
  • People living in a family where the spouce can cater for the home needs i.e shopping paying bills
  • Young people




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