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CNET developer site offshores to India

'We're getting a better interface with producers of the content'

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In an ironic counterpart to the trend of offshoring programmer jobs to India, the business of writing about programming is also on the move.

In a memo leaked to NewsForge's Robin 'roblimo' Miller, a senior editor at CNET's Builder.com explains to freelancers that the company is embarking on a two-month trial contract with an Indian company to produce the content.

Miller notes: "Builder.com is the first major content-reliant Web site we've heard of that is offshoring writing work instead of outsourcing some of it."

Rex Baldazo, senior editor at CNET. explains that the time difference is an advantage, and it could bring a fresh perspective.

"We're not just saving money," he told Miller. "We're getting a better interface with producers of the content."

Deli belly

Technical writing departments have suffered badly in the aftermath of the dotcom crash. Authors once worked closely with development teams, although this is a rarity now. You can find a tale of two former technical authors, one at Microsoft and one at Boeing makes for a grim read. Both are now working in a deli.

"The irony is that while Indian workers make $12 an hour (the equivalent, an Indian tech worker tells me, to about $40 US dollars) and considers that a living wage, Gary and I make only $8 an hour and are struggling to make ends meet," writes David Beckman.

"Often customers who wear the infamous T-shirt or jacket brandishing a Microsoft logo come in to purchase sandwich meat and cheese or fried chicken and a salad — something easy to prepare for a late dinner. I once told one such customer that I had also worked at Microsoft. He just shot me an odd look for a moment, and then he grasped the pound of roast beef I had just sliced for him and hurried off in the direction of the grocery department." ®

External link
Builder.com outsourcing content production to India

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