Blogger Beware: David Merfield of Upload Robots Uses Twitter and Social Media To Exploit Workers

I engage a variety people across social media platforms. Twitter is one of them. They are without a doubt the most popular micro-blogging site that exists right now. And, if you’re a frequent user, you can gain a lot of insight into any number of industries based on those that participate and exchange information. I’ve had memorable interactions on Twitter.

From general conversations to just reading links as others share their time and expertise. One person I follow is Sarah Evans has emerged as an authority in social media (Update: that of course was later called into question). So, when she posted a message (referred to as a Tweet by regular users) about a job listing last month for Upload Robots, I immediately applied.

Upload Robots advertises themselves as an online thumbdrive. The service itself sounds great. I’m not sure about their recruiting efforts and goals for potential employees.

The draw of a brand new Macbook Pro and a telecommuting position with a new company sure sounds great…doesn’t it?



I was glad to receive an immediate reply with such a firm endorsement of my skill set. However, I was disturbed by David Merfield’s request for free work.

If you’ll note Upload Robots requested that I link to their website to promote them. They said they’d evaluate my efforts for a 2-day period (which not-so-coincidentally tied into their launch dates). They didn’t indicate how they’d be tracking my specific efforts and as such would have no way of determining what I had done — if anything.

I responded with the email below.

My reply to them was a bit of a test itself. Their response could only mean one of two things:

#1 — Was it their goal to see how many job applicants would be willing to promote them … without pay … for an employment opportunity? Was this “job opportunity” just a way for them to get site traffic using social media?

#2 — Or, did they not understand social media?

They may not understand how social media works, but being that this is a tech company that’s highly doubtful. Instead it would appear they are looking for a few suckers to do their dirty work.

The answer turned out to be #1.

“Since you specialize in blogging about non-tech-related subjects …”

What does that have to do with anything? Let’s go back to that job listing. It asks about TWITTER use, not whether you are a tech blogger. If that’s what they wanted they should have stated that from the onset.

Based on their response and a Twitter search for Upload Robots, it’s clear that tech bloggers and anyone else willing to work for free turned out to be the best “employees”.

In conclusion bloggers and those using social media well are commodities.

Know your worth!

Don’t work for the privilege of getting a “free” account as a company does a classic bait and switch.

Companies advertising for positions they have little intention of filling is committing fraud. Do not let these companies use you for your talents for a few trinkets, a few dollars of Ad Sense revenue and other incentives that are NOT guaranteed.

In light of the new FTC rules whereby bloggers have to disclose their compensation for such work it seems hardly worth the effort nowadays.

Don’t fall for the okey doke!