Weekly Wrap: Freelance & Creative News

Scam targeting freelance writers. Social media platform closing down. Fund emerges for mobile media projects. Pop icon's mag is closing. $10,000 photography contest...AND MORE!

Scam Targeting Freelance Writers

A fake job posting is floating around the web offering freelance writers a byline on Sporting News in exchange for personal information. This may include a photo of your passport, bank account information or social security number.

Sporting News says this is a phishing scam. If the company is really trying to contact you about work, they will email you from an official company e-mail address or they will  “slide into your DMs.”

If you receive messages or emails that seem suspect, they said to feel free to verify or report the issue @SportingNews on Twitter.

READ:  Why You Should Have A Tax  ID Number

Comcast Exposed Customer Info

Comcast’s activation service was exposing the Wi-Fi names and passwords for routers provided by Xfinity/ Comcast.

The site that exposed the information was designed to help people who were setting up their internet for the first time. But anyone with a subscriber’s account number and street address number could access the information, which was sitting on the web in plaintext.

That means people with those two measly pieces of information could log on and use the router or monitor its traffic, TechCrunch explained.

Comcast said within hours of learning of this issue, they shut down the site. They don’t think any information was accessed. And they are investigating the matter.

Was this an innocent yet sloppy mistake? Or is this a case of a company  cutting corners to cut costs? Head to the comment section if you want to weigh in.

FBI Router Warning For All

Speaking of routers…

The FBI is warning all consumers that there’s a nasty malware attack that has hit about half-a-million routers in over 50 countries, including the U.S. Called VPNFilter, the malware can reportedly steal data, ravage entire networks and even make your router “self-destruct,” which would knock you offline.

This malware has reportedly been traced to a group linked to Russia’s military service. And the only way to ensure you’re protected is to reboot your router and install a patch from the manufacturer.

Don’t half-step with this one thinking you can just reboot your router and be okay.

Yes, rebooting will wipe out much of the toxic code. But a portion of it survives and reinstalls the malware. The only sure cure is a patch, says the Boston Globe.

Salt Lake City Best Place for Creatives

Salt Lake City, UT is the best spot in the U.S. for creatives, according to finance site Smartasset. The cost of living is 6% below the national average and there are over 7,500 creatives concentrated in the metro area.
Rounding out the top five best places for creatives is:

  • the Nashville, TN area
  • Fayetteville, AR / Springdale, MO
  • Lincoln, NE
  • South Bend, IN / Mishawaka, MI

The Midwest scored well because of the low costs of living, while metro areas on the East and West coasts received low rankings because they are too expensive, Smartassets said.

Bye-Bye StumbleUpon, Hello Mix

Say goodbye to StumbleUpon (if you ever said hello). The platform is shutting down on June 30.

Although StumbleUpon is credited as an excellent way to drive large amounts of traffic to your site, over the years it “failed to stay relevant,” says TechCrunch.

Simplicity was one of its greatest attributes and ultimately part of its downfall, according to StumbleUpon co-founder Garrett Camp.

But have no fear, Camp is not abandoning StumbleUpon users. Apparently, he is ushering them toward better things, in the form of a product called Mix.com. Existing StumbleUpon accounts will be transitioned to Mix before June 30.

Andy Warhol’s Magazine Folding

Interview, a culture and arts magazine founded by Andy Warhol, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will close shop Monday, the New York Post reported.

In February, the magazine was reportedly evicted from their offices in Soho and they have also been mired in legal spats with former employees, including a lawsuit where former editorial director Fabien Baron claims he is owed $600,000 for work he wasn’t paid for.

theSkimm Attracts $12 Million

theSkimm raised $12 million in its Series C funding round. The company was founded six years ago by two women, Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, and most of the investments in this funding round came from women, including Shonda Rhimes, Tyra Banks and Willow Bay, reported Adweek.

theSkimm started out as a daily newsletter and has evolved into a media organization that includes an app, a research tool called Skimm Studies, and a production arm, Skimm Studios, which develops content including the podcast, Skimm’d From the Couch.

Congrats and cheers to the ladies at theSkimm and another round for the ladies who invested.

Elon Musk to Fix the Media

Elon Musk is not happy with current state of the media. On Wednesday, he made this clear on Twitter saying:

Later, after suggesting that Trump got elected because no one believes the media anymore and they lost credibility a long time ago, Musk announced what he’s going to do about it.


Musk then posted results from a poll he apparently created to get feedback on the idea. Of nearly 700,000 votes, 88% were in favor.

Challenging the media directly, he tweeted:

The next day, he was still firing.

My, my Elon is a feisty one, now isn’t he?

San-Antonio Express News Axes Staff

The San Antonio Express-News is laying off 14 journalists, say people familiar with the matter.

According to the San Antonio Current, editor-in-chief Mike Leary retired last week and managing editor Jamie Stockwell also recently left for a position at the New York Times.

Express-News is owned by the Hearst Corp., which has dozens of newspapers, and there’s long been speculation that company is looking for ways to consolidate Texas operations, especially Express-News and Chronicle, says the San Antonio Current.

Snapchat Launches Fund For Mobile Media

Snapchat introduced Yellow, a fund designed to help people working on media projects for mobile devices.

“Whether your thing is augmented reality, interactive storytelling, new kinds of narratives or something we haven’t even thought of yet,” you could be eligible for benefits that include a $150,000 investment, mentorship from industry veterans and workspace in California.

To join the fall 2018 program, you must apply by July 8. Do it here.

Novelist Philip Roth Died

Award-winning novelist Philip Roth died at age 85. Early in his literary career, he wrote material for The New Yorker that “prompted condemnations from rabbis and the Anti-Defamation League.”

He went on to write over 30 books about being Jewish, sexuality, relationships, family, politics and life with “rude truth,” says WBUR.

Roth’s work included Sabbath’s Theatre, Goodbye Columbus, Zuckerman Unbound and American Pastoral, a Pulitzer Prize winner. He announced his retirement in 2012.

What’s New

For self-proclaimed geeks, a daily pop culture news and review site called The Pop Insider has been born. It’s a multimedia publication supported with a weekly e-newsletter, seasonal print magazine and ezine.


Magnify Your Purpose: An Introvert’s Guide to Creating a Coaching Business that Reflects Who You Are by Stacey Weckstein is a guide that helps creative people transform their passions into a successful career.

It was written primarily for introverted professionals that want to create a purposeful business that reflects who they are.


Schedule It:

June 2 &9: The Black Woman Millionaire Tour

Dr. Venus Reese, author of The Black Woman Millionaire, reportedly went from homeless to a self-made millionaire. As part of her book tour, she’ll have a signing and seminar to show women how to become 7-figure earners in Los Angeles, CA on June 2. She’ll be in Austin, TX  on June 9.

Tickets are $52.

June 3-6: Optic 2018 Travel, Outdoor, & Wildlife Photography

This conference, sponsored by B&H and Lindblad Expeditions, focuses on inspiration, techniques and equipment for outdoor photography.

Events include lectures, an after-hours dinner party, a critique session, and a walk through New York Botanical Garden with National Geographic Photographers and Sony Artisans.

Free attendance (tickets required). Free live streaming.

June 20: Gig Economy Webinar

Skyline College is hosting a webinar to “equip you with the basic skills to become a freelancer.” And they’ll do it in an hour, between 6-7 p.m.

Plus, it’s free. Sign up why don’t ya?

June 21-24: By the People Festival

This a Washington DC International arts and dialogue event with artists, performers, speakers, installations.

Many events are free. Some require tickets. Here are the deets.

Thru July 13: William H. F. Talbot & Birth of Photography Exhibit

Many consider William Henry Fox Talbot the father of photography. This exhibition “examines Talbot’s process, his rivalry with Parisian Jacques-Louis Mandé Daguerre whose invention of photography was celebrated by the French, and Talbot’s concerted effort to explain to a Victorian public why the invention mattered.

It’s going down now at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL. Free admission


August 11-18: O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life Cruise

On this seven day cruise from Seattle, WA to Alaska, five editors from O, The Oprah Magazine will host activities and events. They’ll be joined by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, a clinical psychologist, author and international speaker, Laura Lippman, a New York Times bestselling author and Sara Auster, sound therapist, meditation teacher and artist.

Fares start at $1,219 per person, double occupancy. More info

Go For IT

The New Yorker is hiring a deputy news editor.

Duties include assigning and editing stories as well as generating story ideas and finding freelance writers.

You need at least 3 years experience as a writer, journalist or editor and you’ll have to work at least one weekend day. Here are more details.


Now This is hiring a freelance breaking news producer.

The job involves covering breaking news and conducting real-time reporting through text and video across NowThis platforms, “primarily Snapchat.”

You must live in New York and have a minimum of 2 years experience writing, editing, or producing. Here are more details.


FRESCO & Elastos launched the first annual FRESCO Art Award. The theme is blockchain.

You can create your submission in any medium. Five winners will be selected based on public support from social medium platforms. The first place prize is 500 ELA & 500,000 FRES. (I believe those are cryptocurrencies.)

You must pass the FRESCO art test and have >0.1 tokens in ELA and ERC-20 wallets. The selection phase runs until Aug. 22. Get more info.

Larevel Blog Contest: Write an original blog post about any technical topic related to Laravel, Forge, Envoyer, Spark, Horizon, Echo, Cashier, etc to win.

Your submission must be entered by May 31. The winner will be determined on June 1 based on thumbs up emoji votes.

The winner will receive $1,500 via Paypal. The deets


2018 Share The Experience Photography Contest is now accepting entries of shots taken on land managed by one of the six federal recreation agencies, such as the National Park Service .

Any legal U.S. resident who is 13 or older and earns less than 20% of their annual income from photography can enter. You can enter up to 10 photos a month through December 31.

Grand prize is $10,000 plus publication, a 2-night hotel voucher for Death Valley, CA, outdoor gear and an annual Federal Recreation Lands Pass. Check out the other prize categories and rules.

And that is your Weekly Wrap folks! Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!!

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