Editorial Abstracting

A month have past since I got into this job. The moment I learned, from one of my facebook contacts, that it does exist, I grabbed the opportunity to get to know more about it. I just love writing and so it didn’t take much time before I signed up. Few weeks later, I attended the training.

During the training in one of the buildings along commercial avenue in Alabang, I was surprised to see that there’s a lot of people, who are actually interested to be in this program. Our batch was composed of retirees, teachers, event organizers, freelance writers, ex-call center agents and even those with current jobs and not surprisingly, several bums just like me. There was even one complete family who attended.

So what is this job all about? It’s a form of business process outsourcing (BPO), and basically, it’s the call center’s non-voice counterpart. It’s a bum writer’s dream as it entails one to work at home without the nosy bosses and ill-tempered co-workers, not that they existed before. Hahaha. Anyway, despite those attractive perks, until now I find it an odd job.

As much as I love writing, I soon realized that editorial abstracting is a different discipline from plain blogging. It requires a lot of reading and comprehension to form an acceptable, if not good, abstract. It starts with having what they call a journal that is accessible through the company’s website. This journal contains files that may either be articles, book reviews, news briefs, instructional articles, and photo essays just to name a very few. These files in pdf format should then be read, identified if what article type it belongs and finally, an abstract should be written out of it. The abstract length ranges from one sentence to 300-500 characters maximum, depending on the article type. Once done, these abstracts are then emailed to the company and which they then send it back to whoever (and wherever in the US) customer in abroad requested the abstract to be written.

The customers abroad are actually publishing companies who outsource these writing jobs here in the Philippines. These companies send articles that ranges almost anything under the sun. Yes, you read it right. It’s anything under the sun. Proof of it, the first journal I got was actually about GLBT. And I learned just then, that GLBT stands for Gay, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender, so imagine my surprise when I saw pictures of male caucasians tongue-tied in a bar and that I’m expected to write about their events and experiences. What’s funny is that I’m writing it for a fee with the highest being P16. And yes, once again, you read it right. 16 Philippine peso ($0.35).

But don’t retreat yet, unless for reasons of receiving a GLBT, the P16 fee is per article. Each journal may contain several articles and as you get the hang of it, the more abstracts you can write and the more journals you accomplish in a day. Soon you’ll be earning according to your phase and will be surprised how much you’ve actually accumulated and received as payment.

So far I’ve written abstracts about law, sports, treasure hunting, agriculture and lately, Russian-related articles. I’m expecting they’ll soon assign what I’ve listed as my topic of interest – economics, business & industry, religion, education. But then again, they say that it’s unlikely to be followed and that journals will be assigned according to availability. Well, I’ll take anything but no more GLBT please.




Mood: 3/10 Honks! (survived half-day of being home alone with the hyper Marcus)


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