An American Editor

January 4, 2015

Worth Reading: Workers on Tap

As long-time readers of An American Editor know, I am a long-time subscriber to The Economist (my current subscription runs through 2022), a magazine I think all freelancers should read regularly. One reason why I believe this is demonstrated in these articles from the current issue: “The On-demand Economy: Workers on Tap” and “The Future of Work: There’s an App for That.”

“Workers on Tap” and “There’s an App for That” are must-read articles for all of us. They are not directly aimed at editors and publishing, but they could be without much stretch.

In my recent essay, “Business of Editing: Getting Ready for the New Year,” I mentioned the need for us to look for and evaluate trends that might or will affect our business in the coming and future years. One of the resources I use to identify trends that might affect my business is The Economist; articles like “Workers on Tap” and “There’s an App for That” is why. These articles have given me a great deal of food for thought; perhaps they will do the same for you.

Richard Adin, An American Editor


  1. I read the Economist article and found it depressing. I don’t want to be a disposable part, plugged in when needed and tossed aside when not. I like being part of an organization, forming relationships, knowing the people around me, serving a common purpose. Also, I wonder how accurate that article really is. I’ve worked (and still work) for several major high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley, and despite the advanced technology that they created, they all wanted employees to come in to the office! Including my current employer. Working from home was/is an exception. Look at Melissa Mayer’s decision to reverse course and require employees to come in to the office. The services mentioned in the article were very narrow, as well—dinner service and flower delivery, etc. An internal communications manager can’t be summoned with a smartphone app.


    Comment by Christina — January 6, 2015 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

    • In contrast to Silicon Valley, look at publishing and how that has gone from rarely using freelancers to almost always using freelancers. Silicon Valley is still young in the scheme of things plus it has a somewhat unique need — it needs creative people to brainstorm and create the next must-have device or program. Publishing is far from that type of business.


      Comment by americaneditor — January 6, 2015 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

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