Just about anything can be outsourced these days from customer service to personal tax filing, but what if you need help with a creative project, say a radio story? We asked NHPR's Sean Hurley to relinquish his creative control and utilize a website called Fiverr, an online marketplace where people offer a wide range of services starting at just five dollars. Sean used to sell his creative talent on Fiverr so we figured he was the perfect person to be the project manager of a completely outsourced radio story.
The idea of the story was to outsource it entirely, but Sean had to figure out where to begin. "The first problem I had was, what should this story be about or how do I get the ball rolling? I didn’t know what to do, and I was just drifting around on Fiverr and then I found this woman Nadia in the UK who’s a psychic and writes titles for five dollars...that seemed like a really fine way to begin this kind of thing."
After Nadia provided the title, Sean moved on to outsourcing an introduction, then a small team of writers. It became clear that he would also need a team of editors to cull the story down, so he hired a couple of those. Next came voiceover artists, a musician to create a sonic landscape and finally an illustration to accompany this web post. Sean's role was to put it all together. "I wanted to keep out of it as much as possible. I thought it would be interesting if I did very little except sort of serve as the impresario of this; putting it together, finding the pieces, just picking the people."
And soon, a radio drama was born. Sean produced the drama by putting all of the pieces together, resisting the urge to cut it down. A process he found equal parts frustrating and liberating. "It was nice, and it was a little strange. I felt like I wanted to rewrite this story. Or a felt like I knew how to fix it, I knew [I could] make this really short and tight. I was happy also not to, it’s nice to not work, and to leave it up to…fate.
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