Last night Rafe wrote a post about ways to make money while in your underwear. It's a novel concept that likely wouldn't lose its luster until the winter months. One of the companies, called Brijit caught my interest, mostly because as a blogger, one of the required skills is summarizing large written items and shrinking them down into small, edible chunks. Brijit takes large stories from online and print publications and fits them into 100-word-or-so abstracts you can quickly give a once-over, and decide if it's worth it to delve deeper. The site is powered by freelance writers who write each abstract, and add their own opinion and editorial style.
Writers who submit their abstracts have the potential of getting paid for their efforts if their work is published. The system is set up almost like a newsroom story queue, with deadlines, assignment titles, and sources to get you started. As a writer, you just head over to the queue, pick a story, and get to it. The abstracts themselves are a simple affair, just about 100 words summing up the story, with a rating to let readers know how read-worthy the source is. Once it's submitted, Brijit's editors will give it a once over and choose whether or not it's publishable.
Brijit pays its writers using PayPal and does it on a monthly basis for any stories they've written in the previous month. The price paid for each abstract works on a sliding scale. Basic text abstracts net $5 a pop, while audio and video abstracts fetch $8. The presumption is that the videos and audio clips require more time and resources. The system also rewards frequent publishers by giving them the option to claim multiple stories from the story queue at once, potentially letting the user make more.
I like finding new content, and while user-generated sites like Digg, Reddit, and Delicious frequently offer up a good smattering of links, the stuff on Brijit tends to reward those willing to read more than a sentence and gives you a pretty helpful heads up if the source material isn't all that great. The entire system reminds me of a print publication called The Week, which takes the last seven days worth of news and summarizes it into a 50-page magazine with links to online publications or other print sources.
Brijit also seems like a great way fledgling writers can develop an online resume. Since each writer gets his or her own profile with links to all published work, writers could theoretically point an employer to the page to show what they're capable of.