April 30th, 2012
Assignmint promises to change freelancing
By David Sheets
There’s a new player in the marketplace promising to change the way freelance journalists do their jobs, and the results are supposed to be spectacular.
But so far, it’s only a promise.
Assignmint.com is the Web address for this ambitious operation and Jeff Koyen, a former New York Post writer, is the person said to be in charge of it. According to the early media buzz, Assignmint intends to consolidate all aspects of freelancing — from pitches to payment — in a cloud-sharing model designed to streamline the business in such a way that freelancers have more freedom to be productive.
The site and Koyen’s plan gained attention last week in articles by Fast Company and Mediabistro’s FishbowlLA. However, for now, the site itself only asks visitors to submit their email addresses if they want to be included in the limited beta release in June. Assignmint tentatively launches in a broader format later this year, and at least the basic memberships will be free, Koyen says.
Ideally, once registered with Assignmint, member freelancers can “filter and manage incoming pitches, issue assignments and then handle all related fulfillment (e.g. contracts and invoices) right from their dashboard,” Koyen explained in FishbowlLA. Assignmint is even expected to have features for matching freelancers with prospective clients.
Premium accounts meanwhile will have a broader selection of workflow and sharing tools, as well as advice on 1099 tax filing.
Assignmint is targeting writers and editors first, other media later. And if that relationship works as intended, the site will expand to include academia, and financial and IT services, among others, Koyen says.
Surely though the most interesting part about Assignmint will be its attempt to minimize hassle from payment collection. Assignmint proposes to act in the freelancer’s interest in exchange for a yet-to-be-determined service fee, sort of the way sites such as eBay and PayPal handle e-payments.
At least that’s the general idea. For now, however, Assigmint is like a story pitch that’s a long ways away from payout.
David Sheets is a sports content editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com, and president of SPJ’s St. Louis Pro chapter. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com, on Twitter at @DKSheets, or on Facebook and LinkedIn.