You’re walking down the street and suddenly notice you’re being followed by a slow moving black Lincoln town car. You stop, it stops. You move and it moves… so you turn and squint at the tinted car, trying to look confident while you swallow hard and steady your stance – ready to answer any trouble.
There are two silhouettes barely visible through the dark glass, one has the distinct outline of a fedora hat. You shift your stance slightly wondering what’s next. The headlights flash twice… you look left and right. Pause for a second and then cross the street, although you’re not really sure why. You approach the blacked-out car and can see the driver gesturing toward the rear door.
The window rolls down with the hum of a tired electric motor; clearly its been used like this many times before. The window stops abruptly about half way.
You can see half the face of a man wearing a bright red fedora. He’s got a wry smile and skin that’s nicely tanned but slightly cracked with age. You can tell he’s about to speak.
“First you have to register with mobtreal.com.” He says Bluntly. “What’d you expect?” – his voice seems to boom and crackle even though he’s actually whispering.
“We will review your application to join as a contributor after checking out your work, so completely fill out the form below, hang on…”
He pauses to strike a match and light a cigarette. It smells distinctly American. He draws hard twice and then continues speaking while exhaling smoke through his words…
“If you are accepted as a blogger with mobtreal.com, we’ll open up a little smokey room for you to work, with a couple card tables and some questionable characters to chill with. Your own room to work. You know what I’m talking about?”
“After that, it’s up to you to fill your corner of our site with as much material as you want. Use your collection of original scribblings, words, stories, reviews, party coverage, whatever. Just copy-paste material from your personal blog, and build some profile as a mobster on key topics – yada yada yada.”
“Keep this in mind however..” he pauses for effect, “You start posting a bunch of meaningless crap with piles of links to overtly spammy material your account will be blacklisted, your hands smashed in a piano so you can never type with us again, and your avatar will be thrown into a river with concrete shoes.”
“However, break a story like Prince Harry in Vegas from within our pages and you’re golden!”
“Your first action as a pledge will be to join The Mob’s Press Gigs group where you can view and participate in active assignments the mob is blogging on. You wanna be a made mobster? We encourage you to pick up on the topics being discussed and collaborate on creating a ‘storm’ of content, when we say it’s necessary. Otherwise, go work your own room until we call on you.”
“Some assignments on mobtreal.com are socially or politically driven, others are totally commercial. By participating as a mobtreal.com blogger you have the opportunity to receive compensation for each post on assignment for events we are covering. This is how you get paid.”
“The compensation structure will vary from gig to gig based on what we are able to shakedown from the client. Job details are posted with each assignment. If you blog on topic and meet the editorial requirements, we’ll flip you an Italian handshake. Capiche?”
The window of the Lincoln rolls up in one smooth motion. The black car rolls away purposefully slow. The tail pipe smokes in the cold air as the sound fades away. You’re left standing on the side of the road with an excited, but somewhat nervous, feeling inside.
After all, you’ve never been a mobster before…