Website Review: HitRecord

Is this thing on…?

This week’s website review is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s baby, HitRecord. Launched in 2004, the website follows a pretty easy format: about once a week, prompts will call for material for a project, called a collaboration. It could be anything including script writing, poetry, digital photography, audio tracks, etc. There’s literally millions of active projects covering every form of media.

And, to make everything better, if your creation is selected, you’ll get paid. From the few members I emailed, not a lot, but it’s a start. In fact, the website has gotten so successful that JGL was able to launch a TV series that uses material from the site during production.

Pros:

  • Opportunities. As I said before, there are so many chances to share you’re work.
  • Money. Payment may be small at times, but it’s something.
  • Experience. Being a writer isn’t always novel-crafting. It’s hitting deadlines, interacting with other writers, completing prompts. HitRecord offers inexperienced writers a chance to learn some of the basics of being a writer without pressure.
  • JGL cares. He’s done a lot of interviews about his website and he truly cares. He doesn’t stiff them come payment time and he works his adorable ass off to bring new opportunities for members.

Cons

  • Very visual heavy. While there are a lot of prompts for writing, there’s triple seeking visual or audio material. This is good for you designers(!) but I found some of the writing collaborations a little underwhelming.
  • Motivation. The site requires a lot of self-motivation. This isn’t a negative; honestly more writers need to be more self-driven, but it’s easy to forgot HitRecord exists. I found I would go weeks without checking the site.
  • Community. While HitRecord does a good job of letting members interact, other websites do a much better job of facilitating conversations. I can’t say this enough: every writer needs someone to talk to regarding their work. Be it online or in person, writers need support systems, editors, and someone to discuss ideas.

Like most websites featured, HitRecord is worth exploring. It doesn’t really work for me, but it might be the perfect site for you. Give it a chance. If you don’t like it, close your account.

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