Foreign outsourcing: Good, bad, or just plain wrong?I got an email this morning, to which I immediately unsubscribed (not necessarily because of this particular method, but rather because I'm unsubscribing from "internet guru" marketing lists–see this for more–Today, I Start Over, By Unsubscribing from Every Internet Marketer’s List).

But the message in the email I just got might have made me unsubscribe anyway.

The message was about outsourcing. I am not against outsourcing. In fact, I think it's a good method to offload the stuff you're not good at so that you can concentrate on your strengths.

(This is not to suggest that you stop learning. Personally, if I suck at something, I take steps to improve. Rather, this is about getting the best bang for your buck. If you have two things you need to get done, and one has an ROI of 100 percent whereas the other has an ROI of 50 percent, if you do them both, then you should outsource the lower-ROI task, provided you achieve the same–or better–ROI.)

But what I do have a distaste for is foreign outsourcing.

Maybe it's because I worked in the corporate world for years and watched literally hundreds of thousands of jobs move from the US overseas. What I watched at the same time was the disappearance of quality, lower standards, much lower emphasis on customer privacy issues, and higher costs.

You read that right. Higher costs.

The layers of project management that a company had to inject into the work process was flabbergasting. Here you had to hire a $100k a year worker to micro manage a $50 dollar a month temp. WTF?

So the whole outsourcing and "offshoring" thing is a bunch of BS in the corporate world and it ain't goin' away anytime soon.

But for the internet marketer (anybody doing business online), it makes sense. The outsourcing part. The foreign part is what I am not so sure about.

I am no jingoist. I certainly don't believe that only Americans can do a good job.

I believe mostly everybody wants to do good work. But wanting to do good work and doing good work are two different animals. It's more about getting quality work–and that takes money.

You hear all the time about internet marketers paying somebody $3 for an article. Really? You couldn't whip out a better article in 3 minutes? One that actually makes sense and is devoid of spelling and grammatical errors?

The crap I've seen come out of these $3 per article writing shops is a joke. Seriously. It literally takes more time to fix the article than it would have to write it in the first place. Where's the value in that?

Don't get me wrong–if you're merely looking for backlinks, buy some two bit articles. Knock yourself out. But that's for a very specific use and your reputation is not on the line. I get that.

The way internet marketers talk about foreign outsourcing seems like a crappy way to treat people. Remember when Nike (and Apple and Wal-Mart and and and…) was found to be paying its employees crap and were also treating them like crap? It didn't stop them, but circumstances for their workers did improve. And we have our Nike Air Jordans, so life isn't so terrible for us (that's sarcasm).

Finally, there is a place in my heart for the out-of-work American. Like I said before, I am not into jingoism. But with so many people out of work–many of them highly-educated–why not give them a chance? They may cost more out-of-pocket, but they will deliver higher quality with less hand-holding.

And you can feel good about helping your immediate neighbors!

If you want some quality outsourced material, look no further than your local edition of Craigslist.


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