Thursday, March 13, 2008

While-You-Wait Editing

Let’s say you have to answer an email from an important client. Not being a professional writer, you’re unsure whether the lengthy response you hacked out will even make sense. Who are you going to call? Gramlee. Paste your rough-hewn verbiage into a text box on Gramlee’s website. Hit submit. And within about two hours the text is emailed back, expertly polished by human editors so that it’s both readable and grammatically correct.

Gramlee claims that the average email runs about 150 words, and charges under a dollar to edit a document of that length. Longer documents incur built-in discounts; for example, editing a report-length 1,617-word document—about 7 double-spaced pages—costs just under USD 10, which is cheap enough to entice nearly everyone to use the service. Gramlee lets frequent users ‘buy words’ in advance, and it’s easy to imagine companies running an account with the editing service to make sure their routine documents are professionally produced.

Right now, most organizations handle the editing of everyday documents in a far less efficient manner. Important letters, emails and other documents are either handed off to the lone office worker who majored in English, or a company locates free-lance editors and summons them whenever the need arises. Indeed, Gramlee does for writing what online translation and concierge services have done for other common tasks that benefit from a professional’s touch. And a fast turnaround will hook customers into making a habit of having their documents edited. Considering the billions of memos and emails that circulate every day, the market for companies providing on-the-spot editing is vast.

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