"Flogging the Freelancer" is a blog post a day on freelancing in the gig economy. Browse the archives here.
We've kept in touch since, and every once in while, when I have a question, I'll ask Cal for his insider knowledge.
For example, recently I read online that people were purportedly butt chugging lean. Was this true? I wondered. Are people really butt chugging lean? I had to know. I poked around online, but I couldn't figure out if butt chugging lean was a real thing or a hoax.
"do people really butt chug lean?" I DM'd Cal on Twitter.
"Lol wow," he responded. "Probably kids." He added, "16-."
Generally speaking, I've found that, whenever possible, journalists should avoid entering through the front door. Don't interview the CEO; seek out the janitor. Most publicists are professional cockblockers; cuntblock them and forge your own path. The appropriate channels are the death of true exploration; zigzag to create new connections in unlikely places.
The side door is the only way to figure out if you've got a story -- or if it's full of shit.