"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Blogging For Dollars

Who says there is no money in blogging? Henry Copeland of Blogads gives hope to legions of bloggers with the dream of turning their hobby into some extra cash. Copeland in an interview says:

I think the numbers will continue to grow at LEAST until bloggers get 0.1% of the total US annual advertising spend, $250 billion. That may take 3 years or it may take 18, but it is inevitable. Bloggers understand their subjects and their audiences better than anyone else in media AND they've got the lowest overheads. After all, pajamas cost much less than suits.
When asked how many bloggers do you see reaching the "earning a living" threshold over the next few years? Copeland said:

I'd be thrilled to reach 500. But 5000 is possible. And if things go really well 50,000.
Quite a range isn’t it? Well, best of luck to our blog buddies that hold this dream – we’re just hoping to enlighten a few folks and change a few minds.

We couldn’t help but notice that the Daily Kos tops the list with an estimated $6800 per week in Blogad revenue.

Isn’t it amazing the “champions of the little guys” often seem to lead the league in the money making department? The rhetoric from the left invariably paints Republicans as the greedy, idle rich and the Democrats as members of working families, struggling under the domination of those on the evil right.

Can we lay this meme to rest? Just thinking of Jon Corzine and Frank Lautenberg should do the trick for most people. John Kerry, anyone?


At 2:33 PM, Blogger Mr. Snitch said...

This meme borders on a subject dear to me, that of institutionalization. What MSM (let's call them 'commercial' media, media for profit, here) resents about bloggers is the widely-held (among bloggers anyway) contention that bloggers are 'more honest' than established, 'commercial', media.

Actually, a more pragmatic point of view might be that we are seeing one system of rewards and incentives clashing against another. Commercial media is institutionalized. Its rewards and incentives are mainly tied to profits. As institutions, attacks on other institutions can be detrimental to the bottom line. Sponsors with their own vested interests can be alienated by certain stories, and take their ad dollars elsewhere. Politicians can find ways to punish unfriendly reporters. Criticism of other media outlets begs for retribution. And so on. Reporters and media outlets that don't play by the rules are eventually filtered out of the system. All this means that a great many stories crying out for attention never recieve it, and as a nation we all suffer for that.

Bloggers overwhelmingly operate under an entirely different system of risks and rewards. Obviously, there's no money for most of them at present. As you correctly point out, that may change for a handful or for many. (May it change for you and yours!) But bloggers proliferate, so there is some kind of incentive at work. The incentive that seems to predominate (and the one we'll focus on here) is the desire for attention. Attention is blogger currency.

Using that model of insight, blogs are geared to attract attention. This means that bloggers have an incentive to attack commercial media. Attacks on commercial media brings (grudging) attention from commercial media. Therefore attacks on commercial media generates blogger currency.

Attacks on other bloggers can be problematic, but are generally favored in this model also. The downside of bloggers attacking each other is that they remove each other from blogrolls and so on. But this is far outweighed by the controversy and attention attacks generate. If I attack a blogger on his own site, and draw others into the discussion, that blogger may take me off his blogroll. But - the 100 comments generated brings traffic to both our sites (since they'll follow my signature trail). So: this kind of controversy ALSO generates blogger currency.

Sensationalistic stories, controversy, lowbrow headlines and sex attract attention/currency. So do insightful, dogged reporting. All proliferate in the blogosphere.

We need the press/political/institutional watchdogs that many blogs have become, because by and large they do not exist in 'commercial' media. But we need to be careful about deluding ourselves that they have come about as a result of honest folks rising up. To be sure, the press is largely (though not completely) co-opted by nature. Many honest individuals can have no place in it, and thank God they now have a means of expression. But basically what we are seeing is a gigantic clash of rewards systems.

As you pointed out re Kos, the rewards for some bloggers has changed. Expect these blogs to assume the same institutional conflicts associated with 'commercial' media (at $6800 per week - that we know of - Kos *IS* commercial media!). And expect new, unpaid blogs to rise and nip at the heels of newly institutionalized 'commercial' blogs, exposing their disingenuous way, many with the hope of turning attention into profit. And so it goes...

At 12:37 AM, Blogger NEWS4A2, blood-sucking journalist said...

Mr. Snitch has good insight and makes some excellent points. 2004 was the year of the bloggers and 527s and will go down in history as the coming of age of internet-based journalism.

The people who operate blogs are people who care about commenting on current events. These are the leaders and motivators who will lead change. The best soldier is a volunteer, not a conscript or a mercenary.

As I noted on the usenet years ago and republished on my blog, the 4th and 5th estate, newspapers/magazine and broadcasting, have become too sedate and too spoon fed, and too risk-averse because of the golden handcuffs of advertising dollars, to the detriment of the public interest.

Not only is the MSM or, as a friend of mine calls it VLWM (vast left wing media) worried about the 6th estate, it is scared witless. As I reported on my blog, The Associated Press announced late last week that it will be offering news copy with varying type story leads because it's normal customers are having their lunch eaten by the speed and variation of news on the web.

The times they are a-changin'!

At 2:05 AM, Blogger 贝贝 said...

The Tax Return Crack-Up<3>
Granted, there are usuallyMicrosoft Office 2010write-ups when presidential contenders make their tax returns available, but the coverage falls far short of the Office 2010
full court press (pardon the pun) that the Clintons have received. What's Microsoft Office 2007different now?Office 2007One possibility is that most upper middle class Democrats, and therefore most Microsoft OfficeOffice 2007 keyeditors and reporters of our nation's big papers as well as Office 2007 downloadtelevision producers, are Obama supporters who think that Hillary should hurry up Office 2007 Professionaland drop out of the race already.Microsoft outlook
Microsoft outlook 2010Whom elite liberals are pulling for really does shape political coverage in ways


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