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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

billmon, Michael Berube, Jeanne D'Arc

I wrote the following as a comment on post by Skippy at dailykos:

Ah, Ted Barlow Disease...

It's ffff'd.

Hits hardest during seasonal affective disorder season.

The days are so goldarnerd short, why spend them inside?

Dirty little secret of blogging, you've pointed it out Skippy, is that there's this huge trap that makes you ask:

Why should I endure writer's block, eye strain, carpal tunnel, the obligation to READ so much other stuff...for free...even, perhaps, at a cost to my personal and professional life?

It's the question of sustainability. That's the word I come back to.

When I think of bloggers like billmon, Jeanne D'Arc and Michael Berube, however, one core thing comes to mind...it seems like such an utter waste for them to leave off what is, I think, the most critical aspect of their blogs:

They are INFLUENTIAL voices; we respect them. That...more than fame, or power, or money or, even, political dedication, is what makes them so valuable, and probably motivates them to blog...it also makes it such a shame that they have left off.

We want to know what they think. And what they think is not only valuable, but has SHAPED what and how so many others think.

I can respect that folks need a break. I can respect that folks need to leave off. in fact, I can respect anything a blogger says vis a vis blogging.

That doesn't change my thought that until the blogospohere finds a way to nurture and sustain one of its greatest resources: the fresh, vital and influential voices that we have come to know and count on as we move through history together...that we haven't matured as a medium of communication. Somebody should figure this out a bit. It's so stupid.

15K a year for a blog post a week could get you ten great bloggers, I'm sure.

$150,000 a year to run an online magazine.

Somebody should try it...or "we" should try it. $30 subscription = $150K year w/ 5000 readers. Doable, especially with a sliding scale. Build some advertising in and the model could take off and pay something to the host and the writers.

I think that comes to around $250 a blog post. The writers listed at the top of this piece are worth much more than that.


  • Getting to the point of being sustainable via advertising & subscriptions means getting at least 100,000 regular readers.

    Only a very few blogs are able to achieve that.

    That puts us into the realm of subsidies-from-rich patrons, something which probably works well for the right, but isn't likely to work on the left.

    By Anonymous silence, at 7:57 PM  

  • Great idea k/o. I like where Kos is going with his blog and all the advertising revenue that the sites are bringing in.

    I think it is a worthy cause that the left needs to try. We have great blogs like Firedoglake, MyDD, and others who pay but as you have mentioned others that pay so little or nothing at all. This is where some of great writer lie in waiting.

    By Anonymous Peace to all, at 5:24 PM  

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