Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Periodically, I get curious about how there seems to be so many people who seem to blog full-time. As a student juggling a busy class and research schedule, and spending a lot of my off-time doing things like reading, watching TV, playing videogames, and generally being offline, it's hard to imagine finding the kind of time to post more than 3-4 times a day (especially if you're interested in posting meaningful content). Plus, there's that whole question of money. How can people afford to quit their jobs and become full-time bloggers? Apparently, there's this thing called blogads (yes, I know, I'm so behind on the times); bloggers can actually sell space on their sidebars to people on a weekly or monthly basis. And, get this, people will actually buy it! Are you honestly telling me that a blog can make money just by existing?!? Curiousity got the best of me, and I hit on some fairly well-known leftist blogs to see if they had blogads I had never noticed. Sure enough, most blogs had blogads, and many even were part of blogad networks. I was able to check the prices, and I nearly fell out of my chair. $16/week on $89/week on Pandagon? A whopping $1800/week on DailyKos?!? How is Marcos Moulitsas not a millionaire by now?? (Or, is he?) Given my seemingly endless money woes (thanks again to everyone who chipped in to help buy more bandwidth last month for this site), it's a tempting idea to try and market this blog. I'd certainly love to be able to have this blog, at the very least, pay for itself. But, I also have some qualms about this whole blogads idea. I mean, philosophically, blogging is about bringing the voice of the people to the people. It's supposed to be undistilled opinionating and grassroots discussion. Guerilla activism at its finest, not filtered through the corporations and tainted by capitalism. I have this whole starry-eyed idea that blogging can bring the world closer, inspire real-world activism, charge community-building, and fuel ongoing political pariticipation simply because it's the right thing to do. [Electroman says, "Who the fuck lied to you?"] Something about the ongoing mainstreaming of blogging strikes me as, well, hollow. It's like we're commercializing our speech, and suddenly I worry that those who blog aren't blogging because they have something to say, but because if they can make enough waves, they could spend 45 minutes writing some posts and the rest of the time sunbathing in Tahiti (when they're not being interviewed by Anderson Cooper). When bloggers start signing contracts to endorse t-shirts or soft drinks, can we still trust that their words will not be affected by the money rolling in? Will we still be hearing from Marcos Moulitsas or will the words be coming from Big Business? And plus, stylistically, I'm a control freak. I built this template from the ground up, chose each colour carefully, and spent hours agonizing over the exact pixel placement of each aspect of the sidebar and content layers. I wanted a content-driven blog where the sidebar was as unobstrusive as possible, hence choosing to go with a one-sidebar blog where the content area takes up ~75% of the layout. I think I might go into cardiac failure if I were to run an ad for Cialis that blinked epileptically and clashed with my colour scheme. That's of course, not to say that I begrudge all those sites that seem to be successfully running blogads. We all know that, deep down, as much as I say all this, I'm speaking from a place of deep envy. I don't know how you can get a blog to become so popular that people would pay to put their ads on it, and despite all my grousing, when I saw how much it cost to run an ad on SistersTalk, my first thought was, "Damn! How can I get in on that action?" I guess we all have to grow up, sometime. We all have bills to pay and mouths to feed.


Anonymous philly jay said...

Hey if you can actually make money out of this,why not go for it?I know I would.

6/22/2006 03:44:00 AM  

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