Pro Bloggers and Prof Bloggers

February 28, 2006

The Pro Bloggers
New York Magazine: Blogs to Riches - The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom: "By all appearances, the blog boom is the most democratized revolution in media ever. Starting a blog is ridiculously cheap; indeed, blogging software and hosting can be had for free online. There are also easy-to-use ad services that, for a small fee, will place advertisements from major corporations on blogs, then mail the blogger his profits. Blogging, therefore, should be the purest meritocracy there is. It doesn’t matter if you’re a nobody from the sticks or a well-connected Harvard grad. If you launch a witty blog in a sexy niche, if you’re good at scrounging for news nuggets, and if you’re dedicated enough to post around the clock—well, there’s nothing separating you from the big successful bloggers, right?"

The key, of course, is not to start up in an already saturated niche, but to find a new niche.

Wired News: How to Almost Live on Blogging: "There are people who make a living blogging, but if you're going to do it on your own, you darn well better have a ton of traffic. There are 10 million lonely bloggers and people probably only read a few thousand. If you're going to make serious money off this, it's a serious time commitment."

Daniel Gross, Slate: Twilight of the Blogs Are they over as a business? "As a cultural phenomenon, blogs are in their gangly adolescence. Every day, thousands of people around the world launch their blogs on LiveJournal or the Iranian equivalent. But as businesses, blogs may have peaked. There are troubling signs—akin to the 1999 warnings about the Internet bubble—that suggest blogs have just hit their top."

We may be in the middle of the blog bubble. But saying that blogs are over as business tools is like saying that the internet is over. A publisher must simply have a raise d'être beyond simply posting frequently in reverse chronological order to create a business.

Jason Fry, The Wall Street Journal: Blog Epitaphs? Get Me Rewrite: "Maybe you've heard: Blogs are a vanishing fad -- this year's digital Pet Rock. Or a business bubble about to pop. Or a sucker's bet for new-media fame seekers."

Don't forget that a large number-- if not the vast majority-- of blogs are not intended to be part of the media, but simply to be a way to connect to friends and family or to keep track of info for future personal use.

The Prof Bloggers
National Law Journal: Blogging law profs assault ivory tower "An increasing number of law professors are using blogs-online journals or newsletters-to break free from traditional modes of legal scholarship. With an immediacy and ability to reach millions of readers, blogs are proving an attractive vehicle among legal scholars for spouting and sharing ideas. "

James Edward Maule: In Defense of Law Blogging: Part Two: "From my vantage point, it appears that the so-called traditionalists are beginning to sense the threat to their way of academic life that blogs, and technology generally, pose. Understandably, they seem concerned that the foundations of the think/write/publish routine to which they are accustomed and with which they are comfortable are beginning to crumble. The irony is that the approach held so dear by traditionalists probably isn't old enough to qualify as a tradition."

Rick Garnett, Prawfsblawg: Scholarship or Cyber Chit-Chat?
"Look, of course it is true that most blogging looks a lot more like 'chit chat' than like 'scholarship.' But isn't there a pretty big chunk of middle ground here? My sense is that -- at least in the law-blogger world -- a fair bit of what gets blogged and blogged about does 'have [something] to do with scholarship': People blog about what others are writing about, about what they are writing about, about what they plan to write about, or what they tried to write about."

Posted by Andrew Raff at February 28, 2006 09:16 PM
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