Just call me Moses…

Wandering in the desert

Technorati released their “State of the Blogoshpere 2008″ report and the discussion about its conclusions has begun.

Here are my comments on the initial conclusion drawn from, or highlighted by, Galley Cat:

“Only Two Percent of Bloggers Can Make a Living”

I have a healthy disbelief of many of the assertions of revenue at the top end of the reported scale. I also note two significant points:

1. Two bloggers cited as making over $1,000 per month had books already or launched their blogs and books around the same time. In other words, the PR machine was primed.

2. At the other end, “Among active bloggers that we surveyed, the average income was $75,000 for those who had 100,000 or more unique visitors per month (some of whom had more than one million visitors each month). The median annual income for this group is significantly lower — $22,000.” (emphasis supplied.)

I scanned the report and will probably write more about it as I analyze it, but for those of you who haven’t found your way to Galley Cat or Media Bistro yet, here’s my comment:

I think ad revenue potential is vastly over estimated by, surprise, those whose business is vested in selling traffic. Been blogging for two years and have seen lots of changes, most for the better. One thing remains constant, the refrain that “content is king” uttered by someone who is making profits selling their traffic with your content; usually uttered at the same time they say “we can’t pay you but just think of the great exposure.” The ones making money seem to be doing so by exploiting those willing to give their work away.

On the other hand, many small businesses are not prepared to take advantage of the opportunities focused sponsorship would offer them. For example, I find a product I might give up precious real estate on my blog for. I reach out. They love the idea, but they don’t know the first thing about widgets or code or how to do what they know in concept they ought to be doing. “I’m a small business and don’t really know how to do this kind of thing.”

Larger businesses who get it, don’t want to allow bloggers any control over what goes on their blogs. (Asian dating services? Oprah’s latest diet? Puh-lease.)

I refuse to host soulja-dancing re-fi ads, diet ads, or Kraft Singles ads on my blog and Adsense never rose to a full dollar of revenue after one year.

Syndication is another concept that seems to be growing but it appears that most of those doing it, still struggle to find a business model that works. They are reaching out to established savvy bloggers providing quality content, but still very uneven in the “benefits” they can offer to the bloggers providing the content they’re selling. “just think of the clicks you’ll get!”

If advertisers could figure out how to eliminate middlemen like all these – and find bloggers like me, we would all be happy. At present it seems hard to find each other in the wilderness of the blogosphere. Just call me Moses…

Povo Mojo

I thought this name, Povo, was shorthand for Post Modern Viewpoint or something. Turns out it’s Portuguese for people. As in “by the people, for the people”. This is a wiki meets yelp sort of website. All about events, happening, opinions and sharing resouces.

Tomorrow, I am speaking on a panel of bloggers hosted by the new Povo website folks. The other panelists include:

I’m honored to be asked and looking forward to a lively discussion. When the host is a guy who’s blog is entitled “Loaded Gun” you know I’m doing my homework!

One final thought:

With more magazines going belly up each day, more magazines and newspapers laying off writers every day, why is “blog” still a four-letter word? People look down their noses if you’ve “only” published electronically.

They trumpet post-election day newspaper sales as a sign that print is not dead. If they looked closer they’d see people bought newspapers with the historic headlines to keep for posterity or sell on e-bay or both. Those lined up for the next day papers did not subscribe.

Tomorrow will be good. I’ll keep you posted. Click the event page here for more info.

5 Responses to “Just call me Moses…”


  1. 1 Richard B Jr. November 11, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Hi Jacqueline, have fun tomorrow, I look forward to hearing more about it. The host sounds like my kinda guy.

  2. 2 Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor November 11, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Jacqueline:
    this comment in your excellent essay hit home with me:
    “One thing remains constant, the refrain that “content is king” uttered by someone who is making profits selling their traffic with your content; usually uttered at the same time they say “we can’t pay you but just think of the great exposure.” The ones making money seem to be doing so by exploiting those willing to give their work away.”
    I have worked in print journalism and as a freelancer for more than 25 years. I have been adamant for decades that freelancers be paid fairly for their work. The advent of blogging seems to have killed off that philosophy, as I find myself working several hours a week on a blog that, while it promises to pay, eventually, has not, and likely will not pay. Yet the folks at the top are making money, obviously. Upon whose backs? Their bloggers, all of whom are working their little fingers to the bone in hopes that someday they’ll reach the magic number of hits and get a penny or two in return for their labors.
    I’d rather work at macdonalds, frankly, and am considering resigning from the blog unless they decide to pay me fairly for the work I’m doing.
    Perhaps a bloggers union is something we should all consider. We need to unite and conquer. Or, at least unite and decide what is fair compensation for our efforts. If content is King, and we are providing the content, something is seriously out of whack in this equation.
    I’m all for recognition, but in this economy, I can’t afford recognition for nothing. I am a seasoned, experienced journalist. I simply refuse to be treated like a 15-year-old in front of his bedroom computer whinging about his latest video game or his zits.
    And that’s my comment for the day! Bloggers of the world, unite!

  3. 3 jacqueline1230 November 11, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ll report back on the panel. It just never ceases to amaze me – do they think we can’t do math? I think they just don’t have to care because there’s a thousand behind us that will give them dreck for free.

    Like that Speedy Gonzalez restaurant review. Euw.

    Hope it’s a fun crew tonight, I think it will be and they’ve already promised we’re forming a roots-showing-bags-under-eyes growing support group after. That means drinks right?

  4. 4 jacqueline1230 November 11, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    More layoffs…reported by Media Bistro. Wonder if these writers will be willing to work for “exposure”?


  1. 1 Bloggers debate traffic, revenue, monetization, and love. « Jacqueline Church Trackback on November 12, 2008 at 5:06 am

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A window into what I’m thinking and writing about.

Whether it's Food & Cooking, Sports, Film, Travel or the Business of Writing itself...you can find it all through this page. Use this sidebar and the links below to go directly to whatever strikes your fancy. Jacqueline Church's Facebook profile

Where I’ve been seen, published, cited, syndicated…

  • - Tuesday November 11 @6 PM Povo Blogging Panel. Come to 660 Washington Street in Chinatown at the Archstone Building to see what a panel of bloggers have to say about the state of blogging.
  • - Interviewed by Sarah Turner of Suite101 about Using Blogs to Raise Social Awareness
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August 22 - Courtney Hunt's acclaimed film Frozen River at the Coolidge Corner. See Diversions for more.

Caught my eye…

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On Women and Work

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  1. Tales of the Cocktail may be over but the fun continues. Check the blogs and podcasts for all the news that fit to drink!
  2. The Maori art of facial tatooing is called moko. It is a powerful expression of tribal identity which has only recently enjoyed a resurgence as the colonial Christian prohibitions against it have lessened. Go to the Peabody Essex Museum for this rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of this amazing cultural tradition. The documentary I saw at Sundance years ago on moko, was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen.
  3. The Audubon Insectarium is a new and top-notch attraction in New Orleans. We passed by it and wondered why we'd missed it before. Turns out it's just now opening. No time this last trip, but it's on the list for the next time. Check here for info.

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