I participated in a panel discussion this evening hosted by Povo, the new wiki-meets-yelp site in town. I discovered Povo (Portuguese for people) when I was writing about the “Hello Greenway” event. Povo had a wiki on the Greenway.
Each of the panelists had different methods they’d used to increase revenue from their blogs, or try to. Each method had varying levels of success. Ultimately, the value of blogs seemed to be:
1. a place for us to hone our craft,
2. as a showcase for our work, and;
3. only sometimes, a source of revenue.
It seemed more common that panelists found indirect benefits of blogging, such as a way to sell freelance services, to get publishers’ review copies of books and product samples, and to use affiliate programs for some revenue stream.
Adam of Universal Hub lucked out with one of those serendipitous moments Rhea highlighted when something happens and you get a burst of traffic or a sponsor finds you.
I shared a couple of thoughts. Okay, more than a couple about the state of blogging:
– don’t do it for money, even a book deal will not make you rich, and blogging alone will make it hard to pay the bills;
– decide what your focus is, if you want to be a commercial site and drive traffic for ad clicks that’s a different animal than a creative outlet to showcase your unique voice to publishers and agents;
– there’s a vast area of opportunity no one has yet adequately captured. Many entities like Povo (in my observation) are trying to build enough traffic one way or another so that they have a marketable value. Syndicators and aggregators are trying to do the same thing. Big advertisers have not gotten nimble enough to drill down and tailor ads to relevant blogs and small local sponsors haven’t gotten savvy enough to learn how to take advantage of relevant blogs that would be good partners for them.
– That leaves us all wandering in the desert (Just Call me Moses) and cobbling together a bunch of different things to make a living at this thing we love called writing.
People also debated the micro-blogging platform such as Twitter.
Do we resist? Do we jump in and try it? Experiment? You will see that I have decided to try it. My assumption is that there is some overlap between people with the attention span of a gnat who only get their interaction and infotainment in 160 character bytes with those who read real books and appreciate a well crafted story. I probably have readers in both camps and I think we CAN all just get along. Anyway, it’s an experiment. I hope it brings my blog to the attention of a few Tweeters? (“Twits?” “Twitterers?”) who use it.
[Follow me on Twitter: LDGourmet!]
I look forward to what I’ll learn from them!
Sam Baltrusis – the Loaded Gun publisher (in black sweater/white collar) leads a panel discussion of Boston area bloggers: (L to R)
- Susan Johnston Urban Muse
- Scott Kearnan of Diva Divo Dance and Bay Windows
- Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub
- Rhea Becker of The Boomer Chronicles
- me – gesturing, of course
- Carol O’Connor of Table Critic
- Jim Sullivan of Jim Sullivan Ink
Special thanks to Lauren Clark DrinkBoston.com for the photos!