Posts Tagged 'writing'

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.

Warning: if words offend you, don’t read this. George Carlin has passed. Shit!

That cocksucker went and died on us! After three non-fatal heart attacks, outliving his first wife, getting arrested with Lenny Bruce, battling addiction, and the Supreme Court, is dead.

I am now officially old. Fuck!

George Carlin is dead. He of the 7 dirty words. When we listened to the Class Clown album (those were the things before CDs…) we were titillated, not just because of the dirty words, but because he struck a nerve. We were teenagers then, and who more than teens feel the power of pushing limits? (Okay, maybe toddlers, but who the hell would let their toddlers listen to George Carlin?) Plus, he used the word “dirty.” Even grown ups’ ears perk up when they hear “dirty”.

Carlin once said “I think it is the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.” He often was too challenging for audiences, but I guess that’s the line he was looking for. He mostly railed at our collective stupidity and bemoaned how we are basically doomed by it. I’m okay with that. His wry challenge in the choice of seven was no doubt deliberate; intended to invoke the 7 deadly sins, just to wheedle the intolerant among us. It’s on us to miss it.

Looking at the words he challenged us with back in the 70’s is kind of funny. The case went to the Supreme Court, helping them to define “indecent” versus “obscene.” Most of the words certainly wouldn’t cause the controversy now that they did then. One of them was used so many times by KG in the minutes after the Celtics historic win, you have to go to original Tivo to make any sense of what his joyous gibberish actually was about…otherwise you pretty much just hear bleeps.

Whether you’re a fan of obscenity or not, a free speech friend or foe, at some point most of us have been moved by the power of words. Those who would ban some words, or burn books, or limit speech are afraid of something much larger than any one word, or any seven could incite.

Those who would ban words are afraid of critical thought. They fear what might be unleashed if we were left to our own devices, without their “protection.” Why should our ability to decide for ourselves which words are good and which are bad be so threatening? It’s not the word, it’s the power we have to decide how to use them, who to wield them against, to analyze who benefits from how things are allowed or proscribed, who gains the most from setting a definition…the reaction to George Carlin was equal in proportion to the fear he provoked by forcing us to acknowledge the power.

Four of the seven words are included in this post: the ones I left out: Tits, Piss, and Cunt. Behold the power of words: I wrote them, you just read them, neither of us imploded, became homicidal, or turned seditious.

And, bonus round here: you can tell me if this offended you! I can tell you to go piss off! Or, we might have a dialog about it! We might come to understand each other better at the end of it, even if we don’t agree. That, my friend, is the power the censors try to suppress. It will never work. Never has.

Rest in Peace, George. It was a long, sometimes hard road you chose, but we’re a better bunch of motherfuckers for it. Thank you.

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

Whether it's Food & Cooking, Sports, Film, Travel or the Business of Writing 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
  • - Reuters, Chicago Sun-Times, Austin American Statesman, BBQ Report, Computer Shopper. See clips here.

For Real on the Virtual Gourmet!

Noted food and wine author John Mariani ran my article Salmon and the Sustainability Zeitgest. Click here to read it!

Books make great gifts, for yourself or others.

Click here to see what's on my Powell's Bookshelf.
Powell's Books

Mark Your Calendars

August 22 - Courtney Hunt's acclaimed film Frozen River at the Coolidge Corner. See Diversions for more.

Caught my eye…

  • The Audubon Insectarium opens in New Orleans. See Getting Down with All that Skitters.
  • Copper River Salmon is so hot, even E!online is commenting on the stars who eat it. Taye Diggs was digging it.
  • Vertical farms? Colbert meets Ethicureans...heaven is for those with humor and ethics, yes? Interesting food for thought here....

On Women and Work

Read my contributions to The Glass Hammer a new blog for executive women.


  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.

What's on my list?