Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The hard slogging of blogging 

The Associated Press offers some ground-breaking news under the headline "Bloggers' find pie is still in the sky":

"If you think those Web journals of opinions and obsessions are a way to get rich, consider Jeff Soyer, a self-described 'gay gun nut' in Vermont.

"Mr. Soyer, who runs the journal Alphecca.com, pleaded for donations last month alongside an image of a tip jar topped by gun-toting cartoon character Yosemite Sam. 'Ten bucks buys a box of bullets or feeds my cats for a week,' he wrote on the blog.

"Days passed and he received nothing. 'By next week this domain could belong to a porno site,' he subsequently posted. 'Maybe you folks think that would be a better thing. I'm starting to think so, too.' Only after other bloggers linked to his request did he receive enough donations to pay the $117 for a domain name and a year of Web-hosting fees."
What follows is a litany of blog-woes, including badly underpaid writers, disappointing returns, and never-materialising spin-offs. Of course, it's hardly news to anyone in the blogsphere that for the overwhelming majority blogging is a labour of love, a hobby, or even public service of sorts, as opposed to a profession, much less a career, and much much less a road to fame and fortune. A day might still come when Glenn Reynolds keeps getting chased by the paparazzi and Wonkette makes a cover of "Cosmopolitan" (or more likely, "Hustler"), but it won't be for some quite time yet. Meanwhile, for us nameless millions toiling every day and every night chained to our keyboards, there is a carrot dangling somewhere in the distance:

"Henry Copeland, owner of blogAds.com, said some of the bloggers he represents make $120,000 a year from ads - though he won't say how many - and that 'dozens' make $1,000 a month."


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