Steve Hodson wrote a fun post today entitled “So You Want To Be A Rich And Famous Blogger Eh” in which he tries to classify bloggers who write in order to be read beyond their immediate family and friends. I often forget that most people who blog aim to make money from it–an aim in which I suspect few people succeed. Most writers didn’t make much money (if any!) before there were blogs, and blogs didn’t change the basic rules of attention economics.
If I read Hodson correctly, I’m a Louis Gray kind of blogger: my only “economic” gain from blogging is reputation capital. But my real motivation is that it’s fun. The blogosphere is the Usenet of my school years, all grown up. It also provides a way to share ideas in a far more immediate and permissive forum than peer-reviewed publications. Who wouldn’t want to be a blogger?
What blogging has done is dramatically lowered the cost of publication and the efficiency of reader feedback–the latter including readership statistics and comments. Sure, readers don’t pay money to subscribe to blogs like they (used to) pay for print media, but the scarce quantity has always been attention rather than money. As far back as I can remember, writers write to be read and generally count themselves lucky if they can translate readership into income. Personally, I am fortunate to have a great day job!
So readers, have no fear, you’ll never see ads here. The Noisy Channel is a labor of love.