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December 11, 2002

The Stark Fist of Blog Removal

Posted by Mike on December 11, 2002 2:00 AM

Jeff Jarvis offers some thoughts on Andrew Sullivan's "pledge week." (Not likely, buddy):

So the net result of this development is that even the guy who was supposed to be making money at this isn't and that means there isn't money to be made. Blogs are wonderful. Blogs are fun. Blogs are good reading. But blogs are no way to earn a living.

Don't know if I agree or not, since "blogs" aren't anything consistent enough to typify like that. But Jarvis touches on one value they have, which is plain old self-promotion, for which blogs are very well suited. As he notes, Glenn Reynolds manages to drum up some paying work through his blogging. I have no idea whether Dave Winer sells much software, but there's no denying Scripting News promotes his wares. Neal Pollack is about to spin his blogging into a small book.

There's the other side of it, though:

Besides out of work 20-somethings, the dotcom bust also gifted us with a plague of pundits who had a brief taste of the good times and now live in fear that they've had it. What to do? I've got my opinions on what some of them seem to be thinking, which includes a healthy amount of wandering around trying to simultaneously rope the next big thing (the better to become its prophet) and figure out a suitably pithy metaphor that can be worked into a book on the subject. I guess it's a thing to do, though the sight of these people moaning about the blogosphere like so many pundit-wraiths, wasting away by the day as they try to maintain appearances (and relevance) might be discomfiting to young liberal arts students contemplating their own life as professional opinionators during the long winter of the famine-stricken bust years.

I guess you can call that a living, too.