Online Publishing Insider says "Compensate Citizen Publishers Like People, Not Web Sites" (free sub req'd). Apparently bloggers who wait tables are acting like actors, telling customers they are waiting for their big break which will happen any day now.
More from the article:
While blogging is showing profit potential for consultants prospecting for new business and savvy marketers creating customer dialogues, the vast majority of citizen publishers aren’t making enough from their efforts to even pay for their Internet connection. For most, their sole hope for compensation comes through Google AdSense. Contextual advertising is fine as a supplement to other programs, especially as a means of painlessly monetizing remnant or network inventory. But the content on many blogs is worth a lot more than remnant inventory. Citizen publishers who rely on AdSense and similar programs end up grossly undercompensated.
Author Mike May (his blog: www.e-venting.net) suggests that the true value of blog content is the same as freelance writing, and that we should all hold out for more. If there is anyone getting rich on Google ads and Amazon Associates links, it's not the bloggers, that much is clear.
Last year at this time, I was part of a panel presentation at AIMS ** about doing online research. I had just started this blog, and suggested blogging as a future topic to a senior AIMS person, who told me that blogs would not last, it was a passing fad irrelevant to real internet marketers. And it may indeed be. But they just completed an event called "Blogging for Executives".
The truth is, none of us really know where Web 2.0 is headed, in any specific way.
But the patterns are there.
The desire to self-publish has always been there, and it isn't likely to change soon. Remember zines that were distributed in photocopy form, and then migrated to e-zines and e-mail? First the world wide web, and now blog software and broadband has made self-publishing easier than ever.
More recently, blog aggregators have started to pile up blogs in the hope of gaining more leverage and making some serious cash. If you can't write, try aggregating.
Bloggers are already complaining about creeping corporatism in the blogoshpere. Yeah, but who cares, really? One of the joys of the new technology is that as fast as corporations colonize it, we all reach out for something new. It's a long tail world.***
Mostly what I think is, I'm glad I'm not a media consultant, because the fragmentation trend, in my view, is frankly unstoppable. The billboard people may be the ultimate winners, since we all still move around in the physical world at least some of the time. What Gutenberg started is not stopping any time soon.
** Association for Internet Marketing and Sales aka AIMS was itself a flag carrier for Web 1.0, starting out life as a no-fees, open source, no rules, volunteer-run, free beer kind of
*** Chris Anderson at Wired started something big with his original article, the Long Tail. Now he has a blog on the topic and a book coming out in May 2006.