Alex Blaze

The Bloggerist, #1

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 07, 2008 10:42 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Blogging, digby, gay blogs, links

  • Here's a great xkcd.
Lots more bloggeristing after the jump.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle has profile of blogging and bloggers, mostly tech bloggers:

    Blogging has been lucrative for some, but those on the lower rungs of the business can earn as little as $10 a post, and in some cases are paid on a sliding bonus scale that rewards success with a demand for even more work.[...]

    Some sites, like those owned by Gawker Media, give bloggers retainers and then bonuses for hitting benchmarks, like if the pages they write are viewed 100,000 times a month. Then the goal is raised, like a sales commission: write more, earn more.

    Bloggers at some of the bigger sites say most writers earn about $30,000 a year starting out, and some can make as much as $70,000. A tireless few bloggers reach six figures, and some entrepreneurs in the field have built mini-empires on the Web that are generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. Others who are trying to turn blogging into a career say they can end up with just $1,000 a month.

    One of the things I'm most often asked about when it comes to blogging is the money. Trust me, I've been at this for almost two years now, if you think that you're going to get rich quick through blogging, think again. Sure, politics blogging (or LGBT blogging) doesn't rake in the cash like tech blogging, but even there, it's still an incredibly competitive world.

    I think this is why the article focuses so much on the stress of blogging. Anyone can do in terms of start-up costs and set-up, which means it's a battle of who works the hardest, who writes the best, and who has the best contacts. And who can write the most.

    It's not so bad here at TBP - LGBT blogging is much less competitive than tech blogging since we can be several hours "late" with a story and not lose readers. Plus, with Bil and Jerame and the other editors and contributors, it's not like I have to support the content entirely by myself (something that Bil and I discussed over a year ago a week after we teamed up, we were both so relieved).

    But I'm not being paid anywhere near $10 a post. So don't complain, tech bloggers!

  • Remember this speech from digby about blogging from last year's Take Back America?

    She says that liberals took to the blogosphere because of the media's bad coverage of the Lewinsky scandal, the 2000 election, and the lead-up to the War in Iraq. If we had to make a list like that for LGBT bloggers, what would be on it?

    I think that the Religious Right's drum-beat of hatred, which took center stage in the 2004 election and in the ballot initiatives of this century, would be on there.

    For me, it was also the development of an assimilationist, top-down gay rights politic that came to dominate the discourse on "our side," one that left me feeling excluded from the process and very unliberated.

    Also, there's the queer diaspora that's sent a lot of us to the internet. With us spread throughout almost every county in the country, too far away to effectively get everyone involved in 60's and 70's style organizing, it makes sense to use technology like blogs to get the message out.

    And who knows how many gay men bought computers and got internet connections in the 90's to cruise more safely.

  • Jack Shafer has a great article up about the ways dead-tree publication's webpages link to maximize profit, not the readers' experiences on their sites.

    It's too true - I don't know how many of them just link landing pages instead of having useful links to their competition or to blogs or YouTube or whatever they're talking about. They're concerned with increasing pageviews, I get that, but there's a point where it just becomes annoying and useless. I never follow links on those sites anymore, and I hadn't even thought about it in a while.

    The most scorn, in my book, should be saved for the NY Times' website and any other page where links and text don't behave normally. I had to search all over for how to turn off "Snap Shots" on my WordPress page because it was annoying me. From Shafer:

    I despise sites like the that think double-clicks of a word should automatically open a new window and fill it with the word's definition. Please show me where I can turn this "feature" off! I've reserved a superscalding hypercircle of hell for Yahoo News, which thinks double-clicking a word means I want a billboard of additional news and search options to spring from the page. Don't bother telling me how to turn this feature off. I'll just avoid Yahoo News altogether. (And every page tainted with Snap Shots.)

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 7, 2008 12:23 PM

The side effect of much more information is much more useless information. I have said before that I miss the good ole days when we could be degenerates. Then we knew we had to hang together or separately.
Sorry Alex, everyone is too comfortable now to replicate the protest organization of the 1970's. While people are starving in Zimbabwe the feature on CNN was about the luxury brands at the Basel watch show in Switzerland. Sure, the Olympic flame got extinguished a couple of times, but that protest is doing nothing for the Tibetan people either. Sadly, the older I get the more I expect more of the same.

Geez, I blog for free. Not that I'd mind getting paid . . .

Speaking of snapshots, you know what annoys me? Pantyhose and people who wear pantyhose. Especially white people who wear tan pantyhose, and even more so when they wear tan pantyhose with white shoes. I think these people should be shot on site.

As for getting paid to blog, I'm still waiting for my check. Does Bil even have my mailing address?

Oh you'll get yours, Serena. You'll get yours. (Oh, wait. Did I type that out loud!?)

Paid? $10/post? We'd be rich, Alex! According to our software, I'd be about $23,000 richer anyhow... I remember plenty of months when we've blogged for about $15/month - if that.

diddlygrl | April 7, 2008 6:01 PM

And why aren't you paying my homie Serena? I mean despite her strange fixation with over the hill boy bands, she is a class act, and her kitty needs new shoes.

If we had to make a list like that for LGBT bloggers, what would be on it?

The Zach / Love In Action story stands out to me as one which energized lgbtq bloggers.

The ex-gay movement has been a significant, long-term motivator for lbgtq bloggers who have focused on that niche. Looking back just 5-8 years, it seems to me that a canyon-sized perception gap existed between gay-affirming and ex-gay-affirming folks. Each tended to understand little about the other, both sides portrayed the other as misguided and lacking credibility, but often in thinly cartoonish terms.

That often gave ex-gay groups and their supporters the option to pass under the radar without being transparent or consistent. In public, they could put a gentle face on their ministries and political advocacy. In private, the messages and techniques employed caused more harm than help to families with queer loved ones.

It's not that no one was talking about the ex-gay movement and related issues; information-sharing, pro-gay advocacy and vigorous public discussions had long been in motion by PFLAG, MCC and other progressive churches, GLSEN, HRC, and on and on.

But, blogging enabled a few ordinary folks to begin documenting what was happening in the ex-gay world in a way that was more thorough. Folks could publish their personal experiences. Archives persisted for years, putting the info at people's fingertips whenever they needed it.

Ex-Gay Watch was an early player, kicking off in 2002/2003. Today we have a phenomenal list of voices, sites, styles, and approaches to understanding the ex-gay movement and how it impacts glbtq folks.

As a result, ex-gay experts and leaders no longer operate in relative obscurity. Gay-affirming folks have a more substantive understanding of ex-gay experiences.

Total readership of blogs focusing on the ex-gay niche may not be huge in the context of lgbtq sites and blogs as a whole. I'm convinced that the personal experiences, perspectives, and objective info have created a body of knowledge which has triggered changes in the way ex-gay organizations operate. As much as we might wish that ex-gay groups would shut down, real change starts small and grows.