Interesting article about blogging and stress – and the recent stress-related deaths of several professional bloggers.
What I find most intriguing about the article is the description of professional bloggers and he sites, and that it’s become in part a digital sweatshop economy, where speed is of the essence. Certainly in the mashup world there is pressure to use the latest acapella, remix the latest competition tune, take part in this album and that album – something I stepped back from years ago as it’s just stirring the shit cauldron, endlessly recycling the same usually crappy content. Quality is not part of it – and I get that feeling from the commercial blogs I know of, or suspect are so (one tip: if they have advertising and use the same ‘wacky’ font all the time, they’re probably doing it as a brand and a company). I have to say I am slightly wary of those people.
Why? Well weirdly in this supposedly transparent Web 2.0 medium, I notice blogs and forums tend to keep ot secret the money side – certain blogs and forums in the music world I suspect are either paid or advertising, taking kickbacks or freebies for plugs, taking press releases and regurgitating them, and getting ‘exclusives’ pushed at them directly from the record labels (some are less quiet about this, I notice several talking about ‘only allowed to release the 128k version’ – ie. the record companies have released it to them, it’s official – and now no more than say sending to radio stations or an advert on MTV).
For instance, one former forum I know of sold for 1000 pounds. I was astounded, a) I didn’t know there was a market for such things and b) when I found out I was saddened that the person sold out (if he’d made it clear it was not just for love I’d probably be OK with it, but a forum is more than the URL and logo and a bunch of threads, it’s the people that go to it – you can’t sell those) – I stopped going to that forum.
My blogs and the forums (which was bigger than that one) and the podcast have always been for free, and I’ve never accepted advertising nor made more than 5 quid from them (thanks Pete).
Maybe I’m a chump for doing that?