Is Andrew Sullivan's Way the Only Way for Bloggers to Earn a Living?
Amidst a raging debate, stemming from a recent PEW report on the state of News Media, whether it is the Golden Age of journalism or it is barely breathing its last, the journalistic world is keenly watching Andrew Sullivan's recent 'pay wall' experiment with his famous blog,'The Dish'.
Though the unfulfilled expectations in advertising revenues of main stream digital news media is widely perceived as the motivation for this venture, the Blogosphere, at large, is not holding its breath, thanks to the respect bloggers are gaining as influencers in brand promotion.
Contrary to the gloom and doom perception among News bloggers, a Technorati report on digital influence in 2013 place Bloggers as an influential tribe on the up, whose real value is not grasped by those who splurge massive budgets on brand promotions.
Though blogs and influencers don't get a large portion of brands' digital spend, they rank high with consumers for trust, popularity and influence. When making overall purchase decisions, for consumers, blogs trail only behind retail and brand sites.
In fact, like the state of the media, there is much overlapping here, though the Technorati report doesn't seem to draw any distinction.
That said, there is much convergence in the findings of the two reports as to the diversion of digital advertising resources from digital news media to other the digital media including blogs, with display ads, video and search claiming bulk of the spending.
Though the Technorati report further identifies the preference for mobile, social and video, where the buck gets the maximum bang, as the preferred technologies, blogging has a 30% share, only behind Facebook, twitter and Youtube.
Clearly there is a huge distinction between blogging in journalism, like that of Andrew Sullivan's, which influences politics, at least in the developed world, and hugely contributes focus on issues and change the shape of the world, and blogging as a channel to stream world's accumulated expertise for the benefit of consumers, which seems to benefit from the current trend.
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In reality, with the sticky amalgam which the TV, Print and Digital media as well as the social web tend to become, bloggers as a tribe, to remain to remain influential, may find it necessary to go behind a pay wall to win back credibility, the fundamental virtue in journalism, something money can't buy.