Some minor meta-blogging

posted 22 February 2005

So Kottke is now blogging as a full-time job. This raises a bunch of interesting questions, foremost among them being "will it work?" but also: what exactly is a blogger, anyway?

To my mind, the difference between a journalist and a blogger is generally the same as between an amateur and a professional athlete. Thus despite having zillions of readers, BoingBoing and Waxy are blogs, while Slashdot, Wonkette (no matter how cutesy she tries to be) and the rest of Gawker Media are journalists, even if they started off being bloggers. I don't buy the stuff about standards and fact-checking: when the New York Times apologizes for not checking its facts properly and most young Americans rely on a comedy show for their news (and one which considers bloggers the best source of news, at that) I think the idea that fact-checking is something only the grown-ups do is false. Fact-checking is something that nobody does properly: just always consider your sources.

So what does that make Kottke? He's certainly a blogger in the old school: he does it for the love, and loves it so much he's taking a 66% salary cut to do it. But now he's doing it for the money, too. Will his content suffer, or improve? And is blogging to be considered always a stepping stone to something bigger, like a book, or can it be an occupation in itself?

More importantly, given how surprisingly easy it was to raise the money to pay for MT, is there any way I can use this thing to supplement my income? I mean, if people are gonna start paying for blogs, they may as well start paying for one of mine.

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