Will Blog For Food
Doc Searls says his blog ain't for sale. Me, I would blog for bucks tomorrow.
"I don't blog for money," writes Doc. "I don't want to ever think of this blog as an "environment" for advertising, or anything other than writing and links."
Cool. I respect that ethos, although I don't think it's cynical to point out that many blogs--mine, Dave Winer's, Evan Williams', maybe even Doc's among them--are in some way--even without intention--advertisements for their authors and the authors' businesses.
I don't think overturning Doc's first statement--"I don't blog for money"--has to lead to the bad stuff in the second statement, where the blog becomes an advertising environment, no longer a direct medium for writing and links.
I don't blog for money, but then again nobody has offered me any money yet to blog. I would blog for money if there was a way to do it without changing the content or style of my work--I wouldn't subject readers to annoying and disruptive ads, but I would accept sponsorship from the right people.
And those standards apply only to this blog, my personal weblog, which (despite the marketing dimension mentioned above) is a labor of love and a creative endeavor. But I would gladly create a weblog that was a wholly commercial vehicle if that market materialized. Publishing is how I feed my family. The Web, and weblogs, are distribution channels for what I write. Maybe the product would cease to be a "blog" in some pure sense--the early-stage idealistic definition of the word. Maybe "blog" will come to mean "a non-commercial weblog."
But by "blog" or any other name, people (and not just the software vendors) are going to try to commercialize this technology. If the opportunity is right, I'm in.