Matt Richtel's New York Times article about the heavy stress of making a living as a blogger is not about the blogger life at all. It is about the life of a freelance journalist, which often sits at the bottom a very shallow barrel in terms of journalist compensation.
Russell Shaw, our much missed colleague on ZDNet, a telecommunications expert, wrote two blogs on ZDNet and had to augment his income by writing for Hotel & Motel Management.He also wrote a blog for AllBusiness.com, and the Huffington Post. Plus he was working on developing an Internet video show, and also writing on Corante.
If Mr Richtel had to make a living based on pageviews, he wouldn't make much of a living. I counted five articles by Matt Richtel for the entire month of March 2008.
The New York Times has yet to experience the full force of the huge change in the business model for journalism. It recently completed a skyscraper in mid-town New York. That'll probably be seen as the equivalent of Easter Island statues built by a society running out of resources and heading for history's dumpster.
What will pay for quality journalism? I don't know. The online business model for media can barely support a guy with a laptop in a single bedroom apartment, certainly not a guy with a laptop in a high rise in Manhattan.
How many ZDNet bloggers make a living from ZDNet? I would guess only two that aren't already employees of ZDNet. All the rest have day jobs or other means of support and that's the case for 99.999 per cent of bloggers. That's not a criticism of ZDNet, it's simply the economics of online media. That's why I love to use the phrase "You can't get there from here" when talking about mainstream media trying to move to the online world of newstream media.
Why do we do it? Because the joy of blogging is compensation enough. We can't stop...(true).