14 thoughts on “Alan Meckler versus Jason Calacanis”

  1. If you’re a writer you don’t do it to make money… I never have. However, if you work hard and create a brand you can make money. GigaOm, boingboing.net, and PaidContent.org are the perfect examples… they’ve become real brands and they could sell for real money at some point.

    The same is true for directors… you can spend your money and make an indie film and hope it becomes something huge, or you can sell your idea to a studio and have them mess with it. If you go with a studio you give up control but it’s not your money. If you do the indiefilm it’s your money and you are in control. Different models for different people at different points in their lives. Some writers/directors want to get a check every two weeks and sleep at night, some artists want to risk it all and wake up in a cold sweat at night wondering about the bills and deadlines.

    The blogosphere is just another set of options for writers… now they can work for “the man” (WSJ, NYT, B2.0), themselves (with the support of Adsense, AdBrite, Battelle’s thing), or a boutique studio (i.e. Gawker, WIN).

    More options for the artists is always a good thing.

  2. I’d argue that a properly done blog should be like a really good, ultra niche magazine: high quality content, news, reviews, tips, photos, conference reports, etc. And that such a blog can easily pay the author a living. I know hundreds of bloggers doing just that, outside of networks, and with far less pages than Jason’s talking about.

    Hell, I know bloggers making 500K on blogging full-time. And we have a number of bloggers approaching 2K/month blogging just 4 hours a day.

    We’re not yet, as an industry (blog networks) hitting 1$/word. But we will. The industry, such as it is, is less than 2 years old. Hitting 10c/word as an average after 2 years (which we’re doing) is pretty damned good. Not good enough to hire star writers with, but good enough as a first step.

  3. Jeremy

    i am looking forward to seeing you at the MESH as well. it will be ton of fun. hopefully we can swap ideas at that point. i think it is good to get a non-US perspective on this whole thing as well!

  4. Jason,

    sometime you say really pithy smart things on other people’s blogs. for that I am pretty grateful.

    i agree, more options for writers is a good thing, and not a bad thing. i hope we can sift and find real gems. take for instance dave zatz, who is smart and informed. blogging got us guys like zatz. and nothing wrong with that


  5. I’d argue that Alan Meckler has been trying to blog for a couple of years now, and he still doesn’t know how to do it. His posts are little more more than summations from on high, with all the personality of a bic pen.

    I’d argue that Doc Searls said it best recently when he recapped, “you don’t make money with your blog, you make money because of it.”

    Sure, there’s the ad revenue, and that’s nice, but the amazing thinking, creativity, and writing flowing across so many good blogs — and the links and professional networks developing through those things — hold even more promise than sidebar shout-outs.

    I’d blog whether I was making money because of it or not–and I wasn’t making money blogging back when I started.

    Would Alan Meckler be blogging if it wasn’t tied to money? Doubt it.

    That’s the rub, isn’t it.

  6. Jeneane: Spot on. My blog landed me a book deal, helped found 3 companies and has landed me half a dozen jobs (and many I turned down). The “soft” benefits are far more lucrative than just the dollar figures.

    Om: It’ll be the first conference of its kind in my old city. I am so pumped it’s unbelievable. I’m actually in town almost all month with other related events. Idea swapping is where it’s at, and there are few places that are more fun for idea swapping than the old T-Dot.

  7. ps: the biggest soft benefit to me is the networking. That’s far more valuable than any jobs or books or ad revenues. The sheer amount of fun I have every day is what makes blogging a “land of opportunity”.

  8. i think it is good to get a non-US perspective on this whole thing as well!

    Hi Om,

    The figure$ that are being debated in this topic is purely from the Western cost of living point-of-view. Compare that to us bloggers here in Asia (specifically Philippines) where the US dollar is more than 50 times the value of the peso.

    Graduates here get somewhere between $200-$300 monthly salary and if they’re fortunate, get a raise of $20 per year.

    If Jason C. is paying $500 to most of his bloggers (who might spend 2 to 4 hours a day to blog), that’s more than enough to 90% of the working population here. Heck $500 is what our Mayors and Congressmen get each month.

  9. Abe: Ahhh, that makes sense. We have half a dozen phillipino bloggers, and they were jumping around this month for their pay (300-500$ on the month). Totally makes sense, I guess I hadn’t thought of it that way.

  10. The debate on how much money bloggers should get only makes sense in the context of how much content they generate and the quality of it. I know blogs where an article is worth 4$ and some where an article is 10 times that price.

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