February 18, 2006
just don't be surprised when you get left behind
As I am doing nothing but make money via blogs, courtesy of English Cut, Stormhoek and some other projects, I find this Slate article, "Twilight of the Blogs- Are they over as a business?" rather humorous, for all the wrong reasons:
But as businesses, blogs may have peaked. There are troubling signs—akin to the 1999 warnings about the Internet bubble—that suggest blogs have just hit their top.
This is the trouble with journalists. Because they generally don't do anything, except write endlessly about the people who do, their opinions are always based upon second-hand sources. Which makes for a pretty murky lens to view the world through.
Hey, guess what, Big Media? Unlike your poor, sorry excuse of a career, making money via blogs is all about doing interesting things with interesting products and ideas, and not about getting invited to all the right parties.
What? you mean there's no secret "In Crowd" validation committee telling you which table you're allowed to sit at? Shock! Horror! Still, this would explain why you've never properly understood blogging from Day One.
So to Big Media, Madison Avenue, journalists, bloggers and citizens everywhere, I say: If you think this is just a game of bubbles, bandwagons, favoritism and knowing the right people, as opposed to having good ideas and plain old hard work- Fine, go ahead and believe it. Nobody cares. Just don't be surprised when you get left behind, same as you did every other time the world changed.
Posted by hugh macleod at February 18, 2006 8:15 AM
I wrote a post last night that came at the same thought from a slightly different angle.
If anything the problem for Big Media and other dinosaurs is going to get worse. The forthcoming launch of Vista with RSS embedded so deeply into it's core is going to accelerate the death of those who don't get it.
And I know this is so last weeks meme, but it's also going to trample today's gatekeepers.
I agree with you, Hugh. There is no similarity whatsoever between the blog growth of 2006 and the internet bubble about to burst in 1999. I see no signs; indeed, blogs are roughly where Web 1·0 was around 1995, about to hit the mainstream in a huge way. The economics are different, and no one is dumb enough in 2006 to do a Boo.com, or spend as much as Pets.com.
"This is the trouble with journalists. Because they generally don't do anything, except write endlessly about the people who do, their opinions are always based upon second-hand sources. Which makes for a pretty murky lens to view the world through.
Hey, guess what, Big Media? Unlike your poor, sorry excuse of a career, making money via blogs is all about doing interesting things with interesting products and ideas, and not about getting invited to all the right parties."
What's going on with you Hugh? Seriously. I don't know if you've noticed this, but recently you've become the king of generalizations. "Advertising can't get blogs right, journos don't understand people" etc etc
Do you really, honestly believe that all the people working in the media, working in marketing are blind and deaf?
No Andreas, but I think both professions are awash with hacks. Lucky professions.
Not really related to the article, but Hugh, your cartoons never cease to express what's going on inside my mind at any given moment. Today's (it may be an older one, I'm not sure) just made the cut as one of my favorites.
That's an older one. New ones tend to get published all by themselves, without any written commentary. I repost the older ones to jazz up my written commentary.
This last year I haven't been posting new cartoons often enough. Mainly becasue I'm drawing a lot less. Mainly becasue I'm so busy these days. It's hard doing everything.
I don't have a problem with reposting the cartoons. It allows people to see work they might have missed earlier.
YES YES YES ! - great post.. see you soon
Every profession is awash with hacks. (See also Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap.)
Most of the people pointing out similarities to the Internet bubble now were busy driving the hype wagon back in 1999. When those same people start talking about how wonderful blogs are, that's when we'll know the bubble is about to burst.
For me, blogs aren't about changing the revenue system and making money, but the functionality of communication. The blogs I've set up for clients have enabled a lot of easy conversations, whereas before it was difficult, needed a web master or a degree, and was hard to update. Now, it's completely opposite
Blog have peaked?!?
I am not shocked to hear yet another journalist saying blogs are a bad thing or are going away – just like auto assembly line workers would have told you that robots were unable to properly perform their jobs two decades ago.
The emergence of blogs and the non-stratified power and audience that they provide to the general population should scare the hell out of a traditional journalist. The growth of the blogosphere will continue chip away at the influence of professional journalists and empower the “doers” of the world to tell their own stories.
Maybe it is not blogs that have peaked, but the influence of the professional reporter.
Great post Hugh.
I read the entire article, and I think he hit you where you live. He said people launching blogs as business ventures now will make "journalist money, not Wall Street money." Let us know, Hugh, when you've made anywhere near as much from your blog as Calacanis did from Engadget. Until then, he's right and you're wrong.
Read Tom Feremski recently Hugh? ex-FT...3 mill page views per month...
Fred: Check your facts...how much did Jason actually make? Look it up. BTW - do you think there's only ONE blog business model?
Good piece in the FT recently re the rise of blogging... read?
dear fred, watz this biz about "you are right and I'm wrong" thingy? If u think abt it enough, think slow... its more about wat works and wat dun. I've juz got started and I think that blogging is great and for many reasons I dun wanna flood this place with... it will be here to stay. When i read msn, yahoo, or a newspaper, or those damn tabloids, I see companies & turmoil. When I read gapingvoid, I see a man who is true to himself and at peace with himself. Its peaceful here. Sometimes chaotic but peaceful. And for a man who can attain this - getting paid living life. Please don't try to take this away from him - you're killing yourself.
Your point about "second-hand sources" is very true. I think it's less about party invitations, though, and more about the fact that most reporters (even business reporters) don't understand business very well. I believe it was Forbes who stated a while back that something like 70 percent of US business reporters were unable to read a balance sheet. That's uh -- not so good.