Desperate as ever to get a rise out of bloggers, Paul Boutin, of Valleywag fame (or shame, your choice), has been writing in Wired’s Entertainment section that “Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004”.
He says “Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.” Boutin’s argument is so flawed, when he mentions Jason Calacanis’ decision to stop blogging last summer and refers to Technorati as though it’s the sole reason for a blog’s existence.
Hello? McFly!? Being a Top 100 Technorati blog isn’t the be all and end all of blogging. Thousands of bloggers make a living from their trade, directly or indirectly, and it’ll take more than one bitter blogger to stop them from writing about their passion.
Millions of bloggers, big and small, write for completely non-financial reasons. It can help someone find focus, in the way a personal diary may have done a few years ago. Some find like-minded people to discuss hobbies, habits and interests with, from GTD to crocheting.
Others have found the longest lasting value of a blog; indirect revenue. Advertising is a fickle friend when revenue from your blog is dependent on traffic. A bumpy ride on the Googlecoaster and revenue can be eclipsed quicker than you can say “Google AdSense”. So the indirect revenue can be a longer-lasting, slow-burn solution, whether it’s in selling homemade jams and liqueurs after having detailed on your blog how you make them, in selling your band’s music where you’ve been actively blogging about the evolution of rock in the modern day or, like myself, providing services that are in line with the knowledge you’ve been sharing on your blog.
In this instance, blogging is about reputation building, finding a community that feels like home.
Technorati’s algorithm and Boutin’s thinking are both relics from blogging’s first life. Now, like a snake shedding its skin, we are seeing blogs evolve into something more organic. They’re more three-dimensional, showing people’s Flickr photos, their tweets in the sidebar and contain a link to their Dopplr profiles outlining their next few trips. But in all reality, they still are the home and heart of many passionate bloggers, money-earning or not.