Thursday, August 02, 2007

Professional blogging?

What do you think it would take to make blogging into a profession?

Recently, GameTrailers interviewed the managers of three popular blogging sites -- Kotaku, Destructoid, and Joystiq -- sites which seem to be for-profit and employ multiple people each.

They look to me like they're basically just news sites with a casual tone. They hunt down news just like reporters, perform interviews, write editorials, etc. They just don't pretend toward that objectivity nonsense. Yes, nonsense; better to just make your biases clear and try to present the opposing side's case fairly.

Is it possible to make a living off blogging without being news-oriented?

I don't mean blogs that are completely bereft of news. I mean blogs that focus on original ideas, philosophy, commentary and reviews.

There is a non-gaming periodical I like called First Things (mainly aimed at orthodox Catholics and conservative Christians, focused on social issues). It has thrived on that sort of content, but it's primarily a printed publication. In Western cultures, as in all literate cultures, there tends to be a greater respect for ideas when they're written down. Internet publications are more easily altered than paper-and-ink-based print, so I think their level of popular respect lies somewhere between books/newspapers and spoken language.

Can periodicals (under which I'd include blogs) have a chance at being financially self-supporting when they are based mostly in philosophy and opinion, and they are published solely on the internet?

I mean, hey, a job that I can do from a laptop at the beach or on my own back porch? Count me in! =)

On a related note, the summary for an upcoming AGC presentation notes: "A recent study revealed that 76% of Americans trust the recommendations of their friends while only 11% trust what companies tell them."

Brent, this is something you need to mention in your AGC discussion. Bloggers represent a source of information that's further from "business" and closer to "friend" or "word on the street" than media like IGN, Gamespot, or PC Gamer. And gamers are probably more likely to develop a rapport with a blogger, since the writing is more casual and intimate.

Does that represent a strong incentive for publishers and developers to approach and even aid bloggers in some way?

1 comment:

  1. Nope, you don't need to be a news blogger to make a living off of it. For example, I've run into several bloggers who started off blogging about food for pleasure and ended up doing it full-time because it took off (complete with, in some cases, interviews, book deals, and the like).

    However, you do need several things at the very least. One, a niche that isn't too small. Two, a good personable style that encourages a sense of community (IMO of course; at the very least it helps). Three, the willingness to spend a ton of time going out and commenting on other folks' blogs, conversing wtih others who share similar interests, building up a sense of community with others online. Four, of course, regularly-updated interesting content that people see as relevant to them (news is something people almost always see as relevant to them, so you can perhaps see why news sites have a leg up).


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