The Economist
Blogging, to the horror of some, is trying to go commercial

Ur-bloggers, of course, are outraged by all this. “Tony doesn't understand what a blog is; he's the opposite of a blogger,” says David Winer, a fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Centre, founder of UserLand and one of the first and longest running bloggers around (his site is www.scripting.com ). The key attribute that makes a blog a blog and not some ordinary piece of web publishing is amateurism, says Mr Winer: if it is in any way edited, it is not a blog. From this, incidentally, Mr Winer extrapolates that blogging has “the potential for revolution,” democratising and liberating the world. Mr Perkins in turn feels, wearily, that he has heard such “religiously libertarian anarchists with ponytails screaming and yelling” before, in the early days of the internet. Like many in Silicon Valley nowadays, he is more interested in profits than revolutions—though that change, in its own way, is revolutionary.

The article is a bit simplistic, but does start the discussion about commercialization of weblogs. I personally think that Amazon.com and the referral thing is where the action is. Amazon will potentially benefit more than anyone from all of this since they are the closest to the point of sale and reviews are a great way to get people to buy. Reviews are much more integrated into blog content than adwords.

7 Comments

It is a shame that this article did not mention US Democrat Presidential hopeful Howard Dean who has use his campaign blog to raise over five million dollars over the Internet. He is even toying with the idea of refusing publicly matched campaign funds because his Internet and blog based fund raising and networking has been so effective.

Personally I have a e-Zine and a Personal Blog both using the same install of Movable Type. You have to separate the form from the content.

Abstracting is beyond the ken of most people. I agree with Joi that the closeness of the review to the individual (and their readers) makes the affiliate model most interesting....

> The key attribute that makes a blog a blog and not some ordinary piece of web publishing is amateurism,

I knew Dave Winer had a problem... now I know what it is. :-(

Thank you, but I am (at times) a professional writer, and I edit my stuff. Dan Gilmoor is a professional blogger.
Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing) is anything but an "amateur".

The key attribute(s) that make a blog a blog are the time element and the ease of access. Some are amateurs, some are professionals, it doesn't matter.

As far as Mr. David Winer’s comments about blogging being the exclusive territory of unedited, amateur apologists. We can’t think of anything more unedited and amateurish as the AlwaysOn member blog section that appears at the bottom of our home page.

The bigger view is that the puritanical days of blogging are now over. Our view is that some form of the blogging expression, pioneered by the Dave Winer’s and the folks listed on the right hand side of our homepage, will be incorporated onto most all commercial sites, starting with the big boys like AOL, Yahoo, Google, MSN etc.

So we can debate what a blog is and what one isn't, but the reality is that both capitalists and politicians are going to leverage this new instant and interactive communication form to rally support and make money. But those looking to make money will have to build other services and value propositions into their blog sites to gain viewers who stick around.

Abstracting is beyond the ken of most people. I agree with Joi that the closeness of the review to the individual (and their readers) makes the affiliate model most interesting....

Abstracting is beyond the ken of most people. I agree with Joi that the closeness of the review to the individual (and their readers) makes the affiliate model most interesting....

Abstracting is beyond the ken of most people. I agree with Joi that the closeness of the review to the individual (and their readers) makes the affiliate model most interesting....

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Commercialization of Weblogs from 「所謂、走り書き」
August 15, 2003 4:53 PM

Blogging, to the horror of some, is trying to go commercial A simpler idea is therefore to run member-only blog pages and charge advertisers to sponsor them. という所謂広告収益モデル以外にも可能性があるんだ、と言っている Read More

Joi Ito points at the Economist story and waxes philosophic on the commercialization of weblogs. Which reminded me of of a piece I wrote in 2001 covering similar ground. There are two easy ways to commercialize blogging. The first is to become the know... Read More

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