Saturday, January 08, 2005

Should People Be Making Money Off Of Blogs And Podcasts?...

I have no objections to anyone trying to make money off of their blogs or podcasts. On the other hand, the basic appeal of the blogging and podcasting concept is that we can put our stuff out there for free for anyone to listen to or read that is interested.

The bloggers in the "Rather Gate" document forgery incident back during the U.S. election didn't get paid for exposing CBS and Dan Rather's Nixonian escapades. In fact, the bloggers had the scoop and the "paid" media was dragged along, kicking and screaming, playing catch-up.

The concepts of blogging and podcasting are turning the "paid" media concept on it's head. We have real freedom of speech and it's time we started using it before it goes away.

In the old days, say 15 years ago, I'd write letters to the editor to newspapers and often they would get published. Starting about 10 years ago, it got much more difficult to get a letter to the editor published if it didn't fit the newspaper editor's editorial ideas. Blogging and podcasting blow it all wide open.

The word processing program and a Laserjet printer gave everyone access to their own personal printing press. Blogging and podcasting over the Internet give everyone access to publishing technologies that were once reserved for those with big enough money to make them happen.

Blogging and podcasting are a revolution in the making. Gone are the days when news and opinion have to turn a profit. This is a complete paradigm shift. Blogging and podcasting cost little or nothing above what people with Internet access are already paying for. No editor can stop bloggers and podcasters from editorializing. The days of the editorial filter are gone.

Why is blogging making such a big splash? It's easy to see why. Any newspaper or magazine editor will tell you that the most-often-read areas of newspapers or magazines are the reader comment sections. Blogging is powerful because it eliminates the newspaper/magazine middle-man editor. People can now go directly to the source, and they are doing it in record numbers.

I or anyone else can express and publish our own editorial opinions directly to the Internet without having to worry about offending a sponsor. There is no editor around to stop it from happening or trying to exercise control.

We bloggers and podcasters are engaged in a brand new phenomonon -- direct communication with each other and the world, without boundaries.

There are plenty of old-line media guys that feel threatened and are responding with anger. My advice to these people is to can the anger -- it isn't hurting anyone but them.

That's my take.



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