Monday, March 7, 2011

To Pay or Not to Pay – That is the Question

NEWS ALERT: I will not net get paid for writing or posting this blog. Nor will you have to pay to read it.
Seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? Why should you pay for access to my mindless ramblings in this blog space? You have chosen to visit the site of your own freewill without any coercion from me other than the tweet, the Facebook update and the incessant barrage of nonstop emails.
The question of paying bloggers came up recently in my Twitter feed from the host of the CBC Radio show Q, Jian Ghomeshi, in relation to blogs posted by The Huffington Post (HuffPo). Social media is all about conversation and the dialogue around the topic seemed to lean towards the affirmative, based on HuffPo’s ability to pay.
Let me preface the following with the fact that I generally do not weigh in on many conversations like this and that my opinion here is based on my old school beliefs.
Bloggers blog because they want to. If you’re sole purpose in blogging is to make money and not because you have a passion for the subject matter then you are an author in search of an audience. I do not blog because I want to be read, I blog because I can. My blog is like an OpEd piece in a newspaper except I get to publish it whenever I want, and blog about any topic that is on my mind.
It is true that some bloggers are passionate about their topics AND want to have their message read by the masses. It is here that HuffPo helps them, providing a larger audience than they enjoy with their personal blog space. So should HuffPo compensate them for providing this service OR should the blogger pay HuffPo for this access? Let’s zero-sum this one, no one gets paid.
If a blogger wants to make money, and some do, they have the option of monetizing their blog space with the use of affiliate marketing. By promoting something to your readership you get rewarded monetarily, so it is basically a form of advertising. Again, the blogger has chosen by their own freewill to monetize their space, no one is forcing them. We all have this option.
There will be those of you who disagree with me on this one, and I accept that. If you believe that the fact that HuffPo has the money to pay for the content is reason enough for them to actually remunerate the blogger I have an interesting corollary for you: you can send me your readership fees from this posting via email,

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