7%…Getting Paid

Yesterday I saw this story on blogging on ZD Net and, it seems, a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle did as well.

What did it say? Well, bloggy friends, we post our thought not because we’re trying to become journalists, or necessarily push whatever political party we belong to the left or right, but rather because…it’s fun!

And it IS fun! I do enjoy it, but I also wish I could make a living doing the (somewhat) creative things I do on this blog (i.e., music mixes, rock star interviews and the like), but I’m not part of that 7% of bloggers who get paid to do this.

One thing I’ve noticed is how the good bloggers forge close bonds with their readers by writing in such a way that an almost “hidden” part of their personality comes out.

Case in point: I told J that I loved her blog because it’s so personal, and her sense of humor really comes out in her writing. I’m a pretty goofy guy in person, but my writing is a bit more formal (too much grad school!), so I’m really not that funny when it comes to writing. J is the opposite. She’s not that “knee-slapping” funny in person (Our daughter once said that she wasn’t sure if J had a sense of humor. Ouch!), but her humor is much more subtle and dry. But when she writes, she’s often very funny (yes, the knee-slapping kind).

The other blogs I regularly read (i.e, La Luna, Autumn’s Mom, Cherry Extract, Just Another Day, Ms. Mamma, Maya’s Granny, Punning Pundit, and of course Jefito) are very well written, thoughtful, humorous, and in the case of Jefito, chocked full of free music! So, I suppose I’m with the majority of bloggers out there who just loves to read what other folks have to say (some I personally know, some I only know by what they write on their blogs). What can I say? It’s one of those odd “human connection” things that the Internet has created.

Speaking of the Internet and technology…

This morning I did an interview with Brian Cooley from CNET.com for my public affairs show, and we were talking about blogging and new innovations in the video realm. At one point in the interview, I was said I thought blogging was more popular with older adults because more of them have a maturity level that allows them to express their views of (insert subject here) with more linguistic layers than teens or young 20 somethings (By the way, the vast majority of bloggers are over 25 years old). He agreed, but added that there’s a difference between text messaging, IM, email and what it takes to maintain a good blog. The former is communication to more or less coordinate or connect with people in the same way we use a telephone. The latter is about self expression much like the writings of a novelist, columnist, or essayist.

When you’re under 25, there’s a very good chance that writing essentially a column everyday is a daunting task. And that’s why blogging is an innovation that, to me, somewhat harks back to those who used to keep journals or diaries. Nowadays, because of the Internet (and maybe Madonna’s movie “Truth or Dare”) many things we used to keep private are on public display. But it wasn’t always so. What comes to mind when I think of thoughts that were meant to be private was probably one of the oddest “Anablogs” I’ve ever read : “The Secret Diary of William Byrd” (early 1700s). Byrd was a Virginia “gentleman” whose coded scribblings revealed a life of tedious regularity — with the drama of the day tucked into the entries between what he ate that day and what he read before bed. If you haven’t had the, ahem, pleasure of reading William Byrd’s “secret” diary, here’s a sample:

€ February 8, 1709. I rose at 5 o’clock this morning and read a chapter in Hebrew and 200 verses in Homer’s Odyssey. I ate milk for breakfast. I said my prayers. Jenny and Eugene were whipped. I danced my dance. I read law in the morning and Italian in the afternoon. . .

€ February 22, 1709. I rose at 7 o’clock and read a chapter in Hebrew and 200 verses in Homer’s Odyssey. I said my prayers and ate milk for breakfast. I threatened Anaka with a whipping if she did not confess the intrigues between Daniel and Nurse, but she prevented by a confession. I chided Nurse severely about it, but she denied, with an impudent face, protesting that Daniel only lay on the bed for the sake of the child. I ate nothing but beef for dinner. . .

€ September 3, 1709. . . I read some geometry. We had no court this day. My wife was indisposed again but not to much purpose. I ate roast chicken for dinner. In the afternoon I beat Jenny for throwing water on the couch. . .

€ December 1, 1709. I rose at 4 o’clock and read two chapters in Hebrew and some Greek in Cassius. I said my prayers and ate milk for breakfast. I danced my dance. Eugene was whipped again for pissing in bed and Jenny for concealing it. . .

€ December 3, 1709. I rose at 5 o’clock and read two chapters in Hebrew and some Greek in Cassius. I said my prayers and ate milk for breakfast. I danced my dance. Eugene pissed abed again for which I made him drink a pint of piss. I settled some accounts and read some news. . .

So blog way mes amis, and maybe we’ll end up in some scholarly essay 300 years from now!

–PK