On niche weblogging, Google and Adsense…

Matt Haughey writes about putting Google AdWords on PVRBlog:

Make no mistake, last month PVRblog made a lot of money from Adsense. When was the last time you heard someone say they received a check for advertising on their hobby site that could be used to purchase a fully loaded Aeron chair? Sounds like something you might have heard in 1998, no? Well it’s true today, and I hope a lot more people meet with the same success.

Haughey’s experience sounds very intriguing and his tips for running a successful Adsense-based semi-commercial venture may very well gesture in the right direction for niche commercial weblogging enterprises. I’ve never been very comfortable with the idea of getting money from weblogging, because I’ve always felt that there was a distinction between getting sponsorship for what one writes and getting advertising based upon what/who one is. Weblogs have seemed to be to be a space in which individuals could self-describe and – as such – putting advertising upon them has felt to me rather like being prepared to sell parts of one’s face or body for commercial advertising purposes.

Today at the iSociety event, Cameron articulated a useful and simple distinction between a publishing model of weblogs where a specific site is (to a greater or lesser extent) impersonal and subject-focused (which is – I think – the only part journalists seem to understand), and a social model where the site is no more or less than a representation of a person online and connects with other sites around itself as a proxy for a social connection to the person behind the keyboard. That we can understand weblog space as being a spectrum like that (with people like Mark Pilgrim occupying this weird Schroedinger-like superposition between concept and human) makes it much easier for me to conceive of a comfortable place for this kind of commercial weblogging venture.

4 replies on “On niche weblogging, Google and Adsense…”

Hmm – unlike you to make a statement like this without standing it up, Tom: “a publishing model of weblogs where a specific site is (to a greater or lesser extent) impersonal and subject-focused (which is – I think – the only part journalists seem to understand),”? I think journalists “get” the social model, and those of us who have been covering this scene a while might see that angle as the most viable long-term model for weblogging. It’s just that, for many (especially those who constantly cover the business angle of tech stories) the commercial angle is the one that holds most interest. In that context, (personal) weblogging is simply the byproduct of some neat software that makes it very easy to public niche web sites, from which it might be possible to make money. The social angle doesn’t come into it.

Apologies Neil – the piece was written in a hurry and I didn’t get to expand on that point as much as I’d like. It is certainly not a view that is held exclusively by journalists or by all journalists – but I was trying to draw attention to the way in which many people (and this is particularly common when the people concerned work in conventional/professional publishing ventures) see no value in the social or partly-social side of weblogs because they’re judging all of them by the criteria of a publishing model rather than a representational model. That’s all I meant. Sorry for not making that clearer…

Personally (this is just an opinion), I think that journals — or writings of personal opinions, emotions, & experiences — hold my fascination more than the “commercial blogs” that give me tech headlines and a few sentences of thought about each one. If I wanted the news, I would go to a credible website. Some techblogs just happen to evolve into one without thinking–they start as a personal journal but what is personal to them IS technology–it’s just a matter of priorities. I happen to believe that journals do encompass the social far more than the commercial/techblogs do, because social is society. Society is the way people interact with each other, and what is more social than a journal chronicling the deeply personal experiences and interactions of one person among others? I guess this could just be taken two ways…

M·s sobre webloggear y ganar dinero por hacerlo
Walter lo expone perfectamente: Est· claro que uno de los temas que ha centrado mucha atenciÛn ha sido un simple botÛn de PayPal en un weblog escrito en espaÒol. Este artÌculo viene a demostrar que atrasada est· en algunos aspÈctos nuestra “blogoesferi…

Comments are closed.