Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Blogging for a living

I want to blog for a living. I know, some of my colleagues think all I actually do, anyway, is blog, but that's not true. ;-) I want to have no responsibilities but to blog. And I want someone else to pay me.

According to the Wall Street Journal, my dream isn't so far fetched.
In its short lifespan, blogging has largely been a freewheeling exercise in online self-expression. Now it is also becoming a corporate job.

A small but growing number of businesses are hiring people to write blogs, otherwise known as Web logs, or frequently updated online journals. Companies are looking for candidates who can write in a conversational style about timely topics that would appeal to customers, clients and potential recruits.

Last year, Christine Halvorson was hired as chief blogger at Stonyfield Farm Inc., a Londonderry, N.H., organic yogurt company owned by Groupe Danone. She applied for the job after responding to an ad posted at Monster.com. A former freelance writer and Web content editor, Ms. Halvorson now writes four blogs for Stonyfield, including a blog about the company, the Daily Scoop, and Creating Healthy Kids, about healthy foods in schools. Her job entails researching, linking to news and providing personal insight.
Sarah Needleman goes on to suggest,
Blogging as a job has emerged as companies of all stripes increasingly see the Web as an important communications venue. Blogs allow firms to assume a natural tone rather than the public-relations speak typical of some static Web pages, and readers are often invited to post comments. While some companies are hiring full-time bloggers, others are adding blogging duties to existing marketing or Web-editing positions.
Peter Chianca, a regular columnist for the Boston Herald, writes today,
As some of you may know, I recently started a "blog," which is not a nickname for a cross between breakfast and a frog. That would be a "brog." A blog, rather, is a Web site that allows anyone with a computer to share his or her random thoughts with the world, or at least with the four or five people who come across it accidentally while looking for porn.
He spent a recent evening leaping (or surfing) from blog to blog compliments of blogspot.com (see the upper right button in this window to start jumping yourself).

What's all this mean? From The Christian Post we get this:
The rise of the blogosphere continues to change the face of American culture. According to observers, the internet is now home to millions of web-logs (more commonly known as "blogs"), and something like eleven million Americans claim to have started blogs themselves. All this adds up to a major shift in our national culture and a massive threat to the dominance of what is now nostalgically called "mainstream media."
So, what? you ask. Well, try this on for a hypothesis:
The simplest description of this change is also the starkest one: the common culture of widely shared values and knowledge that once helped to unite Americans of all creeds, colors, and classes no longer exists. In its place we now have a "balkanized" group of subcultures whose members pursue their separate, unshared interests in an unprecedented variety of ways.
Are we to become a nation of millions who are linked only to the five or six of our fellow citizens who stumble across a shared blog while hunting for porn?

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