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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blogging: Crocodile, crocodile, cry me some tears ...

Alan Mutter at Reflections of a Newsosaur blog reports that
While more people than ever may be visiting newspaper websites, they are sticking around less this year than they were in 2007.

That’s the troubling problem the Newspaper Association of America failed to mention this week, when it reported that the number of unique visitors at its members’ websites increased 12.3% to an all-time high of 199.1 million in the first three months of the year.

But an analysis of the first-quarter web traffic reported by the industry association determines that, by most other key measures, the relative popularity of newspaper websites has waned in the last year in spite of the industry’s professed commitment to aggressively building online products and revenues.

Anyone familiar with today's news environment won't be surprised at the fact that many people prefer to go to blogs.

Meanwhile, the New York Times, whose circulation seems to be bleeding while mine is growing, published a story recently by Matt Richtel about the Web World of 24/7 stress of "blog till they drop" types (like me?), citing two recent deaths of bloggers:
The pressure even gets to those who work for themselves — and are being well-compensated for it.

“I haven’t died yet,” said Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a popular technology blog. The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost. Mr. Arrington says he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees. “At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.”

“This is not sustainable,” he said.

Funny, I would have said that about The New York Times. But hey.

Well, here's one blogger's less melodramatic tale:

I make a living, am still undead, and have not come anywhere near a nervous breakdown. I prefer blogging to writing for magazines because I can usually link my readers to my sources. So if they want to pursue a story in more detail, they can follow the links. Not only that, I can link to images, audio, and video.

Improvements I would like to see: If I were a techhead, I would long ago have figured out how to offer images, audio, and video myself. But I am not a techhead, there are only so many hours in a day, and I do NOT blog till I drop. Just like you, I have a life - a family, friends, a church, a garden, and all that. And every so often a publisher wants me to write a book, too.

Problems I would like to see solved: (1) bonehead governments that make laws about the Internet which don't make sense and (2) publications that charge a fortune to view their articles - which means I can't link my readers to my sources.

But I don't see how The New York Times can help me with any of that. For all I know, they would want more bonehead laws and higher fees. So go ahead, Times, cry me a river. We need rain here in Toronto.


Who links to me?