Monday, May 08, 2006

And file this one under "You've really got to be fucking kidding me"

Since I'm nothing if not fair, I can't complain about the atrocious Protein Wisdom trying to sucker people out of their money while not being just as critical of AMERICAblog after finding out that they're holding a needless fund drive, too.

There are some differences here, though. I can credit Jeff Goldstein with being honest about why he wants money. His reasons are totally selfish but at least he comes out and admits them. But John at AMERICAblog, on the other hand, makes some lame excuses for why he wants your money, and they only come off as guilt trips filled with bullshit.

Let's shoot some holes in them, shall we?
Consider the blog a newspaper or magazine. You'd pay for those without missing a beat, why not do the same for your favorite blogs?
Why wouldn't I donate money to a greedy blogger whereas I'd buy a newspaper or magazine? Because bloggers don't do the work that newspapers and magazines do. Despite all the shitty, lazy coverage that newspapers have provided lately, there's still glimmers of hope in their coverage and -- more importantly -- they're still the outlets which break most the big stories that bloggers endlessly chat about. (Emphasis on "most" since there are some online outlets, like Raw Story, which also break stories. But Raw Story isn't really a blog, either, and I find their coverage so good and original that I have donated to them before.)

As for magazines, I pay for those to read articles by experts and also for great investigative reporting. A good magazine combines both and deserves to be paid for. There's absolutely no comparisan between a Harpers, Atlantic Monthly, Mother Jones, and a blog. None. Some blogs come close, but AMERICAblog has never come close. So why the fuck should I donate to a blog that's just going to rehash the news it gets from newspapers and magazines?
Consider the blog an advocacy organization, like your favorite gay rights group, civil rights org, liberal non-profit, etc. We do the same activism they do, some might argue we do it a lot better, and they get millions to the campaigns we do for free.
Sweet baby Jesus, where do I even begin with this one? Do I even want to begin? Suddenly blogs do as much work as Planned Patenthood does? And NOW? And Greenpeace? Holy fucking shit, John, where does your ego end?
This is now my full-time job, which means my salary comes pretty much exclusively from this blog rather than the consulting business I've mostly given up in order to do AMERICAblog.
Three words: Too Fucking Bad.

If blogging is your full time job, just like reporters at newspapers and magazines have full time jobs, then I expect you to procure sources, do interviews, perform research, and write outstanding, lengthy pieces that explain today's issues. No open threads, no mass quoting of mainstream articles with a two sentence reply, none of that shit. Pump out original work if you're blogging full time.
We are about to move and upgrade the blog to a new server, and that is going to cost us thirty to forty thousand dollars over the next year. [...]

As I mentioned the other day, we hit our server limit with Blogger - the blog has simply gotten too big for the space they offer. It's not Blogger's fault, they're just not built for really big blogs.
Oh boo fucking hoo. So for the past two years you've been getting free webhosting from Blogger, and for the majority of that time period you've had some pretty expensive advertisment rates. $695 purchases an ad for a week, $1250 for two weeks, $2250 for a month... I know that BlogAds takes 30% of those rates, but after that you're still left with thousands of dollars, John. I just counted nine ads currently on display at AMERICAblog.

So after a year of reaping thousands a week off advertisments while getting free hosting at Blogger, you're begging for money because switching to your own domain will cost you $30-40,000?
Get a fucking savings account, asshole.

And I'd be remiss not to mention that John is holding another fund drive (John's post I've linked to is from October 2005, but he has a link to it on the front page of his blog right now; just wanted to make this note so you know that I'm not quoting old information) after asking his readers if we should even criticize Democrats, this question coming at the request of some DC Democrats that he knows.

You know, John, if you need so much money then why don't you ask your DC Democrat buddies to start funding your propaganda operation. It's quite rude place the burden on anybody else.


At May 09, 2006 12:38 PM , Anonymous Ron Brynaert said...

I think John deserves every penny he collects.

I don't always agree with him...and sometimes I wish he took some more time to think before hitting publish to post...but he's produced some exciting journalism over the last year and has been instrumental in organizing people to do things.

His work on Microsoft backing away from gays was magnificent...and the stunt he pulled with buying Wesley Clark's phone records was absolutely brilliant.

I think it would be a tremendous loss if John were to have to get a job and take time off from blogging.

There's certainly other bloggers who I would rank on if they made claims to being a journalist....but in my mind John's one of the best that there is.

later, partner

At May 09, 2006 3:11 PM , Blogger tas said...

I do think that John has done some good things, too, but I also wonder what kind of precedents are being set here... Full time bloggers asking their readers for money so they can get a scoop every couple of months? That's six scoops a year, and we're lucky if we see a blogger do that whether or not they are full time.

For my dime, that doesn't seem to be worth it. For online services, I would rather give my money to a place like Raw Story because I knew they are working not only to get scoops, but to build the organization and structure of a news service. On the otherhand if I donate to AMERICAblog, I can expect to see quoted passages, open threads, and the occasional scoop. To me, it just seems like I'm paying (or somebody is asking to be paid) to sit on their ass and occasionally do something.

At May 09, 2006 3:18 PM , Blogger tas said...

Somee other thoughts dance across my mind right now...

If somebody wants to be a fulltime blogger, great. If they are able to find a way to sustain themselves while blogging, whether it be through advertisments, putting up a tip jar, whatever, great. But I think another thing that irks me is that John wants to be a full time blogger but it doesn't seem like he's making any sacrfices in his life. This is a man who has threads about how money isn't an evil thing and he makes a lot of it, also talks about traveling to Europe, etc. Which is all fine and dandy, but I do get a little offended when he's asking me to pay for all of this. I haven't heard John say anything like, "I really want to be a full time blogger so, to achieve those ends, I'm going to get an apartment that's smaller but has lower rent." Or whatever. Sacrfices, you know?

I'd like to be a fulltime blogger, too. Were I lucky enough to be one, though, my lifestyle would probbabbly be more akin to that of Ralph Nader's rather than what I imagine John is used to living like.

I think I'm also still very pissed off over the fact that John pitched as a question to his readers whether or not we should attack Democrats. To me, that is one step towards becoming propaganda.

At May 09, 2006 3:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, i was looking over your blog and didn't
quite find what I was looking for. I'm looking for
different ways to earn money... I did find this though...
a place where you can make some nice extra cash secret shopping. Just go to the site below
and put in your zip to see what's available in your area.
I made over $900 last month having fun!
make extra money


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home