Those of you who read our earlier post, Interview with Julie Zickefoose, and followed the comments thread know that we’re having a lively discussion about the economics of blogging. Can nature blogging can be self-sustaining or is it destined to remain a hobby? Is the best model for support advertising, subscription, or sponsorship? or something else entirely? No firm answers, but a lot to think about.
This is not just a question in our corner of the blogosphere. An article earlier this week in the New York Times, Let’s invent an iTunes for News, talks about this same issue on a much larger, broader scale. The music industry has changed thanks to the Internet, and, as Julie pointed out in her interview, the New York Times moved away from charging subscription fees for online access to articles.
What does this mean for our particular niche on the net? We’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and plans, and to start you thinking, here are some questions. Please participate in the poll but also add your comments to the discussion.
Should nature blogs be financially self-supporting?
- Maybe for some blogs but not all (27%, 12 Votes)
- No, information on the Web should be free (16%, 7 Votes)
- Yes, it's a lot of work and bloggers should be rewarded (14%, 6 Votes)
- No, it's a hobby not a business (14%, 6 Votes)
- It doesn't matter, no one will pay to read nature blogs (14%, 6 Votes)
- Yes, why should weight-loss, get-rich-quick, and porn sites make all the money? (7%, 3 Votes)
- Yes, we'll have better blogs if bloggers can recover their costs (5%, 2 Votes)
- Okay for others but not for me (5%, 2 Votes)
- No, that would take all the fun out of it (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 44
Which of the following do you use or would you consider using for your blog:
- Advertising (45%, 23 Votes)
- Sponsorships (37%, 19 Votes)
- None of the above (12%, 6 Votes)
- Subscriptions (6%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 51
You can check on the answers throughout the week (I’ll close the poll next Wednesday night) but comments remain open indefinitely.
Check back on Monday for an interview with Florida Cracker, of Pure Florida.