Saturday, January 03, 2009

Support Your Writers!

It pains me to report that unless all of us are willing to find a way to pay for what writers write, many valuable voices will soon go silent. I am not so arrogant as to include myself in this category, but the truth is that this blog, from an economic perspective, is an utter failure. More on that in a bit.

Meanwhile, one of my favorite writers, James Surowieki, has published the following essay on the New Yorker site, which you can access for free: News You Can Lose.

The irony of reading this essay online is that you will be contributing to the process by which writers become unable to sustain themselves by their work.

Now back to me. I am no James Surowieki, in fact I am a nobody by comparison, neither famous nor successful. But my posts have always been available for free. The only potential revenue supporting this blog is that via clicks on the Google AdSense links that appear at the top of each post.

Since the last time I met Google's minimum payment level of $100, this blog has received 28,417 visits, but only 120 clicks on the ad units, which means I have earned $41.37. For those keeping track, that amounts to 14% of one cent that accrues to me every time you visit.

Don't read me wrong. I do not mean to guilt-trip anybody. But it might be worth considering how a blogger's wage compares with the minimum wage the next time you visit this or any other blogsite. Why stop by without clicking?

Isn't it a bit like eating in a restaurant without tipping?



Anonymous said...

Point taken. I promise to click from now on.

Anonymous said...

It's time. They need to start charging for access to the content.

I heard no fewer than three separate people in the last week say they'd be willing to pay for the content they currently read for free. 1) my father subscribed to The Nation, which recently dropped print for an online-only format. "They didn't even ask if I wanted to subscribe." 2) a caller into Ronn Owens (Phil Bronstein was the guest) said "I would pay for SFGate." 3) I know there was a third. It's a trend I tell ya!