Monkeys for Nothing You Get Chimps for Free I

Money for nothin' was perhaps the first British MTV success. The channel had just launched and they needed some cool videos to go with their song, so they persuaded Knopfler to go with this idea.

In the first days of the British MTV, this video was playing non-stop and although today the animation appears a bit crude, back then it was hailed as revolutionary. And so was the very concept of a video clip in the symbolic 1984. It was the start of a new era, the start of a new consumption channel, a channel that was going to fundamentally change the music business.

Blogging for money is also a relatively new business. Although it's been around for a few years, today it seems that everybody wants in. You can find articles about professional blogging (or "blogging for money" as everybody knows it) on Microsoft (How to make money from your blog: 5 tips), Washington Post (Make Money off Your Blog), CNN (Business 2.0: Blogging for Dollars), O'Reilly (Blogging for Dollars: Giving Rise to the Professional Blogger) and others. Tellingly, the New York Times compares this fad to an addiction (For Some, The Blogging Never Stops) :) Even the Economist has started blogs, which is a radical change for a publication that's not a daily. Apart from the attention of established new media outfits, there are clear signs that the blogging revolution is far from over. Although Technorati has been around forever, search engines, including Google, have recently launched "blogging search". The Internet market research clearinghouses (Alexa, Netcraft, Compete, ComScore, Hitwise, Nielsen//NetRatings, Netcraft, Ranking.com, and Quantcast) seem to also indicate blogs' increasing mind share.

Another very clear sign that blogging is a profession in its own right is the appearance of blogs dedicated to this very phenomenon. There are two major blogs dominating the landscape, and gathering the lion share of the traffic: Steve Pavlina's blog (SP) and ProBlogger (PB). While Steve Pavlina is dedicated to self-improving and as such is more general, PB has a bevy of articles about blogging for money. I've read a few from SP, and to me they seem mostly "inspirational" but short on substance or things that I did not already know. By contrast, PB is far more task and detail oriented. I suppose SP makes his readers feel good but without really offering anything visionary or mind-blowing, in much the same way a motivational speaker uplifts her audience. You could combine reading SP for inspiration and read PB for the technical perspective.

The one thing you learn well reading SP's blog is the fine art of keeping your readers' eyeballs glued to the screen without exploding them or burning them out. Unfortunatley, this is an art I am unlikely to ever master. I am too opinionated. Even though it may not seem that way, writing this kind of articles takes a lot of self-control and focus, and I'm not sure I have that in the required quantity. I spent a few hours reading some of their very many articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21), only to realise at the end that I haven't really learned anything new; this could very well be because I've been working in IT since the 90's, but a total newbie would probably find something new to learn in there. I don't think I could emulate SP's style, and even if I could, I would get no satisfaction, no matter how much money I'd be making (and that's unlikely anyway). So as a result, I've decided to remove columnar banner ads from my blogs.

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