I went to explain that I had always been able to pump out stories (aka quantity) but that it was also important to spend the time to provide insight (aka quality) and perspective. In today’s fast-moving world, this approach is even more important for newspapers scrambling to stay viable.
I’m often reminded of this conversation when reading some of leading tech blogs (GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, TechCrunch, CenterNetworks), and looking at the number of post they churn out every day. The volume is impressive and, often, overwhelming.
While I’m by no means criticizing the quality of these blogs, I am interested in how the writers who work for these blogs operate. In an industry where being first has become important, there must be tremendous pressure to produce. I suspect some posts are written in a mad frenzy at any time of the day or night.
It reminds me of my short tenure with Bloomberg News where being first – even by seconds – over the competition (Dow Jones, Reuters) was paramount. One of the ways Bloomberg helped make this happen was something it called the four-paragraph lede in which you just had to insert the company’s name, a short description of what happened, a quote and the stock price before hitting “submit”.
It was formulaic and completely uncreative but it produced what Bloomberg wanted from its army of typists around the world.
I wonder if any of the writers hammering out multiple blog posts ever feel like they’re on an assembly line? At some point, do the posts blur into each other when you may not have as much time as you’d like to write them?
Don’t get me wrong, I think blogging for living is a wonderful thing if you love to write. The variety, being part of the action, and working from home – or the local Starbucks – is not a bad way to make a living.
But it can also be a grind because, after all, these kind of blogs are businesses, and the belief is the more posts you write, the more traffic you get.
More: MG Siegler, who blogs full-time for Venture Beat, has some thoughts on blogging for a living. For more insight into the world of pro-blogging, check out ReadWriteWeb, which asked 20 top-tier tech bloggers and social media consultants to disclose how much they get paid, by the post, by the hour or by the month, etc. Apparently, the going rate for a blog post is $25 which explains why pro-bloggers are pumping out so many posts.
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