Monday, 15 November 2010

Blogger me sideways

Last week, I stood up in front of an audience of 150 travel bloggers to talk about the paywall around The Sunday Times. I sat down 15 minutes later to less than muted applause: the adjective most bloggers used to describe my chat was not brilliant, insightful or helpful. Just 'brave.' Having had a few days to recover and read a few blogs related to #tbcamp10, some reflective thoughts....

How much of the mainly negative reaction was due to the paywall being a Murdoch initiative? A lot I'd venture. But my main contention is that paying for newspaper content is a work in progress across the media - @mailonline said today it will charge for its iPad version and future projects. The Guardian upped its payment on the iPhone app last month. It's not just Murdoch.

Monetizing blogs? A main plank of the evening, myself aside. Considered thoughts from @mrdavidwhitely and @501 holidays addressed this issue and concluded that a skilled writing/original thought profile on blogs has helped bring in other work. You don't necessarily need mainstream media to promote your worth or rely on for exposure.

But be realistic. A lot of journos and bloggers write for ego and self-worth. That's fine. Don't complain about the status quo or payments: enjoy the ride.

Working alone. It's why bloggers attend events such as Darren's blogcamp, for ideas, to socialise and collectively whinge. Just like old school journalists. But I hope the blogcampers also talked about forming co-operatives of, say, rail or cruise bloggers to pool knowledge and leverage outlets. Hunting in packs means being organised and working together.

The post-blogcamp Twitter debate on creating a Fringe around WTM took this point further. A showcase of bloggers creating dynamic content over two or three days is a credible and exciting concept - turn the tables and take your content out there to invited (paying) audiences. Darren/Kevin? Sort it out.