Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For Mandarin: Why We Do What We Do

I didn't know Mandarin well, being a newcomer to this blog. But I thought of him today reading the comments on Glenn Greenwald's Salon post about MSM hysteria over bloggers.

Glenn made a remark about bloggers' growing self-sufficiency, and commenter paradox_left_coaster objected, writing:

Sorry, this self-sufficiency meme is just completely wrong--in money terms Glenn is correct that blogging is just beginning to break out of total reliance for reporting (far as I know, only 2 do it, FDL and TPM), but to state that blogs are self-sufficient as complete entities is flatly wrong.

Only a few make money. I don't know what happened, really, but when Steve Gilliard died something snapped in me, God how undignified it was. Steve deserved a hell of a lot better to have the cup passed around at his death. I hated it, just hated it that somehow even in death our best bloggers are still left begging.

Mike Stark was at Kos's place last night just on this topic, we've got to find better and new revenue streams for our writers. Does anyone think they can keep this up for another 20 years? For nothing?

My hope was that, is that, someone (anyone!) wake up in the Democratic party and get some revenue out there to their best writers. Jesus is sticks in my craw, how many tens of millions did we raise for the party? What do they do for appreciation or sustainability, heya? Not a god damn thing. Fucking Democrats, I'm surprised they put their clothes on in the morning most days.

We are still in infancy, and a long, long way from true sustained growth that rewards our people. I pray for it and work for it every day, but we are a not there yet.

SomeNYguy, a regular Glenn commenter who never disappoints, responded thus:

Not for nothing. For our country. For our Constitution. For our humanity. For our souls.

I get paid to do a job other people want me to do. I would love to get paid for doing what I believe is the right thing to do, but I'd also like to eat chocolate ice cream day and night yet remain slim and healthy. That's simply an unrealistic expectation.

If you want to support yourself and your family in comfort, you don't join the Peace Corps.

It's awfully nice when you can earn a decent living doing the right thing, but it's the rare exception to the rule.

Those of us who have jobs and blog in our spare time may envy those who get to do it all day and all night, but we forget that for many of them, their blogs are their jobs, their readership their source of income.

If you have just one blog that you really love, one that by virtue of its newsworthiness, or its trenchant analysis, or its humor, makes the world a better place, help it out. If it accepts contributions, send it some money today. If it depends on ad income, publicize it to all your friends, relatives, co-workers and strangers on the street.

As Glenn and others make clear daily, a political and cultural Dark Ages is looming, and progressive bloggers are the last line of resistance. Help arm them for the good fight.