I’m at the Digital Citizen’s Indaba (DCI) and the Highway Africa Conference in Grahamstown. I’ll be presenting thoughts on the “business of the web” — issues of making revenue from blogs and websites. Of course, deriving revenue from your blog and your website is the burning issue, especially if this is your primary income. It’s interesting that a report by Pew last year noted that most bloggers are not interested in making revenue, but blog mainly for leisure reasons. Certainly contextual search network advertising models, like Google adsense allow bloggers to participate in the online advertising game, the best example of longtail around.
I’m going to argue that those bloggers who actually end up making good revenue end up resembling formal media in any case — employing journalists and writers and often employing the same gate-keeping mechanisms that big media employ. So do we call these people bloggers, just because they are using WordPress?
I’ll also be doing a talk on Convergence (or ‘Integration’ — which is the new vogue word for it) and how it has impacted the quality of content we get on the web. I was talking to Anne Taylor lastnight, who is organising the DCI, and she mentioned that digitisation, the driver of convergence, has lowered photographic standards. And she’s right — when I had my analogue brick of a camera, I would take time and effort over my photographs because I only had one shot to get it right. On my digital camera, I shoot more and take less time over the photographs. I should supposedly revisit my pictures folder and start culling, but the reality is I have lots and lots of pictures and lots and lots of noise…. so does this apply to writing too?
And then there is the perennial issue of the local conference pub, the Rat & Parrot and the convergence of drink and our bodies. Why does the quality of our conversation plummet when this happens?