Alarums. Excursions. Enter the Queen, Prince, and Exeter
- Shakespeare, Henry VI
[The wonderful and disturbing image below was created by Visual Snark and is included here by permission. Many thanks! - The Management]
[And see? See? See why one ought to have a graphic art department at one's disposal? - The Management]
I've been thinking a great deal about blogging as a writer's medium lately; see my post on Missy's blog if you are interested in further reflections of mine upon this topic. Guh, I sound like a professor. But read it anyway if you haven't yet. And by the way, sorry if I was SCREAMING in that particular entry; some of my formatting didn't transfer exactly (not Missy's fault).
I think that "Publish Or Perish" entry begs the question of how one might utilize blogging to write and make money. This is a question near and dear to my heart as you might imagine. Here is what I've come up with:
I think someone -- you -- should become a syndicator. Go and scout out and sign up people with creative professional-quality blogs like Chasing Windmills, pink india ink, Visual Snark, or (dare I say it) myself. Develop a portal that has pages of, say, four quadrant panels, each quadrant containing a preview of the current entry for one of these pro blogs. You can link to the blog itself from the portal and read it. Along the sides are various ads from sponsors that, by the way, are not click-based.
The syndicator / portal creator (you) would get income from selling the ad space and use that to pay the writers (me et. al., but especially me). You would also handle the RSS feeds from the blogs and sell ad space on them (see the Onion feeds for examples of this). Probably the portal should be able to be personalized for an individual in a fashion similar to the Google or Yahoo! home pages one can set up. This ends up being much like an aggregator, but a slicker one than any I've seen. My imaginary portal page is pretty, damn it, and graphically interesting, not just lines of text.
I imagine that the blog content provider (me) would work with the syndicator (you) to create a personalized blog page "look and feel", so that (for example) pink india ink would still have a pink background (and damn if I don't feel gay every time I pull it up but fortunately I'm used to it by now). Probably the syndicator would also sell ad space on the blog page itself. The blog page would of course link back to the portal, so that traffic could be shared among the content providers (Person X reads Kat and also is steered to Visual Snark, for example).
The syndicator could / should also provide employment to some of the graphic artists that are currently bartending. I should be able to say to the syndicator (you) that I need pictures of malefic clowns or squirrels with push-up bras and the syndicator's graphic art department could provide them and integrate them into my blog content. Maybe I'd use more graphics that way, who knows. The down side is that we'd have to find new bartenders.
Also, when you first pull up the master portal, it plays the theme from The Jetsons. This is very important to me for some reason.
The real job of the syndicator is to sell ad space, of course. Yech, personally, but some people are good at that stuff. Go find 'em, unless you're one already. But notice that your startup costs are about a hundred bucks and it's all virtual, so you can run the business out of a bar with wireless access, at least until you die from cirrhosis of the liver.
It doesn't take a genius like me to realize that this vision plus about ten minutes of work equals a business plan for some ambitious person out there -- namely, you. I'd do it myself, but I'm too busy creating content -- that is, writing. Plus I have a related project in the works already. So go for it. Tell your friend.
You could send me a big check, though. It would be the gracious thing to do.
P.S. No, this sort of thing doesn't exist already. I know this because no one has called me.