Blogging for Dollars

Well, I’m a bit behind the curve on this one, but it seems an issue worth weighing in on. The Blogging Network has launched an innovative service to allow bloggers to charge for access to their content, and the Blogosphere is much atwitter over this bald threat to civilization and Our Way Of Life.
First, a reminder of a few of my basic principles:
Diversity in blogging is good. Conformity in blogging is bad. The last thing we need is 500,000 blogs all written in the same style with the same business model.
Thou Shalt Not Tell Thy Neighbor Blogger What The Hell To Do With His Blog. Anybody who criticizes another blogger for the way they go about their business (other than, say, flat out libel or other crimes) should get stuffed. It’s your page; do what you want with it.
So, with that said, how do I feel about the Blogging Network?
Ambivalent, honestly. I enjoy DailyPundit, and so I am bummed that part of Bill’s content will no longer be part of the completely free-and-open part of the Blogosphere. And similarly, I’m sure that many other fine bloggers are on the network’s list that I’m just not aware of. Their decision to go “behind the wall”, so to speak, has to be classed as some kind of loss to the non-paid Blogosphere.
On the other hand, I hesitate to condemn any effort that might actually result in blogging being a viable economic activity. Like every other blogger, I sure wouldn’t mind being able to earn income for my time spent blogging — or at least cover hosting costs.
But on the third hand (sorry Larry, Jerry) — I’m rather skeptical that the network will provide anything more than very minimal income to the vast majority of its bloggers. And for the high-end bloggers — well, they could probably do OK on their own without the help of the network.
But: Bottom line is, it’s a worthwhile experiment, and I wish them luck. Let’s see how it goes…
PS – By the way, to the fellow hiding in the back of the room who’s about to get snarky and point out the irony of a guy running a standards initiative saying that “conformity in blogging is bad” — conformity in content and approach, you nitwit. Technical standards are all fine and good.
Late Update: Owen Strawn pointed out that I had implied “David Niven” above instead of “Larry Niven”. I’ve corrected the error; I await the knock at my door from the Geek Police to take away my membership card… the shame of it!