Here at CES Las Vegas you can feel the energy of the thousands of bloggers, all of whom hope to spawn their own success stories. I like bloggers and blogging a lot, but I think much of the early promise of blogger as citizen journalist is getting co-opted by commercialization – the need to eat creates a challenging relationship with sponsors and content. Not a huge surprise, but I think the era of “citizen journalist” is probably going to be short lived as we transition to more of a combination of commercial and/or groupthink models of journalism.
Very few will be able to make it big online doing their own thing, or even make a living here. That’s OK – capitalism and journalism are a game of survival of the fittest, and most people aren’t fit to write quality stuff, even by sometimes pathetic blogging standards. Even those who ARE good writers are unlikely to make much money online, and then only when they work for large well capitalized sites.
Many silly articles suggest otherwise:
A more relevant story would be how millions make very little rather than how one makes millions, but that story is not as interesting….which brings us to the challenge of journalism in general, especially commercial journalism.
Here at CES there are about 6000 “press”, many in young blogging teams writing for medium to large websites covering the show. That’s great in one sense but in another it reminds me of pro sports, where millions with *some* talent are filtered to a few thousand who actually make it to the big time and a few hundred who actually make it big. Again, that’s a virtuous cycle in one sense, though I will smack you if you suggest that the success comes from quality writing or true innovation. There’s some of that online, but in terms of online journalism its mostly a race to the bottom where gimmicks and garbage will triumph. Again, that’s OK and inevitable but its somewhat unfortunate that we’ll see seasoned good thinking journalist folks replaced by ditzy kook celebrity gossip.
… end rant … Gotta go find Justin Beiber here at CES and get an invite to the SOUL Headphone party by Ludacris !