Back from a summer hiatus, and I have some interesting stuff for you from my jaunts around the blogosphere:
Would you pay for online news? Who wants to know? Well, Chas Hartman, a former newspaper reporter and now Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kentucky for one. And, well, pretty much everyone else who cares about the future of journalism. I “met” Hartman through Twitter (He’s @scoopingthenews). He’s gathering data on how people feel about paying for online news, and I offered to post a link to his survey. Stop right now, and take it. It takes, honestly, about two minutes. Thanks in advance. As for me, would I pay for online news? Sure, if it’s worth it. I’ve elaborated on this before.
Got a blog? Pay up: Speaking of paying for things, the city of Philadelphia seems to be taking the notion of charging to the absurb. Apparently, the city has begun sending letters to bloggers, alerting that they’ll need to “file for a Business Privilege Tax Return, even if they make far less than the $50-per-year or $300 lifetime fee the return requires,” according to Popular Fidelity blog. I heard this first on City Pages, although that entry seems to have been removed. Not sure why. So I’ll put a huge caveat before this blog entry by saying, if this is true, it’s crazy.
Most bloggers make almost nothing from their blogs. In a survey I recently conducted of a random sample of more than 400 women bloggers, 80% made not one dime from their blog. The remaining 20% made something, generally about 50 cents per month. (I case you’re wondering, I make zip. No ads=no money). What’s next? Kids will need a business license to sell lemonade.
Social media polices: I’ve written before about what I considered overly stringent social media rules some newspapers impose on their employees. Now, BusinessWeek has compiled a list of rules other organizations use. My take: Sure, a company needs some sense of what their employees are doing on social media because there is always someone who ruins it for the rest. But bottom line: Too many rules make social media about as fun and useful as staring into space with your hands on your lap. I worry about the proliferation of rules for a medium that only works if people can improvise, be themselves, and communicate freely.