Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Downside of paid blogging - you can get fired

In her article about blogs which I discussed a few weeks ago, Sarah Boxer says:
Bloggers are golden when they're at the bottom of the heap, kicking up. Give them a salary, a book contract, or a press credential, though, and it just isn't the same. (And this includes, for the most part, the blogs set up by magazines, companies, and newspapers.) Why? When you write for pay, you worry about lawsuits, sentence structure, and word choice. You worry about your boss, your publisher, your mother, and your superego looking over your shoulder. And that's no way to blog.
Apparently this isn't the only challenge faced by paid bloggers - "performance" standards, it would appear, are based on traffic. Via Hank at Scientific Blogging, Michael Learmonth reports:
Another day, another end to a Gawker employee's nasty, brutish and short career. Radar says media reporter Maggie Schnayerson, hired in September, was sacked for failing to generate enough page views.
Apparently the writer's traffic fell from 400,000 page views the previous month to 160,000, when the expectation was 670,000 page views.

So what's a blog post worth, anyway? Some function of the number of page views it can generate. In that regard, context is everything - it isn't the post, it's the publication.

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