If you’re interested in fancying yourself a Jackson Pollock and creating your own work of “art”, have at it. There’s something more profound I need to get to.
This post (link courtesy Awful Announcing) takes a look at how the blog market could be affected by the present recession. It’s mostly written from a sports blog perspective, especially paid sports blogs, but it has implications for everyone else who blogs, paid or not, employed by a third party or merely doing it themselves, whether for fun or profit.
It takes an interesting perspective: Although some, like the blog collective Gawker, think ad revenue is likely to decline in the current recession, the post itself talks to several bloggers and draws its own conclusion based on a study, and they seem to all agree that the recession could help blogs. Some people might decide that, needing to cut costs, the Internet might be one of the first things to go, but AA’s own proprietor suggests the Internet might be one of the last things to go, because it has become so important to job searches – and thus could increase in importance to many people. Some of the bloggers talked to suggested that the blog population could rise as newspapers cut traditional journalists, making room for cheaper bloggers, and as laid-off workers of all stripes look for new lines of work.
Regardless of whether it becomes Great Depression II, this could be one of, if not the, most important recession in our history.
If some of these reactions are true, this recession could greatly accelerate the rate at which the Internet becomes the chief way people get their news, information, and entertainment. At the moment, the Internet is big enough that “old media” – newspapers and TV – are concerned about the impact of losing their audience to it, but not big enough that they’re comfortable with making money off it. If it ever can get that big – and this recession could greatly hasten the day that it happens – newspapers and television as we know them could become as antiquated as the telegraph.
And as the Internet and blogging grows, it has the potential to change the very way we live. We may well look back on the first decade of the new millenium as a time of great flux and transition, when the Internet was still in its relative infancy, or at least childhood and was still taking shape, still taking the form that would shape the twenty-first century. One thing I neglected to mention when I listed a number of ideas I have and might like to work on was a book coming out of my continual wonder at how dramatically the Internet has already changed our lives, and how it holds the potential to change our lives even more, affecting everything from the news to entertainment to politics to even the very underpinning of our economic system. I had been thinking about holding off on writing it until I had enough of a name that I would have any credibility whatsoever, but recent events – not least of which being the coming recession – have convinced me that right now is a unique moment in history in the evolution of the Internet, and “the fierce urgency of now” – to borrow a phrase from our president-elect – would seem to dictate that I get such a book written in the next couple of years, and preferably starting as soon as possible.
There’s supposed to be a second part coming out today, “focus[ing] on reactions from bloggers who blog as a hobby (i.e. for free) and from readers whose blog-reading habits may be affected by the economy,” and the post elicits reactions from anyone that would fall in either or both of those categories. I’ve sent this post to the blogger in question, but I want to hear from anyone that would have a voice in all of this, anyone who might use the Internet on a regular basis as an outlet, from YouTubers to webcomickers – not to mention, if possible, any advertisers who I imagine count for a significant amount of revenue. Send an e-mail to mwmailsea at yahoo dot com, or if you want to take it directly to him (and his second post encourages it), use the address on the sidebar of that page.