Emarketer published an article today entitled “Blog Justice”, in which they use the CBS “Rathergate” episode as a springboard to explore the emergence and importance of blogs as a medium. The first interesting thing they note is the self-reported political composition of Bloggers. See the below graphic:
Blog readership numbers do not seem to jive with those numbers, as readership and link popularity seem to give the conservative / libertarian bloggers more influence according to the TTLB ecosystem.
The article then shifts to the personal economics of blogging. Most enjoyable is a quote from Andrew Sullivan regarding the economic viability of his “Daily Dish” Blog:
Popular blogger Andrew Sullivan, whose site receives tens of thousands of hits a day, recently told the AP that “I couldn’t live off the blog alone, and I see no prospect of that happening in the near future, despite having one of the biggest audiences.”
I don’t mean to pick on Mr. Sullivan, as he seems to be taking it on the chin a bit from former fans for his endorsement of John Kerry, but that quote depends heavily on just what he means by “lives off”. As Michelle Malkin pointed out a few months back:
Apropos of Andrew Sullivan’s latest pledge drive to pay for increased bandwidth expenses, Wunderkinder wonders why Sullivan’s bandwith is so darn expensive. In an earlier post, Wunderkinder wrote:
Even if you estimate Andrew Sullivan’s homepage at 40KB (generous considering the lack of graphics), and you estimate his monthly visitors at 3,000,000 (generous considering I think he posted special when he got over 100,000 for one day), this still only generates 120GB of bandwidth he needs per month. Well, you can easily buy 10 GB of hard drive room, and 200 GB of data transfer, for about $500 a year.
By comparison, Sullivan raised somewhere around $120,000 from his readers last summer. A previous pledge drive raised $79,020.
Nearly $200,000 over an 18-24 month period certainly isn’t that bad, and I suspect that most people could, if pressed, somehow manage to live off of it. The article ends:
Perhaps their heightened profile will result in more ad revenues and maybe even investment in blogs, but until then, it seems, bloggers will have to enjoy the victory but not the spoils.
Blogs are an emergent medium and the spoils of the CBS victory may not be apparent for some time to come, but I know a lot of bloggers who see the victory as the spoils (at least until my next pledge drive).
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