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The Almighty Buck Businesses The Internet

Blogging For Paychecks 187

Posted by Zonk
from the whatever-pays-the-bills dept.
prostoalex writes "When you hear about blogging, you're most likely to hear about personal journals, self-expression and youngsters sharing their daily routines online. However, as Wall Street Journal notes, the word blogger can now frequently be seen in corporate job ads. Blogging jobs pay anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 and frequently require writing copy for corporate Web sites and ability to promote on the Internet. A search for blogger and blogging on one of the job meta search engines yields several hundred open positions."
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Blogging For Paychecks

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  • Meh. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:28AM (#12691635)
    So, I'm supposed to take a significant paycut _and_ throw away any sense of decenty I have?
  • by Dancin_Santa (265275) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:29AM (#12691646) Journal
    A little thing to realize about want ads is that they are usually filled by the time you read them.

    So what is the job seeker supposed to do? Well, according to What Color is Your Parachute [amazon.com], the key is to use your connections to get in.

    If you are a blogger with a dedicated audience, you will already have people knocking on your door to get you to write for them. I know I do, and all I do is write a few words on this site here.

    If you want to blog for a company, see if you know anyone working there. They have a better idea about the hiring situation inside their company than any want-ad could ever let you know.
  • by dnixon112 (663069) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:30AM (#12691648)
    I wonder how much he gets payed by Slashdot?
  • by PornMaster (749461) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:30AM (#12691651) Homepage
    At most of the places I've worked, the grammar of a significant percentage of the employees bordered on illiteracy. At least these bloggers are likely to be able to write coherently.
  • by hoka (880785) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:31AM (#12691653)
    This is just a marketing extension really, businesses have long since been hiring people to go "put out the good word" for them. It happened for a long time on the Internet without many people noticing, with company rep's using a sock puppet attack to gain support for some company. I've seen them all over tons of forums (usually given away by talking about _any_ company and having less than 5-10 posts, and all those posts being total garbage), onto IRC for certain channels of people counter-pointing some viewpoint, and even in Slashvertising. Seriously folks, nothing to see here, move along.
  • by AEton (654737) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:32AM (#12691658)
    Gullible hacks are all over this 'blogger' gibberish because somebody somewhere thinks it's a hot new word.

    It isn't - it's silly and it rolls off your tongue wrong, like "Pog" - but that hasn't stopped anyone.

    In fact, it's gotten so bad that I was reading Time magazine today and saw a totally serious sidebar on this hip new phenomenon, "Blogebrity". This is a nonsense Contagiousmedia hoax [contagiousmedia.org], and I'm surprised the editors let it slip through. (Or I wonder how much they got paid.) At any rate, Time's sloppy standards there exemplify the cultural phenomenon where anything that says 'blog' and sounds trendy is brilliant and worth supporting.

    Yikes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:33AM (#12691663)
    I never thought that I would ever see the day when being a loudmouth with NO credentials is worth $40,000 or more. Where do I sign up?
  • by Mattygfunk1 (596840) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:34AM (#12691664)

    Frequently updated and interesting content like /. can develop a community around it. From there, whether the site chooses to simply offer a service for the goodwill of their readers, or incorporate a more conventional way of monetizing website traffic, provides the business payoff.

    Smart business IMO, and we'll probably see more of it.

    __
    Laugh Daily funny free videos [laughdaily.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:34AM (#12691667)
    I never thought that I would ever see the day when being a loudmouth with NO credentials is worth $40,000 or more.

    Welcome to 1997.
  • What a great idea (Score:1, Insightful)

    by The Angry Artist (877090) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:41AM (#12691690)
    Wonderful! Now, instead of professional journalists writing shoddy articles on shaky ground for widely circulated publications, we can have complete amateurs do it, too!
  • Disclosure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goonie (8651) <`gro.arbmaneb' `ta' `lekrem.trebor'> on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:45AM (#12691704) Homepage
    If they disclose that they're being paid by $COMPANY$ to blog, fine. If they don't, that's unethical.Just like advertorial [wikipedia.org] in newspapers or on TV, actually.
  • by BJH (11355) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:06AM (#12691753)

    %s/blogger/astroturfer/g
  • by Corpus_Callosum (617295) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:09AM (#12691762) Homepage
    While companies may think they are using blogging as a marketing tool, I think that the reality is somewhat more complicated. Corporate sponsored blogs tend to end up being a focal point for interaction related to specialized (corporate related) topics. And specialization is the crucial attribute that make blogs so interesting.

    For the first time in the history of the world, we now have a direct channel for hyper-specialization. Blogs + RSS amount to a revolution; The high availability personal-press.

    Each of us tend to seek out and interact on subject matters that we are interested in, believe in and/or know something about. In the past, that generally meant your choice of friends and organizations that you belonged to. But today, we can gather around micro-press engines that allow us to interact (as I am doing now).

    The end result is that like-minded people from all over the world end up exchanging ideas and critical thought with one another over subject matter that is important to them rather than what a media outlet wants to be important to them.

    This new explosion of specialization will have profound and unforseen results as it evolves, such as a completely new and transcendent awareness in society. The populations that make use of blogs are literally transforming themselves from network/newspaper zombies into their own people with their own refined views that match their own personalities. In a very real sense, the blog is an attractor that is pulling us towards a new form of collective awareness or sentience.

    So in summary, I think it is a good thing.
  • by DenDave (700621) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:12AM (#12691778)
    Not only that but I think you have to be a bit of a wordsmith too. Being able to quickly redact and react to the world of interest to your company. I am a proponent of companies blogging in the sense that it may mean a reduction in meaningless marketing. Consider it like a good salesman who is passionate about his product and can convey his enthousiasm and highlight the important aspects of the product. For example a good blog for RedHat could track the open source movement in corporate environments, this could help to spread the news and gain general acceptance for the product and the segment as a whole. Apple has a lot of succes with blogging, except it's free and they don't know the blogger.. sometimes they disagree with the blogger but it's attention grabbing marketing nonetheless.. ;)

    As with printed media, blogs suffer the fact that quantity does not equal quality and hence the selection of bloggers will now indeed be on a you-know-who-know basis, it's a question of trust I guess. In future these functions may formalize and we may see assesments geared for this kind of redactionary work. Perhaps journalist schools will embrace the medium, maybe they already have. For ommercial schools in the US this would be a good time to get started with a program.

  • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:25AM (#12691825) Homepage
    I can remember when blogging was cool.

    Now it's just another fashion to coopt for marketting reasons. These people will make lots of money for a months until everyone realizes that anyone can write blogs -- that's the entire point. Then it'll be just another job requirement for employees.

    Wait, that's not true. Blogs were never cool.
  • by shri (17709) <shriramcNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:46AM (#12691881) Homepage
    Some random thoughts... no disrespect meant to anyone..

    Most corporations have been hiring shills for centuries. Shilling has been done online for years ... bloggers, for unsophisticated marketers, are shills. Corporations should look at other ways of creating buzz if they cannot find a handful of users / customers who cannot say something good about them.

    The best bloggers are loyal employees. Use them to show that the company has a soul and a heart. No need to hire outsiders... look within.

    I've tried to hire some tech bloggers to help me develop content on a website or two... specially given that my skills are in putting together sites and not blogging or reporting or even writing coherent articles.

    To me commerical blogging (from a non corporate but money making perspective) is essentially fairly similar to running or working for a newspaper. It has to be a very controlled equation that manages egos, commercial reality, discipline, ethics and discipline.

    Egos: The most dedicated bloggers I've met (and I've met a fair few in person) walk around with their egos in their pants.. (and moan about not making enough money to pay their hosting bills). Sometimes it is this wonderful mix of poverty and passion that produces great blogs... usually it is passion.

    Commercial Realities: At some point, people stop caring about the bloggers mundane life and start caring more about the news and information in the blog. In a corporate environment, no one cares about how much salt you put on your fish and chips... deal with it and develop a focus on what the readers want .. not what you want them to read.

    Discipline: Can you produce a story or two a day that will keep readers coming back? Most blogs are abandoned, usually because the bloggers loose interest... If you can discipline yourself and produce a good story every day (hard to do in most areas) or week, you will see people return.. this will equate to $$s

    Commerical Realities: At some point we all need to accept that anything commercial needs a disiplined approach. Commercial entities do not understand that the best journalists often don't file a story a day... they are good because of the quality and not the quantity. If their PR department cannot find something new about the company every day ... I doubt a blogger will.

  • by nysus (162232) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @06:28AM (#12692544)
    Well, it's quite obvious that communication is a fundamental activity that underpins all human activity. When you change the way people communicate, you change society in profound ways.

    The Gutenberg's printing press broke the Catholic Church, made modern science possible, and gave rise to modern Democracy. There's no question the Internet will have very profound long-term infulence over future structure of society. We're only 10 years into it.
  • What's the ROI? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by skyshock21 (764958) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @07:17AM (#12692761)
    Your assessment that this is like the dot.com bust seems pretty fair. I mean, how does a blogger add value to a corporation at all? It's as if the higher ups heard the newest buzzword on MSNBC (blogger) and said "hey we need a few of those!" just to keep up with the Jones's.

    I can see it now... corporate Live Journal.

    Like 2-day @ my wurk, my b0x0r was TOTALLY tlaking about st00pid stuff. But N E Ways...
  • Re:What's the ROI? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dabido (802599) on Thursday June 02, 2005 @04:00AM (#12702561)
    I think you might find that the purpose of corporate bloggers, is it's another avenue of propergander for the corporation to use to get it's message out there. Only by using blogs, it will probably be camophlaged in a way to make it look like it's a persons opinion or facts from an unbiased source, rather than part of the Corporate Internet Advertising machine.

    As such, a good blog with a good disguise might pull in big bucks for the Corp (by selling their products), provided they get enough people reading them. After all, some blogs have thousands of individuals visit them each week. (Some of my friends have hundreds each day, and they are all different IP addresses, so it is most likely they are individual people.)

    Will it go bust ... depends how much the craze hits. I think it probably won't be too bad, but I can certainly see an eventual decline in the nummber of Blogger jobs required. A lot will depend on the success of it.

    Just my two cents worth. :-)

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