Wall Street Journal had an interesting article in yesterday’s business section on the growing numbers of Americans who make money by blogging.  This includes people who blog on their spare time and professional bloggers for corporations (assuming it is now safe to call blogging a standardized profession?).


Mark Penn (the article’s author) has a rosy outlook on blogging, suggesting that it could be a product of the Information Age with the most profound effect on American culture.  As exciting as that is, I’m not sure I want American society being shaped by some of the top-rated blogs: Perez Hilton (#26), I Can Haz Cheezburger (#21), or TMZ (#13).


Well actually, that’s manipulation of statistics. The top ten blogs (as rated by Technorati) cater far less to prurient interests.  But, unlike much of the information cranked by the Fourth Estate, they are more opinion-driven than fact-driven.  So it seems to me that blogs are affecting our opinions more than anything. Because now I can type my opinions out and blast them to most regions of the earth, without earning journalism credentials, or even changing out of my pajamas.  And you know what they say about opinions… Everyone has them. 


So… as much as I love the blogosphere, I hope it doesn’t impact American culture, so much as it impacts the state of American opinion. You know, making it researched, fully-fleshed and well-rounded.  (This is by no means a critique of Americans or our opinions, I just think we can always stand to be better informed, you know?)


Here’s a quick run-down of some of the more interesting parts of the article:

·         One out of three young people reports blogging, but bloggers who do it for a living successfully are 2% of bloggers overall

·         It takes about 100,000 unique visitors a month to generate an income of $75,000 a year

·         In Washington alone, there are now 79% fewer DC-based employees of major newspapers than there were just few years ago (At the same time, Washington is easily the most blogged-about city in America, if not the world)

·         For sites at the top, the returns can be substantial. At some point the value of the Huffington Post will no doubt pass the value of the Washington Post 



Click here to read the article: America’s Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire