Hobbyist and professional bloggers

I keep reading interesting posts on blogs and online newspapers, but can't get enough into any one of them to do more than to post a link/comment at Twitter. However, a few highlights from them:

The Huffington Post says that very few individuals in the book publishing industry are blogging, because companies don't like it. Apparently crime-fiction author Jason Pinter (The Mark, etc) was an editor at Random House and lost his job because of his blog – or so states the Huffington Post. Yet the same day, I read a PW interview with Rebecca Ford, who runs the (US) Oxford University Press blog and Evan Schnittman, the company’s vice president of global business development, who maintains his own publishing-centric blog, “Black Plastic Glasses.” A well-run blog benefits a publisher by promoting authors, the brand and encouraging debate, they say. Quite. It doesn't seem to me that there is much of a shortage of publishing blogs.

The Guardian technology blog weighs in on the just-announced US FTC plans to regulate bloggers. It is still unclear to me what exactly is planned  – and enforceable, across international boundaries. According to the Guardian, it is their relationship with advertisers that bloggers must disclose. But this isn't how many book bloggers are interpreting it, according to various discussions about what do do about declaring receipt of free review (advance-reading) copies of books and bound proofs that publishers send (often unsolicited) to bloggers. Other bloggers are, rightly, questioning how to declare a relationship with a Google ad box with automatically generated content. Frank Wilson collects some unsurprisingly negative coverage of the plans over at Books, Inq. Ed Champion puts it well in a comment to that post: "If the FTC wants to rake in some cash and keep media clean, they're better off going after the big boys, not the legions of hobbyists who clearly aren't blogging for lucre."

'Life sentences' are people who everyone knows one thing about. Dan Quayle, for example, cannot spell potato (that's my contribution). Some nice examples here. And on the same blog (Nicci French) - Murphy's law or Mruphy's Lore: bad grammar or misunderstood irony?

I barely watch any TV, let alone daytime TV, so my heart fell a bit when I saw in my RSS reader that the Guardian is running a series in which they ask readers who are at home during the day to submit reviews of TV programmes that they watch. I should not be so quick to form an opinion: this review of a programme called Pointless is rather good, even though it is a game show and (therefore, of course) I have never seen it. Chalk up another win to the "hobbyist" bloggers!

 

3 thoughts on “Hobbyist and professional bloggers

  1. I thought that Huffington Post article about the lack of blogs in publishing was a bit disingenuous because what they seemed to be basing their opinion on was that, when asked, lots of people in publishing had said no to blogging for the HP. I wouldn’t want to do that either (not that they’re knocking on my door0 but it doesn’t mean I’m anti-blogging.
    As for the proposed FTC rules I have ignored the entire discussion (given that the American government doesn’t yet have any way to rule over me) but I did enjoy the comments at the link you pointed to – it’s amazing how anything can turn into a Political (i.e. right/left) rant these days…they were pretty closing to bringing up Hitler in that thread🙂

  2. Yes, Bernadette, those comments were pretty funny. I quite like it when some announcement, rule or other gets “made”, following the waves (rather predictable) of reactions and interpretations of bloggers. I think your approach is a good one. Also think you are probably right about the HufPo as I believe it is colloquially known😉

  3. I had somebody contact me just recently saying he had found my blog, thought it just fitted the bill for his product, and offering to give me a little widget to place there, in return for undisclosed riches, mainly things that wouldn’t cost him very much at all. The offer seemed genuine enough, and so was my refusal.

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